Mission Statement True North is for opinion makers

"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.

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Take care, beware, dont go near that thing on Friday . . . theres a gouger lurking, with a very greedy eye on your hard-earned money.



From the Desk of Rosaleen Dickson, Contributing Editor

Freelancers speaking out against
CanWest contract to restrict pay

"Fed-up and not going to take it any more," freelance journalists all over Canada are in an uproar over the contract they have been asked to sign with CanWest MediaWorks. — 342 words.

Editor’s Notes

Background on new department for True North

About three years ago, I was coerced by Randy Ray into joining an outfit called Ottawa Independent Writers (OIW). Randy Ray is a first string journalist with a national reputation and co-author of a string of best selling books. His work has been promoted in True North almost since we began publishing. I didn’t want to join OIW because I imagined it would be a collection of would-be writers who would write very little and then sit around talking about it. I was wrong. — 384 words.

While the jury’s still out on the missing bicycle wrench
Judge Harold Wright waxes nostalgic about entertainment

Now it’s Hollywood Squares

If you remember the Original Hollywood Squares game show and its comics, this may bring a tear to your eyes. These great questions and answers are from the days when the game show's responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course. — 346 words.

Health Watch

At-home sleep apnea tests sanctioned by U.S. sleep authority

Portable tests to diagnose sleep apnea have been approved for home use by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. — 265 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Hydrogen powered cars are closer than we think

At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Japanese automaker Mazda is exhibiting a new environmentally-friendly minivan called the Mazda5 Hydrogen RE Hybrid. This model is largely based on the regular Mazda5 as we know it. Currently under development, it's scheduled to begin leasing later this year. — 389 words.

Interesting historical notes … by George Laidlaw

George Laidlaw is a novelist and President of the Ottawa Independent Writers.

How the new Roman god Ridiculous stopped Hannibal

Do you know that the word Ridiculous is the name of an ancient Roman god created by a desperate Roman city in a fight to stop Hannibal? — 350 words.

From the Desk of West Coast Editor Wendy Asman

Humour from the land of Subprime

click above for video

Analysis by the Economist:

George Bush and the Arabs — Hard to make friends

From The Economist print edition
January 17, 2008

Few Arabs are in the mood to give Mr Bush the benefit of their doubt

DURING half a century of American engagement with the Arab world, American presidents have tended to get nicer to the Arabs towards the end of their term, when they have less to lose at home by doing so. With his Middle East tour, George Bush has stuck to that rule. The difference is that, with America's failure to sort out Iraq or make peace between Israelis and Palestinians or to persuade Muslims that the war on terror is not unfairly directed at themselves, no other president has had to control quite so much damage. — 750 words.

Look who’s bailing out Wall Street

Communist China among world’s biggest lenders
providing massive capital infusions in rescue bid

By Grace Wong staff writer — 335 words

Scramble for cash

Devastated by tightening credit markets and the mortgage mess, Wall Street firms have sent out an S.O.S.  — 335 words.

China not cutting loose from the U.S. economy
‘American recovery is vital to Chinese exports’

BEIJING — China's central bank on Sunday poured cold water on the idea that the country's economy will cut loose from the United States. — 321 words.

Istanbul’s female dervishes are dividing Muslims

In Turkey women crowding men
out of their role as dancing girls

Report and photos by Iason Athanasiadis
In a cultural centre in Istanbul's Fatih district, nine Mevlevi dervishes, clad in the distinctive long gowns of their mystical order, revolve rhythmically in a sacred dance. — 835 words.

Intimacy video spurs concern about privacy

Kissing couple to sue Shanghai metro over video made public

SHANGHAI — A couple videotaped kissing and hugging at a metro station is to sue the Shanghai Metro Co for allowing the video to be broadcast on the Internet, the Oriental Morning Post reported Monday. — 337 words.

North Americans need to look beyond the headlines on Venezuela

‘In Venezuela, the economy (real GDP) has grown by 87 percent since the government got control over its national oil industry in early 2003; poverty has been cut by half, most of the country has access to free health care, and educational enrollment has risen sharply.’ — 632 words.

U.S. is top purveyor on weapons sales list
as shipments increase to unstable areas

By Bryan Bender
Bosston Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show. — 1,179 words.

First European team sport involved
thousands in a bloody free-for-all

By Dominic Sutherland
BBC Timewatch

Think of a jousting tournament and you're likely to think of gleaming knights, splintered lances and well-dressed countesses - the triumph of good over evil, the polite ritual displays of arms at a joust. But while jousting was popular in medieval Europe, it originated as the curtain-opener to a far more brutal affair. — 985 words.

After listening carefully to Martin Luther King
LBJ made a promise … and kept his word

By Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers Journal
Friday 18 January 2008 — 961 words.

American nuclear negotiator give
‘personal reasons’ for resignation

WASHINGTON — Nicholas Burns, key negotiator for the India-U.S nuclear deal, has decided to quit the Bush administration for what has been described as personal reasons. — 154 words.

Eneergy crisis finally reaches
the presidential campaign trail

By Nick Hodge
Energy and Capisal

Well, it's official. It's now kosher to discuss how partisanship will affect different sectors of the market in the face of an election year. It all started on January 4, when Reuters ran a story called "Energy Crisis? Not on U.S. Campaign Trail." — 827 words.

New web site may be path to success
for authors, publishers, and companies

Prolific best-selling Ottawa author and publicist Randy Ray has developed a new Web site to promote his publicity services, which he offers to authors, publishers and companies.  Mr. Ray has helped many clients get their message out across Canada on CTV, CBC Radio, CH-TV, A-Channel and Global TV, and in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, Halifax Herald and many Ottawa-area weekly newspapers.  Mr. Ray's eb site is:  He can be contacted at: (613) 731-3873 or

Harold Wright, Doctor of Punology, and his colleague George Carlin succinctly deal with profound questions of life and living:”If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?”

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Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Yvette Pigeon, Assistant Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Contributing Editors
Rosaleen Dickson
Tom Dow
Randy Ray
Harold Wright