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Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
True North Perspective
Vol. 6, No. 34 (294)
Friday, 21 October, 2011
Military madness has overwhelmed Washington
With the end of the cold war about 20 years ago, there was hope that the world would embrace peace. No longer was there a Soviet Union determined to bury us. China was already friendly. It was a signal opportunity for the U.S. to become a beacon for peace.
But what happened to the United States was exactly that about which General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned Americans against. He said, in effect, beware of the military-industrial complex. —442 words.
Reflections on True North Perspective
Editor and Publisher Carl Dow in conversation
25 September 2011 — Carl Dow, the editor and publisher of the weekly news site True North Perspective, which "is dedicated to filling in the gaps to help round out the news knowledge of Canadians," discusses the project by way of standards in journalism, the situation in Libya, Stephen Harper and Quebec politics with podcaster Mark A.
Our readers write
In short, this is indeed a lovely story. And if in our candidate's meetings, electioneering, leafleting, talking our heads off, etc. we don't also remember that it's all about helping someone in need of help — gee, can you imagine what the world would be like with just that as a guiding principle? — then what are we doing at these candidates' meetings, electioneering, leafleting, talking our heads off???
Thanks, Frances, for yet another one of your lovely little stories. So simple and yet with such profound messages.
— Abrazotes de Susana, Havana, Cuba
Mark well what I do say: Alex Binkley is a foremost political and econcomic analyst. Readers will be aware that his columns in True North Perspective have foreseen the political problems for the Harper government in shipbuilding contracts and, among other alerts, Lowell Murray's ideas on Senate reform. Today he brings to our attention critical developments in the Seaway-Great Lakes sytem. — Carl Dow, Editor.
New NY state law would shut the system down
Seaway-Great Lakes shipping invisible
But are of major economic importance
By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Largely unseen and seldom mentioned in the media, marine shipping through the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes plays a major role the economies of Ontario, Quebec and eight American states.
A study funded by the Canadian and American Seaway authorities says shipping on the Seaway-Great Lakes accounts for $34.6 billion of total economic activity annually and close to 227,000 jobs in the two countries. — 1,111 words.
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor
By John Cotter
The Canadian Press
More than 4,000 people and groups have registered to speak at hearings into a proposed pipeline that would ship crude from Alberta's oilsands to fill supertankers on the British Columbia coast.
Opponents of the $5.5-billion Enbridge (TSX:ENB) Northern Gateway pipeline hope the surge of public interest will pressure Ottawa not to approve the project.
Community hearings are to start in January. Each person will be given 10 minutes to speak.
Dana Adams is one of the people who has registered and says she is eager to tell a federal review panel what she thinks.
"I think this is an environmental disaster waiting to happen," said Adams, who is the chef and owner of Queen B's Cafe in Queen Charlotte, B.C.
Adams worries an oil tanker could run aground and foul the pristine coastal waters similar to what happened in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in Alaska. — 771 words.
Commission will identify those who tortured and killed from 1958-1998
Veneuelan parliament passes law to continue investigation
into 40-year reign of terror by the elite of Fourth Republic
21 October 2011 MERIDA Venezuela — On Tuesday 18 October The Venezuelan National Assembly (AN) passed the Law Against Forgetting, which mandates the investigation and remembering of politically-motivated state repression during the period of the Fourth Republic (1958-1998).
The law, formally called the “Law to Sanction Crimes, Disappearances, Torture, and Violations of Human Rights for Political Reasons in the Period 1958-1998,” was passed by the socialist majority in the AN. The legislation will establish a “Truth and Justice Commission” in order to identify and sanction the perpetrators of human rights violations, as well to discover the identity and number of victims who were tortured and killed during the Fourth Republic. — 991 words
American Blue Coat technology used to supress
access to internet by desperate Syrian demonstrators
Tech experts say that Syria is using technology made by an American company, Blue Coat Systems, to block access to the internet—and they have the data to prove it.
By Hamed Aleaziz
19 October 2011 —
As the autocratic regime in Syria brutally cracks down on a pro-democracy opposition, it is using technology developed by an American company, Blue Coat Systems, to suppress dissent and block access to the internet, tech experts say.
Two weeks ago, Telecomix, a tech activist group, released information from the Syrian government-run Syria Telecommunications Establishment. The release revealed gigabytes of electronic records, called log files, dating back to late July and early August of this year, and the material indicates that Syria's government is using Blue Coat's devices to prevent its citizens from accessing social media, video-sharing, and other websites. By using the devices, the Syrian regime can block information about its abuses from getting out of the country and monitor web activity.. — 757 words.
40,000 U.S. military atheists and freethinkers in uniform
want their place in the sun complete with atheist chaplains
Like Pat Tillman before them, up to 40,000 US soldiers don't believe in God. Meet the man who would bring secular wisdom to their ranks.
By Adam Weinstein
18 October 2011, WEST POINT New York —
On Wednesday, when the Army holds its 12th-annual Diversity Leadership Conference at West Point, gays and lesbians will be well represented for the first time.
But so will another disparaged military minority: self-identified atheists and freethinkers in uniform, as many as 40,000 of them. In an unorthodox move, the academy has invited Jason Torpy, an Iraq vet and president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, to plead the case for — among other things — adding atheist chaplains to the armed forces. — 1,700 words.
Obedient Wife Club urges poly Muslim men
to have group sex with their (up to four) wives
But study says struggle to satisfy leaves unhappy cash-strapped families
Agence France Presse
17 October KUALA LAMPUR Malaysia — An Obedient Wife Club known in Malaysia for its controversial views has published a book urging men in polygamous Muslim marriages to have group sex with their wives, a report said.
The club, formed earlier this year, has made headlines with its radical suggestions on sex and marriage in conservative, Muslim-majority Malaysia.
They include calling on women to be “whores in bed” to prevent their men from straying and pursuing divorce.
In a 115-page book titled Islamic Sex, Fighting Jews to Return Islamic Sex to the World,
the group calls on Muslim husbands to have sex with all their wives simultaneously, The Daily Star reported. — 352 words.
Voices of Experience
Texas conservatives reject Harper's crime plan
'Been there; done that' didn't work,' say Texas crime-fighters
By Terry Milewski
17 October 2011 — Conservatives in the United States' toughest crime-fighting jurisdiction — Texas — say the Harper government's crime strategy won't work.
"You will spend billions and billions and billions on locking people up," says Judge John Creuzot of the Dallas County Court.
"And there will come a point in time where the public says, 'Enough!' And you'll wind up letting them out."
Adds Representative Jerry Madden, a conservative Republican who heads the Texas House Committee on Corrections, "It's a very expensive thing to build new prisons and, if you build 'em, I guarantee you they will come. They'll be filled, OK? Because people will send them there.
"But, if you don't build 'em, they will come up with very creative things to do that keep the community safe and yet still do the incarceration necessary.". — 2,015 words.
By Tavia Grant
The Globe and Mail
14 October 2011 —
Job seekers with common anglophone names such as Greg Brown on their résumés get more responses from employers in Canada’s three largest cities than applicants with foreign-sounding names – regardless of work experience, education or language proficiency, new research shows.
According to University of Toronto researchers Philip Oreopoulos and Diane Dechief, applications submitted by people with English-sounding names are 47 per cent more likely to receive callbacks than those with Indian or Chinese ones in Toronto, 39 per cent more likely in Montreal, and 20 per cent more likely in Vancouver. — 448 words.
20 October 2011 —
Support for immigration in Canada is at an all-time high, suggests a new study that tracked attitudes about newcomers to the country over the last 40 years.
The study by the Institute for Research on Public Policy found that Canadians think favourably of immigration despite recessions, terrorism and a changing political landscape over the years.
The attitude is unique in western countries and stems from two strong Canadian beliefs. — 554 words.
Analysis: 'An enormous win for the Internet'
Supreme Court strikes blow for open internet, press freedom
By Michael Geist
19 October 2011 —
The Supreme Court of Canada today issued its much anticipated ruling in Crookes v. Newton
, a case that focused on the issue of liability for linking to allegedly defamatory content. The court provided a huge win for the Internet as it clearly understood the significance of linking to freedom of expression and the way the Internet functions by ruling that there is no liability for a mere hyperlink. The key quote from the majority, written by Justice Abella:
I would conclude that a hyperlink, by itself, should never be seen as “publication” of the content to which it refers.
This is an enormous win for the Internet since it rightly recognizes that links are just digital references that should not be viewed as republication of the underlying content. As Abella states: — 1,014 words.
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life
When you hurt someone, you hurt yourself first!
True North Perspective
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more www.albertevilleneuve.ca.
21 October 2011 — I was immersed in the subject of intimidation and bullying as Le génie de Jessie was first introduced at the Salon du livre de Lefaivre this weekend.
My granddaughter, who participated in writing the story with five of her classmates, came along on Saturday and truly enjoyed her first experience as a young writer. Little did I know that very weekend, we would learn of another teen committing suicide after suffering many instances of intimidation. — 531 words.
'The concept of original sin should be focused on Cain'
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
21 October 2011 — No one I know has named their offspring Cain for it has a mortally tarnished reputation. What many of us remember from Sunday school is that Cain was the first murderer, a fratricide. He, in a fit of envy, killed his brother Abel.
The late Jose Saramago, the Nobel Prize winning author for literature, 1998, authored his last and posthumously published novel (in English) by that name. Cain is an irreverent retelling of that biblical story (Genesis 4).
You either love or hate this Portuguese writer. The Nobel nominating committee reading Blindness
obviously opted for the former. I have read almost all of his novels and highly recommend this one, his final work of only 159 pages. Absence of capital letters, scarcity of paragraphs and long convoluted sentences, tend to put off those who prefer a more traditional form of writing. — 683 words.
Frances under the watchful eye of the feral cats
By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.
I have many friends in my apartment building. That is an important reason as to why I love my Parkdale.
Now this particular experience is almost something unreal.
I have a friend who about six years ago lost her cat. This meaning the cat passed on. Deceased. Dead.
I consoled her and told her I understood the grief she was going through.
Now my friend, (let's call her June), didn't have the means to call the appropriate authorities to pay for the disposal of her beloved pet. — 712 words.
From the Desk of Darren Jerome
A continuing update on the war against WikiLeaks transparency
Please be advised that the below is not just the same old thing. By clicking on it you'll you'll find the petition in support of Julian Assange and discover fascinating on-going reports and videos related to one of the most important events in modern history, and the desperate attempts to put a lid on information that everyone should know. Don't miss this special opportunity to stay informed.
Remember 'Mr. Grant' of the Mary Tyler Moore Show?
Grammy winner Ed Asner in radio transcript
about five Cuban anti-terrorists jailed in the U.S.
'My purpose always has been to practice humanism and never politics'
Cuban News Agency
13 October 2011 HAVANA Cuba —
Up next, we bring you a Radio Havana Cuba (RHC) interview with Ed Asner, 7 times Grammy award winner with five Golden Globe Awards and member of the US TV Academy Hall of Fame, presently starring in the solo performance drama, FDR,
based on the life of former US President Roosevelt.
Asner is one of the signatories to the letter from U.S. celebrities, (an initiative of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five), to US President Barack Obama asking for Rene Gonzalez’s freedom to return to his wife and family in Cuba.
RHC Bernie Dwyer of Radio Havana Cuba spoke with Ed Asner by telephone from Havana on Tuesday, October 11.
“As always, be it with Cuba, El Salvador, be it Nicaragua, my purpose has been to practice humanism and never politics. And that is exactly what I am practicing now in terms of pleading for mercy for these ill-convicted prisoners”. — 840 words.
Always worth repeating
'Give us the tools and we'll finish the job'
— Winston Churchill
Let's say that news throughout human time has been free. Take that time when Ugh Wayne went over to the cave of Ugh Wayne with news that the chief of his group had broken a leg while chasing his laughing wife around the fire. That news was given freely and received as such with much knowing smiles and smirks to say nothing of grunts of approval or disapproval. — 688 words.
Report from Obama's America
U.S. combat troops descend on Africa
The Lords Resistance army has been committing attrocities for decades. Now that oil has been discovered in Uganda, the West decides to intervene
By John Pilger
20 October 2011 — Obama's decision is described in the press as "highly unusual" and "surprising," even "weird." It is none of these things. It is the logic of American foreign policy since 1945. Take Vietnam. The priority was to halt the influence of China, an imperial rival, and "protect" Indonesia, which President Nixon called "the region's richest hoard of natural resources ... the greatest prize."
Vietnam merely got in the way; and the slaughter of more than three million Vietnamese and the devastation and poisoning of their land was the price of America achieving its goal. Like all America's subsequent invasions, a trail of blood from Latin America to Afghanistan and Iraq, the rationale was usually "self defense" or "humanitarian," words long emptied of their dictionary meaning.
In Africa, says Obama, the "humanitarian mission" is to assist the government of Uganda to defeat the Lord's resistance Army (LRA), which "has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa." This is an accurate description of the LRA, evoking multiple atrocities administered by the United States, such as the bloodbath in the 1960s following the CIA-arranged murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congolese independence leader and first legally elected prime minister, and the CIA coup that installed Mobutu Sese Seko, regarded as Africa's most venal tyrant. — 908 words.
As U.S. military kills with impunity at long distance abroad, its drones now fill its own skies as well
By Nick Turse
16 October 2011 — They increasingly dot the planet. There’s a facility outside Las Vegas where “pilots” work in climate-controlled trailers, another at a dusty camp in Africa formerly used by the French Foreign Legion, a third at a big air base in Afghanistan where Air Force personnel sit in front of multiple computer screens, and a fourth at an air base in the United Arab Emirates that almost no one talks about.
And that leaves at least 56 more such facilities to mention in an expanding American empire of unmanned drone bases being set up worldwide. Despite frequent news reports on the drone assassination campaign launched in support of America’s ever-widening undeclared wars and a spate of stories on drone bases in Africa and the Middle East, most of these facilities have remained unnoted, uncounted, and remarkably anonymous -- until now.
Run by the military, the Central Intelligence Agency, and their proxies, these bases -- some little more than desolate airstrips, others sophisticated command and control centers filled with computer screens and high-tech electronic equipment -- are the backbone of a new American robotic way of war. They are also the latest development in a long-evolving saga of American power projection abroad -- in this case, remote-controlled strikes anywhere on the planet with a minimal foreign “footprint” and little accountability. — 3,260 words.
Creating crises, destroying our food systems:
Report finds genetically modified crops fail to increase yields but do increase soil erosion and chemical use
By John Vidal
19 October 2011 —
Genetic engineering has failed to increase the yield of any food crop but has vastly increased the use of chemicals and the growth of "superweeds", according to a report by 20 Indian, south-east Asian, African and Latin American food and conservation groups representing millions of people.
The so-called miracle crops, which were first sold in the US about 20 years ago and which are now grown in 29 countries on about 1.5bn hectares (3.7bn acres) of land, have been billed as potential solutions to food crises, climate change and soil erosion, but the assessment finds that they have not lived up to their promises.
The report claims that hunger has reached "epic proportions" since the technology was developed. Besides this, only two GM "traits" have been developed on any significant scale, despite investments of tens of billions of dollars, and benefits such as drought resistance and salt tolerance have yet to materialise on any scale. — 892 words.
Living in a poor neighbourhood hurts health
By Mike Stobbe
20 October 2011, ATLANTA — Back in the 1990s, the federal government tried an unusual social experiment: It offered thousands of poor women in big-city public housing a chance to live in more affluent neighborhoods.
A decade later, the women who relocated had lower rates of diabetes and extreme obesity — differences that are being hailed as compelling evidence that where you live can determine your health.
But according to a study released Wednesday, the most interesting effect may have been on the women's physical condition.
About 16 percent of the women who moved had diabetes, compared with about 20 percent of women who stayed in public housing
. And about 14 percent of those who left the projects were extremely obese, compared with nearly 18 percent of the other women. — 1,131 words.
You can count on the True North Team
While publishers are cutting back and that includes in-house editors
Outside editors of the True North Team are rescuing writers from oblivion.
We handle fiction and memoirs, manuscript editing to ghost writing
Everything to put the best face on your work to publishers and the reading public
For a free consultation please don't hesitate to contact
or Carl Dow at 613-233-6225
Always looking forward ...
From the Desk of Carl Hall, Technical Analyst
Keep Canada at the Forefront Of Energy by
Investing In New, Safe, and Abundant LFTR
Canada is at a critical crossroads where we can keep providing cheap, efficient, and clean energy to power our everyday life
By Eric Dormer
INFORMATION ABOUT LFTRs, and a REQUEST TO SIGN A PETITION, September 19, 2011
Let’s Invest in Safe, Cost Effective Nuclear Power: LFTRs
LFTRs (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors) are safer, cheaper, and more efficient than reactors we use now, and we have a huge supply of thorium in Canada. In fact, every country in the world has lots of easily accessible thorium since it is everywhere in the earth’s crust, but we have some of the richest and largest deposits in the world. If we choose to power the world with thorium, all countries in the world will have enough energy to meet all their needs for thousands of years. — 314 words.
Lovesick, or simply in love
19 October 2011 — St. Petersburg experts have decided that love is not an illness, contrary to what the World Health Organization declared earlier this month, Interfax reported.
“There are no documents that define love as an illness. The more complicated problem today is the human disability to establish significant and long-term relationships. Many people have a fear of feelings,” said Anna Vasilyeva, a senior scientist at St. Petersburg’s Bekhterev Science and Research Institute, at a press conference last week.
At the beginning of October, media sources reported that the World Health Organization classified love as an illness and even gave it a code — F63:9.
Eminent city psychotherapist and sexual health doctor Lev Scheglov said, however, that nowadays those unhappy in love often seek medical help.
“In today’s society, it’s now more acceptable to talk about sexual practices instead of feelings,” Scheglov said.
Scheglov said that an attempt to define love as an illness was nothing new.
And now for something (almost) completely different
Kashmir scholar compares Ancient Rome with Washington DC
By Dr. Khalid Hakeem
Dr. Khalid Hakeem is Director of Society for Promotion of Academic Revolution in Kashmir (SPARK). The views expressed by him do not represent any Institution.
19 October 20ll SRINANGER Kashmir —
A dictator is a government ruler with omnipotent powers, one who has no constitutional or legislative constraints on his powers. Operating through his military, paramilitary, intelligence, and police forces, he can do whatever he chooses to do. He can use his forces, which loyally follow his orders, to attack, arrest, spy, kidnap, torture, rape, abuse, or kill. It’s that principle — omnipotent power on the part of the ruler — that defines the American dictatorship in the world, particular against the Muslim world. — 1,481 words.
The Glass Teat - The sonic lipstick's last hurrah (3 of 3)
Keeping adventure in the family
Looking back at a remarkable children's program
Managing Editor, True North Perspective
October 20, 2011, OTTAWA — It seems churlish — and a bit pointless — to dwell on the negatives, so let's get them of the way.
The Man Who Never Was is the weakest serial of The Sarah Jane Adventures's final half-series. The details are clunky and there is an almost unforgivable bit of idiot-plotting to get us to the cliff-hanger at the end of the first episode.
But never mind all that; it is still an entertaining episode and a fitting tribute to its late star.
The other parts of the story, the important bits, more than make up for the deficits, and Russell T Davies deserves our thanks for reigning in his tendency towards over-blown melodrama.
I'm going to miss The Sarah Jane Adventures an awful lot. In its quiet way it offered its young (and not-so-young) viewers a powerful moral vision and provided an example (instead of a lecture) of a subtly radical alternative to life as most of us know beneath its fantastic trappings.
Some spoilers behind the link. And I'll try not to get blubbery. — 1,576 words.
At the movies
New movie Anonymous contends Shakespeare
was a fraud and Queen Elizabeth 1 was a 'ho'
By Chris Lee
The Daily Beast
17 October 2011 —
In the period thriller Anonymous
, which reaches theatres on October 28, director Roland Emmerich
dredges up a delicious historical controversy that has 2011’s literary scholars fighting like Montagues
The issue even provides a pithy logline
: Was William Shakespeare a fraud? Perhaps “fraud” isn’t forceful enough to describe the slings and arrows that the Bard of Avon endures in this $33 million bodice-ripper. — 1,322 words.
The Old Man's Last Sauna
A collection of short stories by Carl Dow
An eclectic collection of short stories that will stir your sense of humour, warm your heart, outrage your sense of justice, and chill your extra sensory faculties in the spirit of Stephen King. The final short story, the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Sauna is a ground-breaking love story. The series begins with Deo Volente (God Willing). Followed by The Quintessence of Mr. Flynn, Sharing Lies, Flying High, The Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows Ya, One Lift Too Many, The Model A Ford, the out-of-body chiller, Room For One Only and O Ernie! ... What Have They Done To You! The series closes with the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Sauna, a groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.