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True North Archives - November 11, 2008
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.


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Back to the Basics for the Conservative Movement
By Robert Maynard

Decades of laboring in the arena of ideas bore political fruit when Ronald Reagan was elected President. Reagan embodied all three strands of the conservative movement and became its primary spokesman. The problem here was that the conservative movement soon began to focus more of its energy on shaping a message that was politically popular so as to not lose the political gains they won. This meant abandoning the principled opposition to much of the "New Deal" agenda. The result, as David Frum points out in his book "Dead Right" was that the conservative movement soon became a loose coalition of groups who championed particular issues, rather than an overall worldview. By hedging on opposition to big government in principle, they removed the heart and soul that defined conservatism. The new glue that held them together was anti-communism. That became a problem when the Soviet Union fell. Since then there have been numerous attempts to redefine conservatism so that big government can be used to serve conservative ends. This has got to be the biggest oxymoron that I have ever heard. If the core principle of conservatism is a principled opposition to big government social engineering, how can one go about using big government to serve conservative ends?

 The Vermont Left: Friend or Faux?
By Martin Harris

At some modest risk of over-simplification Iíd suggest that the political Right thinks of the Declarationís "all men are created equal" phrase as meaning equality of opportunity, while to the political Left it means equality of outcome or condition. This explains why the recent "spread-the-wealth" comment during the mercifully-just-finished political campaign drew both the negative response of the Right and the fervent support of the Left, because it addressed the re-distributionist goal of equal financial outcomes and rejected the concept of individual opportunity to compete, succeed or fail to greater or lesser degrees, and thereby create unequal financial outcomes. It also explains such phenomena as the recent public-schooling interest in something called Outcome-Based Education, which seeks to have all students demonstrate, via preferred portfolio or less-preferred testing, the same outcome-level of content mastery, as opposed to traditional education which seeks primarily to equalize inputs even though differently skilled or motivated students will individually do better or worse with the same level of, for example, per-pupil funding.

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Quotable

"Itís just one battle in a long war, and it will go on as long as we all live...Donít give up on your ideals ÖAnd donít for heavensí sake, having seen the inner workings of the watch, donít get cynical."

-- Ronald Reagan in a speech to supporters after losing the 1976 GOP Presidential Primary

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

With Legislative Friends Like These
Caledonia Record Editorial, November 04, 2008

Given, as in schools, 65 percent is a passing score, the partisan failure to support the Vermont Chamber of Commerce is: Independents - 100%; Democrats - 99%; and Republicans - 2%. What are the implications when the party of the super majority in both Houses disagrees with the businesses that drive the Vermont economy? There will be no decrease in the anti-business bias of the Vermont Legislature. Vermont will keep its reputation as one of the most difficult states in the Union to do business. And Democrats will continue their ideological drumbeat at our expense.

Vermont Legislature And Politics Of Change
Caledonia Record Editorial, November 07, 2008

Since Douglas has warned of extremely challenging times ahead and has made it clear he will pursue a fiscally conservative policy of restraint and austerity, his overwhelming victory in the bluest state in the country is a clear mandate to lead....

With their support for team Douglas/Dubie, most Vermonters embrace the potential for the continued operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. They oppose an increase in state spending or state taxes. They continue to express concerns about high property taxes and out of control school spending. They support a policy of repairing Vermont's existing highway infrastructure.

Winner & New Leader
From Vermont Tiger, November 05, 2008

And here is where the Vermont model might be instructive.  In our little state we want to have it both ways.  We elect a legislature with a large majority that promises to give us all sorts of good things.  Through that legislature, we have voted to exempt ourselves from paying taxes (income sensitivity) at the same time we have ratified extravagant school budgets.  We have given ourselves health care discounts that we canít afford so we stick private insurers with the bill and hope that the Feds will bail us out.  (That ship appears to have come in.)  We make government the largest employer in the state and then wonder why there arenít any jobs. 

Then, we elect a governor to somehow rationalize it all.  To square the circle.  To make revenues match expenditures (instead of the other way around) and somehow save us from ourselves. 

Layoffs at IBM in Essex Junction
From WCAX-TV November 4, 2008

Some IBM employees reporting for their shifts Tuesday got the news that they were being let go.

In My Mind I'm Going To ... Carolina
From VermontTiger.com November 03, 2008

I wonít get into the economic development thing too deeply. But you have read here before that it is simply and sadly arrogance to believe we can tax the hell out of everyone and everything because the world has no place else to find Heaven.  Folks, western NC does Vermont better than we do with lower taxes, cheaper everything and massive industry coexisting with the life we all love right ere.  PleaseÖ.somebody wake up the politicians and remind them one-more-timeÖ..Vermont cannot compete on its current course and we do not have a monopoly on clean, beautiful and safe.

Environmentalism as a Luxury
From VermontTiger.com November 08, 2008

While the collapse if the EU CO2 credit trading scheme isn't a surprise to most of us, it is [ to many of the Europeans I've discussed it with (while in CH on business this week). I suppose  a religious faith in government predisposes someone to believe in Ponzi schemes like ETS. Absent government fiat, or speculation on impending government fiat, the price of carbon credits tend toward zero.  So, as the Europeansí discover "... the green agenda has almost vanished from media political chatter" they're likewise seeing the value of their CO2 credits vanish. 

Go figure. 

In the larger order of things I could really care less if ETS carbon credits are worthless or not. I will however mention that much of the 'green' economy Douglas has been promising us is predicated on the existence of a healthy carbon trading market - and 'green' Vermont companies that run these markets. I don't pretend to know what would make someone believe that voluntary CO2 trading schemes could become a lasting source of wealth. Indeed, as the story linked above demonstrates even with government fiat, the value CO2 credits is highly speculative. What I do know is that trying to build an economy on the fiction of climate change is not 'sustainable source of wealth.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Pope: Faith in One God Means Catholics, Muslims Must Work Ttogether
By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, November 6, 2008

After 138 Muslim scholars from around the world wrote to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders in October 2007 proposing a new level of Christian-Muslim dialogue, the Vatican and the scholars established the Catholic-Muslim Forum.

The scholars' letter presented the dual commandment of love of God and love of neighbor as a "common word" of Islam and Christianity and as a possible topic for a dialogue that would go deeper than discussing traditional moral, social and cultural values by focusing on theological and spiritual similarities and differences.

Medvedev: Russia to Deploy Missiles in Response to U.S. Missile Shield
From FoxNews.com, November 5, 2008

Russia will deploy short-range missiles near Poland to counter U.S. military plans in Eastern Europe, President Dmitry Medvedev has warned, setting a combative tone that clashed with global goodwill over Barack Obama's election.

Israel reports rocket barrage from Gaza
By Steve Weizman, Associated Press, November 5, 2008

Israeli rescue services have reported a "massive" cross-border rocket barrage by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip. The barrage Wednesday came just hours after an Israeli air strike and marked the first major exchange of fire since a truce took effect in June. The Israeli military said at least 20 rockets were fired from the strip early Wednesday but there was no immediate word of injuries or damage.

Press Conference: Coalition to Stop Sharia
By Jeffrey Imm, Family Security Matters, November 8, 2008

The Coalition to Stop Sharia held a press conference at the National Press Club to oppose actions by the U.S. Treasury Department today to hold a course titled "Islamic Finance 101" to "train" government employees on Sharia-Compliant Finance (SCF).  The coalition, consisting of diverse groups with a shared interest in fighting Islamic supremacism, called for the U.S. Treasury Department to either cancel the training course this afternoon or to provide education on the full Islamic supremacist nature of Sharia.

BAM'S Iraq Choice
By Amir Taheri, New York Post, November 8, 2008

Barack Obama's original support base, the anti-war movement, still insists on a full and speedy withdrawal from Iraq, a position also backed by prominent figures of the Left. To them, Iraq is a political version of the "original sin" that can only be expiated by a clear US defeat and humiliating retreat.

But the president-elect no longer needs such people, at least not for now.

And Obama, cast by history in the role of a war president, probably won't want to have America defeated and humiliated on his watch, however happy that would make his old supporters.

Terror on Trial: Former Bookkeeper Admits Muslim Charity Hid Foreign Bank Accounts from IRS
By Steve Emerson, Family Security Matters, November 7, 2008

Foreign bank accounts controlled by the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) were never reported to the Internal Revenue Service or even to the charity's own auditors, a former bookkeeper for the charity admitted Wednesday.

Mohammad Wafa Yaish worked as a tax and accounting consultant for HLF from 1997-2001. He was called as a defense witness to give an overview of the different projects run by HLF and to discuss financial records.

Five former HLF officials are accused of illegally funneling millions of dollars to Hamas through a series of Palestinian charities called zakat committees. If HLF was raising money for Hamas, he didn't know about it, Yaish said.

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From Elsewhere

Pickens Plan Fails to Account for Limitations on Wind Power
By Howard C. Hayden, Heartland Institute, November 1, 2008

Most wind machines built today have nameplate capacities in excess of one megawatt, far larger than the 100 kw units of the 1970s. For just one example, consider the 1.5 mw unit made by General Electric. There are two versions, with diameters of 77 meters (253 feet) and 82.5 meters (271 feet). Hub heights are 80 meters (262 feet). The larger-diameter unit is for less-windy places.

The cut-in speed (the point at which the turbines start turning) is 3.5 meters per second (7.8 mph), and full power occurs at a speed of 14 m/s (31.3 mph) for the 77 m unit. At the low speed, the power produced is about 25 kw, less than 2 percent of the rated power.

I donít mean to imply any failure of engineering here. It is simply that the power available in the wind is proportional to the cubeóthe third poweróof the wind speed.

The Corrupt Origins of Central Banking
By Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, November 5, 2008

Northern merchants provided the main political support for Hamilton's Bank, whereas southern politicians like Jefferson supplied most of the opposition to it, seeing it as nothing more than a vehicle for financing an American version of the corrupt British mercantilist system, which would be destructive of liberty and prosperity. They were right, of course, and remain right to this day.

No More Bailouts
By Mark Sanford, American Conservative Union, November 5, 2008

Iíd ask that you, as leaders at this crucial juncture in our nationís story, do three things: one, recognize that the current avalanche of bad news can be traced back several years to oftentimes poor financial decisions that snowballed out of control; two, consider that this $150 billion salve may in fact further infect our economy with unnecessary government influence and unintended fiscal consequences; and three, accept that there may be better routes to recovery than a blanket bailout, including offering states like mine more in the way of flexibility and freedom from federal mandates instead of a bag of money with strings attached.

Deregulation Not Cause Crisis
By James Gattuso, American Conservative Union, November 5, 2008

Easy answers are seldom correct ones. That principle seems to be at work as the nation struggles to discover the causes of the financial crisis now rocking the economy. Looking for a simple and politically convenient villain, many politicians have blamed deregulation by the Bush Administration.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for instance, stated last month that "the Bush Administration's eight long years of failed deregulation policies have resulted in our nation's largest bailout ever, leaving the American taxpayers on the hook potentially for billions of dollars. Similarly, presidential candidate Barack Obama asserted in the second presidential debate that "the biggest problem in this whole process was the deregulation of the financial system."

But there is one problem with this answer: Financial services were not deregulated during the Bush Administration. If there ever was an "era of deregulation" in the financial world, it ended long ago. And the changes made then are for the most part non-controversial today.

Why McCain Lost
Michael Reagan, GOPUSA, November 7, 2008

Barack Obama is president-elect of the United States because the Republican Party and John McCain handed him the presidential election on a silver platter.....

I hope Barack Obama will not be what he has promised to be. I hope he doesn't have a civilian security force. I hope he doesn't raise my taxes. I hope he doesn't spread the wealth. I hope he doesn't raise taxes on corporate America. I hope he looks at nuclear power. I hope he allows us to drill. I hope that there will be no revival of the fairness doctrine.

Conservatives Take First Steps Toward Rebuilding GOP
By Elisabeth Meinecke, Human Events, November 7, 2008

Less than 72 hours after a disheartening Election Day for Republicans, Capitol Hill conservatives are showing their mettle. 

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, endorsed Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) Thursday for the number 3 leadership position among House Republicans: chairman of the Republican Conference. Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh) also endorsed Pence after asking him to run for the post. 

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