Friday, April 4, 2008 Vol 3 No 14 (128)
"True North is for opinion makers"
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"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
PBS journalist Bill Moyers.

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Editor’s Notes

Now then … what’s all this noise about Tibet and the Dalai Lama?
What’s that you say? ‘A middle-ages feudal-slave state until 1959?’

In this day of virtually instant communication we can be sure, even while paying little attention, to learn our geography lessons on the run.  — 676 words.

Robert Fisk in Ottawa

Veteran journalist sees no peace in the Middle East
American policy will not change with new president

‘His great passion is to report the news as he sees it to a world that often is reticent to hear the truth.’

By The Reverend Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Op-Ed Contributor  — 752 words.

A feast of prose and poetry that’s sure to stir your soul

Background on Celtic Cross in Ottawa and naming of the Corktown Bridge in honour of those who toiled and those who died in building the Rideau Canal

Mike Heenan, Literary Editor, True North Perspective

A memorial to the more than 1,000 Irish Navvies (canal workers) and their families who died building the Rideau Canal between 1826-32 was unveiled on Sunday, June 27th, 2004. The location of the monument is along the Rideau Canal - at the first lock at the Ottawa River – across the Canal from The Bytown Museum.

‘This beautiful Celtic Cross would not have come about without the determined and generous support of The Ottawa Irish Society, The Ottawa and District Labour Council and the many ‘Valley Irish’ musicians and writers who gave freely of their time and talent for fundraising Ceilis in Ottawa and throughout The Valley, — 1,223 words.

Straight talk about the Arctic

Navy convinced Ottawa that Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships
more capable to guarantee claim than armed ice breakers

By Alex Binkley
Originally in Canadian Sailings

OTTAWA – Canada’s sovereignty over its Arctic islands and waters can be a hot political issue. —  758 words.

Spirit Quest

Take time to be still and Listen

By The Reverend Hanns F. Skoutajan

It is said that there are no atheists in the trenches. Few have gone to the fields of battle or other life threatening situations without a prayer if not on their lips then in their hearts or minds. Chaplains in the forces are important and busy people.  Certainly in Afghanistan that is the case. — 699 words.

Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth

The Tibet Reality: A blood-drenched country
that was a feudal-slave state until China’s crackdown in 1959

The Dalai Lama: ‘I think of myself as half-Marxist, half-Buddhist.’

‘The younger women were delighted to be getting an education, wanted absolutely nothing to do with any religion, and wondered why Americans were so naïve [about Tibet].’ — 8,247 words.

No Sex Please, We're Tories

For Bill C-10, the C stands for censorship.

By Steve Burgess

Is Wheels of Tragedy coming back? Older folks in the crowd may remember the golden days of driver's education films that mixed reenactments ("Relax baby! Speed limits are for suckers!") with actual gory crash footage to scare young drivers. Now with the arrival of the Conservative government's Bill C-10, such films may be poised for a big revival. — 889 words.

 ‘… an idea whose time should never come.’

Ottawa Independent Writers: Bill C-10 would open doors
to wholesale censorship contrary to Canadian principles

OTTAWA — George Laidlaw, president of Ottawa Independent Writers, says his organization has called on the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce to repeal or amend Bill C-10. A letter sent to he Senate by Mr. Laidlaw says: — 710 words

Canada’s poet laureate plans meet
to celebrate National Poetry Month

John Steffler, Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate, has planned two events to celebrate National Poetry Month in Canada. — 151 words.

Travelling Cubans return home in triumph from sports victory
in England to providing medical aid to victims of  Peru quake

HAVANA — Wednesday, March 26, a 20-year-old returned home from Manchester, England, after winning a world championship cycling competition. Lisandra Guerra, 20, became the 500-metre time-trial cycling world champion in the World Track Cycling Championship held in Manchester, Great Britain, following intense competition with athletes from 37 different countries. Also returning from abroad that same day were 77 members of the Henry Reeve Contingent, a medical detachment that had gone to Peru to provide relief work immediately after the 7.9 Richter scale earthquake that caused widespread damage, loss of life, and injury 15 August 2007. — 295 words.

Why Are Global Food Prices Soaring?

Energy costs, investment in ethanol, bad weather in Australia …

By Juliet Lapidos
Editorial Assistant
Slate Magazine

The U.N. World Food Program's executive director told the Los Angeles Times that "a perfect storm" is hitting the world's hungry, as demand for aid surges while food prices skyrocket.  — 394 words.

‘The Boss of Basra’

Sadr's brief uprising bloodied Maliki
and blunted Bush's ‘defining moment’

By Robert Dreyfuss
The Nation

At the start of the military offensive launched last week into Basra by U.S. -trained Iraqi army forces, President Bush called the action by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "a bold decision." He added: "I would say this is a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq." That's true -- but not in the way the President meant it. As the smoke clears over new rubble in Iraq's second city, at the heart of Iraq's oil region, it's apparent that the big winner of the Six-Day War in Basra are the forces of rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army faced down the Iraqi armed forces not only in Basra, but in Baghdad, as well as in Kut, Amarah, Nasiriyah, and Diwaniya, capitals of four key southern provinces. — 992 words.

Venezuela bombs drug runways near Colombia border
as campaign so far this year nets 5.3 tons of cocaine

By Luis Guevara

ELORZA, Venezuelan  (Reuters) — The Venezuelan air force bombed a landing strip used to bring cocaine across the border from Colombia on Friday. A Reuters witness watched two fighter jets and a helicopter fire rockets and strafe the runway close to the border with machine gun fire to detect and destroy equipment and infrastructure used by drug cartels. — 330 words.

Cold War resumes as Russia develops non-lethal
hallucinogen bomb to combat American Gay bomb

In Russia there’s no fooling with April Fools’ Day — 551 words

Castro government lifts ban on hotels for Cuban tourists

HAVANA — Raul Castro's government opened luxury hotels and resorts to all Cubans on Monday, ending a ban despised across the island as "tourist apartheid" and taking another step toward creating a consumer economy in the communist state, —305 words.

Russia’s new president reassures country’s 40 million Internet users

‘One cannot ignore the necessity of learning the Olbanian language.’

MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia’s president-elect Dimitry Medvedev has reassured the country’s 40 million Internet users that they don’t need to fear government interference. — 313 words.

Ken Livingstone, London’s first mayor in modern times,
‘runs against himself’ in bid for third win in May election

It may come as a surprise to Western Hemisphere denizens who take voting for city and town mayors for granted that the practice is relatively new in the United Kingdom. Currently there are thirteen directly elected Mayors in England (including the Mayor of London). — 885 words.

Did you know?

Homes Quiz – by Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

For many Canadians, their home is their castle.  It’s where they spend the greatest portion of their time relaxing with friends and family, entertaining, tackling odd jobs, or sleeping.  They also spend a large chunk of their income on mortgage payments, property taxes, repairs and upgrades.

But how much do Canadians know about the homes they live in or are planning to buy?  As you tour open houses in search of your dream home this spring, or plan renovations at your existing abode, we invite you to test your knowledge of housing with our trivia quiz.. We’ll pose one question each issue here. You can find the answer at the bottom of the page. Good  luck!

Canadian Norman Breakey invented one of the following household decorating tools.  Was it:
a) the paint roller b) the paintbrush  c) the paint scraper  d) the portable paint sprayer

Randy Ray of Ottawa and Mark Kearney of London, Ont. are the authors of seven books, including Pucks, Pablum & Pingos, a Canadian trivia book to be published in April.  Visit their Web site at:

The Feds vs. the Free Markets

‘Yet now that things have gone to hell, it's suddenly time for an "all hands on deck" approach!’

The Fed is willing to slash interest rates dramatically, and throw huge helpings of money at the very same companies and individuals that helped cause the mess in the first place. And all those high-minded principles we've been hearing about — you know, like Larry Kudlow's favorite slogan: "Free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity?" They get thrown out the window in the interest of expediency.

By Mike Larson
Money and Markets

The Wall Street Journal's website — once again — pretty much summed up the current state of the housing and mortgage markets this week. — 2,514 words.

The Book End

Every Friday in this spot True North will feature a book by a Canadian writer. The presentation will not be a review. It will include a profile of the author written by him/herself and about the product of the author’s literary labours. If a reader wants to file a review we’ll publish it. Today we offer The Other Man by Kevin Dooley. The copy and photos were filed with two reviews so we’re publishing those too. Looking forward.  — Carl Dow, Editor.

The Other Man

By Kevin Dooley


The Other Man, Baico; ISBN 978-1-897357-59-0; 376 pages; $22.95, is Kevin Dooley’s second published novel. It is a poignant tale of war and its ongoing traumatic aftermath. It opens in a modern day trauma group where the effects of war are seen and treated. This group now connects to the legacy of earlier wars.  It unfolds on the grim saga of the returned soldiers who never left the mental hospitals and of their women. A forgotten hero, Marteen Reade, is found, and his story told. Marteen is the quintessential soldier of all wars.  In him and the women around him are seen the perennial legacy of war trauma that travels through the generations.

Brief plot elaboration

Marteen Reade, Irish born, the nation’s most decorated soldier, is interred in a prison cemetery, neglected, forgotten. But he comes alive again to haunt and to comfort those he fought for in his long, troubled life. His story will be told. The Bronze Star Women will have their say. Reade’s life and times are connected to these tragic women, the close relatives of the shell-shocked soldiers of World Wars 1 and 11 who never left the mental hospitals. Be sure to click here for more

How to Promote Your Book or Your Business:

An April 19, 2008 Workshop

Ottawa publicity experts Barbara Florio Graham and Randy Ray will share their expertise on how authors and businesses can get their message out to the public effectively and inexpensively.

The three-hour workshop opens at 1 p.m. on April 19 at the National Library in Ottawa and is sponsored by Ottawa Independent Writers.

Cost: $50 for OIW members; $60 for non-members.

For more information: Randy Ray: (613) 731-3873 or

Link not working? Story not loading? Can't click on the links? Got another computer problem? Never fear! Carl is here!

If you have any problems with accessing the newsletter or problems with your computer, send an email to Carl Hall , and he will be more than happy to assist you.

Answer to Homes Quiz Did You Know?

a) Breakey of Toronto revolutionized the paint and decorating industry in 1940 with the invention of the paint roller, which helped introduce the era of do-it-yourself home decorating.


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Yvette Pigeon, Associate Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Ian Covey, Director of Photography
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Contributing Editors
Rosaleen Dickson
Geoffrey Dow
Tom Dow
Randy Ray
Harold Wright