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True North Archives - October 06, 2009
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Featured Articles

Get Ready for the Obama Individual Mandate
By John McClaughry

With President Obama's government-run "public option" insurance proposal on the skids in Congress, attention has focused on an even more central part of his sweeping health care plan: the individual mandate.

"Individual mandate" means that every person subject to it must buy a government-approved health insurance policy from a government-regulated insurance carrier. Or else what? Or else they must pay the government a "fee" for not being insured. This "fee", in the most recent Senate bill, amounts to as much as $3,800 a year for a family. If you willfully refuse to pay it, the government has the power to fine you another $25,000 and put you in jail for a year.

The Politics of Education in Burlington
By Linus Leavens

We are seeing alarming changes in Burlington’s School System; changes brought about by a Socialist Progressive mentality aimed at grabbing power by co-opting the minds of our children from Pre-K onward through our public schools.

How Sweeeet It Is!
By Martin Harris

These two factoids –low average wage and high average housing level- furnish welcome support for the thesis I’ve previously offered in this space, the idea that Vermont is moving fairly rapidly from an active (earned) income economic base to a passive one. It shows up, sort of, in the stats I’ve previously recited here showing earned income over the 1992-2004 period just about keeping up with inflation, while farm income showed not even a nominal increase and therefore suffered an actual one-third drop, and the passive category, everything from Social Security and pensions to investments and, yes, trust-funds, showing a growth of several hundred percent. But large percentage growth from a small starting point isn’t enough to prove the thesis; even now, trust-funder income is but a relatively small fraction of the overall state-wide income-source pattern. Thus, one can’t very well use the income stats alone to theorize about the impact of the trust-funder sector, but now one can, indeed, point to the inherent conflict between the wage and housing stats to theorize that something economically remarkable is, in fact, going on, and it’s grown to a scale large enough to show up in the state-wide stats. The two CFED factoids aren’t irrefutable proof of my trust-funder-economy thesis, but –how sweet it is— they’re certainly a pair of strong supporters.

ACORN Exposed
Compiled by True North Radio

Links to information on ACORN that has been referenced on True North’s radio series on the group’s corruption. (Links to listen to the radio series are here)

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"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper."
--Thomas Jefferson

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Good News For The Republicans and For Vermont
Caledonia Record Editorial, October 2, 2009

So, it is good news for the Republicans. But, it is equally good news for Vermont. It has taken all of the considerable political skill of Jim Douglas for years to ward off the excesses of the liberal left who dominate the Democratic Party. Despite their legislative numbers and control - this session with a veto-proof majority - Messieurs Peter Shumlin, Shap Smith and their rad left colleagues have been stymied in many of their wildest-eyed schemes.

The Douglas decision precipitated a nightmare for middle-of-the-road and conservative Democrats and Republicans. It is that the election of any of the Democrats who have already announced for governor would, without the Douglas brakes, open the floodgates of far left laws and schemes. That nightmare has just been reduced to a bad dream.

Welcome, Brian Dubie, to the race. You are more than a breath of fresh air.

How Progressive?
From Vermont Tiger, October 6, 2009

The European nations with high taxes lessen that problem by taxing the middle class and have relatively low taxes on businesses. The U.S. has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the industrialized world. Most of the OECD nations rely on relatively high value added taxes. In Quebec, for example, the tax is about 13%. A large share of these consumption taxes are paid by the middle class (since most people are in the middle class.) U.S. states, similarly, rely on sales and consumption taxes to a relatively high degree, which is why their tax structures are relatively less progressive than the national tax structure.

Judge Rules Against Omya Neighbors in Federal Lawsuit
Rutland Herald Staff Report, Sep 30, 2009

Residents who live near Omya's calcium carbonate plant have lost a federal lawsuit that claimed the company's chemically tainted marble waste posed a threat to human health and the environment.

United States Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier issued his decision today ruling that nearby residents of the Florence quarries where the marble waste or tailings have been dumped failed to prove "that alleged potential harm claimed constitutes a serious endangerment."

How Many Jobs Were Stimulated?
From Vermont Tiger, October 6, 2009

There’s going to be a lot of controversy and confusion nationwide on October 30 when stimulus reports from states are made public on The reported numbers for "jobs created or retained" will be particularly contentious since they will be much lower than the job forecasts by state which used to be posted on (I can’t find them in the new and excellent redo of the site) and the total reported by the states won’t come close to the total jobs forecast to be created by the stimulus bill (aka American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or ARRA).

Bennington's Plasan delivers 750 armor kits for US troops in Afghanistan
From, October 5, 2009

Bennington, Vermont's Plasan, a global leader in the field of combat-proven survivability and armor solutions for vehicles, airborne platforms and personal protection, today announced the delivery of 750 armor kits for the US Army's MRAP All Terrain Vehicles (M-ATV) as a subcontractor to Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense. Today's delivery meets the latest production milestone in the contract awarded by U.S. Department of Defense to produce 4,296 M-ATVs for deployment in Afghanistan.

Getting It Right; Getting It Wrong
From Vermont Tiger, October 5, 2009

I guess bad news sells papers even when the data is suspect.

From the Burlington Free Press story of September 30th entitled, "Census: Vermont Income Drops 10 Percent":

..."Andy Condon, chief of the economic and labor market section at the Vermont Department of Labor, and Burlington-based economist Doug Hoffer agree that the decline in income likely was the result of a sour performance in the stock market."

..."Art Woolf, an economics professor at the University of Vermont, discounts the data."...

First off, who's the economist?

Doug Hoffer is a research and policy analysis consultant, based in Burlington. He holds a BA in Political Science from Williams College and a J.D. from SUNY Buffalo School of Law and Jurisprudence.

Arthur G. Woolf, is a professor at the University of Vermont and has earned a PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Warning: The Jihadists are Mushrooming Inside America
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family Security Matters, September 28, 2009

It is unprecedented in American counterterrorism annals: in one day, the nation was dealing with three separate jihadist plots to blow up civilian and other targets inside the homeland. Although the cases were addressed at different time periods by the FBI and other agencies, nevertheless, the thickening web of terror attempts breached the crossing line of U.S. national security.

This past week, authorities revealed three conspiracies by American jihadists: Michael C. Finton, a 29-year-old man who wished to follow the steps of American-born Taliban John Walker Lindh, was arrested after trying to detonate what he thought was a bomb inside a van outside a federal courthouse in Springfield, Illinois. Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a 19-year-old Jordanian national, was arrested after placing what he believed was a bomb at a downtown Dallas skyscraper. But perhaps the most troubling case is of Afghan-born Najibullah Zazi, who set up shop in suburban Denver, scouting the Web and visiting beauty supply stores in a hunt for chemicals needed to build bombs for al Qaeda. Sources called the alleged plot one of the most significant terror threats to the U.S. since 9/11. Add to the list the North Carolina Jihad cell, led by Daniel Patrick "Saifullah" Boyd, which was planning on attacking civilian and military targets across the country.

White House Progressive's War Against US Generals
From The Lid, October 5, 2009

The longer a report sits on the President's desk the more likely it is to be leaked. The President sat on his hand-picked General's recommendation for three weeks until it leaked out. Now one month later he says he still needs to think about what to do.

What has the President been doing since word leaked out? Lets see, he took the opportunity to experience the joy of becoming the first US President to run a UN Security Council Meeting. He took the time to lower the prestige of the Presidency by trashing Glenn Beck on the White House website, and he took a trip to wonderful,wonderful Copenhagen so he could lower the prestige of the office of POTUS further in a losing bid to get the Olympics to his home town.

The President is trying to balance the fact that his progressive supporters are fighting against his generals, they want to cut and run in Afghanistan and make America vulnerable to the terrorist threat. So Obama has been avoiding the problem and goes "small picture" focusing on the Olympics and Glenn Beck while sitting on the recommendation of his Generals. The problem is while Obama is doing everything in his power to avoid making a decision, the war in Afghanistan is going to hell in a hand-basket. Instead of being a leader, Barack Obama is doing what he did in the Illinois present.

Pakistani Realities

From the National Review, September 29, 2009

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. government says the Taliban have "a new haven in Pakistan," namely, the city of Quetta in Baluchistan province. This a lie.

Quetta is not a "new haven" for the Taliban. Mullah Omar and the Taliban’s high command have been based there for years. Moreover, their presence has been an open secret in the region — as is the fact that Mullah Omar and his men could not be there without the tacit agreement of the Pakistani state, and in particular the ISI intelligence agency.

We've Been Talking to Iran for 30 Years
The seizure of the U.S. embassy followed the failure of Carter administration talks with Ayatollah Khomeini's regime.
By Michael Ledeen, The Wall Street Journal, September 29, 2009

The Obama administration's talks with Iran—set to take place tomorrow in Geneva—are accompanied by an almost universally accepted misconception: that previous American administrations refused to negotiate with Iranian leaders. The truth, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last October at the National Defense University, is that "every administration since 1979 has reached out to the Iranians in one way or another and all have failed."

Netanyahu's Quiet Success
By Daniel Pipes, Jerusalem Post, September 30, 2009

Almost unnoticed, Binyamin Netanyahu won a major victory last week when Barack Obama backed down on a signature policy initiative. This about-face suggests that U.S.-Israel relations are no longer headed for the disaster I have been fearing.

Four months ago, the new U.S. administration unveiled a policy that suddenly placed great emphasis on stopping the growth in Israeli "settlements." (A term I dislike but use here for brevity's sake.) Surprisingly, American officials wanted to stop not just residential building for Israelis in the West Bank but also in eastern Jerusalem, a territory legally part of Israel for nearly thirty years.

The War in Afghanistan
A briefing by Joseph C. Myers, Middle East Forum, September 29, 2009

According to LTC Myers, the focus of U.S. strategy to date, in an economy-of-force-environment, has been primarily oriented towards developing national institutions—the national government, national security forces, the military and police—whereas the insurgency focuses on the local and village, or "tactical," levels. The new strategy recognizes the need to focus on all levels—from village to province to national level—executing a cohesive, integrated civil-military plan. The poor economy of Afghanistan provides a ready pool of income-seekers which the insurgency can and does employ.

Asked about Al-Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan, LTC Myers stated that Afghanistan is no longer a "safe haven" for international terrorists. Instead, Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders are more likely hiding in the tribal areas of western Pakistan.

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From Elsewhere

Entitlements, Social Problems and the Family
By Rep. Steven Thayn, Idaho State Legislature,

This essay is by Steven Thayn, a 2nd term legislator in the Idaho State Legislature from the 11th District. It is a thesis about how current government entitlement programs do not encourage independent living or the formation of stable families, but instead increase social problems, add to our tax burden, and decrease our standard of living. It documents the truth of that statement and introduces a solution through the family and establishing it as the primary delivery mechanism of social relief within society. 

Philanthropy Cannot Serve Two Masters
By Rev. Robert A. Sirico, Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, September 30, 2009

The independence of American charities has steadily eroded in recent years as more philanthropic institutions have come to see their mission as one of partnership or collaboration with the government. That’s a nice way of saying, "seeking government dough." Now, in the throes of a severe economic crisis and budget cutbacks at state and local levels, many charities are in a panic about reduced levels of funding. Anyone with eyes to see could have seen this coming. ....

What the federal funding has done, I fear, is turn too many philanthropic leaders into grant seekers, contract managers and lobbyists. Politicians, in turn, are picking winners and losers based on the self-serving calculations operative in budget negotiations. The result is a complex co-dependency of charity manager, politician and bureaucrat, all working together in the quasi-governmental entity known as the "public-private initiative."

Libertarian Group To Sue Administration for Failing to Disclose Global Warming Docs
From ABC News, September 29, 2009

A libertarian non-profit organization in Washington today announced it was filing suit against the Obama administration for failing to adequately disclose global warming documents.

As we reported two weeks ago the Competitive Enterprise Institute deemed inadequate the Treasury Department's response to a Freedom of Information Act request for documents on cap-and-trade.

Obama's White House ACORN Operative Fined $775,000 For Election Violations
Used Rapists & Burglars in Door-to-Door Registration Drives.
From the Gateway Pundit, October 5, 2009

So where does a far left political operative land after his organization is fined $775,000 for election violations that included hiring rapists and burglars to register voters?

Inside the Obama White House, of course. 

There have been several articles written lately about Barack Obama's ACORN advisor, Patrick Gaspard, who is currently serving in the White House. Gaspard has a long history of working with ACORN-affiliated organizations. ... In 2008 Barack Obama hired Patrick Gaspard, a top official of the powerhouse New York-based healthcare workers union 1199, an SEIU affiliate and the largest local union in the country. In 2004, Patrick Gaspard Served As National Field Director For 527 Organization America Coming Together, a group that was later fined $775,000 in civil penalties by the federal government.

Related: ACORN's Man in the White House

The Revolt Up North
From Investor’s Business Daily, September 30, 2009

Health Care Systems: A return to private health care is rising from the grass roots north of the border. While we rush headlong toward socialized medicine, Canadians are saying, "No, thanks — been there, done that."

New Pew Poll Shows Abortion Support Dropping 11 Percent, Obama as Reason
By Steven Ertelt, Editor, October 1, 2009

A new Pew Research Center poll released today shows support for legal abortions has dropped 11 percent from 2008-2009. The poll joins a handful of others from earlier this year confirming there is a growing shift towards the pro-life perspective, perhaps exacerbated by President Barack Obama's pro-abortion record.

The findings by the nonpartisan Pew center show Americans taking a pro-abortion position by a 54-40 percentage point margin in 2007 and 2008. Now, two surveys of 5,500 adults found 47 percent support legal abortions with 44 percent opposed.

NY Times Falls for 'White Coats in Rose Garden' Staged Photo-Op
By Clay Waters, Media Research Center, October 06, 2009

"Doctors for America" were summoned to the Rose Garden yesterday to hear brief, boilerplate remarks by the president on health reform and applaud them. .... Doctors for America "also appears to be working closely with Organizing for America, Mr. Obama’s political organization."

The Demise of the Dollar
By By Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK), October 6, 2009

In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.

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