December 2015

'Let's you and him fight!'

Image: Nato member Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border, threatening a major spike in tensions between two key protagonists in the four-year Syria civil war. (AFP)

Turkey spurs East/West confrontation in Syria

While ISIS fights to hold its savage 'caliphate'

Europe joins U.S. in slashing citizens' liberties

Turkey yields and provides honour guard

of Russian pilot on way home through Turkey

Click here for a True North Perspective special section:

The Paris attacks - war comes (home) to the West

François Hollande's 'war' with ISIS won't stand

in the way of France's arms deals with Saudi Arabia

Image: Detail of photo of French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech during an exceptional joint gathering of both of the French houses of parliament (Getty, via The Independent).

Despite President François Hollande's huffing and puffing about war the spiritual mentors of the terrorists, in Saudi Arabia, will be left untouched

By Robert Fisk
The Independent
17 November 2015 — The country which lent its Sunni-Wahhabi creed to the ISIS killers of Paris will care nothing for François Hollande’s huffing and puffing about war. The Saudis have heard it all before, this New World Order stuff, way back in 1991 when George W Bush dreamed up the sub-Hitlerian expression for the Middle East he thought he could produce: an oasis of peace, a place of weaponless wealth in which swords would be turned into ploughshares – or at least into bigger oil tankers and longer pipelines.
The Saudis are far too busy blowing up bits of Yemen in their crazed war against the Shia Houthis to worry about the Sunni-Wahhabi crazies of ISIS. Their enemy remains America’s new best friend – Shia Iran – and they are as keen as ever to dethrone the Alawite-Shia President of Syria, even if ISIS is in the front line against Bashar al-Assad. They know that French foreign policy has favoured Saudi trade as fervently as it once opposed the Iranian nuclear agreement – and that billions of dollars’ worth of US military supplies will still flow to the kingdom despite their countrymen’s links to the cult which destroyed 130 lives in Paris. (More)

From the Desk of Frances Sedgwick, Contributing Editor

Ottawa Raging Grannies circulate Arab apology

for the lethal Paris attacks on 13 November 2015


Sorry! A long-awaited apology

By Roua Naboulsi

Image: Graduation photo of Roua Naboulsi, via her Twitter page.What happened in Paris last night was awful. I stayed up late following the news in disbelief and I am so sorry to anyone who has been affected by these horrible attacks. The international community has responded, as expected, by showing their unwavering solidarity with Paris.

The night before that, a bomb went off in my country, Lebanon, killing 43 people. No one prayed for us. No one kept us in their thoughts. No world leaders made late-night statements about us. No one changed their profile pictures. There was no hashtag. No option to be "marked as safe" by Facebook. Just silence.

Syria has suffered more than can be quantified in words and distilled into a Facebook status. They get nothing. Just more silence.

73 Palestinians were killed by Israel in October alone. Silence. (More)

Paris is being used to justify agendas

that had nothing to do with the attack

Image:  In a show of solidarity with Paris in the wake of the attack, the Flatiron Building in New York City pays tribute to the Eiffel Tower. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian.

The Paris attackers weren’t Syrian, and they didn’t use encryption, but the U.S. government is still using the carnage to justify attempts to ban them both

By Trevor Timm
The Guardian
20 November 2015 — The aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks has now devolved into a dark and dishonest debate about how we should respond: let’s ban encryption, even though there’s no evidence the terrorists used it to carry out their crime, and let’s ban Syrian refugees, even though the attackers were neither.
It’s hard to overstate how disgusting it has been to watch, as proven-false rumors continue to be the basis for the entire political response, and technology ignorance and full-on xenophobia now dominate the discussion.
First, there’s the loud “we need to ban encryption” push that immediately spawned hundreds of articles and opinions strongly pushed by current and former intelligence officials the day or two after the attacks, despite the government quietly admitting there was no evidence that the attackers used encryption to communicate. It was a masterful PR coup. (More)

U.S. Congresswoman, two-term Iraq vet, and National

Guard Major, says U.S. should stop illegal war in Syria

Hilary's No-Fly idea would repeat Libya's bloodbath, terrorist power

See video HERE or below

UN: All sides of Libya conflict committing war crimes

All sides in Libya’s conflict are committing breaches of international law that may amount to war crimes, the UN said on Monday. The alleged war crimes include abductions, torture and killing of civilians, the joint report by the UN human rights office and UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) said, as cited by Reuters. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) forces have gained and consolidated control over swaths of territory, “committing gross abuses including public summary executions of individuals based on their religion or political allegiance,” according to the document. Libya is locked in a conflict between two rival governments, four years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

Crimea launches probe to nail culprits for blackout

Considered sabotage, guilty face 20 years in prison


Image: Photo of Chief Crimean prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya.25 November 2015 — The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) is investigating the recent bombings of the Ukrainian power grid that have led to blackouts in the Crimean Republic, Chief Crimean Prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya has told reporters.

She said that the FSB had started the criminal investigation under the article ‘sabotage’ in the Russian Federation constitution. This crime carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. 


    Chief Prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya

Earlier, Poklonskaya said that the FSB had started the probe at the prosecutor's request, and that she would still control the investigation in her role as the Chief Prosecutor of the Crimean Republic. (More)

Austrian ISIS 'poster girl' beaten to death

after trying to flee extremist group – reports

Image: Detail of photo of Samra Kesinovic, by via

Samra Kesinovic, 17, was beaten to death by ISIS thugs for trying to escape


25 November 2015 — A teenage girl who ran away from her home in Austria to join Islamic State in Syria has been beaten to death after trying to escape from the group, according to Austrian media. The girl traveled to the war-torn nation with her friend last year.

Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung reported that Samra Kesinovic, 17, was beaten to death by members of the violent extremist group as she tried to flee the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa. (More)

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

While President Barack Obama forgives two turkeys

Americans told what they really have to be thankful for


Religious children are meaner than

their secular counterparts, study finds


Spain issues arrest warrant

for 'War Criminal Netanyahu'


ISIS financed from 40 countries

including G20 members: Putin


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. 11, No. 01 (361)
December 2015

Editor's Notes

Scorned by allies, Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama

is now fumbling his seventh war in the Middle East

Against his background of rule by gun Obama wimps for gun control

Image: True North Perspective Editor and Publisher Carl Dow. Photo by the Phantom Phographer.

1 December 2015 — Barack Obama, the President of Hope in 2008 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace soon after he was elected. As reported in True North Perspective in our November edition, the Nobel Committee decided that the award would lend Obama strength to fulfill his promises.
But it was not long before Obama proved himself the President of Betrayal as he poured thousands of fresh troops into the Middle East wars of his predecessor, George W. Bush. (More)


Thanks for helping people think!!

Geneviève Hone
Ottawa Canada

Thanks  to you for your  superb "lead" article on Syria in the Septmber edition.

Anyone who has a grasp of the situation there has all my respect, and I look forward to reading it more throughly.

Indeed the whole TNP edition looks great. Food for thought as always.

Love how you "afflict the comfortable"

Author's name withheld by request
Toronto Ontario

An open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

on Harper's Conservative ideological monument

14 November 2015

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
Anita Vandenbeld, MP Ottawa West-Nepean

I am writing with a deep concern about the proposed Monument to the Victims of Communism. There appears to be an assumption that the majority of Canadians are in favour of the monument, and just want it in a less wildly inappropriate location. I think this is a position that many people took publicly during the Harper Government, in the belief that there was no way it would be cancelled altogether but it might get downgraded and moved to be a bit less offensive.

Now with a new Liberal Government of Canada it is time to can the idea altogether.

I can think of no reason beyond Conservative ideology to spend millions of dollars of public money on such a project. Rather than enhancing the image of Canada, as reflected in our capital city, of a democratic and open-minded society, it projects an image of right-wing, close-minded dedication to a very selective version of our history. Many Canadians came here fleeing tyranny, Fascism and totalitarianism, including my family, but that is not what I would want to be memorialized. Our memorials should be inspirational, showcasing our heroes for the next generations, not vindictive. I believe this to be the opinion of the majority of Canadians, let alone citizens of Ottawa who would have to live with this thing in our midst every day.

I look forward to an open and transparent discussion of these issues, and the actual amount of public funds (including the value of the public land to be used) involved.

Cathleen Kneen
Ottawa Canada
Ontario Health Coalition meeting hears horror stories

I went to the annual assembly and planning meeting of the Ontario Health Coalition in Toronto the weekend of November 21-22.

This two-day gathering brought together about 100 from around Ontario representing local health coalitions, almost every one of whom spoke at one time or another, and for me it was striking that over the two days there was not one comment with which I was not in general agreement!

These were strongly motivated and involved people who were both well informed and aggravated about some aspect of our Ontario health care 'system' and of a range of ages with quite a few retirees and many folk who work in health care now.

Too many horror stories were heard about how people in need of care got poorly dealt with — likely the origin of the commitment shown to try to change things for the better.

We heard from many that privatization is the problem and profit-based 'care' must not continue!

It seems to me that we all must work to get this situation changed, so I urge you to find your local health coalition and work with others to make our ’system’ serve all of us and stop enriching private owners.

As many stated, health is a non-partisan issue so we can ally with some folk who we might not usually think of as allies.

Lets get working!

Nick Aplin
Ottawa, Canada

Paris Conference on Climate Change

Alberta sets tone on climate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to the first ministers meeting Monday. Photo by Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press, via The Winnipeg Free Press.

Notley saves Trudeau's bacon

By Mia Rabson
The Winnipeg Free Press

27 November 2015, OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave Alberta Premier Rachel Notley a hug on Monday, the same as he did most other premiers as they arrived for a first ministers meeting on climate change in Ottawa.

But Trudeau owes Notley more than a hug. That's because the rookie NDP Alberta premier saved Trudeau's bacon ahead of the upcoming United Nations climate change conference in Paris, which starts Monday.Because of her work, Canada will have new concrete, climate change action to present at the conference. A day before the first ministers meeting, Notley unveiled an Alberta-specific plan that includes a cap on oilsands emissions, an economy-wide carbon tax and a phasing out of coal-fired power plants. (More)

The Binkley Report

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

Grandma's advice stands the test of time

To convince, use more honey less vinegar

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Remember your grandmother’s advice about catching more flies with honey than vinegar?

Bruce Anderson, a respected Ottawa lobbyist and pollster, has a version of that advice for proponents of everything from infrastructure projects to modern agriculture that stresses environmental improvement and sustainability.                                 Image: Cover of Humanity's Saving Grace, a novel by Alex Binkley. Click to purchase at

In recent presentations to conferences sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation in North America and Grow Canada, he urged proponents of major new infrastructure projects or new agriculture techniques to talk positively about the potential benefits or outcome. The majority believe that economic growth can become green and that everyone has a role to play.

Tell the public what’s involved in the new project or technique and what’s in it for them, Anderson said. Most importantly, respond to opponents’ objections with facts rather than belittling their position and ideas. In other words, don’t act like too many governments and corporations do these days with their attack dog mentality. (More)

The Binkley Report

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

Gerry Ritz was unique in Harper's cabinet

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

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

Gerry Ritz will be a tough act to follow as agriculture minister. During his eight years in the portfolio, he flew around the globe more times than anyone can count promoting Canadian farm and food products.

He was tireless in trying to convince the agriculture and food sectors to act like partners in one of Canada’s most significant industries. He was well respected among farm organizations as well as the myriad of organizations involved in the food and beverage sector.

Despite his accomplishments and the support he gathered in the agri-food sector, he rarely received the credit he deserved from his own government.

After all he did to promote the would-be Canada-Europe free trade deal, he wasn’t included in the herd of ministers who announced its completion. He did get more recognition for his efforts during the Trans-Pacific Partnership marathon. (More)

From the Desk of Dennis Carr,  LEED® AP,  Sustainable Development Editor

Oslo moves to ban cars from city centre within four years

Proposed ban on private vehicles is part of a plan to slash

greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels

Image: Detail of photo of downtown Oslo’s prioritised bike lane with red tarmac, bus lane and a congested lane of ordinary traffic. Photograph: Grethe Ulgjell/Alamy

By Katie Herzog

20 October 2015 — Oslo’s new leftist city government said Monday it wants to ban private cars from the city centre by 2019 as part of a plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The Labour Party and its allies the Socialist Left and the Green Party, winners of the 14 September municipal elections in the Norwegian capital, presented a platform focused on the environment and the fight against climate change.

The programme envisages a ban on private vehicles in the city centre which, according to the Verdans Gang newspaper, is home to only about 1,000 people but where some 90,000 work.

The new city government did not give details of how the plan would be implemented.

But the proposal has sparked concerns among local businessmen, who noted that 11 of the city’s 57 shopping centres are in the planned car-free zone. (More)

Canada's dairy industry at risk

The TPP and the high cost of 'cheap'

Image: Detail of photo of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key holding a box of milk in Hanoi, Vietnam this month. High temperature treatment, which gives milk a shelf life of up to a year, has helped make milk into a global commodity and New Zealand a major exporter. (Reuters, via

Cheap milk may have a higher price than Canadians want to pay

By Don Pittis
CBC News
27 November 2015 — As hugely profitable companies from Bell to the banks continue to lay off employees in a quest to squeeze out higher profits, it is a reminder that market driven efficiency, including in Canada's dairy industry, can have a dark side.
So far it appears supply managed agriculture has escaped its worst fears. Nonetheless, commentary on various free trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership — which would sacrifice Canadian supply management — usually comes down on the side of lower prices on supermarket shelves.
It may indeed be that a pure free market system for food production would result in lower prices. But in the rush to condemn, the advantages of managed markets in agriculture have often been forgotten.
International evidence reminds us we should understand what we are losing before we decide to erode a system that has worked well for Canadians. (More)

From the desk of Carl Hall, Alberta Editor

New Alberta safety legislation to cover

farm and ranch workers, ensure safe workplaces

Image: Screenshot of farmer via Edmonton Journal.

By Jodie Sinnema
Edmonton Journal

November 18 2015 — New sweeping farm safety legislation proposed by Alberta’s NDP government will give farm and ranch workers the same rights and safety protection offered to all other workers in the province.

The Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, tabled in the legislature Tuesday 17 November, will require all farms and ranches to follow basic occupational health and safety regulations starting 1 January 2016, with specific details to be hammered out at five public town halls across the province in November and December.

The new legislation will mean farmers and ranchers must provide safe work conditions and training to everyone doing any commercial work — not regular farm chores — on their property, including children, unpaid workers, friends and family. (More)

Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Image: Detail of photo of women at praryer in memory of victims of Paris attacks. Photo provided by the author.

Going forward

With hope and confidence in uncertain times

How to defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized. Don’t let it rule your life. Even if you’re scared.”     (Salmon Rushdie)

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

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-Sinclair1 December 2015 — I was at a dinner and dance on Friday 13 November. We were celebrating the first anniversary of our group with good company, good food, singing and dancing. To the sound of the accordion, we even sang some old French favourites and held hands while we circled around the room.

When I left at the end of the evening, I listened to one of my favourite CDs and sang “I won’t give up” with Jason Mraz although my voice was a little hoarse by then. Sleep came easily that night but my wake-up call was distressing. My clock-radio came on with news of the terrorist attacks in Paris. Three terrorist groups had launched extremely brutal attacks in six different places, the worst massacre occurring at the Bataclan where a rock concert was being held. The terrorists, connected to ISIL, also targeted a soccer stadium and four nightspots. In the aftermath, 129 people died and more than 360 were injured. Paris was in shock! (More)

Spirit Quest

Reverend Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan is seriously ill

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

1 December 2015 — Reverend Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan is seriously ill and therefore unable to write his cherished column.

We urge those who do, to pray for his recovery.

We hope that he may rally against what may be considered impossible odds.

Most sincerely,

Carl Dow, Editor and Pubisher.

From the Desk of Jo Wood, Raging Granny, Ottawa

Diab extradition case begins new chapter in France

Ottawa sociology professor extradited on flimsy evidence

Image: Photo of protesters supporting Hassan Diab, via the Hassan Diab Documentary Project.
By Matthew Behrens
True North Perspective special

Matthew Behrens is a freelance writer and social justice advocate who coordinates the Homes not Bombs non-violent direct action network. His column Taking Liberties examines connections between national security and civil liberties. Behrens has worked closely with the targets of Canadian and U.S. "national security" profiling for many years.

1 December 2015 — The long-running extradition saga of Ottawa sociology professor Dr. Hassan Diab — sought by French authorities for a 1980 crime he did not commit — took a dramatic turn a year ago when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear his final appeal to stay in Canada.

Although Canada had 45 days to forcibly remove him to France, Dr. Diab was hustled out of the Ottawa Detention Centre and whisked away less than 48 hours later, denied a previously scheduled opportunity to bid goodbye to his pregnant wife, Rania, and baby daughter, Jena. (More)

Mexico roundup by Isabella Tandutella, Contributing Editor, Mexico City

Mexico's bloodbath that won't stop: Gangsters kill

thousands, including 5 corrupt police commanders

Image: Detail of photo of man shot in street in Mexico by Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty via

By Jason McGahan
The Daily Beast

This is a joint investigation with the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

25 November 2015 — When the French tricolor on Facebook became ubiquitous after mass murder in Paris, thousands of Mexican users responded with a reminder of a lesser-known war in their own country. In the image, the Mexican flag is draped, translucent, over the gruesome portrait of a Mexican mother and her two small children slain execution-style in the southern state of Guerrero.

Their bodies are splayed on a gravel path in a rural setting. The mother’s eyes remain open. The infant boy lies face down on her lap. The girl, a skinny 7-year-old in pink flip-flops, is sprawled at her feet.

“Let’s see how many Mexicans make this flag their profile pic,” reads a comment on one Facebook post that has been shared more than 15,000 times. (More)


We can't do this without you

Thanks to all of you who have answered our call

We need every penny we can get to continue publishing

Please click the link above to make a secure donation

Or send a cheque or money order to:

Carl Dow, True North Perspective
Station E, P.O. Box 4814
Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9

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

From the Desk of Nick Aplin, Contributing Editor

Labour leader Corbyn sullies the memory of Tony Blair‏

London, England — Outrage gripped the nation as the proud legacy left by Britain’s greatest wartime leader was wilfully ignored by Imam, Jeremy Corbyn.  Lamentation was heard as the so-called Leader of the Opposition seemed to forget the pride Tony Blair had given the UK through his successful military intervention in Iraq; which brought stability, happiness and ‘all the shrapnel you can eat’ to the region.

Heckles resounded throughout the House of Commons, as Corbyn stubbornly refused to follow David Cameron along Mr. Blair’s well-trodden ‘path to peace’ – historically known as ‘another aimless war in the Middle East’. (More)


British airstrikes in Syria destroy suspected IS postbox

Following the Commons vote to deploy air strikes against the so-called Islamic State group, the Royal Air Force have successfully destroyed a postbox probably used by the terrorists in their stronghold, Ramadi.

The target was described as of ‘strategic significance’ by the Ministry of Defence, whose remit has been to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. The postbox is just one of several high priority targets on the RAF’s radar, which also includes terrorists’ bicycles, allotments and garden furniture. (More)


Leeds, England, beer drinkers learn that shouting won't

stop flood waters so order a pint instead and drink wet

Image: Photo of two men sitting at flooded picknick table enjoying pints of beer.

BBC Newsbeat
16 November 2015 — After the outside of their pub flooded in Leeds, there was only one thing to do for John Kelly and Steve Holt...
Embrace the rain, get wet. and have a pint.
"The water came in pretty quickly and pretty heavily and once we realised, Steve (the pub's owner) drove off to get some sandbags," the manager of the Kirkstall Bridge Inn tells Newsbeat.
"I stood and shouted at the water but it didn't seem to do much." (More)

An English husband went to the police station to report that his wife was missing...

Husband: My wife is missing. She went shopping yesterday and has not come home...
Sergeant: What is her height?
Husband: Gee, I’m not sure. About five-feet four.
Sergeant: Weight?
Husband: Don’t know. Not slim, not really fat.
Sergeant: Colour of eyes?
Husband: Never really noticed, brown or green.
Sergeant: Colour of hair?
Husband: Changes a couple times a year. Maybe dark brown.
Sergeant: What was she wearing?
Husband: Usually a skirt or slacks and a blouse or polo top. I don’t remember exactly.
Sergeant: What kind of car did she go in?
Husband: She took my sports coupe.
Sergeant: What kind of sports coupe was it?

Husband: Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG 7G-Tronic finished In Magnetite Black Metallic with Black Soft-Leather Electrically Adjustable and Heated AMG Front Sport Seats with Memory; Brushed Aluminium trim with Piano Black Cappings; Unmarked 19" AMG Multispoke Alloy Wheels; Tyre Pressure Monitoring; Panoramic Glass Electric Tilt/Slide Sunroof; COMAND Online with HDD Wide Screen Satellite Navigation; Bluetooth Telephone Connectivity; Multi-Media Interface for MP3, Ipod etc; Superb Sound System With DAB and Harman-Kardon Sound Upgrade; Leather Trimmed AMG Multi-Function Steering Wheel with Paddle Shift; Parktronic Front and Rear Parking Sensors; Parking Assist; Attention Assist; Speed Limit Assist; Electrically adjustable, heated door Mirrors with Powerfold; Electrically Adjustable Steering Column; Bi-Xenon Headlights with Powerwash and Auto Activation; LED Daytime Running Lights; Cruise Control; Rear Privacy Glass; AMG Carpet Overmats...

At this point the husband starts choking up.....

Sergeant: Don’t worry, mate. We’ll find your car...

Classic Christmas Quiz

How Rudolph almost didn't get his name

By Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

Mark Kearney of London, Ont. and Randy Ray of Ottawa are the authors of nine books about Canada, with best-seller sales of more than 50,000. Their Web site is:

Big Book of Canadian Trivia coverQuestions

1) True or false? The poinsettia plant, a favorite at Christmas, was named for a Dr. Poinsett.
2. The original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, was believed to be born in the fourth century in what is now this country?

a) Sweden   b) The Netherlands   c) Turkey   d) Czechoslovakia   e) The Soviet  Union

3. Robert May, an advertising copywriter for the Montgomery Ward department store, came up with the tale of a Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Before he settled on Rudolph what two other names were suggested?

a) Rollo and Reginald   b) Roscoe and Randy   c) Robin and Roland   d) Rufus and Rupert



 Randy Ray, publicist / speaker agent / author
 (613) 425-3873 - (613) 816-3873 (c)

O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is one of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

In 1775 London called us the Quebec province

While the American rebels called us Canadians

The objective of the American military campaign, control of the British province of Quebec, was frequently referred to as "Canada" in 1775. For example, the authorization by the Second Continental Congress to General Philip Schuyler for the campaign included language that, if it was "not disagreeable to the Canadians", to "immediately take possession of St. John's, Montreal, and any other parts of the Country", and to "pursue any other measures in Canada" that might "promote peace and security" of the colonies.

Even relatively modern history books covering the campaign in detail refer to it as Canada in their titles. The territory that Britain called Quebec was in large part the French province of Canada until 1763, when France ceded it to Britain in the 1763 Treaty of Paris, which formally ended the French and Indian War.

As noted in a  previous edition of True North Perspective, this first invasion of a foreign country by the Americans suffered a dismal failure. The Canadians firmly objected to American plans. The Americans went home after losses at Montreal and Quebec City.

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
Your support makes it possible for True North to clear the fog of "publicity" and keep you informed on what's really happening in the world today. Please send your donation to:
Carl Dow, True North, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9.
Or use our new Paypal system! Just click the secure link below —
and if you're paying by credit card, you don't need a PayPal account to make a donation!


Writing is hard work and writers like Kevin Dooley

have developed their own techniques to ease the pain

By Carl Dow

Image: Cover of A Dog's Breakfast, by Kevin Dooley. Click to buy at Chapters/Indigo.01 December 2015 — Allan Paivio, world renowned London, Ontario, psychologist, published two hundred articles and book chapters, and five major books on subjects with emphasis on such as nonverbal and verbal information being stored separately in long-term memory. Together it stands as a highly respected monumental work, and he wrote all of it while standing up at the equivalent of a pulpit.

Local author, musician, and community activist Kevin Dooley with his most recent novel, “A Dog’s Breakfast” at the book’s launch November 8, at Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Pub on Wellington West. Photo by Lorrie Marlow.Dalton Trumbo, one of the most prolific and successful Hollywood screenwriters, who even won Oscars while writing under pseudonyms after being blacklisted during the McCarthy lunacy, would write while sitting in a full bathtub whenever he suffered from the proverbial writer's block. He would set a writing pad on a board and produce brilliant scripts.

So Ottawa's Kevin Dooley ranks with the great when we learn that in this day and age he writes the first draft of his novels in pencil, and the second by pen and ink.

We are happy to report that Kevin Dooley has just published his fourth novel A Dog's Breakfast and we link you to a review as it appeared in NEWSWEST On-line (HERE) and you can buy it (HERE).

Change of Venue

The Ottawa Canada Celtic Folk Night, featuring Kevin Dooley

has moved to

The Heart and Crown Club

353 Preston Street, Ottawa

Every Wednesday evening at 7

Media Watch

Attacking a hospital is a war crime

Unless your side launches the attack

U.S. journalists instantly exonerated their government of the Kunduz Hospital attack, declaring it an 'Accident'

 Image: Detail of photo of two men speaking on behalf of Medecins sans frontieres, via TheIntercept.
By Glenn Greewald
The Intercept
6 November 2015 — Shortly after the news broke of the U.S. attack on a Doctors without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, there was abundant evidence suggesting (not proving, but suggesting) that the attack was no accident: (1) MSF repeatedly told the U.S. military about the precise coordinates of its hospital, which had been operating for years; (2) the Pentagon’s story about what happened kept changing, radically, literally on a daily basis; (3) the exact same MSF hospital had been invaded by Afghan security forces three months earlier, demonstrating hostility toward the facility; (4) the attack lasted more than 30 minutes and involved multiple AC-130 gunship flyovers, even as MSF officials frantically pleaded with the U.S. military to stop; and, most compellingly of all, (5) Afghan officials from the start said explicitly that the hospital was a valid and intended target due to the presence of Taliban fighters as patients. (More)

Why the media can't tell the truth

about the lies told by Donald Trump

Image: The Donald, as Pinnoccio. Detail of photo-illustration by  Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast.
By Ben Collins
The Daily Beast

24 November 2015 — The Donald is ‘controversial’ but never flat-out wrong in the press, because it cares more about being ‘fair’ and ‘objective’ than anything else.

On Sunday afternoon (22 November), Donald Trump retweeted an objective lie. The lie claimed that 81 percent of murdered white people are killed by black people. In truth, 84 percent of murdered white people are murdered by other white people, almost the exact opposite the claim. Not only were the statistics wrong, but the tweet cited the “Crime Statistics Bureau—San Francisco.”

This organization doesn’t exist. (More)

Another money is possible

Will the ScotPound succeed as a parallel currency?

Image: Detail of illustration of potential currency, the ScotPound, via

By Steve Rushton
26 November 2015 - Many people think money makes the world go around, or the global economy at least. They consider it in a similar way that gravity holds the planet in orbit. But this is simply not fact. Money’s creation is no law of nature.
The vast majority of money is created as debt when private banks issue loans. The U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England admit this point. Replicated by most currencies, 97% of U.K. £-Sterling is created by private banks. The Bank of England only creates 3% of Sterling as coins and notes.
This monetary system, as we're aware, serves the rich: not only can they make money for nothing, but they then charge interest on top. It's no wonder seven of the world's 10 largest corporations are banks or financial institutions. The way inequality is woven into the system begs the question. How could we create money to serve the 99%? (More)

While Canadians are cheered by an El Nino warm winter

Much of the world may face floods, famine, and sickness

Image: Marilyn Lane tries to shut a door as a wave rushes into her Solimar Beach home during a January 1998 storm. Detail of photo by Alan Hagman/Los Angeles Times, via

By Monte Morin
Los Angeles Times

22 November 2015 — A fog of suffocating smoke settles over the Indonesian countryside, sickening hundreds of thousands of people and triggering an environmental crisis.

In Peru, officials abandon plans to host the lucrative Dakar Rally and prepare instead for torrential rains and devastating floods.

And in Ethiopia, crops perish for lack of seasonal rain as United Nations officials warn of imminent famine.

Although many Californians hope forecasts of a "Godzilla" El Niño will deliver drought-busting rains this winter, mention of the mysterious climate phenomenon inspires dread in much of the world. (More)

Health Watch

Cuba leading eradication of HIV/AIDS, UN says

First country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis

Image: Detail of photo of person tying a red ribbon, via
13 November 2015 — Cuba is an example for the world to follow on how to eradicate AIDS, the executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS said Friday.
"We are very proud of what Cuba has done in the fight against HIV/AIDS," said dirctoy Michel Sidibe, upon his visit to the Caribbean island. He further recognized the success of its “social approach” to confronting the illness, which has allowed Cuba to achieve important results and become the “vanguard” of public health care.
In June this year Cuba became the first country in the world to be recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. (More)


Scientists develop 'nanopores'

that inexpensively filter the salt out of seawater

Image: Illustration of a nanofilter, via

By Peter Dockrill
12 November 2015 — There's filtration and then there's filtration. Engineers in the US have been working on the latter, coming up with a new markedly more energy-efficient way of taking the salt out of seawater, which could deliver huge advantages in terms of providing people with access to drinking water and help combat problems like drought.
The researchers have developed a material that allows high volumes of water to pass through extremely tiny holes called ‘nanopores' while blocking salt and other contaminants. The material they're using – a nanometre-thick sheet of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) riddled with these nanopore holes – is the most efficient of a number of thin-film membranes that the engineers modelled, filtering up to 70 percent more water than graphene. (More)

Canada's scientists can speak freely again, so I called a few up

Image: Photo of two people watching ice-floes from the deck of a research vessel. Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr, via Vice Motherboard.

By Stephen Buranyi
12 November 2015 — Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was only sworn on November 4, but his government has already taken steps to address one of its predecessor’s most toxic legacies: the so called “muzzling” of government scientists.
Last Friday, scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada reported that they had been told they were allowed to speak to the media about their research without restrictions. And later in the day the newly appointed Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, suggested that the restrictive policies of the previous government were ending.

If things are really changing, we should be able to hear it from the scientists themselves — so I called scientists in several government departments who were at the center of muzzling controversies over the past ten years. In many cases it was the first time they’ve been able to speak about their research and experiences publicly since the previous government came into power in 2006. (More)