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True North Archives - November 06, 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

The New Green Regime
By John McClaughry

The enviros insist that the greatest challenge facing Vermont is The Menace of Global Warming. A far more serious challenge will be the capture of public policy by a well-organized and well-funded movement eager to seize upon an imagined climate crisis as the excuse for enacting the entire enviro agenda, regardless of what it might cost the taxpayers, and regardless of how their Green Regime might overpower our local communities and diminish our freedoms.
  

The Nuclear Option
By Tom Licata

Former President Gerald Ford, three days after his inauguration before a joint session of Congress, said the following: "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." What if we – the taxpayer – were to turn this statement on its head to something closer to "A taxpaying citizenry big enough to give you [our Legislature] everything you have is a taxpaying citizenry big enough to take from you everything you want"?

Occam’s Razor, or Memory Hole III
By Martin Harris

William’s analysis would suggest that, when once-readily-available information suddenly becomes unavailable –to test this for yourself, try asking for your local school capacity and square footage—the simplest solution would be that some people want it unavailable. When once-public school stats become unavailable, the simplest solution would be that education people –educators and/or politicians—want it unavailable. The "why" of this relatively new (but unadmitted) policy is equally simple: ever since Horace Mann made the argument for publicly-funded public schools, a century-and-a-half ago, the accepted benchmarks for acceptable building design, cost, and taxation levels have been building capacity (numbers of student spaces in terms of classroom, lab, and similar rooms) and overall building square footage (which measures the net instructional space against the overall gross building area, so as to see the "design efficiency" of the building). With these numbers, taxpayers can judge for themselves whether the spaces being built are needed (or vice versa) and whether the building being built is reasonably functional and efficient. Without these numbers, taxpayers can judge neither.

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The Outdoor Forum

(The following stories come to us courtesy of our friends at Outdoors Magazine http://www.outdoorsmagazine.net/)

Lamprey Problem

At this time the wound is approximately 3/4" across.  This is after 2 weeks in a clean water tank.  When it first was caught the wound was about 1 1/2" across.  It's unfortunate the Lamprey wasn't retained after it was killed.  However, the photo should suffice.  This was caught in the area of the Ti landing.

The other issue is about the Alewives.  That is something which the states should address with some vigor.  If it isn't it will rank right up there with the Lamprey, Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Milfoil and Cormorants.  Of course, the politiocians will only care when it becomes a disaster.  You're welcome to share this with Jason if he's interested.  Thanks

David Miller



Kalish Buck

I thought you may be interested in seeing a nice Buck that was shot in Vermont during the 2006 muzzleloader season by myself. The Buck was an 8-pointer, with 11" tines, dressed out at 191lbs. It had 2 small non typical points at the base of each antler approx. 1/2" each (I could hang a ring on it)   It was the nicest buck I have ever seen, let alone shot, in Vermont.  What made this deer interesting was the unusual high tines. I believe the deer to be about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years old.  The brow tines were short 2 1/2 inches very typical in the area I hunt. The deer was shot in Rutland County, very deep in the woods. Every year I hunt  Ohio, Wisconsin, NY & Vermont. By far this deer was the most rewarding & satisfying, because it came from my own state ...Vermont!
 

Thanks,
John L. Kalish
Rutland, Vermont

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Winging It
From VermontTiger.com October 29, 2007

Before the reign of Howard Dean, it was possible, in Vermont, for young, healthy people to purchase affordable medical insurance from a number of carriers.  Then came community rating and most insurers fled the state. Those that remained (think Blue Cross) raised their rates through the roof.  So what was achieved in the name of fairness was medical insurance available to all at a rate so exorbitant that more and more people went without coverage. The Law of  Uninteded Consequences had, once again, asserted itself. So, Vermont came up with a fix for this new problem, named it Catamount Health, and is spending a cool million and a half to promote it.  One wonders why, if it is such a good deal, the hard sell is necessary to get people to buy in.

Taxing Our Way To Prosperity: It's In The Air (cashed)
Caledonian Record Editorial,October 30, 2007

New tax proposals are coming to Vermont in January. With ambitious plans to pass sweeping new energy proposals, including a new stand-alone, all-fuels energy utility; with ongoing plans to expand health-care coverage; and with the reality of crumbling highways all facing the Legislature, either new taxes must be passed or other governmental services must be cut.

In the Real World, Taxes are Too High
Newspapers and Legislature Misleading and Out of Touch
By Debra Lee Ricker, Times Argus, October 28, 2007

Taxpayers want relief, and they want their money wisely invested in programs that will build an innovative next-generation economy with high-paying jobs; housing Vermonters can afford; and a world-class infrastructure without compromising our environment. We can do all these things without raising taxes.

Montpelier: State to Leave 400 Jobs Open to Bring Down Skyrocketing Payroll
By Louis Porter, Vermont Press Bureau, Rutland Herald, November 3, 2007

To counter nearly a 70 percent increase over the past 7 years in payroll and benefits for state workers, 400 state jobs will not be filled as they become vacant over the next 19 months or so, Secretary of Administration Michael Smith told agency and department heads across Vermont's executive branch of government Friday.

What Does Education Have To Do With The Price Of Oil?
From VermontTiger.com, October 31, 2007

Besides growing more expensive, more rapidly, education and oil are essentially unrelated. Or, so says this post that uses data from the U.S. Department of Education and Global Financial Data to demonstrate the price of education has grown at a significantly faster rate than that of oil. Specifically, in real dollar terms, oil is shown to have increased in price by 2.4x since 1929 while education costs have increased 10x.

Good Old Vermont?
By Jon Reide, The View (from UVM), October 31, 2007

Could the Green Mountain State become the Retirement State? Art Woolf, associate professor of economics, says it just might if Vermont can't offset a demographic downturn that could leave it with a severely depleted tax base and inadequate work force. According to Woolf, the former state economist under Governor Madeleine Kunin, Vermont's demographic good times are rapidly ending. The days of low unemployment and strong state revenues, including a general fund tax revenue growth rate of 35 percent since 2002, are almost over.

Sadly, This Is NOT A Vermont Story (Yet)
From VermontTiger.com, November 4th, 2007

[Canada] is not cutting corporate taxes in a vacuum. Countries all over the planet are rushing to trim tax rates on business...to maximize business activity and attract business investment.

Costs Sill at Core of School Funding Issue
Burlington Free Press Editorial, November 4, 2007

Switching tax systems makes little difference to Vermonters' tax burden if the same amount of money still comes from the same taxpayers' pockets. And any move to lessen the load of the education tax on homeowners must not be seen as making room to raise the property tax for other purposes.

The Coming Economic 'Train Wreck'
By Tom Licata, Burlington Free Press, November 5, 2007

Vermont is in a demographic free-fall: Vermont's share of people aged 25 to 29 is the lowest in the nation while its share of people aged 50 to 54 is the highest in the country; Vermont has the lowest birthrate in the nation; Vermont's young people leave our state at four times the national average; and lastly, because of an anomaly of birth cycles, in approximately 2012, our school population will actually begin to increase just as our aging population and their income tax dollars begin to retire, causing what the Ethan Allen Institute's "Off The Rails" report terms our coming "train wreck."

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

George W. Bush's Greatest Triumph?
By Ben Shapiro, Townhall.com, October 31, 2007

On Monday, the U.S. military turned over the war-torn Karbala province to Iraqi security forces. The assumption of control by Iraqi security forces marked the eighth such handover by the U.S. military since the start of the Iraq war. Of the 18 Iraqi provinces, 10 remain under U.S. military control. 

Cautious optimism is beginning to bloom in the desert. Though the Iraqi government itself has acknowledged its foot-dragging with regard to assuming responsibility over security -- "Allow me to say that we are late, very late, to reconstruct, to rebuild our forces for reasons that I do not want to mention here," said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki -- the situation in Iraq is steadily growing less tenuous. According to iCasualties.org, fatalities from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have decreased dramatically and consistently since May 2007, from 90 in May to 16 in October. Iraqi forces are either in control of or leading operations in broad swaths of 16 out of 18 provinces.

Who is Michael J. Sulick & Does al Qaeda Have a Mole Inside the CIA?
From Commentary Magazine, October 31, 2007 

In part, the CIA, and Sulick himself, might be hamstrung, and traumatized, by our cold-war past. Key counterintelligence officials—Aldrich Ames in the CIA, Robert Hanssen in the FBI—were working for the other side. Could this happen again? Sulick not only believes it’s a possibility, he’s actively troubled by it, and believes that the implications would be far graver than they were in the cold war:

What if you had somebody like Robert Hanssen working for al Qaeda? Try to imagine that! All the stuff that Hanssen and other spies gave away was in the cold war. Nobody was locked in combat. There was time to compensate, take countermeasures, for what those spies gave away. You’re not going to have that time in the war on terrorism. Imagine that you hire somebody, because you need a speaker of Farsi or Arabic, and that person is a spy. That allows the terrorists to launch attacks a lot more easily when they know what the intelligence community’s capabilities are and who their assets are. That’s my big bugaboo: the terrorist spy.

Countdown to Cyber Holy War?
By Marc Sheppard, The American Thinker, November 01, 2007

DebkaFile, the Israel-based military intelligence website, is reporting that they intercepted Arabic language website announcements on Monday declaring an imminent "cyber jihad on the west," and warns that: 

"On Sunday, Nov. 11, al Qaeda's electronic experts will start attacking Western, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim apostate and Shiite Web sites. On Day One, they will test their skills against 15 targeted sites expand the operation from day to day thereafter until hundreds of thousands of Islamist hackers are in action against untold numbers of anti-Muslim sites." ... "The electronic war they have declared could cause considerable trouble on the world's Internet"

If this represents a legitimate threat (while often right on the money, some of Debka's reports have proven to be bogus in the past) then to call their conclusion understated would certainly be an understatement  -- so much so that I'm forced to wonder whether its true payoff was somehow lost in its Hebrew to English translation.

Iraqi Islamic Party: "Al Qaeda is Defeated"
By Michael Yon, Online Magazine, 01 November 2007

"Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated," according to Sheik Omar Jabouri, spokesman for the Iraqi Islamic Party and a member of the widespread and influential Jabouri Tribe. Speaking through an interpreter at a 31 October meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters in downtown Baghdad, Sheik Omar said that al Qaeda had been "defeated mentally, and therefore is defeated physically," referring to how clear it has become that the terrorist group’s tactics have backfired. Operatives who could once disappear back into the crowd after committing an increasingly atrocious attack no longer find safe haven among the Iraqis who live in the southern part of Baghdad.  They are being hunted down and killed.  Or, if they are lucky, captured by Americans.

How Iraq’s Elections Set Back Democracy
By Ayad Allawi, New York Times, November 2, 2007 

 The paralysis that has afflicted the government in Baghdad, the sectarian disputes across the country and the failure to move toward reconciliation were all predictable outcomes of the senseless rush to hold national elections and put the Constitution in place. At the time, leaders from all major parties produced a memorandum calling for a delay of the elections, which I presented to Ghazi al-Yawer, then the interim president of Iraq. 

Yet due largely to political pressure from the international community, the elections went ahead in January 2005 under a misguided, closed party list system. Rather than choosing a specific candidate, voters across the country chose from among rival lists of candidates backed and organized by political parties. This system was entirely unsuitable given the security situation, the lack of accurate census figures, heavy intimidation from ethnic and religious militias, gross interventions by Iran, dismantled state institutions, and the use of religious symbols by parties to influence voters.

Accordingly, the vast majority of the electorate based their choices on sectarian and ethnic affiliations, not on genuine political platforms. Because many electoral lists weren’t made public until just before the voting, the competing candidates were simply unknown to ordinary Iraqis. This gave rise to our sectarian Parliament, controlled by party leaders rather than by the genuine representatives of the people. They have assembled a government unaccountable and unanswerable to its people.

Fascinating series on developments within Islam
By Rosslyn Smith, The American Thinker, November 01, 2007

Once forces of dissent get unleashed in a culture they become difficult to control.   For every Bin Laden wannabe who reads the Quran for himself and finds support for violence against Muslim and infidel alike there are now even more like Laleh Bakhtiar, a woman whose translation of the Quran removed the permission for wife-beating based on her understanding of alternative meanings of classical  Arabic verbs.  In the author's words:

"the same people who wanted to prevent the "westoxification" of Islam, who wanted to "purify" Islam, have ended up ushering the same thing that makes the west special: hyper-individualism."

In Eteraz's view the Islamic world is on the verge of its own Enlightenment as people increasingly come to realize that the separation of the political sphere from the religious one is in their best interests. Eteraz has obviously thought deeply about his topic and is passionate about helping the Islamic world modernize. 

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From Elsewhere

Family as the paradigm of unalienable right
Part 11 of 'The Crisis of the Republic'
By Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew America

At its heart, the debate over "same-sex marriage" involves a profound disagreement about the nature of the family. Indeed, the very idea of the natural family is under assault. In a 2005 ruling later upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of the City of Oakland when it threatened two city employees with immediate removal for posting a bulletin board notice that referred to "respect for the Natural Family."

Because it is camouflaged as a disagreement over sexual behavior, most people fail to appreciate the true implications of this effort to banish the idea that the family is a natural institution that involves fundamental rights that all legitimate government must respect. Of course, this failure in turn arises from the fact that we no longer see the necessary connection between the rights we have by nature and the obligations that define our nature. The latter are the seeds from which the former arise.

The End of Socialized Medicine?
By Christopher Chantrill, The American Thinker, October 31, 2007

Michael Moore's SiCKO is opening in Britain this week, but the British are not amused.  Anyone can extol the virtues of universal government-furnished health care, they say, when they have never had to use it. ... Not to worry, writes Peter Huber in "Cherry Garcia and the End of Socialized Medicine" in City Journal.  The new age of "molecular medicine," of designer drugs for specific genetic defects, is going to break up the current system of government universal health care that Michael Moore so loves.

Profanity
By Reginald Firehammer, The Automist

Ayn Rand put these words in the mouth of her collectivist archetype, who is explaining how to destroy a civilized society; it is done by taking away that which civilizes men: 

"Kill man's sense of values. .... Don't set out to raze all shrines-you'll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity-and the shrines are razed. Then there's another way. Kill by laughter. Laughter is an instrument of human joy. Learn to use it as a weapon of destruction. Turn it into a sneer. It's simple. Tell them to laugh at everything. Tell them that a sense of humor is an unlimited virtue. Don't let anything remain sacred in a man's soul-and his soul won't be sacred to him. Kill reverence and you've killed the hero in man. One doesn't reverence with a giggle. He'll obey and he'll set no limits to his obedience-anything goes-nothing is too serious." [For The New Intellectual - The Fountainhead, "The Soul Of A Collectivist"] [Emphasis mine] 

There's another way to destroy what civilizes men. 

Death by Language
George Orwell was, perhaps, the first to explain the uncivilizing effects of the corruption of language, whether the inadvertent result of ignorance and laziness or the intentional corruption of language, as fictionalized in his book, 1984, or the very real corruption or our language today under the influence of multicutral, politically correct, and post modernist "Newspeak". [Examples.]  There is a much more subtle and insidious corruption of language, however, that not only overturns the meanings of a society's values, but destroys an individual's own ability to discern that corruption. It is done by suborning the very words by which men hold those ideas that are their most profound principles, turning the words of their most sacred beliefs into words that express the opposite of all values, words of scorn, contempt, anger, and hatred.

GOP sweep in the offing?
By Jack Kelly, Jewish World Review, October 31, 2007

Voters turned to the Democrats in 2006 because they were disgusted with Republicans. The primary reason was Iraq. We were locked then in a bloody stalemate. Given a choice between seemingly endless war and withdrawal, Americans prefer withdrawal. Iraq wasn't the only reason for voter disgust. When Republicans act like Republicans, they don't always win. But when Republicans act like Democrats, they almost always lose. The GOP Congress was spending more than Democratic Congresses of the past. Earmarks had exploded. Corruption was rampant. Many who had voted Republican in 2002 and 2004 stayed home, or voted against the incumbents on the assumption Democrats couldn't be worse. Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) are disabusing swing voters of that assumption. The Democratic Congress has done virtually nothing except to try (and fail) to pass measures to cripple the war effort and to hamstring efforts to surveil terrorists. 

My Nobel Moment
By John R. Christy, Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2007 

I'm sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see. Rather, I see a reliance on climate models (useful but never "proof") and the coincidence that changes in carbon dioxide and global temperatures have loose similarity over time. There are some of us who remain so humbled by the task of measuring and understanding the extraordinarily complex climate system that we are skeptical of our ability to know what it is doing and why.
Non-subscribers: Longer excerpt here

Despite the Gloom, More Bush Boom
By Larry Kudlow, National Review Online, October 31, 2007 

If things are so bad, why are they so good? With all the gloom coming out of Wall Street, the Democrats on the campaign trail, and the mainstream media, a remarkable thing just happened: Real gross domestic product, the best summary report of the American economy, came in at a breathtaking 3.9 percent annual rate for the third quarter. In fact, following the 3.8 percent growth rate for the second quarter, the U.S. economy has posted its strongest quarterly growth in four years. The economy actually appears to be speeding up, following the relatively sluggish performance of the prior 18 months. On top of this, the inflation rate is actually slowing down. The consumer spending deflator is reading 2.1 percent for the past year, compared to over 3 percent six quarters ago. The core inflation rate is down to 1.9 percent, below the Fed’s 2 percent target.

Torturing Mukasey
The judge becomes a pawn in the politics of interrogation.
Wall Street Journal Editorial, October 29, 2007 

Just when you thought someone might be confirmed in Washington without a partisan fight, Senate Democrats are suggesting they may not approve Michael Mukasey as Attorney General after all. The judge's offense is that he's declined to declare "illegal" an interrogation technique in the war on terror that Congress itself has never specifically banned.

Catching Hillary: You'd Better Be Quick
Manchester Union Leader Editorial, November 4, 2007

Americans are more likely to find Bigfoot than to discover Sen. Hillary Clinton's real position on Social Security. Why? Bigfoot left more clues. Sen. Clinton has risen as high as she has in the polls by figuring out how many sides an issue has, and taking them.

Inconvenient Tax Truths
Charlie Rangel and other liberal leaders want to raise tax rates even if it means lower tax revenues.
By Pete Du Pont, OpinionJournal, October 30, 2007

Nobel Peace laureate Al Gore believes global warming is "an inconvenient truth." Here are some economic truths that America's liberal leadership finds too inconvenient to support. 1.) Tax rate reductions increase tax revenues....

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