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True North Archives - November 24, 2009
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Featured Articles

"Bankruptcy is Coming" – Does Anyone Care?
By Robert Maynard

There has been no shortage of modern day Paul Reveres shouting "Bankruptcy is Coming". Alas, the warning seems to be falling on death ears. I was at a meeting of fiscally concerned citizens a little over a week ago and was questioned about why a certain section of the political class seems totally oblivious to the fiscal cliff that we are rushing toward at an ever-increasing speed. My response was that they are not oblivious at all, but see the fiscal crisis as an opportunity to push forward their social engineering schemes. 

Spider Seeks Fly for Companionship, Dinner
By Martin Harris

Watching the present Administration doing its thing "The Chicago Way" for the last 307 days (out of a probable total of 1461) suggested at first that I should describe, in this column, the consiglieri of  Chicago-trained pol Rahm Emanuel going to the management of the rapidly-bankrupting New York Times with "a (monetary) offer they can’t refuse", Don Corleone-style, but such a description would be inaccurate because, I’d guess, the Grey Lady, as an historic professional, wouldn’t even think of declining any payment-for-position-taken-and-service-rendered proposition. She didn’t, when Times reporter Walter Duranty wrote repeatedly in the early ‘30’s from Soviet Russia that the starvation of Ukrainian millions there wasn’t happening (and got a Pulitzer for his pro-Communist dispatches) and she didn’t in the early ‘60’s when she chose not to report on thousands of dead Chicagoans rising temporarily from their graves to vote for candidate Kennedy and she didn’t in the early ‘90’s when reporting in fulsome detail on later-proven-false accounts of the Ross Perot presidential candidacy, using techniques later refined in CBS/Dan Rather-style reporting on the Bush and (even more so) Palin candidacies.

Thank You!
By Rob Roper

With Brian Dubie now topping our ticket, Auditor Salmon running for reelection, and open seats with strong Republican candidates for Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor, we have a very real chance of capturing a majority of statewide offices. Our chances of picking up house and senate seats are equally promising. I am confident that we will take full advantage of these opportunities. The fact that we just experienced the most successful Fall Dinner in memory - if not ever - reinforces my optimism.

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"You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
--Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005), was an American pastor, conservative, author, and a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979-1980 and 1986-1988).

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Vermont Weekly News Round-Up

To Each According To His Need
From Vermont Tiger, November 17, 2009

The Burlington Politburo, er, Council, finds time to explore such economically advantageous ideas like providing laptops to all Burlingtonians, because, you know, our children are at risk.  Small children needs laptops like I need antlers on my head during deer season.  Yet the actions of the mayor result in remarks offensive to veterans, on Veterans Day, and the best the council can do is force itself to take a vote on whether or not an apology should be forthcoming. 

Immigration Agents Raid Vt. Dairy Farms
From WCAX, November 19, 2009

The day started just like any other for life-time dairy farmer Clement Gervais. But that all changed at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, when an immigration official and two state troopers walked into his barn and handed him a subpoena.

"I've read about it in magazines in different parts of the country but I didn't really expect them to pull into my yard," Gervais said.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency-- otherwise known as ICE-- is now asking him to hand over documents and financial records proving all his workers are here legally.

Why Not Just Make More?
From Vermont Tiger, November 18, 2009

We all know that living on a limited budget means making difficult choices. It means, when the fridge is empty you buy more food... or you eat less. It means when your car is on empty you buy more gas... or you drive less.  And, when the house is cold you turn up the heat... or you put on more clothes. Economic history teaches us that most people choose to turn up the heat, fill up the tank, and go for a drive to get more food. So why is it that we, Vermonters collectively, are spending so much money trying to use less energy instead of just making more?

Veterans Day Insult Sealed With A Kiss
Caledonia Record Editorial, November 19, 2009

Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss should hang his head in shame. He sent a substitute, Jon Hausrath, to speak at Veterans Day ceremonies without knowing that the man would praise conscientious objectors and draft dodgers instead of thanking and praising veterans who put their country above their personal, private lives. Alderman Paul Decelles summed up his and our reaction. "This was a day of remembrance," he said, "And Hausrath's comments amounted to spitting on the graves of those who have fallen," not to mention spitting in the faces of all those veterans who are still with us.

Vermont Jobless Rate Falls
By Dan McLean, Burlington Free Press, November 21, 2009

The bulk of the government positions, 1,500 jobs, were created in the "local government education" sector. Those jobs include support staff positions at local public schools and [the total] is slightly larger than the boost seen in this sector annually as schools return to session, said Andy Condon, chief of the economic and labor market section at the labor department.

Private sector job growth has fallen by 10,700 positions from October 2008 to last month, a 4.2 percent decline. The declines have come as the country has been mired in a deep recession since December 2007.

"Our rate is not falling because we are creating jobs. We're not," Condon said in a phone interview Friday. "The rate is falling because people are leaving the labor force."

The Season of Plenty? 'Healthiest state' also is one of the hungriest'
By Kevin O'Connor, Rutland Herald, November 22, 2009

The number of Vermonters suffering from severe hunger has risen so high so fast, the state now has the sixth worst percentage of residents facing the problem in the nation.

Vermont made national news last week when the nonprofit United Health Foundation named the state the healthiest state in the country, based in part on its comparatively low rates of obesity and child poverty.

But a just-released U.S. Department of Agriculture report says more than 14,000 Vermont households (one in 20, or triple the number since 2000) face hunger so severe that adults frequently go without food, while one in 10 residents now relies on donations to eat.

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Freedom Under Fire:
The Global War on Terrorism

Hasan, Not KSM, Is Our Real Problem
Violent Islamic Web sites pose a clear and present danger to the U.S.
From The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2009

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is an old-school jihadi. They sit in far-off redoubts, assembling terror teams of foreign nationals who now must figure out how to get themselves and their plot inside the U.S. Not impossible, but harder than before 9/11.

Hasan is new school. He is what's known as a homegrown terrorist. Virtually all the Islamic terrorist plots thwarted here in recent years were homegrown, not designed from afar by a KSM.

Leave It to the Generals
Judges should not undermine our military detention policy in Afghanistan.
By Stephanie Hessler, National Review, November 18, 2009

As the debate over whether to send more American troops to Afghanistan intensifies, our war efforts could be hindered by an unlikely source: the U.S. judicial branch. Federal judges are considering whether foreign al-Qaeda and Taliban supporters captured by the U.S. military and held at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan can sue the U.S. government to be released from custody. On October 30, Fadi al Maqaleh, a Yemeni citizen currently detained in Afghanistan, argued in a brief to the D.C. circuit court that he has the right under our Constitution to challenge his confinement in U.S. federal court. Despite his campaign promises to abandon the detention policies of his predecessor, President Obama has adopted the same position as President Bush and is trying to block al Maqaleh’s law suit from proceeding. On Monday, the Obama administration filed a brief urging the D.C. circuit court to dismiss the case.

The Coming Jihadi Trial Disaster
By J.R. Dunn, American Thinker, November 11, 2009

Forget the media chin-stroking and head-scratching. The intentions behind the administration's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his sideboys in Manhattan could not be clearer. Simply put, Obama wishes to Mirandize the entire murderous crew. ...

By redefining Islamist terrorists as "criminals," liberals have automatically retrofitted them with "victim" status, endowing them with all the rights and privileges granted to American street hoodlums. If the record is any indication, this is going to end far worse than anyone can foresee.

Perspective Of A Russian Immigrant (No. 3)
By Svetlana Kunin, Investor’s Business Daily, November 17, 2009

Whenever I speak about my experiences living in the USSR, my American friends respond that such things can never happen in a democracy like the United States.

They don't understand why I am repulsed when I hear the president talk about "sacrificing for the collective good," which sounds so compassionate, as opposed to greedy capitalism. "Sacrifice for the collective good" is one of the founding principles of socialism, where the collective, not the individual, is the basis of society.

Revolutionaries in Russia did not go around boasting about destruction; they made inspiring speeches about fairness, equality, justice and the greater good. After securing power and their own access to material goods, government officials decided what to give and take from the masses, according to their definition of what is good.

Nidal Hasan and Fort Hood: A Study in Muslim Doctrine
By Raymond Ibrahim, Pajamas Media, November 18, 2009

One of the difficulties in discussing Islam's more troubling doctrines is that they have an anachronistic, even otherworldly, feel to them; that is, unless actively and openly upheld by Muslims, non-Muslims, particularly of the Western variety, tend to see them as abstract theory, not standard practice for today. In fact, some Westerners have difficulties acknowledging even those problematic doctrines that are openly upheld by Muslims — such as jihad. How much more when the doctrines in question are subtle, or stealthy, in nature?

Enter Nidal Malik Hasan, the psychiatrist, U.S. Army major, and "observant Muslim who prayed daily," who recently went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, killing thirteen Americans (including a pregnant woman). While the media wonders in exasperation why he did it, offering the same old tired and trite reasons — he was "picked on," he was "mentally unbalanced" — the fact is his behavior comports well with certain Islamic doctrines. As such, it behooves Americans to take a moment and familiarize themselves with the esotericisms of Islam.

Are We Serious About Afghanistan?
By Gregory D. Lee, Family Security Matters, November 23, 2009

After three months of contemplating his options, President Obama stated a couple of days ago that he will probably make a decision about increasing requested troop strength in Afghanistan after Thanksgiving. The White House is already hinting that the U.S. cannot afford to send any more troops, and has released figures of it costing, on an annual basis, $1 million for every soldier sent there.

Fight like you mean it, or leave.

Related: No Substitute for Victory: Don't abandon Afghanistan.

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From Elsewhere

The Financial Crisis: What We (Still) Haven’t Learned
By Samuel Gregg D.Phil., Acton Institute for Religion and Liberty, November 18, 2009

It’s over a year now since the 2008 financial crisis spread havoc throughout the global economy. Dozens of books and articles have appeared to explain what went wrong. They identify culprits ranging from Wall Street financiers overleveraging assets, to ACORN lobbying policy-makers to lower mortgage standards, to politicians closely connected to government-sponsored enterprises such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae failing to exercise oversight of those agencies.

As time passes, armies of doctoral students will explore every nook and cranny of the 2008 meltdown. But if most governments’ policy responses to the crisis are any guide, it’s apparent that many lessons from the financial crisis are being ignored or escaping most policy-makers’ attention. Here are five of them.

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?
By James Delingpole, Telegraph (UK), November 20, 2009

If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)

When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be "the greatest in modern science". These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest:

Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

Related: Settled Science? Computer hackers reveal corruption behind the global-warming "consensus."

The End of HSAs
Harry Reid wants to kill consumer-driven health care.
From The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2009

About the best that can be said about the Senate health-care bill that Harry Reid revealed this week is that it's marginally less destructive than the House monster. By a hair. Its $1.2 trillion cost (more like $2.5 trillion if you discount the accounting gimmicks), multiple and damaging new taxes, and new regulations will make health insurance more expensive for most Americans while reducing the quality of medical care.

We'll dissect the damage in the days to come. But for today let's focus on the damage the bill would do to consumer-driven health plans—the kind that give individuals more control over their health dollars and insurance choices. The 2,074-page bill crushes them with malice-aforethought.

Related: Health Care Payola: Harry Reid is passing out goodies in hopes of garnering the 60 votes he needs.

Oil's Expanding Frontiers
By George Will, Petroleum World, November 23 2009

Morse says new technologies are also speeding development of natural gas trapped in U.S. shale rock. The Marcellus Shale, which stretches from West Virginia through Pennsylvania and into New York, "may contain as much natural gas as the North Field in Qatar, the largest field ever discovered."

Rattie says U.S. known reserves of natural gas, which are sure to become larger, exceed 100 years of supply at the current rate of consumption. BP recently announced a "giant" oil discovery beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Yergin, writing in Foreign Policy, says "careful examination of the world's resource base ... indicates that the resource endowment of the planet is sufficient to keep up with demand for decades to come."

Such good news horrifies people who relish scarcity because it requires -- or so they say -- government to ration what is scarce and to generally boss people to mend their behavior: "This is the police!" Put down that incandescent bulb and step away from the lamp!"

New McLaughlin Poll: In Va and NJ "conservative problem solvers" energized GOP/Indie turnout
By Kevin "Coach" Collins, November 17, 2009

The news from a new survey of voter attitudes toward conservative Republican positions is very encouraging.

Immediately after Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey the McLaughlin polling firm spoke to the voters of each state.

Survey’s important points:

The wins by Bob McDonnell in Virginia and Chris Christie in New Jersey show voters want Republican core principles applied to our problems.

Reid Introduces Senate Health Bill That Mandates Federally Subsidized Abortion
By Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News, November 19, 2009

Senate Majority Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) late Wednesday published the final text of a Senate health care bill that would mandate federally subsidized abortion.

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