Friday, April 25, 2008 Vol 3 No 17 (131)
"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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All the way to the bank and back                   

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Editor's Notes

Don’t be lamb to the slaughter fight back
by joining True North’s No Gas Fridays

Last November True North Perspective predicted that the spike in the price of oil would not fall back as in the past. — 431 words.

The resignation of General Rick Hillier may help
open doors to a negotiated peace in Afghanistan

In a few weeks time Rick Hillier, the Rock from the Rock, will be gone — from the military. Undoubtedly it will not be the last we hear from him and about him. He is too large to disappear and too loud to remain unheard. He has been quoted that the military is for killing people. We have armed them with tools that are meant to kill though not enough for Hillier’s likes. In his years as Canada’s top killer he has striven to enhance the Canadian forces physically and morally. — 557 words.

Chemical in plastic may harm human growth

A U.S. federal report finds "some concern" that fetuses, babies and children are at risk from bisphenol A. But plastics industry officials see no serious risk. — 824 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Introducing the Karma, from Fisker Automotive


Fisker Automotive just announced that the first deliveries of its new American premium hybrid sports car will begin in the last quarter of 2009, contrary to recent allegations made by Tesla Motors. — 189 words.

New York Times reveals Pentagon ‘party line’
behind so-called objective TV military analysts

CNN terminates military ‘analyst’ General Marks

‘A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public with propaganda dressed as independent military analysis. "It was them saying, 'We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you," Robert S. Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former Fox News analyst, said.’ — 7,787 words.

Disintegration is everywhere while U.S. major media engage
in low-level gossip about presidential candidates as if it counts

The Politics of Distraction in an Age of Gotcha Capitalism

In this year's presidential campaign, the major media want you to focus on the candidates' gaffes, their tactics toward one another's gaffes, the flows of political gossip and four-second sound bytes. — 727 words.

Spirit Quest

By The Reverend Hanns F. Skoutajan

Skoutajan Unfinished

I have been intrigued by the unfinished compositions of some of the most famous composers: Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Elgar as well as Mozart. How did someone manage to complete their work? Have you heard that they dug up Mozart’s grave and discovered that he was decomposing? — 819 words.

Ontario Mining Act, political prisoners, and the right to say "No"

Ontario aboriginals fined and jailed for opposing
uranium mining exploration on traditional territory

Joan Kuyek says, In February 2008, the leadership of the Ardoch Algonquins was sentenced for contempt because of their unwavering opposition to uranium exploration on their traditional territory in eastern Ontario.  — 1,414 words.

Conservatives strutting machismo turning women off
Major polls show voting intentions shift to Liberals

‘…there is a personal edge — a cruelty almost — to the Harper style that hits new lows… You don’t have to be a fan of Dion’s, or a Liberal, to be sick of it.’

Not just a gender gap, but a gender chasm, has opened in Canadian federal politics, according to the latest Harris-Decima Canadian Press poll. — 832 words.

Taliban kill 13 in series of Afghan attacks
as country faces rising tide of violence

KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban insurgents killed 13 people, including 10 police, in a series of attacks across the country on Wednesday, officials said. Afghanistan has seen a rising tide of violence following the traditional winter lull. Some Western leaders have warned this year Afghanistan risks sliding back into anarchy unless more is done to coordinate military, political and development efforts. — 336 words.

Letter From Bucharest

The NATO Summit was a gigantic flop

The danger of sitting down and conducting a strategic review is that it would bring these differences starkly to the fore, perhaps causing NATO's 28 members to realize just how little they have in common.’

For better or for worse, Romania's authorities were the only ones who appeared to know what they were doing at the NATO summit here last week.  The daily Adevarul noted the occasion was the first time in the post-revolution years that the streets had been cleaned of garbage, Bucharest's odious traffic stemmed, and the street corners cleared of pimps, drug dealers, and Mafioso types (as well as beggars and homeless). — 1,974  words.

Summit of the Americas

While the three bandidos scheme for their corporate welfare bums
Mexican poverty gap widens and U.S., Canadian rust belts expand

Why doesn’t NAFTA include right of employees to free borders?

 The North American Free Trade Agreement sets forth a schedule for the gradual phasing out of tariffs and the elimination of barriers, with the main goal of expanding trade and investment among Canada, the United States and Mexico. NAFTA's adoption and eventual implementation on Jan. 1, 1994, came only after intense and bitter debate, inside this country's borders and beyond. — 1,060 words.

Bill Moyers interviews Rev. Jeremiah Wright
providing insight from sound bite to excerpt

‘A deliberate message is in the sound bites’

Excerpts from Jeremiah Wright’s first interview with a broadcast journalist since the controversy over his remarks and his relationship with Barack Obama are posted below. Bill Moyers Journal on Fridays, at 9 pm on PBS. (Check local listings at

Excerpt 1

REVEREND WRIGHT: The persons who have heard the entire sermon understand the communication perfectly. — 853 words.

Clinton goes to the poison well

Coded racism and faked populism. Can US politics ever pull free?

‘Pseudo-populism is dishonest because American politicians feel compelled to pretend to be just folks rather than the elite power holders they are’

Michael Fellman is an historian of U.S. politics and war and a cultural critic who lives in Vancouver. He will be writing for The Tyee from time to time about the 2008 U.S. elections. Previous articles by Michael Fellman.

Hillary Clinton's 10-point victory in Pennsylvania means the Democratic party may well succeed in tearing itself apart in what, given the growing recession, the unpopular war, and a weak opponent, ought to be their year to win big. — 1,362 words.

Ambushing Private Equity

‘What we are seeing is the growth of a new form of capitalism.’

Union will spend $100 million to elect candidates in next two years

As SEIU harries new absentee owners, buyout firms dispute the union's agenda.

Forget the marches and strikes that once defined the union movement. Big labor is relying more on guile and theatrics than blunt force to attack the ascendancy of a new form of corporate ownership: private equity. — 1,412 words.

Venezuelan Oil goes to court to challenge
asset freeze won by oil giant ExxonMobil

CARACAS — Venezuela expects to appear in court in the Netherlands before the end of the month in order to challenge an asset freeze obtained by the world’s largest oil company, ExxonMobil Corp against state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), the South American country’s Energy Minister, Rafael Ramirez confirmed on Monday. — 850 words.

Venezuela’s Chavez congratulates Paraguay’s
new president  former Roman Catholic Bishop Lugo

ASUNCION, Paraguay — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez congratulated Paraguay's President-elect, the progressive former Roman Catholic bishop, Fernando Lugo, on his historic victory on Sunday night. According to Venezuela's Ministry of Foreign Relations, he made the comments by telephone, and "took advantage of the opportunity to recognize the impeccable day of democracy, had by the Paraguayan people...who demonstrated their political maturity."  — 374 words.

U.S. prison population dwarfs that of other nations
Experts appalled by reason and length of sentences

Some blame the incarceration on American democracy

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners. — 1,733 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!

I arrived in Canada in 1842 to dress up the look of walls inside the home.  What am I?

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:

Providing some facts for the biofuels debate

In the midst of all the fashionable bashing of biofuel production, it’s important to remember the tongue in cheek journalistic saying – don’t let a few facts stand in the way of a good story. — 516 words.

OIW Authors and Baico Donate 110 Books
to Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

On Thursday May 1, George Laidlaw, president of Ottawa Independent Writers, and Randy Ray, OIW's publicity director, will present 110 books to the children's library at CHEO. — 204 words.

My Daughter, My Son

She told me she wanted to be a boy.  She couldn’t live this lie any longer.  I sat listening, trying not to hear. A personal, moving story told in 1,215 words

Random Acts Of Poetry

The arrival of spring has flooded the literary calendars with a plethora of poetry readings and dramatic presentations for the local literati. (See , )  — 581 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 UP Deedle Creek by Phlip Nagy. Looking forward.  — Carl Dow, Editor.

Up Deedle Creek

By Philip Nagy



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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?

Wallpaper, which by1900 was being manufactured in 12 factories, including several in Toronto and Montreal.  In 1900, wallpapers costing five cents a roll were in greatest demand.


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Yvette Pigeon, Associate Editor
Mike Heenan, Literary 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