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True North Archives - December 12, 2006
Radio | Editorial | News & Views

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Featured Articles

Is Vermont Heading Off the Rails?
By John McClaughry
…The report explains clearly that Vermont will soon become the nation's oldest state. More of its young people are seeking opportunity elsewhere. The proportion of active wealth producers is declining. The proportion of dependents - increasingly retired seniors instead of children- is growing. But as Vermont's taxpayers are well aware, Vermont's high level of public service spending - especially on public education and human services - is requiring ever-greater tax revenues. There is little reason to believe that over the next 25 years those taxpayers will be willing to pay enough in taxes to support the state's spending habits…. – John McClaughry is president of the Ethan Allen Institute (

Christmas Is Coming!
By Pete Behr
…We can depend on the Valley News to be politically correct. Thus the editor comes out in favor of "Happy Holidays" over "Merry Christmas,"… The editorial took a dig at Wal-Mart for featuring more Christmas-specific references this year than last, and noted that an "endangered Christmas" may need "the protection of right-wing blowhards." (I’m not making this up.)… A Woodstock resident reports that she could not find a single Christmas card on sale at the most frequented village stores- only "Holiday Greetings…." -- Pete Behr lives in Woodstock. He writes a regular column for the Woodstock Standard.

One of Sanders’ last votes in House is truly detestable

This picture is of a 20 week old human fetus. There is substantial evidence that if aborted at this age, the procedure will be painful for the unborn baby.
On December 6th, the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act failed, despite an overwhelmingly supportive 250-162 vote in the House that fell short of the two thirds majority needed for passage. (The bill was brought up under a fast-track parliamentary procedure -- "suspension of the rules" -- in which no amendments are considered, but a two-thirds vote is required for passage).

IN YOUR NAME AS YOUR REPRESETATIVE, Bernie Sanders voted (and succeeded) to block a requirement that abortionists provide women seeking abortion after 20 weeks past fertilization (the beginning of the sixth month) a brochure explaining that there is "substantial evidence" that the abortion will cause pain to the unborn child, and advise them of their right to request the administration of pain-reducing drugs to the unborn child.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, commented, "It is no small thing that 60 percent of the House endorsed requiring abortionists to inform women that late abortion may be very painful to the unborn child.  The other 40 percent will have to explain why they favor anti-pain laws for animals used for research or food, but not for unborn humans."

To view the roll call, click here:

This Week’s Mail Bag

Antidote: An Old-School Renaissance

It was 1965 when Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned us that it was the disintegration of the married two-parent family that would continue to destroy the hopes of the underclass from ever rising out of their ashes. At that time, 8% of children were born to unmarried mothers. Today, almost 40% of children are born out-of-wedlock, and that number rises to 70% for black children.

Now, Burlington’s political elites want to try a new round of social-engineering by breaking up its community schools in order to achieve ‘social-economic integration’.

This is occurring despite the fact that since the ‘War on Poverty’ began in 1964, literally trillions of dollars have been spent on similar schemes to counteract either the underclass’s continued underachievement, their continued self-destructive behavior, or their genuine economic and familial obstacles to educational success.

Before we destroy one of Burlington’s great assets, its’ community schools, our political elites need to ask themselves whether through osmosis or some other form of enlightenment, will busing students - analogous to shuffling the chairs on the deck of the Titanic - really put Humpty-Dumpty back together again?

Some 35% of families living below the poverty level come from single parent households, 40% from cohabitating couples, and just 8% from married couples. Spending less time extolling the vaporous wonders of multi-culturalism and diversity, and more time spent emphasizing assimilation, personal accountability, and old-school family values – where most educational success is often determined - might produce more of the results we all pine for.

-- Tom Licata, Burlington

Vermont News

Few Solutions Offered In Act 68 Funding Debate
BY Jeanne Miles, Caledonian Record, Dec. 5, 2006

… Just over 100 people attended the meeting sponsored by Newark Citizens for Justice and the towns of Burke, Lyndon and Sutton. Some wore T-shirts proclaiming: Save our state - repeal 68." This was the first of a series of meetings to be held around the state to hear how property taxes are affecting people….Ward Reed of St. Johnsbury, a former school director, said the problem is not just with property taxes, but with all the taxes in Vermont. Businesses cannot grow because of the high cost of paying payroll taxes, unemployment taxes and income taxes. "Our economy is too small," Reed said. "Switching to the income tax won't work. That dog ain't gonna hunt."

Related Site:

Gov. Douglas says property tax will top his agenda
By Ross Sneyd, Times Argus, Dec 7, 2006
Property taxes will certainly top the agenda when the Legislature returns to session in January and bipartisan cooperation will be required to come up with an answer, Gov. James Douglas said Wednesday…. "I think it's important to raise an issue that's paramount to all legislators and all Vermonters," Douglas said at his weekly news conference….

Halifax revolts, Town joins tax fray
By Bob Audette, Brattleboro Reformer, December 9, 2006

The Selectboard of this town of less than 800 people has added its revolt and repeal resolution to the growing stack that will confront legislators when they return to Montpelier next month. In October, the Jamaica Selectboard was the first town in Vermont to sign on to the "Revolt and Repeal" movement, a grassroots initiative asking legislators to scrap the current education funding system and start over. Since then, 46 other selectboards have signed the resolution….

Brattleboro imposes local meals and rooms tax
AP, December 8, 2006

… Town officials have imposed a 1 percent tax on rooms and meals.… "I believe in my heart of hearts that this will not send people to New Hampshire," said Richard DeGray, vice chairman of the Brattleboro Select Board. Some said the tax would hurt the economy and suggested a focus on reducing costs, not generating new revenue….

State lawmakers ready to tackle warming
By Candace Page, Burlington Free Press, December 8, 2006

Peter Shumlin sounds more like a preacher than a politician when he talks about why global climate change must top the Legislature's agenda in 2007. "At the risk of sounding like a nut, I do think this is the most important issue any of us are facing," the Windham County Democrat and incoming Senate president said last month….

What should be the top issues for the Legislature?
Published: Saturday, December 9, 2006

When the new Legislature convenes in January, what is one issue you would like lawmakers to address and what do you want them to do? We want to publish a cross-section of readers’ suggestions. E-mail your comment to or mail it to Nancy Remsen, The Burlington Free Press, 191 College St., Burlington, VT, 05401 by Dec. 15. Include your name and contact information

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From Elsewhere

Captain Obvious to the Rescue
By Robert Tracinski, December 07, 2006

…Take, for example, the recommendations offered today, to much fanfare, by the Iraq Study Group. The problem in Iraq is that we can't withdraw US troops because the Iraqi military is not adequately trained to maintain security on its own? Well then, the ISG tells us, all we need to do is to train the Iraqi military so that they can maintain security on their own, and then we can withdraw our troops. The problem in Iraq is that the Iraqi government won't approve a crackdown to dismantle the Shiite militias? Well then, all we have to do is to convince the Iraqi government to approve a crackdown to dismantle the Shiite militias. The problem in Iraq is that Iran and Syria are arming, funding, and encouraging Sunni and Shiite insurgents? Well then, all we have to do is to convince Syria and Iran to stop supporting these insurgents…. See how simple that was? It's amazing that no one ever thought of these ideas before the Iraq Study Group came along. But no, don't thank them. It's all in a day's work for Captain Obvious….

An Inconvenient Load of Gore
Posted By Chuck Muth On December 4

Let’s play "let’s pretend."

Let’s pretend that global warming is truly a problem of epic proportions, just as the tree-hugger crowd would have us believe.

And let’s pretend that not only is Al Gore sane, but a believable, credible messenger touting the Armageddon-like dangers of global warming.

And let’s pretend that Gore’s propaganda film on the subject, "An Inconvenient Truth," is something other than a modern-day enviro-wacko version of the Chicken Little hysteria found in the anti-pot movie "Reefer Madness" from the early 1900s.

Ouch. Let’s not play "let’s pretend" any more. My head is starting to hurt.

But let’s say all of the above was inconveniently true. Even so, should the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) be browbeaten into distributing Gore’s commercial film for free to its 50,000 members, thereby forcing it into classrooms? Well, Laurie David, one of the hot-air producers of the flick thinks so. And when the NSTA declined, David threw a hissy fit.

In a whiny op/ed titled "Science a la Joe Camel" (how clever!) which was published last week by the Washington Post - a liberal paper often accused of being full of hot air itself - David accuses the science teachers of not distributing Gore’s cinematic triumph because they’re in the pockets of…are you ready for it?…Big Oil.

Are these people as predictable as night following day, or what?

But David’s rant is actually kinda comical, if not outright hypocritical. In complaining about the science teachers not being willing to use their distribution network to distribute Al Gore’s junk science DVD, David accuses Exxon Mobil of donating money to the science teachers over the past decade in an effort to "sell junk science" to science teachers. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

David also whines about Exxon Mobil trying to "influence the way children learn about science, from kindergarten until they graduate from high school" through "propaganda" when, in fact, that’s exactly what David and the rest of the environmental extremist crowd are trying to do with Gore’s propaganda film.

In conclusion, David writes that "Students should expect, and parents should demand, that educators present an honest and unbiased look" at issues such as global warming…as if "An Inconvenient Truth" was honest and unbiased. What chutzpah.

The fact is, the NSTA offered Ms. David a number of alternative methods for them to distribute Gore’s propaganda DVD, including "providing a mailing list of our members to producers, announcing its availability in our publications, etc." Nevertheless, the Left has cranked up its phone and email machine and is pounding the science teachers in an effort to force them through public pressure to change their minds and distribute this inconvenient propaganda.

If you’d like to send a quick note of support to the science teachers in their battle with Al Gore and the Enviro-Temple of Doom, our friends over at Frontiers of Freedom have made it quick and easy to do so. Just click here and fill in your information to send off a pre-written statement of support.

Realism and Iran
Opinion Journal, December 5

…To hear the so-called realists tell it, engaging Tehran is a matter of necessity and ought to be one of choice…. But here's where realism of the common sense kind should intrude…. In 1997, Iranians "elected" a supposedly moderate president, Mohammed Khatami, on a reformist platform…The Clinton Administration sought to establish openings with the Khatami government by lifting some sanctions and apologizing for U.S. political meddling. President Clinton even planned an "accidental" encounter with Mr. Khatami during the U.N.'s millennium summit, but Iran's Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei canceled it at the last minute. The stood-up President "was left pacing the corridors of the U.N.," writes Mr. Taheri. Presidents Carter and Reagan earlier tried engagement with the Ayatollah Khomeini, each time with disastrous consequences: the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in 1979; the Iran-Contra scandal of 1986. One problem is that however sincere Iranian moderates may be in seeking an accommodation with the West, Iranian hardliners have proved equally intent on torpedoing any deals. The hardliners have consistently held the upper hand. This point should be obvious now that Mr. Khatami has been replaced by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…. In Mr. Ahmadinejad, they found a man whose wipe-Israel-off-the-map rhetoric is matched by his record as a hostage-taker, prison interrogator and organizer of violent domestic paramilitaries. If the "realists" greeted Mr. Khatami's election as a sign of regime softening, why then do they not draw opposite conclusions about his successor?...

Has Blair seen the multi-culturalism light?
Daily Telegraph, December 9

… Multi-culturalism portrays itself as a means of celebration: in fact, it is an invitation to all minorities to complain, loudly and persistently, about their victimhood. And, when this self-pitying worldview comes into contact with religious fanaticism, the results can be – literally – explosive. That is presumably what Mr Blair means when he says that the events of July 7 last year threw the whole concept of multi-cultural Britain "into sharp relief". The Prime Minister and his close colleagues are plainly fed up with the lumbering grievance-mongers of the race relations industry….

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