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True North Archives - November 13, 2007
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Taking Back Vermont
By Robert Maynard

Since the 2000 election and the legislative gains made by the Take Back Vermont movement, the battleground has expanded. In 2002 we had a small tax revolt that saw a record number of towns vote down their school budget.  In 2004 and 2005, Killington residents overwhelmingly voted to secede from Vermont and join New Hampshire. Soon after, the town of Dorset staged a tax revolt and Winhall joined in as well. In spite of the high taxes, we have trouble matching federal transportation funds due to out-of-control spending and the Democrats/Progressives are still proposing major expansions of state government involvement in the areas of education and health care. The list of planning commissions in an article mentioned elsewhere in this issue, makes it clear that our self-appointed political saviors are just getting started. It is time for a movement similar to the one that rose up during the 2000 election cycle to strike again. Joining the battle is a movement to "Revolt and Repeal" aimed at Act 60 and Act 68 as well as a call to "Stop Over Spending". Social conservatives are not at all happy with a whole host of issues that impact the family, not to mention the attempt to move beyond Civil Unions in redefining the family by pushing for the recognition of same sex marriages. The latest to join the fray is a group called "The Vermont Taxpayers Revolt", who are circulating a petition on the web:

Now Vermonters are once again locked in a struggle with an arrogant and out of touch government oligarchy to preserve our heritage of liberty. We have a year to form a real revolt. Let’s hope that, in 2008, we can "Take Back Vermont."

GOP Leaders Focused and Effective
By Rob Roper

Look at the positive legislation that came out of Montpelier last year: Promise Scholarships, the E-State Initiative and increased local-voter control over school budgets. All of these laws wrestle with the most pressing issues facing Vermont today -- fleeing youth, creating a competitive 21st Century infrastructure for good paying jobs, and controlling property taxes. Every one of these positive solutions was Republican-led. That they passed in the face of Democrat supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature is a testimony to the mature, focused, effective and bipartisan leadership of Gov. Douglas and Republicans in Montpelier.

A Bridge Too Far
Martin Harris

It’s understandable: in the political climate of the modern Vermont, pay-your-own-way and user fees are considered beneath contempt, and far less attractive to the governing class, actual and wannabe, than broad-based taxes which they get to collect, pay themselves from, and distribute the remainder to favored recipients. Just imagine, for example what would be the reaction to any proposal that parents of school kids pay even a tiny fraction of the educational costs they generate, as they did, once upon a time, back in an earlier Vermont where "rate bills" were a standard and accepted way for parents to pay some fraction of the cost of their kids’ schooling. 

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Letters to the Editor


As always, I look forward to my Tuesday mailing from you, with the truth about Vermont. I have a question regarding the following from "Good Old Vermont", by Jon Reide, The View (from UVM), October 31, 2007 

Was Woolf part of ("the former state economist under Governor Madeleine Kunin") the cause of Kunin leaving us in so much red ink? If so, who is he to tell us anything? And Peter Dorn says we need a greater stream of foreign influences, as in the '70s, to come and make Vermont better? To show us what we are doing wrong? Wasn't it they, now 70+ % of our legislature not born here, who got us into where we now wallow? And what are all these well-paying job he speaks of which are in need of filling, jobs in a larger Vermont government?

Samuel Shultis
West Rutland

Editor’s Response: Whatever Professor Woolf’s role may or may not have been in generating the red ink during the Kunin administration, it is totally irrelevant to the validity of his analysis of the coming economic/demographic crisis. I would caution against falling for the fallacy trying to discredit an argument by attacking the messenger.

Peter Dorn was pointing out the fact that our economy needs a new influx of workers if it is to remain strong. Given the demographic problems we are headed towards, that should not be a controversial suggestion. Let it be noted that there is a world of difference between those who migrate to Vermont in order to engage in productive economic activity and those who seek to engage in utopian social engineering. We need more of the former and none of the latter.

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Attention Vermont Lawmakers

This is a follow-up to my previous open letter to all Vermont lawmakers. Go to the Web site and pay close attention to the comments left by the citizens signing the petition. This petition is gaining steam with many additional signatures daily. Vermonters are sick and tired of you doing nothing to lower taxes. Instead, you add new socialist programs, i.e., government-paid health care, Pre-K, etc., resulting in increasing the tax burden. The Constitution is clear regarding the actual role of government; which is, protecting life, liberty and property. I wonder just how many of you have even read the Constitution. 

Also, there is another Web site with a petition which has many signatures and comments from Vermonters. Go to

When you return to Montpelier in January, keep in mind the reason the voters sent you there; because you work for us!! 

Marge Day
Saint Albans

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New French President is Awesome

So how about that conservative French president, Nick Sarkosy? Did you hear his speech to Congress? Rush had some sound bites from it. Just awesome! You probably won't see it in the press so I took a copy of the transcript from Rush's member's only site and put it over here if you want to see it:

Cole Tierney

The Outdoor Forum

(The following stories come to us courtesy of our friends at Outdoors Magazine

Harry Lands a Big One

Harry Crown of McIndoe Falls, VT landed a 40", 22lb 8oz lake trout on Saturday Feb 24th with a tip up at Harvey's Lake in West Barnet, VT.  Crown is a loyal ice angler at Harvey's and it has taken him exactly 50 years to surpass his dads trout of 22lbs taken in 1957 from this same lake. Local lore puts Harry's laker as the largest ever taken from Harvey's.  As luck would have it, Harry was entered into a regional fishing tournament sponsored by Wright's Sporting Goods in Newport Vermont that same weekend.  Shortly after the tourney ended at noon on Sunday, Harry was notified that he indeed had captured the largest fish and was awarded $1000 for his efforts.

Photo by Kevin Morrison

Aron Gets One

Hey All, Thought you might like to see a picture of this one.  I was by myself so the picture taking was tough.

Aron Merrill, So. Burlington / Rutland

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

Iraqi Leaders Thank Vermont Soldiers for Service
By Wilson Ring, The Associated Press, November 9, 2007

The three men are among the growing number of Iraqi Sunni Muslim leaders who are working with American troops to rid their country of al-Qaida forces, they said. As a result of those efforts, in the past year Ramadi and Anbar Province have turned into a model where peace is being restored and civil government is reappearing that some feel could be used as a way to restore peace to all of Iraq, the men said. 

"We have achieved great victories against them," said Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha, the chairman of the Awakening Movement, a coalition of tribal sheiks that expelled al-Qaida. He spoke through a translator. "I specifically express our appreciation to the state of Vermont as well as the families of the victims in the two towers on September 11th."

They Got It All Figured Out... We Can't Lose, November 7, 2007

The Commission on Climate Change, the Council on the Future of Vermont, the Vermont Employee Ownership Center, the Public Service Boards, Vermont's Energy Future, Efficiency Vermont, and many more agencies are all working on plans for our future. The only plausible reason why so many agencies are working on the same thing at the same time is that they're in collaboration to make one giant comprehensive plan to end all plans. 

Jonesville Soldier, 21, Dies in Iraq
By Sam Hemingway & Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, November 7, 2007

"He was always glad to serve his country," Michelle Muller, his wife of 11 months, said as she sobbed during an interview at her parents' Jonesville home Tuesday. "If he could make one little kid say, 'Remember when the Army was here andhow good they were to us?' He wanted to show that we're not all out for money." Army officials said Muller, a gunner, and three other soldiers were killed when the Humvee they were riding in was destroyed by an improvised explosive device on a road near Kirkuk. The Humvee was at the back end of a convoy of military vehicles when the explosion occurred.

This Also Won't Work
Eagle Times Editorial, November 9, 2007

Why would a state that has one of the highest tax burdens in the country want to keep piling on? It must be because many in a position of influence in Vermont have a knack for peddling new taxes as tax reductions for everyone.

A Green Tide, November 8, 2007

There is no time for selfish considerations such as tax relief when eternal damnation by carbon emissions is at hand.  Doom is upon us in many forms unless we confess the error of our ways and henceforth walk in the light.  We must conquer our lust for energy lest we be consumed by climate change.  Which, by the way, used to be called "global warming."  But, then, in conventional theology, the devil goes by many names.  Beelzebub being probably the coolest.

So fighting climate change isn't just about the environment any more. It is about everything.  There is no issue which it does not touch. Just ask Elizabeth Courtney,  executive director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, whose sermon recently appeared in the Herald: Thankfully, as we prepare to tackle this monumental challenge, many of the issues relating to affordability for average Vermonters — whether it's home heating, health care, housing, transportation, or food — can all be part of the climate change solution. Climate change is part of the health care problem?  Who knew?

A Most Ominous Headline .... Catamount is just the beginning, November 5th, 2007

No question that Catamount's supporters see the program as a first step on a not-so-long march to some form of state takeover of health care.  But the state is the state, and what it lacks in efficiency and adaptability, it makes up for in compulsion and force.  If you don't believe us, then go here and ponder this:

Thinking of having surgery? Got a chronic condition?  Do you have a spouse or family member fighting cancer? Does your child struggle with ADHD? Well, guess what the Department of Health's brand spanking new program will do for you.  For starters, it's designed:
-- to spy on patients, and
-- to monitor the specific treatment practices your physician provides for you, and
-- to transfer your confidential medical information to various police agencies and state investigators, all in contravention of Vermont law ...

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

D.C. Imam Declares Muslim Takeover-Plan
Washington-based cleric working toward 'Islamic State of North America' by 2050
By Art Moore, WorldNetDaily, November 10, 2007

A Washington, D.C., imam states explicitly on the website for his organization that he is part of a movement working toward replacement of the U.S. government with "the Islamic State of North America" by 2050. With branches in Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Philadelphia, the group As-Sabiqun – or the Vanguard – is under the leadership of Abdul Alim Musa in the nation's capital. Musa's declaration of his intention to help lead a takeover of America was highlighted by noted Islam observer Robert Spencer on his website Jihad Watch

Pakistan on the brink
By Diana West, The Washington Times, November 9, 2007 

We all have questions about Pakistan. Will civil war convulse the country? Will jihadists, rulers of Taliban-friendly provinces, conquer all of Pakistan? Will President Pervez Musharraf himself be deposed in a military coup? Precisely what variety of "opposition" do the opposition groups actually represent? Lawyers? Jihadis? And what of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, leader of Pakistan's largest political party? But there is one question more urgent than any other: What will happen to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal? The experts are agreed on an answer, just as they are agreed on all the answers: Nobody knows. 

This isn't to say a consensus isn't emerging on what the United States should do next. In fact, two pundit groups have quickly formed, splitting conservatives in particular in a significant way. They come down to (1) supporting, or at least acknowledging, Gen. Musharraf as the lesser of many evils, including the Taliban; and (2) supporting democratic elections in Pakistan as the only possible moral choice. While the Bush administration seems to have decided to follow both policies simultaneously — generating more muddle — it's worth considering the two camps because they will probably set the tone of foreign policy debate for some time.

The Future of the War on Terror that the Media Isn't Reporting
By Lt. Col. Oliver North, FOX News

Unfortunately, given the unwillingness of the mainstream media to print or broadcast anything positive about the men and women in our Armed Forces, most of us never hear or read about bright, brave young Americans like SSG Curreri. Nor will those who count on the major networks and newspapers for information be able to grasp how we are going to win a global war against the Islamic radicals who are dying to kill us. That’s why FOX News Channel sent our War Stories team to the southern Philippines – so that we could chronicle a dramatic — but little known — success story. Even critics of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan agree that the campaign in the southern Philippine archipelago could well become the model for how to win the war against Islamic terror.

Everyone we talked to — from Washington to Manila — recognizes that there are enormous differences between what we have documented for War Stories in ten trips to Southwest Asia and what we saw happening in the Sulu Archipelago. Most visibly, there are nearly 170,000 American troops in Iraq and nearly 25,000 in Afghanistan. Though the actual number is classified, there are fewer than 1,000 U.S. Special Forces soldiers, Navy SEALs, Marines and airmen in Col. Dave Maxwell’s Joint Special Operations Task Force — Philippines.

And equally important, President Gloria Arroyo, serves as the head of state for the kind of established, functioning democracy that people in Iraq and Afghanistan can only hope for. This week, millions of Filipinos turned out to vote in municipal elections despite threats by Islamic militants to disrupt the balloting. When I asked President Arroyo about political controversy over the U.S. military mission, she emphasized the long-standing relationship between the American and Filipino people: "We have been together through the Second World War. We've been together through the war in Korea, through the war in Vietnam and now we're together in the war against terrorism."

Jihad has failed, former Libyan Islamist tells al-Qaeda
Adnkronos International (Tripoli), November 7, 2007

A former leader of an armed Islamic group in Libya, Numan Bin Uthman, has written a letter to al-Qaeda second in command Ayman al-Zawahiri telling him that Jihadi groups in Arab countries have failed. 

"Dear Doctor Ayman, as I told you during a meeting in Kandahar [in Afghanistan] in 2000, the experience of the Jihadi groups in Arab countries is failed and despite our appeals, the armed groups are divided and will not unite," he said in the letter, a copy of which was published in the London based pan-Arab daily al-Hayat. 

Big Players and the Stakes in the Unrest in Georgia
By Douglas Hanson, The American Thinker, November 09, 2007

The US and its Coalition allies can ill-afford to ignore this week's developments in the small but geo-strategically significant Caucasus nation of Georgia. Major outside players including Vladimir Putin and Rupert Murdoch are involved in a story involving media and politics. World attention has been focused on the chaotic situation in Pakistan, and for good reason.  Whoever gains control of the South Asian nation will also get the keys to a nuclear arsenal and an infrastructure that potentially can supply Al-Qaeda with an atomic weapon or the materials to make one. But that is not the only important theatre of struggle.

The events in Georgia, including unrest involving some 50,000 people and President Mikhail Saakashvili's crackdown, are not just a political fight between the ruling government and the opposition.  It is part of a complex struggle involving the old Russian guard, business oligarchs, and a media outlet in the continuing battle with leftist tyrants masquerading as "progressives."

Nazis and Islamists
By Paul Belien, The Washington Times, November 7, 2007

The parallels between Nazism and Islamism are overwhelming. Yet the subject is a taboo. When last March the German historian Matthias Kuentzel, author of "Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11," was to give a lecture at the University of Leeds (Britain), the university authorities cancelled the lecture after threats from Muslim students.

There is a war going on between the Jihadists and the West. We are losing the battle because, as so often in man's history, our political leaders think that they are still fighting the previous war. Europeans who warn against the danger of Islamism are considered — and sometimes even prosecuted — as xenophobes, racists, even neo-Nazis.

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From Elsewhere

Church and Family: Scapegoats for the Welfare State?
Part 12 of 'The Crisis of the Republic'
Alan Keyes, 2007 Renew America

The government exists to represent, secure, and serve the liberty of the people. But the family is the building block of human society, the social unit on which the existence and strength of the people first depends (a fact that, at least in their rhetoric, most of our politicians pretend to recognize). Weaken the family, and you weaken the society of the people. Weaken it enough, and you eliminate the people's ability to control the form of government ordained and established by their strength. (Literally, you destroy its democratic element. The term democracy is, in the original Greek, a compound of two words which refer to the strength or power of the people.) Eliminate that control, and you altogether destroy government of, by, and for the people — i.e., the republican form of government established and required by our Constitution. ...

Contemporary politicians lack the knowledge and ability to conceive of, much less understand and defend, the social institutions characteristic of liberty. They talk about the marriage issue as if it is just a matter of sexual or religious preferences. They typically treat the concern for liberty as if it is merely a rhetorical device, with no relevance to practical politics and decision making. It seems never to have occurred to them that the real issue for statesmanship has to do with the relationship between marriage & liberty. ...

Three radical changes

The story begins during the twentieth century era of the Great Depression, when the American people suffered from the devastating collateral damage that accompanied the inception of centralized elite control of our national income (i.e., the de facto nationalization of the U.S. banking system). Three radical innovations of the early twentieth century marked its inception: (1) the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment, which supposedly removed the constitutional barrier to a federal tax on individual income; (2) the establishment of a banking system funded mainly by the flow of federal tax receipts that constitute the Federal Reserve; and (3) the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment, which eliminated representation of the state governments in the U.S. Congress. ...

Scapegoating family and faith

Rather than acknowledge the role of elite manipulation in bringing on the national calamity of the Great Depression, the ideologists of the New Deal made convenient scapegoats out of the institutions of family and faith:

Proliferation of Climate Scepticism in Europe
By Hans H.J. Labohm, TCS Daily, November 5, 2007

Climate skepticism has now gained a firm foothold in various European countries. In Denmark Bjørn Lomborg stands out as the single most important skeptical environmentalist, defying the political correctness which is such a characteristic feature of his home country, as well as other Nordic countries. But wait! Bjørn Lomborg is not a genuine climate skeptic. Real climate skeptics admire his courage, his scientific rigour and debating skills, but beg to disagree with him on the fundamentals of climate science. Lomborg acknowledges that there is such a thing as man-made global warming, which is quite in line with the mantra of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). He 'only' challenges the cost benefit relationships of the policy measures, which have been proposed to do something about it. Massive expenditures (often euphemistically called 'investments') in exchange for undetectable returns. Real climate skeptics do not accept the man-made global warming hypothesis. They are of the opinion that the human contribution to global warming over the last century or so is at most insignificant. But, of course, they are happy with the arguments advanced by Bjørn Lomborg to bolster their case against climate hysteria.

American Decadence—Part 1 of 4
The Characteristics of an Uncivilized People
By Reginald Firehammer, The Automist

In the second article in this series, I used Michael Crichton's list of today's commonplaces that anyone from before 1900 would never have heard or dreamed of. Those were mostly scientific and technological things. There are commonplaces in today's society and culture that those in the 50s could not have believed would ever be possible in America, things that might have existed as exceptions then, but today dominate our daily news and every aspect of our culture—our government, entertainment, educational institutions, even our religions, not technical things, but the characteristics of our society and culture. 

If I were to make a list of words common in this day that would have been meaningless, as well as incredible, to anyone in the 50s, it would include—crack, ecstasy, ropies, date rape, thongs, waxing, Brazilian, freak dancing, pole dancing, lap dancing, bum fights, family planning, Nambla, out-of-the-closet, sex education, sex industry, sex workers, sex trafficking, navel rings, lip rings, HPV, HIV, AIDS, abortion clinics, planned parenthood, porn stars, kiddy-porn, porn-addiction, hook-ups, Lewinsky, and many more which I refuse to write. 

The realities these words suggest are worse and include—child molestation and abductions; sex in schools between teachers and students, students and students; crime in schools including beatings, theft, and rape; school shootings; blatant public sex and sexuality, militant homosexuality; public nakedness; body piercing and tattoos, pervasive use of coarse and vicious language, especially by children; total disregard and disrespect for others, their persons and their property; rampant STD's; sexually provocative dress—of very young girls; rampant use of drugs; staggering rates of divorce, shack-ups, out-of-wedlock births, and abortions; vicious attacks on religion and the religious or anyone with standards; ... the list is endless.

The Web Takes Ron Paul for a Ride
By Katherine Q. Seelye & Leslie Wayne, New York Times, November 11, 2007

From posting video on YouTube to enlisting friends through Facebook, all of the presidential candidates are looking for ways to harness the Internet. In the case of Ron Paul, the Internet has harnessed him. ... If his campaign had taken place in the pre-Internet era, it might have gone the way of his 1988 Libertarian campaign for president, as a footnote to history. But because of the Internet’s low-cost ability to connect grass-roots supporters with one another ?in this case, largely iconoclastic white men ?Mr. Paul’s once-solo quest has taken on a life of its own. It is evolving from a figment of cyberspace into a traditional campaign, with yard signs, direct mail and old-fashioned rallies, like one here on Saturday attended by a few thousand people under cold, gray skies. Mr. Paul said it was his biggest rally so far. He said it proved his campaign was more than a few spammers?and called it a "gigantic opportunity?to establish credibility. How much the Paul campaign had snowballed on the Internet became evident last week when supporters independent of the campaign raised $4 million online and an additional $200,000 over the phone in a single day, a record among this year? Republican candidates.

Climate Bills Will "Require a wholesale transformation of the nation's economy and society"
By Marc Morano, The Eco-logic Powerhouse, November 08, 2007

A Washington Post article today stated that the Democrats' current global warming proposals "will require a wholesale transformation of the nation's economy and society." The article by Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin noted that Democrat presidential candidates' climate proposals would "cost billions of dollars," and detailed exactly what the American people will face when it comes to cap-and-trade proposals. (LINK) [Note: Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), the co-author of the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill, conceded last week that his bill would cost "hundreds of billions of dollars." LINK Others are concerned the real cost will be even higher, in the trillions of dollars.] 

Huge Offshore Oil Discovery
Ed Lasky, The American Thinker, November 08, 2007

Bloomberg brings news of a huge new oil field discovered off Brazil in the Santos Basin. Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company says that tests indicate a size of between 5 and 8 billion barrels of oil and gas. At current prices, that amounts to a large fraction of a trillion dollars' worth of oil.

Hugo Chavez will not like this news. Nor will others who benefit from high oil prices. Nor will fans of the "peak oil" theory, which holds that all the good discoveries have been made and oil production is doomed to decline. This find was deep, in the subsalt layers, and best of all, Petrobras is encouraged at the potential of other parts of the Espirito Santo, Santos and Campos basins, in their subsalt layers. 

Unions 2, Children 1
Unions Beat School Choice in Utah
By Pete Du Pont, Opinion Journal, November 12, 2007

Last February the Utah Legislature enacted the Parent Choice in Education Act, giving parents the option of a $500 to $3,000 scholarship, depending upon their household income, to send their child to the private school of their choice instead of the public school they are attending. Since there are 120 private schools in Utah, with an average tuition of about $4,000, the scholarships would help low-income families get the best education for their children and give Utah parents substantial educational choice.

Related: NEA Contribution to Anti-Voucher Campaign Is... $3 Million

A Failure to Lead
The Democratic Congress is More Iinterested in Acting Out than in Taking Positive Action.
By Karl Rove, Opinion Journal, November 9, 2007

Let's also be clear about what it means to roll back the president's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as the Democrats want to do. Every income-tax payer will pay more as all tax rates rise. Families will pay $500 more per child as they lose the child tax credit. Taxes on small businesses would go up by an average of about $4,000. Retirees will pay higher taxes on investment retirement income. And now we have the $1 trillion tax increase proposed as "tax reform" by the Democrats' chief tax writer last month.

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