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True North Archives - September 18, 2007
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The Sex Peddlers Are Using Your Money to Get to Your Teens
By Mary Beerworth 

Despite the exposure of scandal after scandal involving Planned Parenthood (Staff Daze, the Safety Dance, The Man Phone, the Condom Scandal, underreporting of statutory rape and incest, and much more), the radical organization continues to seduce and encourage younger and younger teens into sexual activity and profit by selling those same kids birth control, condoms, STD treatment, HPV vaccines, morning after pills and abortions. Good for Planned Parenthood’s pocketbook, very bad for your kids.

Vermonters Pay for Legislature’s Unconstitutional Campaign FInance Law
By Rob Roper

On Tuesday, September 5, Vermont taxpayers got stuck with a $1.4 million bill for loser’s legal fees in the US Supreme Court case of Randall v. Sorrell. This is the consequence of our legislature passing a radical, unconstitutional campaign finance law in 1997. It is also a reminder in real numbers why we should be thankful Governor Douglas vetoed the legislature’s 2007 campaign finance bill.

I’m Smarter Than You. Just Ask Me.
By Martin Harris

In previous readings on the Progressive movement, that late-19th century political reform movement which started out under Republican auspices but gradually moved leftward, I’d garnered the impression that it was the founders and early joiners, from Wisconsin’s Governor LaFollette to Vermont’s education-theorist Dewey, who first articulated the idea that, for modern American governance to work even better than the late-18th-century Constitution-writers ever hoped, and to achieve this noble goal, the opinions (and votes) of the less-well-educated and-endowed masses had to be counted for less than the more enlightened judgments of their intellectual superiors. Somewhere I had read that it was the underlying Progressive thesis that it was, indeed, the duty and obligation of the Nation’s brightest 10 percent to guide the remaining 90 percent, better than they, with limited cognitive abilities, could do for themselves. You get some flavor of this basic Progressive attitude from the famous quote of that famous English author (and sometime Vermont resident, down Brattleboro way) Rudyard Kipling who wrote about "the white man’s burden" to go forth and civilize less-well-equipped peoples everywhere.

Mapping a Successful Strategy for Vermont Conservatism
By N. P. West

The success of Vermont conservatism depends on its ability to replicate the model of the national conservative movement.  This model follows three phases: an intellectual development phase, an institutional development phase, and an electoral development phase.  Each is designed to be a step in the process for conservative victory in Vermont.  Without this model the conservative movement could very well continue to flounder. 

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This Week’s Mail Bag

Dear True North,

Jim Pizzagalli’s letter about NH achieving better educational outcomes for less money is right on. Vermont’s smaller class size and perceived need for more funding is a self perpetuating myth that is more doctrinarian than pragmatic. Showing no improvement in achievement rates is unacceptable.  Our educational system is failing its customers…our kids.

A system that encourages social promotion and neglects some of the brightest and best students insures mediocrity.  Remediation rates at Vermont colleges and the university is around 30 percent. That is deplorable.

Unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is crazy. Imagine a small business not being able to get rid of people that aren’t any good? Unions fight for their members for higher wages and job security.  Non-dues paying schoolchildren have no advocates.

It’s a question of taxpayers’ will over political power. The NEA has the political power in Montpelier to protect the status quo. Taxpayers need the political will to improve individual student performance that will lead to serious education reform.

Frank Mazur
South Burlington


"Bodily decay is gloomy in prospect, but of all human contemplations the most abhorrent is body without mind." --Thomas Jefferson

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Happy Constitution And Citizenship Day
Caledonian Record Editorial,September 17, 2007

Today is Constitution and Citizenship Day commemorating the 220th anniversary of the 1787 signing of the United States Constitution by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Public school students throughout the country will spend the week studying this landmark document that is the bedrock of our democracy. If you're a student, take seriously this week's opportunity to study the Constitution. It quite possibly could be the most relevant social curriculum of your academic career.

If Same-Sex Marriage, Why Not Polygamy?
Caledonian Record Editorial,September 11, 2007

Approval of same-sex marriage assumes that there is no inherent reason to limit marriage to one man and one woman at a time. Until now, the law assumed, perhaps naively, that marriage was to be open to having and rearing children in a permanent and legal joining of persons. Obviously, two men married to each other, or two women married to each other, can't do that. The ability to adopt is a weak objection to the universal understanding of the nature of marriage - a man and a woman, and the possibility of a family. That distinction was discarded by the same-sex advocates. Their claim is that all that is necessary for a marriage is mutual love and commitment, regardless of sexual definition, and that equal rights under the law precludes discriminating by reserving marriage to opposite sexes. If it be true, then, that mutual consent is all that is needed for a marriage, why do we still abhor polygamy?

A Small Price to Pay
From September 13, 2007

Don't-build-it-at-any-cost is the mentality that pervades all of Vermont.  So the people who would have lived elsewhere end up living--well--nowhere.  And we wonder why housing prices are high and have been escalating in the state.

Funny "Stuff"
By Rob Roper, September 10, 2007

In his weekly newsletter, Democrat Party Chairman Ian Carleton went off the deep end a bit with his criticisms of Governor Douglas’ use of a quote from a frustrated Vermonter, "Stuff costs too much." (Which it does.) An outraged Carleton wrote, "We deserve leadership that can boldly guide us through these complexities and deliver meaningful solution, not just more of Jim Douglas’ ‘stuff.’" 

But today, in trying to describe Vermonters’ frustration with how Democrats totally botched Act 185 and made 110,000 low and middle income Vermont household incomes public information, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz, quoting nobody but herself, said, "The concern that people have is that there is lots of stuff about them (available publicly)." AP, 9/10/07.

Did Markowitz really just distil Vermonters’ rights to privacy and the most intimate personal details of their lives down to "STUFF!"  Why, Chairman Carleton must be HORRIFIED!!! Certainly Vermonters deserve leadership that can boldly guide us through the complexities of property tax reform and deliver meaningful solutions, not just more of Deb Markowitz’ ‘stuff!’ 

What Vermonters deserve is less contrived outrage and a willingness to focus on real issues. After all, if we’re going to lower the cost of stuff, we’ve got a lot of important stuff do.

Hot debate: McKibben, McClaughry on Climate Change
By Kevin O'Connor, Rutland Herald, September 12, 2007

McClaughry, head of the Ethan Allen Institute free-market think tank in Concord, says the climate is changing less because of man and more from factors such as naturally occurring greenhouse gases, the brightness of the sun and changes in the Earth's orbit. He says if society cuts its fuel use needlessly, he fears for the economy.

Nuclear Future?
From, September 10, 2007

Geopolitics, technology, economics and the environment are all changing in nuclear power's favor. Western governments are concerned that most of the world's oil and gas is in the hands of hostile or shaky governments. Much of the nuclear industry's raw material, uranium, by contrast, is conveniently located in friendly places such as Australia and Canada.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Abdul Sattar al Rishawi
New York Sun Editorial, September 14, 2007

The assassination of Sheikh Abdul Sattar al Rishawi, coming as it does during a crescendo of cynicism in the anti-war camp in Washington, is a reminder of the extraordinary risks that free Iraqis are prepared to take to side with America and the liberty for which we stand. The sheik was killed by a bomb planted under his car yesterday at Ramadi, ten days after his 90-minute meeting with President Bush and two days after the anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The sheikh was on his way back from an event to hand out food, money and medicine to the poor.

Remembering the Unforgettable
By Amil Imani, Freedom of Iran, September 10, 2007

There is nothing inherently wrong with religion. Religion can be a tremendous force for the good. However, when religion, this feeling-based belief, is filled with superstition, intolerance and hatred, then the beholder of that religion embodies those qualities and becomes a veritable menace to the self and to others. Feelings energize actions. Destructive feelings energize destructive actions.

Muslims living in theocratic states, in particular, tend to be victims of their religious brains. Their religious brains are indoctrinated, from the moment of birth, by an extensive ruthless in-power cadre of self-serving mullahs and imams who are intent on maintaining their stranglehold on the rank and file of the faithful—their very source of support and livelihood.

Just the Facts
Gen. Petraeus brings some clarity to the Iraq debate.
By Peggy Noonan, Opinion Journal, September 14, 2007

Gen. Petraeus's testimony was dry, full of data points and graphs. He gave the impression that everything he said was, to the best of his considerable knowledge, true. One sensed that like good witnesses everywhere, he was not saying everything he thought. He was earnest, unflappable, and low-key to the point of colorless. Maybe he figures things are colorful enough. I felt relief that he was not wearing his heart on his sleeve or talking about our guys and gals. It was very Joe Friday: Just the facts, ma'am. He clearly had a point of view, and it was, not surprisingly, in line with the administration's. But I think the appearance of independence and straight dealing that was necessary to his credibility was lessened by the White House's attempts to associate itself with him in the weeks leading up to his appearance.

The 'Bin Trotsky' Video and the Jihadi Failure in Iraq
By Walid Phares, The American Thinker, September 10, 2007

The (now) black-bearded high commander of al Qaeda was still quoting from holy texts and talking at a Caliphate level, to be sure, but stunningly, he was also reciting recycled neo-Marxism of the kind usually generated at Berkeley, Columbia or the web sites of the anarchic and post-Soviet internationalists. This mutation, above all other matters related to hair color, skin health or "where-is-Osama," is the essence of the tape, at least for those who read it from a strategic angle.

Osama Tape Fake After All?
James Lewis, The American Thinker, September 10, 2007

"All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen!"  ... "The audio track does appear to be in the voice of a single speaker. What I suspect was done is that an older, unreleased video was dubbed over for this release, with the video frozen when the audio track departed from that of the original video."

Democracy Without Islam
By Michael Devolin, Sep 12, 2007

In her book Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes, "Shouldn't the places where Allah was worshipped and His laws obeyed have been at peace and wealthy, and the unbelievers' countries ignorant, poor, and at war." This is a point of truth Islam's apologists will not touch with a ten foot pole. Of course, in their feverish imposture and denigration of the West, of Israel and her Jews, these apologists haven't scheduled for such bulldozing knowledge. They have failed to comprehend that the West's foreseeable rejection of Islam is not only a consequence of Islam's predictable terrorism and violence, but also our instinctual habit of preservation: We have by now noticed that the average Muslim is not integrating into our culture but only insofar as is necessary for him to exploit the compassionate infrastructures that welcome him into our reasonable world. We have by now become anxious about the intelligible possibility that our beloved Western freedoms and religious liberties will soon be transmogrified and extirpated by Islam's malefic, exponential and insular presence within our borders.

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From Elsewhere

The Moral Basis for the War on Terror
Part 4 of 'The Crisis of the Republic'
By Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew America

It's easy to understand that the strength of free people during such bleak times lay in their moral fiber; in the ability to soldier on against the odds, not because they knew when the crisis would pass, but because they knew that what they did was necessary for the survival of all they believed to be decent, just, and right. It turns out that, as the word suggests, the root of morale is moral. The leadership needed to sustain the nation's morale had to understand and articulate the moral values that lay at the heart of the conflict between freedom and Nazism, between democratic self-government and the ruthless imperialism of the Japanese military regime. ... As we deal with the challenge of terrorism in the world today, it's obvious that we need the same kind of moral understanding. It's also obvious that we have no leaders capable of articulating it, or willing to do so if they could.

Thompson on his own, 99-1
By Wes Allison, St. Petersburg Times, September 12th, 2007

Fred Thompson is casting himself as the conservative’s choice for president. The question is, whose version of conservatism is it? In explaining his opposition to certain positions considered sacrosanct to the Republican Party’s conservative base, Thompson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee, describes his views as federalist and calls himself an old-school conservative whose philosophy was once mainstream for the GOP but in recent years has been squeezed out. ... "It’s a smaller-government, authentically conservative way of addressing an issue that is becoming more of a challenge as activist judges play a larger role in policymaking," Sadosky, his campaign spokesman, said. 

What Kind of Person Calls Himself 'Progressive'?
By James Lewis, The American Thinker, September 14, 2007

We all want progress. We may disagree whether gay marriage or drug legalization constitutes progress or not. But we all want better things for the world -- better food, better health and well-being, scientific and technical advances, wiser political systems, more peace and freedom,  more happy children, more humane treatment of animals, more tolerance, more prosperity for the world, you name it. That's called being a decent person

So what kind of person has to label himself "Progressive?" Obviously somebody who believes he (or she) understands real progress better than the rest of us. Because if you are a Progressive it implies that everybody else, let's face it, is a Regressive, or maybe just a Stagnant. It's a smirky, self-flattering way of saying you're a lot better than the rest. 

Be Healthy or Else!
From the Ayn Rand Institute, September 10, 2007

Under Democratic presidential contender John Edwards's "universal" health-care proposal, every American would be required to go to the doctor for preventive care in order to keep health-care costs down. In a similar proposal, a Tory panel in Britain suggested that, in order to control the spiraling costs of its socialized health-care system, Britons should be forced to adopt a government-prescribed "healthy lifestyle" or else be denied certain medical treatments. Britons who improve their health by, for example, quitting smoking or losing weight would receive "Health Miles" that could be used to purchase vegetables or pay for gym memberships. "These proposals are the reductio ad absurdum of nanny-state paternalism," said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. "According to these politicians, instead of having a government that protects our right to live our own lives, we are to be treated like incompetent children who need someone to force us to visit the doctor and eat our veggies.

Moveon.Org Got Huge Discount from the Times for Petraeus Smear Ad
By Rick Moran, The American Thinker, September 13, 2007

Never let sound business principles get in the way of a good liberal smear. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr's New York Times ran an ad by the George Soros funded Moveon.Org on Monday that slimed 4-star General David Petraeus, basically accusing him of being a traitor. What is truly amazing is that while Sulzberger's Times is rapidly declining and losing investor confidence (as thoroughly chronicled here at AT), the paper gave a $116,000 discount to the liberal group so that they could run the ad.

Related: The New York Times MovesOn

Related: MoveOn's McCarthy Moment

Hsu's (and Reid's) Searchlight Leadership Fund
By Clarice Feldman, The American Thinker, September 13, 2007

These donations to Searchlight expose a funding conduit reaching to the heart of Harry Reid's political machine. The financial trail stretches back to Reid's hometown, his longtime business associate Jay Brown, and his Nevada gambling industry patrons; and it connects the Hsu affair to scandal-ridden lobbyists William Oldaker and Jack Abramoff, Reid's financial consigliere Claude Zobell, and a political action committee targeting freshmen Congressmen.

Related: Once A Clinton...

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