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True North Archives - September 25, 2007
Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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Radio archives are here! Use the controls on our radio archive page to listen to past shows of note (archived shows are available for a limited time only). True North Radio airs daily on WDEV AM & WDEV FM from 11 am to noon.

Featured Articles

A Government Solution to a Lack of Discipline?
Robert Maynard

There is no government solution to what is a moral/cultural problem. What we really need is a cultural renewal. We have been feeding off from a stock of cultural heritage that was stored up by those whom formed our society without asking ourselves whether we are doing an adequate job of maintaining that cultural heritage. We are indeed "paying for our lack of discipline" and perhaps it is time to pay more heed to the virtues needed to sustain a free society instead of merely assuming that our political leaders can legislate a solution to any problem we face as a society.

Save Our Cheese Plants!
by John McClaughry

As Brue explained to the Commission at a public meeting last week, its likely price-fixing rules - whether requiring premium pricing or shifting even more transportation costs to the handlers - will force him to pay more for the milk he uses to make cheese.

His competitors in other states won't have to pay any such premium. So all at once Via cheese, now competitive, will become less competitive or even uncompetitive. Then Brue will face the choice of moving his plant to another state, or closing his business, laying off his workers, and losing his investment. This will also happen to other Vermont companies like Cabot Creamery, H.P. Hood, St. Albans Coop, Rhino Foods and the small artisan cheese makers who sell into a national market. Some day we may well wonder
why it's so hard to find buyers for Vermont milk.

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

More Mills commentary can be found in Thomas Sowell’s "The Vision of the Anointed", one chapter of which is entitled "The Anointed Versus the Benighted" and contains this quote: only where "the sovereign Many have let themselves be guided (which in their best times they have always done) by the counsels and influence of a more highly gifted and instructed One or Few", it is on the latter that social well-being and progress depend. Such concepts of a governing elite show their modern face in the aftermath of occasional school budget or bond issue defeats by voters; here’s a montage of such recent commentary: "Oh, if only we’d more adequately explained, to these foolish and selfish taxpayers, all the wonderful things we’re trying to do in these inadequate and underfunded and overcrowded schools so that their kids won’t end up as poorly as they did…we’ll just have to go back and give them another chance to do the right thing by voting the right way…" and so on.

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Letter to the Editor

Vermont Taxman: Not a Penny Left Behind

Heard your program today but was in the car and could not comment on the taxes.

For a good perspective...... when I retired from Honeywell Aerospace in FL 10 years ago, my federal tax was close to 10K a year and my FL state and local tax was about 2K.

Now retired in VT my federal tax is less than $1K and my state and local tax is close to 3K a year. VT is just tax happy as they are anti-business. Just for reference I pay to have my taxes prepared so all is above board. The only reason we are here is "Family" as VT is anything but friendly to retired people. The Lord said you can’t bring it with you and Vermont is making sure that it’s not left behind either.


P.S. My wife is Shirley and has called in to the show a few times.


"Tis a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own" --Benjamin Franklin

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Tough Love for the Poor
By John McClaughry, Rutland Herald, September 20, 2007

There are two main reasons why 17.4 percent of all children in America live in poverty. The first one is that their parents typically work for pay only 16 hours a week. If the adults in a poor household worked a total of 2,000 hours a year, as most full-time workers do, over 70 percent 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. Beyond a disinclination to work and marry, many able-bodied adults (and thus their children) live in poverty, not because of genetic shortcomings, accidents, serious childhood abuse, or plain bad luck, but because they have made poor decisions. Some examples: dropping out of high school, choosing low ethical standards, neglecting diet and health, using drugs and booze, and managing money poorly, notably by spending too much on tobacco, booze, drugs, entertainment, prepared food, and interest on debt.

Neither Safe Nor Free
Caledonian Record Editorial, September 19, 2007

Perhaps Benjamin Franklin said it best, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

CO2 vs. Public Interest
From, September 18, 2007

Clearly there’s more to this debate than stingy car companies and CO2. It’s also about how much the car companies can afford to invest in low-emissions technologies and how much we’re willing to pay for them.  It’s also about ignorant legislators who somehow think corporate profit motives conflict with public interest.

Remember Goals 2000?
From, September 19, 2007

Half of Vermont’s geography standards involve either cultural diversity or environmentalism. These concepts belong, but they shouldn’t dominate. No political agenda should dominate our state standards. Goals 2000 has left a much worse legacy than No Child Left Behind. It has wasted millions of dollars. And it has accomplished nothing, except to advance a political agenda.

Living in Vermontland
From, September 21, 2007

I’d love to see a study of how many businesses in the state depend on free money. Consider all the vacant dairy farms scattered across the state that have newly reconstructed barns. Or, of course, the Burlington water front. I’m sure there’re more. Maybe it’s all part of the plan - when everything is done we’ll sell the entire state to Disney and all move to wherever the native Vermonters went.

Hog Heaven: Our Man In Washington
From, September 19, 2007

So how did Vermont’s freshman Congressman vote? Peter Welch missed one of the 50 votes, but on the other 49 he voted for the pork… every single time.

Vermonters Pay for an Unconstitutional Campaign Finance Law
By Robert Roper, Times Argus, September 23, 2007

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 Gov. Douglas vetoed the Legislature's 2007 campaign finance bill.

When In Doubt, Hire A Consultant
Caledonian Record Editorial, September 24, 2007

In politics, you get an "expert" consultant to push the political aims that you were unable to accomplish by yourself. That's the only reason that Symington (and, later on, her embarrassing partner, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin) want consultants on these two issues/failures of theirs in the last session. When passage is doubtful, hire an expert.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

The Iran Conundrum
By Amil Imani, The American Thinker, September 22, 2007

Underneath all conquests and expansions, underneath all the frivolous wars over religious differences, underneath all the oppression and tyranny, underneath all the motives of greed for wealth, underneath all the wars over injustices, lies one single drive: the will  to dominate. The passion to dominate, control and rule over one's fellow humans is an ancient impulse. It goes back to prehistoric times when certain individuals had the desire to force their will upon those around them.

The Revolution in Transatlantic Affairs
By Tony Corn, Real Clear Politics

The return of both China and Islam in world history after a three-century-long eclipse has been the defining feature of the international stage since 1979. In the first decade afterwards, the West was simply too focused on the "second Cold War" against the Soviet Bloc to ponder the meaning of the revolutions engineered by Den Xiao Ping in China and Khomenei in Iran. In the second decade, a victorious West, indulging in rhetorical self-intoxication, mistook the most recent stage of a century-old globalization process for the end of history and even geography.

New Message from Al-Qaeda Targets Pakistan
Rick Moran, The American Thinker, September 20, 2007

Al-Qaeda can cause a lot of trouble in Pakistan. But as in other places where al-Qaeda has been active, the local population soon turns against them for their brutal tactics. Let's hope that continues

What Does Bin Laden Want?
By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online, September 20, 2007

Bin Laden also sees how the rival Muslim theocracy in Iran has turned its oil profits into a nuclear-weapons program. He’d like to replace the present Gulf monarchies with self-professed imams and jihadists. Such a single, united Wahhabi theocracy could dole out its oil to subservient importers, and use the profits to acquire enough weapons to unite the Arab world and prepare for the final war against us.

Bin Laden’s problem then is not really tiny Israel or global warming or mortgage interest rates, but an all-powerful and free West led by the United States. It alone has the military and economic power to stop radical Islamists. Plus, we bring the more powerful message of political freedom. And American popular culture, with its informality and egalitarianism, is sweeping the globe, seducing far more adherents than does rote memorization of the Koran. So, despite bin Laden’s bragging, America remains the big stumbling block, the stronger horse. The United States alone ensures that bin Laden stays a sick man babbling in a cave — and not a Muslim caliph in flowing robes, with billions of dollars in oil under his feet and weapons merchants lined up at his palace door.

Wilsonian No More
By Thomas Sowell, National Review Online, September 20, 2007

Iraq is an object lesson in another sense. You seldom hear about the area of the country controlled by Kurds because that has been the most peaceful and orderly part of Iraq, and the media are drawn to death and destruction. In his insightful new book, Mugged by Reality, author John Agresto says: “I do not believe one American, soldier or civilian, has been killed or even hurt in Kurdish Iraq since the war began — or maybe ever.” The Kurds are a people. They are not just some folks thrown together by others who drew lines on a map. They had their own leaders before there were any national elections in Iraq.

What's in a Name? 'Jihad' vs. 'Hiraba'
By Patrick Poole, The American Thinker, September 18, 2007

What's in a name? When it comes to identifying what we are fighting against in the war for our civilization, quite a lot. Members of a movement among military and intellectual circles want to avoid asserting that we are fighting against "jihad" because that term is loaded with religious significance in Islam, replacing it with "hiraba", to highlight the criminal nature of Islamic terrorists: Walid Phares, writing in American Thinker several weeks ago, challenged these advocates. As Phares noted in his article, Preventing the West from Understanding Jihad...

Address to the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference
By U.S. Senator John McCain, September 22, 2007

"Today,...the differences between Republicans and Democrats on national security are every bit as stark as they were 30 years ago. Today, leading Democratic presidential candidates vote against funding for our troops engaged in war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, leading democratic presidential candidates question whether there is a war on terror, offer to enter into unconditional negotiations with our worst enemies, and talk about countering the forces of radicalism by advocating surrender to them in Iraq.  If the Democrats get their way in Iraq, if we cede Iraq to al Qaeda, how long will they stay the course in Afghanistan?  We face grave challenges in the Middle East: halting Iran's nuclear ambitions; protecting our democratic ally, Israel; supporting moderate voices against the killers of Hamas and Hezbollah; defending Lebanon's sovereignty against Syrian and Iranian aggression. Does anyone seriously believe that we can better meet those challenges in the aftermath of an American defeat in Iraq?  It is irresponsible to think so, and any man or woman who does isn't prepared to lead our country in the struggle against Islamic extremism." 

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From Elsewhere

The Key to American Statesmanship
Part 5 of 'The Crisis of the Republic'
Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew America

According to the oath that all public officials swear when they take office, our leaders' principal goal is to preserve our liberty — which is to say, to preserve, protect, and defend the constitutional form of government that gives the people of our country a decisive voice in its affairs. The failure to take account of this goal isn't just an incidental shortcoming. It's an indication of fatally defective leadership that must eventually produce the destruction of our way of life.

Democrats Can't Afford '08 promises
By Christina Bellantoni, The Washington Times, September 20, 2007

The 2008 Democratic presidential candidates are promising voters billions of dollars in new government spending, paid for in part by "rolling back" the Bush tax cuts. ... The Democrats say their programs would be funded by ending President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest households, but that cash isn't nearly enough to cover their promises, and it might not be available by the time one of them would take office in January 2009.

The Government's Healthcare Pathologies
By Max Borders, TCS Daily, September 21, 2007

Newsflash: Health insurance is expensive. OK, so that's not news to anyone. But what may be news to you is why insurance premiums are so high. A common explanation is that insurance and drug companies are greedy. This narrative is used to justify more intervention in healthcare markets by both state and federal governments. Some familiar voices are even calling for a socialized system like Cuba's. Hilary Clinton's recently announced individual mandate plan doesn't go quite that far, but looks like a cross between Massachusetts' Mittcare and European socialism.

Likewise, the well-respected AMA is urging us to "cover America's uninsured." But how? Socializing medicine is a good idea if you want to wait three months to mend your broken leg, get your healthcare from the physician's equivalent of the DMV, and have your taxes go through the roof. We already subsidize club kids in Seattle to forgo personal responsibility for healthcare so they can eat out every night. (And many Americans currently on Medicaid don't even pass the cigarette test.) But before we do anything else to make a bad system worse, let's step back for a moment and diagnose the problem. Consider three major health insurance pathologies...

Related: Hillary and Health Care Prove a Toxic Mix Again

Senate Votes to Condemn MoveOn for Ad Attacking General Petraeus
From Fox News, September 20, 2007

The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a measure condemning for a newspaper ad it ran last week attacking Gen. David Petraeus. The move came as President Bush accused Democrats of cowering to the liberal political action group. The measure passed in a 72-25 vote, with none of the Democratic presidential candidates supporting it. Sponsored by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, never one to shy away from forcing Democrats to go on record on politically sticky issues, the amendment to the defense authorization bill did win the backing of 23 Democrats.

Click here to see how your senators voted.

Related: New York Times gave 'price break' on ad berating Petraeus
By Tom Brune, Newsday, September 23, 2007

The New York Times gave an unwarranted $77,000 "price break" to liberal on its Sept. 10 full-page ad berating Army Gen. David Petraeus after all, the newspaper admitted Sunday. After two weeks of saying it had given no special discount, the Times' Public Editor Clark Hoyt revealed Sunday that the paper should have charged a $142,083 fixed-date rate instead of the $64,575 "seven-day standby" rate it did.

Related: A Party Bought And Paid For
From Investor's Business Daily, September 21, 2007

Election 2008: once crowed that it had bought and owned the Democratic Party. With the Senate now blasting its tactics, that's an open question. But not, apparently, for Democrats running for president.

The Judeo-Christian Values of America
By Ronald R. Cherry, The American Thinker, September 15, 2007

Since the pursuit of happiness, as Sigmund Freud surmised, is tied to human love and to creative work and play, the principles of American Judeo-Christian Values can rightly be summarized as the honoring of God-given Life, Liberty and Creativity. This seed of American Social Justice was then fleshed out in the U.S. Constitution through reason and common sense, unencumbered by the dysfunctional religious and secular traditions and laws of Old Europe.

WaPo: The Soviets Died For Liberty
From Captain’s Quarters, September 19, 2007

Newspapers like to play gotcha games with presidential candidates and their stump speeches. Most of the time, the fact-checking sessions focus on number-juggling on tax proposals and spending policy, and they find plenty of daylight between claims and reality. However, when the Washington Post attempts to fact-check Fred Thompson on historical references, they reveal more of their bias than of Fred's. They try to take apart Fred's claim that Americans "have shed more blood for other people's liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world", and manage to completely miss the point:

The number of overall U.S. military casualties, while high, is still relatively low in comparison to those of its World War I and World War II allies. In World War II alone, the Soviet Union suffered at least 8 million casualties, or more than 10 times the number of U.S. casualties for all wars combined.

Tough US Welcome for Iran's Ahmadinejad
By Nahal Toosi, Associated Press, September 24, 2007

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the stage at Columbia University to a blistering reception from the president of the school, who said the hard-line leader behaved like "a petty and cruel dictator."

Related: President Ahmadinejad Booed at US University

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