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True North Archives - October 13, 2009
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Featured Articles

The Prize Surprise
By John McClaughry

On Friday five liberal Norwegian airheads decided that Barack Obama ought to get the Nobel Peace Prize for his nine months of eloquent speechmaking about peace and other stuff. Many were surprised.

I thought back to when pitcher Bobo Holloman won baseballís coveted Cy Young award.

Tom Salmon Was Right: Democrats don't understand the economic crisis we're facing
By Rob Roper

When Tom Salmon left the Vermont Democratic Party he said, "As many of you know, in the face of the enormous fiscal crisis, I have sounded the alarm for new thinking, responsible budgeting, meaningful long-term planning and prioritization." Salmon concluded after many conversations with Democratic party leaders that, "It is my belief that the VT Republican party is closest to accepting the realities of our times; and is therefore the party best equipped to manage the very real and troubling economic and social conditions which confront us not only today, but in the coming decade."

The Rod Clarke Voluntary Enrollment Health Insurance Plan
By Martin Harris

Several decades ago, I visited the governmental operation in Montpelier to watch a small part of the statutory sausage-manufacture process in action. As it turned out, the street theatre out front that day was far more enlightening and entertaining than the under-the-Golden-Dome committee room proceedings. Perhaps some of the following details of my time-fuzzed recollection are not historically precise, but I present them only to provide background for, and support of, what I learned there, which seems increasingly to have a lot of relevance (albeit zero recognition by The Very Important People) in the contemporary furor over whether and how we should pay for each othersí health care, in accordance with the fourth inalienable-right principle set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the mandatory prescription (medical pun intended) for governmental-action obligation set forth in Article VIII of the US Constitution.

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"I am not sure the public and even our membership has a firm grasp on the problem we are facing," 
--Michael Obuchowski, D-Bellows Falls, chairman of the Joint Fiscal Committee

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

State's financial affairs: A Crisis Written in Red
By Louis Porter, Vermont Press Bureau, October 6, 2009

"I am not sure the public and even our membership has a firm grasp on the problem we are facing," said Michael Obuchowski, D-Bellows Falls, the chairman of the Joint Fiscal Committee of lawmakers that oversees budgetary issues when the full Legislature is not in Montpelier. "It is a problem that is going to demand our utmost attention and some painful decisions."

From Vermont Tiger, October 7, 2009

Policymakers often forget that entrepreneurs take risks.  When risks pan out, they are rewarded, sometimes handsomely, and when the risks of a new venture are underestimated, the endeavor goes belly up and someone has to pay--the entrepreneur, investors, or lenders.  If you see businesses only as a guaranteed cash machine, you forget about the ones that never make it.

Vermonters Want Education Choice
Caledonia Record Editorial, October 10, 2009

Itís time for a statewide referendum on school choice. Whenever the question is asked the general electorate, in Vermont or virtually every other state, whether in an opinion poll, over a country store cracker barrel, or at any impartial forum, the people in the street want education choice.

Related: Georgia Residents Want School Choice!

Putting Vermont Back on Track, October 15
From, October 9, 2009

Lawrence Reed is the founder and for twenty years President of Michiganís Mackinac Center for Public Policy, long considered the most influential free-market state think tank in the nation. His address October 15th, part of the ongoing Sheraton Economic Series, will focus on how the ideas of individual liberty, private property, limited government and competitive free enterprise can be packaged to promote increased economic opportunity and prosperity for Vermonters.

Vermontís Tax Challenge
From Vermont Tiger, October 8, 2009

If half a companyís revenue came from five percent of its customer base, the CEO would begin each day with the same ritual: prayer. 

Thatís a narrow base upon which to build hope, let alone a sustainable business. To an extent, thatís Vermontís issue, not at the corporate level but with state government. We have a spending level that is disproportionately dependent on a progressive income tax structure and a paltry number of taxpayers.

FairPoint Expands high-speed Internet in Southern Vermont
From, October 9, 2009

More Vermonters can quickly e-mail photos, download music and surf the Internet now that FairPoint Communications has expanded access to high-speed Internet service in southern Vermont.  The service was recently expanded to reach 2,000 more customers in the towns of Dummerston, Hartford, Stratton Mountain, West Dover (Timber Creek) and West Windsor.

In 2008, FairPoint increased access to high-speed Internet service from 65 to 76 percent of its Vermont lines exceeding its commitment to the state for 75 percent broadband availability. 

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Jihad like Yoga
By Dr. Walid Phares, Family Security Matters, October 6, 2009

The following is an interview with Dr. Walid Phares that appeared in Nowe Panstwo (Our Times), a Politics and History Journal in Poland, conducted by Olga Dole?niak-Harczuk. The title of the interview in Polish is "ihad jak joga" which translates to "Jihad like Yoga." In this extensive discussion, Dr. Phares addresses the strategic structure of al Qaeda, Europe's readiness to confront the threat, the Obama Administration ability to win a war of ideas over the Jihadists, the necessary Western rethinking of the conflict, indoctrination and penetration in the U.S., the role of Oil lobbies, the influence of theological texts on Jihadists, the numbers of Islamists in Europe, Western inability to fight this war, and Polish American relations in the war with the Jihadists.

Thoughts on the Hysteria About Afghanistan
By Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, October 7, 2009

Afghanistan is a messy war, but so far it has been conducted with a minimum loss of American life while achieving some important goals. We can argue about current strategies, fault whatís been done in the past, deplore the length of the war, lament its cost, or blame each other for its inconclusiveness, but the facts remain that we removed the Taliban, weakened al-Qaeda in the region, fostered a consensual government in the most unlikely of places, and helped to prevent another catastrophic attack on our nation originating from that part of the world ó and did all this with a degree of skill that is reflected in losses that by historical standards are quite moderate.

Why China Worries the Pentagon
By Peter Brookes, Family Security Matters, October 7, 2009

Replete with Olympian fanfare, China just a few days ago "celebrated" the 60th anniversary of the founding and achievements of the People's Republic. Unfortunately, not everyone is celebrating -- especially not military analysts.

Al-Qaida Underrated
From Investorís Business Daily, October 7, 2009

War On Terror: The would-be conventional wisdom, being spread far and wide by Democrats, is that al-Qaida is petering out in Afghanistan. Once again, we are underestimating Osama bin Laden's deadly outfit. National Security Adviser James Jones says al-Qaida in Afghanistan has shrunk. Intercepted al-Qaida communications suggest weapons and clothing shortages. And according to a presidential statement Tuesday, "Al-Qaida and its allies have not only lost operational capacity; they've lost legitimacy and credibility."

Suicide Bombing as Worship: Dimensions of Jihad
By Denis MacEoin, Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2009

Many motives are cited for suicide bombings, from religious sanctification to revenge for Western foreign policy to hatred of Israel, but one thing ties them together: the boast that Muslims love death, whereas their enemies love life. From killing the infidel enemy through suicide attacks, to allowing the subordinate female to participate in suicide attacks, a pattern emerges. And just as honor killings are a perversion of the most basic of human ties, so love for martyrdom takes societies into a direct relationship with the darkest side of human nature. In trying to explain this, it may be feasible to identify routes to a possible solution.

Why No Testimony From McChrystal?
From Investorís Business Daily, October 7, 2009

War Strategy: When Bush and Petraeus proposed the surge in Iraq, Democrats demanded that the general testify before Congress. So why has the Senate blocked a similar invitation to our commander in Afghanistan?

Those with memories longer than the 24-hour news cycle recall that in the dark days of the Iraq War, David Petraeus was summoned to Washington to explain the surge strategy that would eventually lead to victory in Iraq.

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From Elsewhere

Less Religion Means More Government
By Anthony B. Bradley Ph.D., Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, October 7 2009

Soviet communism adopted Karl Marxís teaching that religion was the "opiate of the masses" and launched a campaign of bloody religious persecution. Marx was misguided about the role of religion but years later many communists became aware that turning people away from religious life increases dependence on government to address lifeís problems. The history of government coercion that comes from turning from religion to government makes a new study suggesting a national decline in religious life particularly alarming to those concerned about individual freedom.

Is the Dollar Going to Collapse?
By Mark Skousen, Human Events,October 9, 2009

Rumors are flying that secret meetings are taking place between Arab states, China, Russia, Japan and France, to dump the dollar and replace the U.S. currencyís role in the pricing of oil.  The dollar fell against the euro, yen and Swiss franc, while gold hit new highs of $1,041 an ounce. 

Is there any truth to the rumors that the dollar is being replaced by a basket of foreign currencies, and what will be the impact your investments and the U.S. economy? The fact is that this rumor has been making the rounds for years. It has been repeatedly denied by officials, but that doesnít mean foreigners are happy with the falling dollar. 

Related: The Demise of the Dollar

Firefighters Stood to Lose Grant to ACORN
Sen. Vitter wants $1 million returned to Homeland Security.
By Audrey Hudson, Washington Times, October 7, 2009

Nearly $1 million in Homeland Security funding typically earmarked for fire departments has been awarded to ACORN before Congress signaled that it intended to cut off federal funding to the embattled group.

The grant to ACORN's Louisiana office became public in September before the House and Senate voted to cut off ACORN funding after employees were caught on video advising a fake prostitute and pimp on scams.

Soak-The-Rich Strategies Backfire in State After Deficit-Ridden State
By Steven Malanga, Investorís Business Daily, October 7, 2009

When David Paterson became governor of New York after Eliot Spitzer's hooker escapades, the former state senator from Harlem shocked New Yorkers by declaring that taxes were too high and that he had many friends who had left the state because there were better opportunities elsewhere.

New York had to grab control of its spending rather than continue raising taxes, said the former state senator with a long tax-and-spend track record, in what amounted to the equivalent of ideological heresy.

Pollsters Push People to Accept Obamacare
By William Tate, American Thinker, October 7, 2009

Gallup has unintentionally revealed how they, and other polling organizations, have been pushing the public to accept Obamacare. 

The revelation came in a report late last month which revealed that a significant majority of Americans believes that individuals themselves, and not the government, should be responsible for ensuring they have health insurance. According to Gallup, 61% of folks they surveyed believe that health insurance should be left to the individual, not the nanny state. Unsurprisingly, 89% of Republicans held that view, but so did 64% of independents. Only Democrats, at 62%, wanted Big Brother to shoulder the responsibility.

Obama's Safe Schools Czar Slams Schools for Promoting Heterosexuality
Wants Pro-gay Curricula For Kindergartners (Video).
From the Gateway Pundit, October 7, 2009

Another Kook in the White House. Obama's Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings slammed US schools for promoting heterosexuality.

Leahy's Bench Press
Senate Democrats try to pack the federal courts.

Under the Senate Judiciary Committee as run by Patrick Leahy, even plans on which the two parties have previously agreed to collaborate disintegrate into partisanship. Witness his effort to expand the federal judiciary now that President Obama can pick the new judges.

Obama aide accuses Fox of operating as GOP arm
The Associated Press, October 12, 2009

White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday that Fox News operates "almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party." It's another sign of the White House's aggressively going after Fox.

Great Moments in Socialized Medicine

Daughter Saves Mother, 80, Left by Doctors to Starve
Sarah-Kate Templeton, Health Editor, The Sunday Times, October 11, 2009 

An 80-year-old grandmother who doctors identified as terminally ill and left to starve to death has recovered after her outraged daughter intervened. 

Related: Iraq Veteran Dies of Cancer after Lung Transplant from Heavy Smoker

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