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True North Archives - September 11, 2007
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Featured Articles

Education: What Works What Doesn’t
Robert Maynard

When education was removed from its religious context in the family and church and the purpose of education shifted from personal academic and moral excellence to the kind of socialization that makes one fit to be a cog in someone's view of a socioeconomic utopia, the result was that the quality of education suffered.  No amount of money or integration schemes is going to change that."

The Never-ending War Against Poverty
By John McClaughry

There are two main reasons why 17.4% of all children in America live in poverty. The first one is that their parents typically work for pay only sixteen hours a week. If the adults in a poor household worked a total of 2000 hours a year, as most full time workers do, over 70% of poor children wouldn't be poor any more. Two thirds of poor children live in single parent homes. If poor mothers married and formed families with the fathers of their children, almost three quarters of the children would immediately be out of poverty.

Why the E-Court Pulled a 180 Part II
Martin Harris

Over the long pull, the law isn’t a set of rules, black ink on white paper; those written prescriptions merely codify what the general public expectation calls for. Thus, our European ancestors once, quite legally, burned alive or tore into pieces those who violated contemporary expectations; and more recently, our own respected jurists found legal support for slavery and prohibition, then changing their minds and their legal rules in deference to the public changing its own expectations. On a less life-and-death plane, the same transition in expectations has taken place in that part of Vermont governance which sets the rules for land use. Once upon a time, you could attend a planning board meeting and reliably expect to hear a grizzled old Yankee warn them that "no one’s goin’ to tell me what I can’t do with my land" and today you can attend a similar hearing and reliably expect to hear a neighbor to a proposed project demand that the permit be denied because "we like it here just the way it is" even though the zoning regulations clearly permit the proposed use.

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"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have." --Ronald Reagan

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Notes & Events

September 11 (Tuesday): A conversation between BILL Mc KIBBEN and JOHN McCLAUGHRY on the topic of CLIMATE CHANGE. Author and climate change activist Bill McKibben of Middlebury College and EAI President and "global warming hysteria critic" John McClaughry will engage in a "Climate Change Conversation" at the Riley Center at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester on Tuesday, September 11, at 7:00. The event is sponsored by the Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning, and the public is invited. Advance registration to guarantee seats may be accomplished by going on line to Green Mountain Academy’s website.

September 20: Republican Town Organizational Caucuses, contact the VTGOP for more information, 802.223.3411. 

September 21: David Barton Returns.  The Sheraton Inn and Conference Center. For those of you who do not know David’s work, he is a powerhouse scholar on our constitution, the Founding Fathers and the Christian history of our nation. As some may recall, last year David’s plane was grounded in Chicago and he never made it to Burlington.  The good folks at Christian Action Ministry are planning a similar event again this year.  David will be speaking on the Founding Fathers and Islamic Terrorism and the Role of Pastors and Christians in Civil Government. These are timely topics, so mark your calendars. Freewill donation and only 750 seats are available, so call or email for reservations:
   Grand Isle: 372-6442      Winooski: 655-0280
   Burlington: 862-3427      Rutland: 773-2602
   or Email:

September 29th (Saturday): Annual Dinner and Silent Auction - Chittenden County Chapter of the Vermont Right to Life Committee. 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM, St. John Vianney Parish Hall, 160 Hinesburg Road, South Burlington, VT. Tickets are $12 per person, paid in advance. Payment can be mailed to: CCRL, P.O. Box 677, Milton, VT 05468. Payments must be received by September 24. Email and reserve your tickets today.

October 4th: 87th AIV Annual Meeting. The Associated Industries of Vermont (AIV) 87th Annual Meeting will be held at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Montpelier. The luncheon will feature a keynote address by Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President, and CEO of Ethan Allen Inc., as well as an address by Governor Jim Douglas. Ethan Allen is a leading Vermont employer but also at the forefront of the struggle to make manufacturing in Vermont and the US succeed in the face of national and global competition.

October 13th: Teens for Life Summit 2007.The Vermont Right to Life Committee, Inc. 8:30AM - 4:00PM, DoubleTree Hotel, 1117 Williston Road (Route 2), South Burlington, VT 05403

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

No More Free Doughnuts For The Elderly!
Caledonian Record Editorial, September 5, 2007

We've said it before and we will say it again. There are no limits to where the nanny-governments - local, state and federal - will go once they perceive a problem that they believe is beyond the control of their constituents.

To Build A House ... or, perhaps, four thousand of them., September 05, 2007

There are reasons why builders can't make money on "affordable" housing. These have been pointed out, here and in other venues, over and over, and ignored by the legislature just about that often. One of the reasons for the high cost of housing is price of land.  And land is expensive because, increasingly, it is scarce.  Or, rather, it has been made scarce by, among other causes, the efforts of trusts whose raison is to make more and more land off limits to development. The campaign to sequester more and more or Vermont may or may not be a good thing but it undeniably reduces that amount of land on which builders can put up houses.  And where development is allowed (once all the requisite flaming hoops have been cleared) it is more expensive than it would otherwise be.  Scarcity tends to drive up prices that way.

Vermonters Pay for Legislature’s Unconstitutional Law
From Vermont GOP, September 6, 2007

Vermont taxpayers are getting a $1.4 million bill for loser’s legal fees, the consequences of the legislature passing a radical, unconstitutional campaign finance law in 1997. What is still unknown is how much taxpayer money the office of Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell wasted in defending a law that intentionally violated Vermonters’ First Amendment rights.

Speaker Gaye Symington's Privacy
Caledonian Record, September 7, 2007

Symington's casual disregard of Vermont citizens' rights and expectations of financial privacy while being aggressively protective of her own is both elitist and hypocritical.

King Arthur (aka Art Woolf) Responds, September 06, 2007

"In Vermont as well as the United States," said King Arthur, "the middle class is getting smaller, but it’s because people are moving out of the middle class and up, not out of the middle class and down."

Who You Calling "Socialized Medicine?", September 06, 2007

"If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Tick, Tock
Michael Ledeen on the Iranian Time Bomb
A National Review Online Q&A, September 5, 2007

"Most people…do not realize that, for nearly thirty years, the Iranians continuously attacked us, and, aside from some harsh rhetoric from time to time, we never responded." So writes NRO contributor and American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Ledeen in his new book The Iranian Time Bomb. The book is an analysis of Iran’s ongoing war with "the Great Satan" and a blueprint for finally fighting back. Ledeen took a few questions on the book and the current scene from National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez over Labor Day weekend.

The 'Ramadan spike'
By Ray Robison, The American Thinker, September 06, 2007

But perhaps more important to determining the status of the surge is the fact that this summer saw the first breakage of the run-up to the "Ramadan spike". The month-long Islamic holiday of Ramadan can happen in any season, thanks to the lunar calendar employed by Islam with no leap-year corrective.  But in recent years of the rotation cycle it has been in the Fall. The "Ramadan spike" is not precise and numbers can be found that are outliers from the norm, but there is a general, detectable trend. As you can see by these numbers, the end of summer foretells the autumn Ramadan spike with an upsurge from July to August usually peaking in October or November.  In 2004, the numbers of fatalities to hostile fire went up from 45 in July to 63 in August. In 2005, the numbers went from 48 to 75. In 2006 it went from 41 to 59. This year it went from 74 in July to 60 in August which marks the first reduction in the run-up to Ramadan since the anti-Iraqi forces began to fight in earnest at the end of 2003. It is the first downward trend in the most violent part of the year.

Al-Qaeda’s Hope
By Cliff May,, September 6, 2007

As the sixth anniversary of September 11th, 2001 approaches, we should be grateful: al-Qaeda has not successfully attacked Americans a second time on American soil. We also should be distressed: Americans are debating whether to fight al-Qaeda -- or whether to retreat from the one battlefield on which we have a chance to seriously damage al-Qaeda, both militarily and ideologically.

Rafsanjani in as Head of Iran's Assembly of Experts
By Rick Moran, The American Thinker, September 06, 2007

Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been elected head of the powerful Assembly of Experts in Iran in what many experts see as a repudiation of the hard line faction headed up by current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

OBL, Thompson, and the Long War
From the Right Wing Nut House, September 08, 2007

How big a threat is the global jihad being waged against the United States and the west? I agree with the left that the threat should be kept in perspective. I do not agree with the left when they attempt to minimize it. Fred Thompson’s take on OBL and The Long War is just about right:

"Bin Laden being in the mountains of Pakistan or Afghanistan is not as important as there are probably al-Qaida operatives inside the United States of America," Thompson said. Bin Laden is considered the man behind the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. The former Tennessee senator and actor argued that "bin Laden is more symbolism than anything else. I think it demonstrates to people once again that we’re in a global war."

Thompson said the al-Qaida leader and the Iraq war must be seen as part of the larger war on terrorism.

"It’s one that bin Laden and people like him are heading up and we need to catch him and we surely need to deal with him, but if he disappeared tomorrow we still have this problem. If Iraq disappeared tomorrow, we’d still have this problem," Thompson said.

Post-9/11 Hubris: The war@home
By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online, September 6, 2007

In short, six years of quiet at home since 9/11 have fooled some into thinking that terrorists pose little danger here — or that we may be doing far too much rather than too little to stop such killers. No matter that this past week a jihadist plot to destroy U.S. facilities in Germany was thwarted. Others make the mistake of endlessly refighting the past six years — who let al Qaeda grow?; who "lost" Osama bin Laden?; who fouled up postwar Iraq? — instead of concentrating on the storm ahead. Before 2001, the excuse for American complacence and in-fighting was naivete. But what will be the reason for the next successful strike against us by the jihadists?

The Tide Is Turning in Iraq
The Tribal Movement Against al Qaeda in Anbar Province has Spread to Other Parts of the Country
By Kimberly Kagan, Opinion Journal, September 9, 2007

Phantom Thunder was the first coherent campaign aimed at all of the major al Qaeda strongholds at once. As a result, terrorists could not move from one safe haven to another. Iraqi and coalition forces killed, wounded and captured thousands of them.

Listening to Petraeus
The president had the courage to change course on Iraq. Does Congress? By John McCain & Joe  Lieberman, Opinion Journal, September 10, 2007

The Bush administration finally had the courage to change course in Iraq earlier this year. After hearing from Gen. Petraeus today, we hope congressional opponents of the war will do the same.

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From Elsewhere

Elections, media, and money
Part 3 of 'The Crisis of the Republic'
By Alan Keyes, Renew America 2007

The people exercise this sovereignty through periodic elections, in which they choose their representatives — the legislators and magistrates who make and carry out the laws. Obviously, the reality of the people's sovereignty depends on the integrity of the elections, that is, on whether or not they represent a true choice by the people.

If their choice is decided by fraud or deceit, or preemptively determined by some other means, the exercise of sovereign power passes to the successful deceivers and manipulators, whoever they may be. In this event, the outward appearance of elections is simply a way of procuring the people's submission to the will of their actual rulers, which they more readily offer on account of the delusion that this will is the result of their own decision.

Related: A Bundle of Trouble
Norman Hsu & Hillary Clinton -- More Clinton Campaign Scandal News By Tom Fitton, The National Ledger, September 10, 2007

On the heels of that [Norman Hsu] Clinton campaign fundraising controversy, came this one. According to The Washington Post: “Sant S. Chatwal, an Indian American businessman has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaigns, even as he battled governments on two continents to escape bankruptcy and millions of dollars in tax liens.”

Related: You Wouldn't Want to Be in Hsu's of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama

Rosy Scenario: Are Happy Days Here Again for GOP?
By Tony Blankley, Human Events, September 06, 2007

If military success and growing political success at the local and provincial levels with the Sunni tribal leaders continues and expands its effect to the national Baghdad government -- and we have both military calm and maturing pro-American governance in Iraq -- Democrats from presidential candidate to city council will be in an awful state.

New NCLB Plan Establishes International Education For All
By Ed Watch, The Eco-logic Powerhouse, September 07, 2007

Leaders of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee would institute international education standards in all public schools as part of their proposed changes to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). "International education standards" translated, means requiring that schools teach the beliefs and values of the U.N. It does not mean having higher standards than we now have. … 

International Baccalaureate (IB) is the framework for an International Curriculum. According to the IB website, IB (and mational/international curriculum standards) are all about beliefs and values. It is pure multiculturalism. For example, IB curricula teaches that the American Creed - that is, the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that all men and women are created equal, with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that government exists to protect those rights, and limited government - may be highly regarded by some Americans, but it lacks universal truths and values that are good for all Americans, and it certainly isn't good for other nations. Rather, International curriculum standards promote the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR] as the highest, universal principles. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are fundamentally opposite from the UDHR. A few examples are these (see "The IB Curriculum").

Related: Home-schooling Numbers are Up

Global Warming Faces Popular Backlash
By Thomas Lifson, The American Thinker, September 05, 2007

Further evidence that global warming enthusiasts have jumped the shark comes with the box office disaster experienced by Leonardo DiCaprio's film 11th Hour. Roger Friedman of reports (hat tip: Drudge):

"The 11th Hour," has been a total bust at the box office. After 18 days in release, the film has grossed only $417,913 from ticket sales. The 90-minute snore-fest is playing on 111 screens this week, but that number is likely to be reduced this Friday. The film will be sent to DVD heaven after that.

…. I wonder how many years it will require for global warming's snake oil faction to become ashamed of their role in pushing their dogma with their chosen methods. The public seems to have caught on, judging by the box office surprise Leo got, not to mention all the empty seats at various Live Aid concerts. By the way, have you seen Al Gore in the news recently? I haven't. Maybe he and his obsession have become what Variety used to call "B.O. Poison".

The Withdrawal Crowd is in Retreat
By J.R. Dunn, The American Thinker, September 05, 2007

The withdrawal campaign hit its peak last spring as dissatisfaction with the war effort edged past the 50% mark and GOP opportunists such as Domenici and Lugar climbed aboard. For a time going into summer it seemed that a withdrawal vote might actually have a chance in Congress, an eventuality that would have seriously jeopardized the surge strategy.

That initiative failed thanks to Harry Reid's unmatched ability to screw up a royal flush. Reid's gimmick of holding an all-night session to force a vote backfired, antagonizing the Republicans to the point that they held the line.

The surge has put the lid on all that, by revealing that public dissatisfaction was based on lack of progress against the Jihadis and not actual opposition to the war itself. After three months of Al-Queda and associates being chased from pillar to post, accompanied by an impressive drop in attacks and other incidents, the polls have begun to turn around despite everything the media, the Democrats and Brian de Palma can do to muddy the results. Support for withdrawal short of victory was soft in the first place and is growing softer every day.

Related: Has MoveOn Betrayed the Democratic Party?

Thompson's Bold Vision
By Dennis Byrne, Real Clear Politics, September 06, 2007

Thompson has enunciated a truth: Without us, other free nations are unwilling or unable to take the leadership in the worldwide struggle for freedom. While others will shrink from this reality, painting the sentiment as xenophobia, chauvinism, bellicose, blah and blah, the reaction on Leno's show reflects or plays on the deep feeling among Americans of just pride and earned obligation. An America withdrawing from Iraq and relinquishing its power to others less determined to preserve liberty is not an America we know. Nor is it the America we should become. This is an understanding that has been stewing underneath as the useless and negative chattering goes on in Washington and the "elite" media.

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