July 2016

Editor's Notes

U.S. entirely missed the point on Orlando

While Obama peddled his silly lies

And then, of course, there's the matter of Brexit (click HERE)


Dripping with profits, Canada Post is forcing a shutdown

of postal service throughout Canada as union urges calm

Image: Graphic including Canada Post logo.

Canada Post refuses CUPW request to extend cooling off period

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
With files from Brigitte Klassen
Canadian Union of Postal Workers

29 June 2016, OTTAWA — In a tactic that harkens back to the cruel days of the Robber Barons in the late 19th Century, Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra has officially rejected a letter from postal workers asking him to extend the July 2 deadline for a lockout by a period of two weeks.

The rejection of reason in negotiations points to the very profitable Post Office (almost $100 million last year) as preparing to lock out its workforce in the middle of a public postal review, spoiling the process.

“We only got their first real ‘offer’ last Saturday and it still contained a raft of cuts to our working standards that they know we could never accept,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Canada Post’s haste to push matters to a head in the bargaining process while insisting on hefty cuts has had the CUPW crying foul from the beginning.

“Canada Post managers started this countdown to a labour dispute by filing for conciliation shockingly early on in the negotiations process,” said Palecek.

“They don’t really want to give us a chance to settle a deal. They want us out and they want the public to blame the postal workers for management’s decisions.”

In a letter handed out to postal workers late last night, one of Chopra’s human resources executives claims that agreeing to the union’s request to extend talks would only delay matters and produce further “uncertainty” for its customers.

“So they’re going to kill the mail and remove all uncertainty, I guess” said Palecek.

The profitable Crown Corporation, which netted almost $100 million last year and is in its 20th year of profits, is trying to cut back workers’ pensions and remove job security protections, among other cuts. It is refusing to listen to union proposals for the expansion of services and pay equity for rural and suburban mail carriers, 70% of whom are women.


In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act

— George Orwell, English essayist, novelist, and satirist (1903 - 1950)


In our dedication to provide a broad spectrum of news and ideas, True North Perspective/True North Humanist Perspective, publish news and views from the sober political right to left, and from atheist to theist. The news, statements, views and opinions expressed in this edition are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of True North Perspective/True North Humanist Perspective.


Image: Photo of .... by Geoffrey Dow.

Taking time for the camera at the Museum of Nature's live bee hive are mother Lisa and, from left, Karson, Jacob, and Maddie. — Photo by Geoffrey Dow.

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation links with

Museum's Nature Live by planting a special flower bed

The Canadian Museum of Nature in central Ottawa at 240 McCleod Street is one of the capital's star attractions. This June alone it had more than 55,000 visitors. One of its most popular is the Nature Live exhibit on the third floor. There, safe from any possible bee stings, you can watch a real bee hive under glass operating within inches away. A favourite game, played by such as Claire McIntosh and Kate Jordon of Ottawa, is identifying the Queen Bee among the thousands of other bees busy about her colony. The hive is the accomplishment of Robert Leuenberger of the museum who says that while the current hive is new the museum had a live hive for many years until the exhibits were removed for the big renovation in 2005. It had been part of an exhibit featuring flowering plants and pollination. The hive had always been very popular with visitors and it has been asked about ever since. We recently expanded our live bug exhibit called Nature Live and were able to incorporate a new observation hive. The new observation hive’s design is based on the experience we had with the original one. It contains three frames of honeycomb and as bee colonies go is relatively small. However, it is a fully working colony consisting of a few thousand bees, a normal colony can have upwards of 50,000 bees.  Bees of the museum hive can fly outside though a tunnel connected to a south-facing window to forage in the neighbourhood, now including CCOC's Beaver Barracks. The colony is growing and is doing very well since the installation at the beginning of June. Sorry. No honey. The honey, which the hive produces in abundance, supplies the food necessary to keep the colony hale and hearty.

Image: Jeff Menzies of CCOC’s Gardening plants natural flowers in coordination with the Museum of Nature’s live bee hive. Photo by Nick Aplin.

A gourmet feast for bees

Jeff Menzies of CCOC’s Gardening, plants native flowers in CCOC's Victory Garden at Beaver Barracks in coordination with the Museum of Nature’s live bee hive. Among the flowers are Primrose, Echinacea, Day Lillies, Columbine, Blazing Star, Golden Rod, Sundrops, Hyssop, Gaillardia. — Photo by Nick Aplin.


Life time memberships and a box of flowers

for CCOC stalwarts Toby and David Brooks

Image: Photo of CCOC Rentals Manager Debbie Barton presenting Toby and David Brooks with lifetime memberships at CCOC's 2016 AGM. Photo via CCOC.

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation Rentals Manager, Debbie Barton, (third from left), presented Toby and David Brooks with lifetime memberships at CCOC's 2016 Annual General Meeting, in honour of their many years of service and dedication to CCOC. Toby and David moved into their triplex on Flora Street in October 1980, almost 36 years ago. David has been participating on the Rental Committee since January 1987, and Toby joined shortly after in 1990. Holding the box of flowers is CCOC's Executive Director Ray Sullivan. Photo by CCOC.


BC Liberals fail to protect housing market from being

swamped by massive inflow of foreign (Chinese) investors

Image: Good times for big Liberal donors in the real estate sector; tough times for homebuyers. Detail of photo of new home under construction by Adam Melnyk via Shutterstock and TheTyee.

'China Syndrome' paralyzes politicians in housing affordability crisis

'Huge impact of foreign buyers can't be ignored, and raising the issue isn't racist'
 
By Bill Tieleman
TheTyee.ca
 
21 June 2016 — "One simple conclusion: a massive amount of money from China entered the Vancouver real estate market in the past year or so." — Josh Gordon, Simon Fraser University public policy professor.

Call it the "China Syndrome" — an unfortunate paralysis afflicting Canadian politicians and stopping them from speaking the truth about what is happening to B.C.'s housing market.

The reality, Josh Gordon wrote last month, is that an enormous amount of Chinese capital is flooding in to buy Vancouver homes. The National Bank of Canada estimates Chinese buyers spent $12.7 billion in Vancouver alone in 2015 — that's about one-third of all sales!

It's part of the estimated US$1 trillion that left China in the last 18 months seeking safe investments. (More)


Ottawa's Celtic Folk Night Group

has settled in a new home at the Oh So Good Café

261 Richmond Road

A few steps west of Kirkwood Avenue

Wednesdays from 7 - 10 pm

Image: Photo of Kevin Dooley playing a flute with members of Ottawa's Celtic Folk Night Group, by Samantha Cowan-Cholette.

Photo by Samantha Cowan-Cholette

Ottawa's Celtic Folk Night Group has developed well and is now a small musical, cultural and heritage community. It combines toe tapping and foot stomping traditional Irish songs and music with poetry recitations. Host Kevin Dooley, above centre, provides depth with such as Boolavogue, a song about the 1798 rebellion against British rule in Ireland. This was followed by Wolfe Tone's Grave. Wolfe Tone was executed in 1802 for being a leader of the 1798 rebellion by The United Irish Men. Aside from the quality entertainment the Oh So Good Café, is licensed and has an excellent menu backed by a quality kitchen that is second to none.


Right wing rallies to Clinton: 'She's a real conservative'

and they are proud that she supports war over diplomacy

By Ben Norton
Salon
 
10 June 2016 — Wall Street has thrown its weight behind Hillary Clinton. Some of the biggest names in the U.S. right-wing establishment have also expressed support for her.
 
Another neocon added his name to the pro-Clinton list on Thursday. James Kirchick penned an op-ed in The Daily Beast titled “Hillary Clinton Is 2016’s Real Conservative — Not Donald Trump.”
 
“Clinton is the candidate of the status quo, something that conservatives, by definition, are supposed to uphold,” Kirchick writes. (More)

Obama plays smoke and mirrors with U.S. unemployed

Nearly 95 million Americans slide out of the workforce

Image: Photo of US President Barack Obama, via UnfilteredPatriot.com.

UnfilteredPatriot.com

05 June 2016 — President Obama, at a town hall meeting in Indiana this week, repeated an oft-used line regarding the success of his presidency.

“By almost every economic measure,” he said, “America is better off than when I came here at the beginning of my presidency. We cut unemployment in half, years before a lot of economists thought we would.”

Obama tends to get away with these lies because there’s just enough truth there to satisfy a sympathetic media. Indeed, unemployment numbers are down. In May, the American unemployment rate dropped to 4.7%, which is certainly preferable to the 10% rate Obama faced in October of 2009.

On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said about the “almost” in Obama’s claim. Because there is one economic measure that this administration has been steadfastly ignoring for the last eight years: the labor force participation rate. By this measure, you’re still considered part of the labor force even if you’re unemployed. As long as you’re seeking a job, you get counted. On the flipside, the Obama administration simply discounts anyone not looking for a job when they produce their unemployment numbers. This can and does present a highly skewed picture of the American job market. (More)


Travel

By Dennis Carr, Contributing Editor, on an 'excellent adventure'

Vietnam by bicycle, rowboat, and ferry (Part 3)

Dennis Carr's report on his family trip to Vietnam will continue in our July edition. If you missed them, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Cat Ba Town and Ha Long Bay

Image: Detail of photo of the author riding a scooter, young George holding on at the rear. Photo provided by Dennis Carr.
 Dennis Carr and son George in Vietnam
By Dennis Carr
Contributing Editor, True North Perspective

Attentive readers will recall my last trip report ended with the stalwart trio enjoying a few cold ones on a patio overlooking Ha Long Bay in Cat Ba City. While we were sad to be at the end of the bicycle touring portion of our excellent adventure, we were excited about the new adventures that lay ahead. Early the next morning Joe and Hugh, our bicycle guides, picked us up in their van and drove us to a nearby harbour where we hopped onto a junk to enjoy a half-day boat ride in Ha Long Bay.

Ha Long Bay is a beautiful archipelago in the Gulf of Tonkin made up of thousands of limestone islands rising from the emerald green waters. A mystical landscape of breathtaking beauty, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular with tourists of all nationalities because of its serene beauty. Our junk was a tad dilapidated but seemed stable enough as we left the fishing vessels and freighter behind in the port and set off among the floating fishing villages and misty ethereal karst islands set in the waters.

We passed every manner and size of floating vessel from small grass fishing boats to larger tourist ships. The floating villages included small fish farms and barges loaded with nets, floats, bait and other fishing related paraphernalia. Dogs and kids roamed the docks while the industry of fishing carried on around them. After a couple of hours of relaxed fascination we docked at a floating fish farm. This would be our lunch spot. Under the dock and sitting area of the establishment were fish tanks holding everything from small minnows to a tank with what we were told was a 15 kilogram monster. (More)


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Sex • Murder • Politics

An essential collection of short stories

all written to satisfy the mind of a sophisticated reader

The Old Man's Last Sauna

 'Life is scary, frustrating and sometimes funny. All of these themes are explored in Carl Dow’s collection of short stories, told with the pristine elegance that we haven’t seen since the likes of Stephen Leacock or even Pierre Berton.'
— Award-winning author Emily-Jane Hills Orford
 
Image: Cover of The Old Man's Last Sauna, by Carl Dow.
 
 


Click here for True North Humanist Perspective

Obama sends his impotent Pentagon to

the South China Sea, for a new failure

_______

'American state department has devolved into an

insane asylum where the inmates are in control'

_______

While the lamebrains in Clinton's Washington

beat war drums, China is on commerce course

_______

Turkey apologizes to Russia for ambushing and killing

pilot over Syria; hard reality prompts a return to sanity

_______

Washington fears Brexit to unravel its anti-Russia policy

 

YOU'LL FIND ALL THIS AND MORE BY CLICKING HERE FOR

TrueNorth Humanist Perspective


True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, please rea
 
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience
Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
 
True North Perspective
Vol. 12, No. 09 (369)
July 2016

Editor's Notes

U.S. entirely missed the point on Orlando

While Obama peddled his silly lies

And then, of course, there's the matter of Brexit

Image: True North Perspective Editor and Publisher Carl Dow. Photo by the Phantom Phographer.The United States of America is a land of people gripped by fear and confusion. They are kept there by their owners, the proverbial one per cent, who control the media that deliver (there can be no more accurate word for it) their lies. As a result of decades of international armed aggression they have developed an internal American gun culture.

Immediately following the Orlando tragedy, when 49 were masssacred by a crazed gunman, there developed a great hue and cry about gun control. About 50 Democrat members held a filibuster and sit-in in the Senate demanding that the Republicans support a gun-control bill.

The Republican majority killed the bill, arguing as usual, on the Constitutional right to bear arms.

But everyone has missed the point. The point has nothing to do with the right of all Americans (man, woman, and child) to own a high-powered automatic rifle. The point is that Washington is controlled by the military-industrial complex — the very same cabal that General and President Eisenhower warned against in his final speech as president.

Barack Obama has turned out to be the cabal's houseboy, and Hillary Clinton has proven herself as a senator and then as secretary of state, to be its eager, willing go-girl. (More)


Op Ed

A view from the right: Trolling for war with Russia

Image: Photo of unidentified leaders seated at round table. Via TownHall.com.
 
By Pat Buchanan
TownHall.com
 
Patrick J. Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three American Presidents. From 1966 through 1974, Pat Buchanan was confidant and assistant to Richard Nixon. In 1974, Pat Buchanan served as assistant to Gerald Ford. From 1985 to 1987, Pat Buchanan was White House Communications Director for Ronald Reagan.

21 June 2016 — Some 50 State Department officials have signed a memo calling on President Obama to launch air and missile strikes on the Damascus regime of Bashar Assad.

A "judicious use of stand-off and air weapons," they claim, "would undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic process."

In brief, to strengthen the hand of our diplomats and show we mean business, we should start bombing and killing Syrian soldiers.

Yet Syria has not attacked us. And Congress has not declared war on Syria, or authorized an attack. Where do these State hawks think President Obama gets the authority to launch a war on Syria?

Does State consider the Constitution to be purely advisory when it grants Congress the sole power to declare war? Was not waging aggressive war the principal charge against the Nazis at Nuremberg? (More)


The Binkley Report

Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is www.alexbinkley.com. Readers will be aware that his columns in True North Perspective have foreseen political and economic developments in Canada. In this edition ...

Bees face many threats, experts say

Education is key to improving health of honey bees

Image: Cover of Humanity's Saving Grace, a novel by Alex Binkley. Click to purchase at Amazon.caBy Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

1 July 2016 — Habitat loss, poor beekeeping practices and pesticides are among the biggest challenges facing bee populations, experts have told the Commons agriculture committee.

Chris Cutler, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie University, said another challenge is a lack of information on wild bees, which are vital to food production. (More)

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Death of B.C. sea stars reveals ecological domino effect

Image: Detail of photo showing some of the hundreds of sea stars that were found washed up in Trail Bay on the Sunshine Coast. (DUANE BURNETT/CP, via The Globe and Mail.)
 
The Canadian Press
 
23 June 2016 — The mass death of sea stars in British Columbia’s Howe Sound has created a trickle-down effect that a researcher says should be a warning about the depletion of any species in the ocean.
 
Sea stars began dying by the millions in waters from Alaska to Mexico in the summer of 2013.
 
Experts still don’t have a conclusive cause, but have linked some deaths to a virus and others to fluctuating water temperatures, said Jessica Schultz, a master’s student at Simon Fraser University and the Vancouver Aquarium’s Howe Sound research program manager. (More)

The Rise of Ocean Optimism

Sharing uplifting news of resilience and recovery fuels hope

Image: Detail of photo of scuba diver near coral reef at Bikini Atoll, by Reinhard Dirscherl/Alamy Stock Photo, via HaKaimagazine.com.
By Elin Kelsey
HakaiMagazine.com
 
8 June 2016 — Things are far more resilient than I ever imagined. Me, green sea turtles, coral reefs blown to bits by atomic bombs.
 
In a twist of fate that even surprised scientists, Bikini Atoll, site of one of the world’s biggest nuclear explosions, is now a scuba diver’s paradise.
 
Bikini Atoll, located in the Pacific’s Marshall Islands, didn’t just inspire the famous bathing suit; the US Army detonated the first hydrogen bomb there. Between 1946 and 1958, 23 nuclear explosions were carried out, at an incalculable cost to the people and the marine environment.
 
Fifty years later, scientists record a thriving coral reef habitat that includes large tree-like branching coral formations with trunks the diameter of dinner plates. “It’s made a brilliant recovery,” says Zoe Richards, a scientist at the Australian Museum. (More)

Sports

Drugs in Sports: A Brief History

'Russian weight lifter tore both his arms off at the shoulder'

By Nigel Aplin
Sports Editor, True North Perspective

1 July 2016 — I have three lasting memories from the 1976 Montreal Olympics: the multiple perfect ten scores of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, Canada’s Greg Joy winning a silver medal in the high jump and the domination of the East German women’s swimming team. I can’t recall if any of the television commentators questioned how the East German women were able to shatter long standing world records in the pool that summer 40 years ago but I do remember thinking that many of them looked more like men in their swimsuits than like any woman I had ever seen. Nadia Comaneci, on the other hand, who is less than a year older than I am and was only 14 in 1976, looked pretty, petite, coordinated, and graceful.

We know now, of course, that the GDR was systematically doping their athletes under what was known as State Plan 14.25. It represented a clear politicization of sport against the backdrop of the cold war – a policy which would continue until 1989. The only thing that the East Germans had done differently from other athletes was to institutionalize the practice of boosting athletic performance through drugs. PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) have been and continue to be part of high level sports around the world.

A little closer to home, the relationship between PEDs and professional football has a long history. Former NFL defensive lineman Lyle Alzado became one of the first players to admit to taking anabolic steroids. Alzado claimed, before his death in 1992 at the age of 43, that 90% of players were taking PEDs. He blamed his health problems, including a brain tumour which caused his death, on steroid use. (More)


Muhammad Ali

Image: Photo of Muhammad Ali, @copy; Action Images/Reuters, via RT.com unidentified leaders seated at round table. Via TownHall.com.

'Bill Clinton and Barack Obama should hang their heads in shame for daring to try and associate themselves with Muhammad Ali and his legacy upon his death. It is an insult to everything Muhammad Ali stood for and believed.' (More)


From the desk of Nick Aplin, Contrbuting Editor

He shouldn't be remembered as a sanctified sports hero

Muhammad Ali was a powerful, dangerous political force

Image: Muhammad Ali with his chief attorney Hayden Covington, right, on June 19, 1967 in Houston, Tex., as Ali goes to trial on charges of refusing to be inducted into the armed services. (Ed Kolenovsky / Associated Press, via AlMendron.com).
 
By David Zirin
Los Angeles Times via Almendron.com

Dave Zirin is the sports editor at the Nation and the author of, most recently, Brazil’s Dance With the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics and the Fight for Democracy.

06 June 2016 — Muhammad Ali’s saga is without parallel: the champion boxer who was the most famous draft resister in history; a man whose phone was bugged by the Johnson and Nixon administrations yet who later was invited to the White House of Gerald Ford; a prodigal son whom his hometown city council in Louisville, Ky., condemned, but who a few years later had a main street renamed in his honor and today has a museum that bears his name.

His life was one of polarization and reconciliation, anger and love, and a ferocious, uncompromising commitment to nonviolence, all delivered through the scandalously dirty vessel of corruption known as boxing. Few have ever walked so confidently and casually from man to myth, and that journey was well earned.

As football great Jim Brown said to me last year: “It was unbelievable, the courage he had. He wasn’t just a championship athlete. He was a champion who fought for his people…. The man used his athletic ability as a platform to project himself right up there with world leaders … going after things that very few people have the courage to go after. From the standpoint of his ability to perform and his ability to be involved with the world, Ali was the most important sports figure in history.”

Or, as Bill Russell said in 1967 in supporting Ali’s decision to risk five years in prison for resisting the draft: “I envy Muhammad Ali…. He has something I have never been able to attain and something very few people possess: He has absolute and sincere faith. I’m not worried about Muhammad Ali. He is better equipped than anyone I know to withstand the trials in store for him. What I’m worried about is the rest of us.” (More)


Where there is a family

By Geneviève Hone

Eight-year-old Emma chooses Chloe as the name for

her newborn baby sister but keeps Cruella in reserve

Image: Detail of 'Fountain Bandit', a drawing by Julien Mercure, 2016, courtesy of the author.

'I am certainly most impressed'

Hone, small image.

01 July 2016 — “So, where are you two off to?” asks my husband as Emma and I are filling a small backpack with water bottles, snacks and a camera. “Just down to the park to see what there is to see," I reply, as Emma and I exchange conspiratorial looks. She knows that “just down to the park” also means “and then for ice cream.” She also seems to sense that I am quite happy to be interrupted in my work of reviewing a book for a writer friend who argues that showing empathy to others can improve one’s mental and physical health. Emma, the granddaughter of dear friends, is staying with us for a day or two while her mother is off to hospital having another baby and we are thoroughly enjoying the company of this very bright eight-year-old.

According to her parents, Emma is trying hard to show that she is happy with the arrival of a little sister after two brothers, but with us she talks freely, and she has admitted to being quite upset with her parents for having made a girl. She has specifically asked that they produce yet another boy so she won’t have to share her room with a little sister. Sharing is not a skill that most children master easily, especially when they don’t see why they should acquire that skill in the first place. Emma has often been reminded of the importance of thinking of others but, truth be told, she can’t yet see the advantages of doing so. From her point of view, she is about to lose control of her domain to somebody she hasn’t even met, but whom she is quite ready to dislike, sight unseen. Emma might turn out one day to be a great sister, but for the time being, she is not interested in any babies, let alone a sister, as evidenced by the dolls gathering dust in her bedroom.  Emma’s mother, in an attempt to engage her daughter somewhat, has asked her to suggest a name for the newborn and Emma has grudgingly accepted that honour. She has confided in us that she has settled on “Cruella”, but she has not yet informed her parents of her choice. (More)


Bits 'n' Bites of Everyday Life

Image: Detail of quote from Wayne Dyer: 'You will see it, when you believe it.'

Don’t die with your music still in you!

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair
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.

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-SinclairImage: Long quote from Wayne Dyer.1 July 2016 — The long weekend of May was a very privileged one for me. I flew to Toronto with my friend Claire Schingh-Sauriol for the “I Can Do It” conferences. For Claire, it was memorable! On top of experiencing this special event, it was her first plane trip. Although she was nervous prior to the flight, she absolutely loved it and is now ready to do it again.

“I Can Do It” is a motivational weekend with world-renowned speakers. Our Saturday session began with a tribute to my very special guru, author and motivational speaker, Wayne Dyer who passed away on the 29th of August 2015. I attended three of his conferences and keep his autograph in my wallet and in the “Look Within” 2012 notebook. I own many of his books and CDs. Wayne Dyer believed (as did Carlos Castenada) that in the universe there is a force called intention… a field of energy that everyone can tap into. And from that, we must be willing to change our concept of ourselves and let go of limits that hold us back. The tribute reminded me that our true legacy has nothing to do with money but rather how we lived our lives and influenced people in a positive way. Wayne Dyer said: “Trust yourself! Don’t allow other people to tell you what is possible or impossible. Want more for others than you want for yourself.”  (More)


ParkTales classic

Third bench on King Street West, Parkdale

Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of 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 re-presents 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. This column was originally published in 2010.

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective

Photo by Geoffrey Dow, www.ed-rex.com.The third bench on King Street West in Parkdale, overlooking Toronto's Gardner expressway and Lake Ontario, was home to a homeless man. He lived there for years, at night lying on the bench in his sleeping bag. He was always well groomed, clean, and wearing a shirt and tie.

I passed him many times on my morning walks to the Lake. He was fascinated with numbers and I always observed him doing some kind of figuring with them on old scraps of paper.

Neighbours said he had been an accountant. (More)


Mexico roundup by Isabella Tandutella, Contributing Editor, Mexico City

Mexican police kill 9 in clashes

with striking Oaxaca teachers

Image: Photo of riot police in battle with protesting teachers who were blocking a federal highway in the state of Oaxaca. (photo: La Jornada/Twitter, via ReadersupportNews.)

TeleSUR via ReaderSupported News

20 June 2016 — The Mexican government followed through on its threat to use force against striking dissident teachers.

Mexican police attacked teachers striking against neoliberal education reforms in the southern state of Oaxaca, killing at least nine people and leaving dozens more injured, teleSUR correspondent Fernando Camacho reported on Monday.

Police were attempting to evict teachers from a road blockade on the Oaxaca-Puebla highway in the municipality of Nochixtlan when gunfire erupted, leading to violent clashes that lasted approximately four hours. (More)

_______

Mayor to criminals: leave dead elsewhere

Image: Photo of Tlaltizapán Mayor David Salazar Guerrero, via MexicoNewsDaily.com.

Crime gangs urged to take responsibility for bodies of their victims

Mexico News Daily

21 June 2016 — If you’re going to kill people dispose of the bodies somewhere else, was the message a Morelos mayor had Monday 21 June for criminal gangs operating in the southern region of the state.

David Salazar Guerrero released a statement on video deploring the use of the municipality of Tlaltizapán as a dumping ground for murder victims — which he also likened to garbage — from other communities. (More)


 

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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 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.

There can be no life without laughter

HORORSCOPE
June 28, 2016

The Onion

Aries
Aries | March 21 to April 19

You may not have a lot of money, but you still believe yourself to be rich in many ways. This isn’t surprising considering the cost of a proper education these days.

Taurus
Taurus | April 20 to May 20

The lion shall lay down with the lamb this week, before looking around, realizing no savior has in fact returned, and ripping out the poor, unsuspecting animal’s throat.

Gemini
Gemini | May 21 to June 20

The difference between life and death can come down to a few precious minutes, or in your case, the time it takes for the EMTs to finally stop laughing.

Cancer
Cancer | June 21 to July 22

You’ll have a terrifying out-of-body experience this week, followed by an even more horrifying back-inside-your-body experience this week.

Leo
Leo | July 23 to Aug. 22

It takes a lot of courage to stand up and speak candidly in front of a large group of people. Especially when those people are just there to watch KISS.

Virgo
Virgo | Aug. 23 to Sept. 22

Virgos are known for their submissive nature, weak and cowardly attitude, and tendency to just sit there and nod along while the stars openly shit all over them.

Libra
Libra | Sept. 23 to Oct. 22

While it’s true that drugs aren’t the answer to your problem, they will, if taken in large enough doses, make you forget exactly what your problems are.

Scorpio
Scorpio | Oct. 23 to Nov. 21

You’ve managed to overcome a lot in order to become a senior marketing manager, primarily your hopes, aspirations, and dreams.

Sagittarius
Sagittarius | Nov. 22 to Dec. 21

Pretty soon you’re going to have to sit down and ask yourself some very important questions. Particularly, “why?”

Capricorn
Capricorn | Dec. 22 to Jan. 19

There are certain species of bear which mind their own business and don’t attack or eat humans. You will not meet any such bears this week.

Aquarius
Aquarius | Jan. 20 to Feb. 18

Don’t let pessimism or negativity get in your way this week, as you already have a hard enough time not always fucking everything up on your own.

Pisces
Pisces | Feb. 19 to March 20

You establish a destructive pattern of behavior this week when you discover how much fun it is to destroy things.

_______

Marlon Web: Ready to Monday by The Band of the Bold


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-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
 
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Media Watch

U.S. state media runs hit piece on Bernie Sanders
 
Image: Left: Still from 'Washington Forum.' Right: Photo of Jamie Kirchick from Wikipedia, via MintPressNews.com.
 
By Dan Wright
MintPress News

20 June 2016 — Americans are not particularly sanguine on having state media in the first place, let alone one running its own political program and meddling in U.S. elections.

For reasons still unknown, a United States government owned and operated media outlet, Voice of America, published a hit piece on Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.

The story, titled “Does Bernie Sanders Believe in Democracy?,” was written by Jamie Kirchick, who has elsewhere openly advocated for the election of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as president.

As is characteristic of Kirchick’s polemical style, the piece includes numerous misleading and malicious claims, such as Senator Sanders has “scorn for basic democratic procedure,” and that Sanders “has spent his entire life extolling the virtue of left-wing dictatorships.” (More)


Health Watch

E-cigarette use can alter hundreds of genes involved in airway immune defense

Image: When we smoke cigarettes, dozens of genes important for immune defense are altered in the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. Now scientists report that vaping electronic cigarettes alters those same genes and hundreds more that are important for immune defense in the upper airway. Image detail shows man smoking an electronic cigarette. Photo © vchalup / Fotolia, via ScienceDaily.com.

The long-term health effects of e-cigarettes remain unknown, but toxicologists at UNC are uncovering how use of e-cigarettes affect genes involved in upper airway immune defense

ScienceDaily.com

16 June 2016 — When we smoke cigarettes, dozens of genes important for immune defense are altered in the epithelial cells that line the respiratory tract. Several of these changes likely increase the risk of bacterial infections, viruses, and inflammation. Now, UNC School of Medicine scientists report that vaping electronic cigarettes alters those same genes and hundreds more that are important for immune defense in the upper airway.

"I was really surprised by these results," said lead researcher Ilona Jaspers, professor of pediatrics, and microbiology and immunology at UNC. "That's why we kept going back to make sure this was accurate."

The finding, published in the American Journal of Physiology, suggests that inhaling the vaporized flavored liquids in e-cigarettes is not without consequences, at least on the level of epithelial cell gene expression - the critical process by which our genes give rise to proteins important for various functions in cells. (More)


(Not) Sex

Why I organized a 'no bra day' at my high school

Image:  Kaitlyn Juvik of Helena high school in Montana. Photograph: Courtesy of Kaitlyn Juvik, via TheGuardian.com.

I was told my going bra-less made male students and staff uncomfortable and that I’m an attention seeker. But this is about ending double standards for girls

By Kaitlyn Juvik, as told to Sam Levin
The Guardian

17 June 2016 — I was leaving my fourth period class at Helena high school in Montana, getting ready to go to lunch with a friend when one of my vice-principals stopped me in the hallway.

“Did you forget something today?” she said. “I need to talk to you about your inappropriate attire.”

It was 25 May. At the time, I was wearing a black T-shirt that was off the shoulder, which is not against the school’s dress code. So I was surprised when the vice-principal asked me if I had forgotten an article of clothing.

“No,” I responded, confused.

“Are you wearing a bra?” she continued.

“No,” I replied.  (More)


Science

NASA to use Curiosity rover

to sample the water on Mars

Image: Photo of Mars Curiosity Rover, via Blastr.com.

By Trent Moore
Blastr.com
 
27 June 2016 — After figuring out those strange stains on the slopes of Mars might actually be remnants of water, NASA is retasking the Curiosity rover to check them out and gather some samples. The perks of already having some tech on the Red Planet, right?
 
NASA used data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to determine that the stains on the slopes are what researchers call recurring slope line (RSL). Aviation Week reports the space agency is planning to send the Curiosity to a slope near its current location, two gullies near the 2.4-mile-high Mount Sharp the rover is currently exploring. (More)
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US satellite started transmitting 46 years after being abandoned in 1967

Image: Photo of technician with LES1 satelitte, via Mars Curiosity Rover, via TheVintageNews.com.
TheVintageNews.com
 
12 June 2016 — An American satellite, abandoned in 1967 as a piece of Space Junk has begun transmitting again after 46 years.
 
Lincoln Experimental Satellite refers to a series of satellites designed and built by Lincoln Laboratory at MIT between 1965 and 1976, under USAF sponsorship, for testing devices and techniques for satellite communication.
 
The series had satellites named LES1 through LES9. They suffered a number of launch problems – LES1 and LES2 were supposed to be delivered to the same 2800 x 15000 km orbit, though a failure of a boost stage left LES1 in a 2800 km circular orbit. LES3 and LES4 were intended to be delivered to geostationary orbit, but a launch problem left them in their transfer orbit. All these satellites returned useful results despite the incorrect orbits. LES 5, 6, 8 and 9 ended up successfully in geostationary orbit; the project that would have been LES-7 ran out of funding and was cancelled. (More)

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