Wisdom is the result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective

Friday, April 2, 2010, Vol. 5, No, 17 — 221
"True North is for opinion leaders"
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Quote of the Week:
"We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat."
— U.S. General Stanley A. McChrystal, NATO commander in Afghanistan649 words.

Is America yearning for fascism?

Like pre-War Germany, Chris Hedges believes, America is a land of people yearning for fascism without even knowing that is what they are calling for

By Chris Hedges

The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders. — 1,243 words.

Cartoon by Cam Cardow, Comics.com, 30 March 2010.

Harkat gets bombshell help from declassified U.S. documents

U.S. report says his reputed al-Qaeda associate actually had no ties to terrorist group

By Mohammed Adam
The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The federal government case against Ottawa terror suspect Mohamed Harkat appears to have suffered a significant blow Wednesday when a document was introduced in court showing that Abu Zubaydah, once considered a master terrorist and 9/11 mastermind, actually had nothing to do with the attacks. — 1,030 words.

Editor's Notes

Friday, April 2, 2010
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 17 (221)

Coddling the Canadian Security Intelligence Service will not cure
an institution that is repeatedly exposed for corruption and stupidity

The federal government case against terror suspect Mohamed Harkat continues to unravel (please see Harkat gets bombshell help from declassified U.S. documents). Harkat's lawyers, in the closing stage of a hearing before Federal Court Judge Simon Noël, have accused the CSIS of violating Canada's charter of rights. Defence lawyer Matt Webber has attacked the credibility of the CSIS, accusing it of “egregious breaches” of Harkat's rights that bring into question the administration of justice. — 362 words.

"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.

Settlement, scholarship, new Taser policy end lawsuit

RCMP apologizes to Dziekanski's mother

Police force stops short of accepting responsibility for the death
Zofia Cisowski said Thursday that she accepts the RCMP's apology

By Suzanne Fournier
The Province

British Columbia's top RCMP officer apologized Thursday to Robert Dziekanski's mother for "our role in the tragic death" of her son and vowed to change Taser policy and practice. — 1,119 words.

Canadian troops raised alarm over poor oversight
for Aghan prisoners in 2007

Letter from military official belies Ottawa’s claim that transfer process was fixed by 2007

By Steven Chase
The Globe and Mail

Six months after the Harper government boasted of improved safeguards for detainees, top Canadian soldiers responsible for handing captives to the Afghans complained about being kept in the dark on the health of transferred prisoners. — 729 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Olympic legacy

Poverty and debt and hangovers or
Diversity and inclusion and joy?

One Games, two views

By Chris Shaw and Geoff Meggs

The 2010 Olympics were either a roaring success for the nation of Canada or an ongoing disaster for the city of Vancouver. Inside, Chris Shaw argues the party left Vancouver with big bills, some ruined nature and no accountability from politicians; Geoff Meggs insists the Games were a story of athletic strivings, people communing and the power of good will. — 1,930 words.

A better Senate reform

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Stephen Harper has fixated on Senate reform since long before he became prime minister in 2006. But most of his efforts have been aimed at blunting the power of a Liberal dominated upper house from derailing his legislative plans. — 549 words.

Asleep at the micro-switch

Canada's bizarre new broadcast policy
mandates program scarcity in a world of abundance

CRTC defends 'industry to detriment of consumers who remain powerless': dissenting commissioner

By Michael Geist

After months of intense lobbying and marketing that pitted broadcasters ("Local TV Matters") against cable and satellite companies ("Stop the TV Tax"), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission weighed in last week with its much-anticipated broadcasting regulatory policy decision. — 590 words.

Springing into summer

Long-range Canadian forecast predicts warm, dry spring for entire country

CBC News

Spring in Canada will be warmer and drier than usual, Environment Canada is predicting. Between April 1 and June 30, temperatures in 137 cities from coast to coast to coast will likely be above normal and precipitation lower than normal, according to the ministry's spring outlook released Thursday. — 638 words

Space Agency eyes Cape Breton and Fort Churchill for rocket launches

By Peter Rakobowchuk
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Cape Breton may become a Canadian version of Florida's historic Cape Canaveral where astronauts and rockets have been launched into outer space for decades. The Canadian Space Agency is looking at the Nova Scotia island as one of two possible sites to blast small satellites into orbit using an indigenous rocket launch system. The other possible micro-satellite launch site is Fort Churchill in Manitoba, near Hudson Bay, where hundreds of small research rockets have been launched in the past — 587 words.

Home truths too close to home for Liberals, Tories

By James Travers
Toronto Star

It's the natural way of politics that those who have power are optimists, while those pursuing it are pessimists. Conservatives say this country's half-full glass will overflow again soon. Liberals insist it's draining fast. — 569 words.

'Know yourself and love yourself. Spend a lifetime doing this and you will connect with the reason you are here and know you are not alone.'

Unforgettable moments

Unforgettable and unforgettably human encounters with Pierre and Margaret Trudeau

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.

Last Sunday, I met my good friend Bobbi Florio Graham for dinner at Tuscanos in Gatineau. After spending two hours at Le Salon de la femme at the Hilton du lac Leamy, being duly impressed by all that is offered today's women and smiling at Dawn's, "You've come a long way, baby!", I was looking forward to a good meal and stimulating conversation. — 1,553 words.

Spirit Quest

In Memoriam: Charlotte Skoutajan 1911- 2010

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

It was 1945 and the war was over but there was still little peace to be found. True, the guns were silent, bombs stopped dropping from the sky but most of Europe lay in ruins. The skyline of many a city resembled rows of badly decayed teeth. With the end of hostilities the people came out of the rubble like ants emerging from their tromped on hill, seeking food, family and peace. — 1,474 words.

Lies, damned lies and advertising mis-representation

Despite ads, no Lysol endorsement by Canadian paediatricians

The Canadian Paediatric Society has not endorsed Lysol cleanser as a favoured brand, contrary to an impression created by the product's packaging and advertising, CBC-TV's Marketplace reports. — 376 words.

Health Watch

Lies my salad told me ... and other tales of a deadly ingredient hiding in 'healthy' foods

While you know to pass on the candy bars, even meals like sandwiches and salads may be hiding a serving of high fructose corn syrup behind their healthy image

By Tina McCarthy

Remember those commercials aired by the Corn Refiners Association that tried to convince us that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) isn't bad for you? It turns out, they may be wrong. It's all over the blogosphere: in the national fight against obesity, high fructose corn syrup is one food ingredient we should possibly be avoiding altogether. The nutrition controversy has raged for years, with one side claiming HFCS contributes to obesity in a way that plain old sugar does not, and the HFCS camp countering that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. But several recent studies have indicated that this may not be true. 576 words.

Small, dark and chocolate

Tiny, perfect Easter eggs may be good for your heart
Researchers say flavanols in cocoa may be key to chocolate's benefits

By Kate Kelland

LONDON — Easter eggs may be good for you, but only if you eat small ones made from cocoa-rich (over 70 per cent cocoa mass) dark chocolate, according to the latest in a string of scientific studies to show potential health benefits of chocolate. — 540 words.

Crazy pregnancy dreams a hormone trip

By Kaitlin Stanford

Flying high with Willy Wonka? Hot sex with Rob Schneider? If you've had some weird pregnancy dreams, you're in good company. Most moms say the dreams they have in pregnancy are far more disturbing and unusual than any they've had before. You can thank your crazy hormones for that. From the super dirty to the super wacky, readers of The Bump dish about the pregnancy dreams that left them either laughing or seriously disturbed. — 769 words.

Sex scholar, Victorian-style

Decades before Kinsey, Stanford professor Clelia Mosher polled Victorian-era women on their bedroom behavior — then kept the startling results under wraps

By Kara Platoni

In 1973, historian Carl Degler was combing the University archives, gathering research for a book on the history of the family. Sifting through the papers of Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher, who taught in Stanford's hygiene department around the turn of the 20th century, he came across a mysteriously bound file. Degler nearly put it aside, figuring it was a manuscript for one of Mosher's published works, mostly statistical treatises on women's height, strength and menstruation. But instead, he recalls, "I opened it up and there were these questionnaires" — questionnaires upon which dozens of women, most born before 1870, had inscribed their most intimate thoughts. 3,008 words.

In case you missed it ... and always worth repeating

Winston Churchill: Give us the tools and we'll finish the job

Let's say that news throughout human time has been free. Take that time when Ugh Wayne went over to the cave of Mugh Payne with news that the chief of his group had broken a leg while chasing his laughing wife around the fire. That news was given freely and received as such with much knowing smiles and smirks to say nothing of grunts of approval or disapproval. — 688 words.

The United States of Fox News

Does Fox News in fact want mob violence?

As last week's 'threats' against Ann Coulter prove to have been more neo-con lies
real threats and real violence continue to explode across the United States —
and it isn't so-called left-wingers or liberals who are tossing bricks through windows

By Eric Boehlert

Conservative commentators were atwitter last week following news that Ann Coulter's speech at the University of Ottawa was canceled in the face of protests. Of course, Coulter has the right to speak her mind on campuses. But in announcing the cancellation, her conservative Canadian sponsor, pundit Ezra Levant, put the blame on out-of-control liberals who had allegedly made it unsafe for Coulter to speak, breathlessly telling reporters that "the police and the security have advised that it would be physically dangerous for Ann Coulter to proceed with this event and for others to come in" and stressing the presence of an "unruly mob" outside. — 1,676 words.

Report from Obama's America ...

The Chicago School of Medicine

Why the American heath industry quietly loves Obamacare

By Howard Fineman

I've been covering Congress forever and had never heard this in the press gallery: shouts of an angry crowd outside the Capitol. Since the health-care vote in the House, Republicans seem to be finding inspiration less from the words of Ronald Reagan than the films of George Romero. They've called the health-care law a "Frankenstein" and a "nightmare" and a "monstrosity." In the annals of rhetorical hysteria there's no one more overheated than GOP Rep. Steve King of rural western Iowa. Americans, he declared, "must take their country back by methodically eliminating every vestige of creeping socialism, including socialized medicine." — 783 words.

Obama's drilling plan is a compromise that pleases exactly no one

By Bryan Walsh

It is said that politics is the art of compromise, a tactic that ensures both sides go away unhappy. President Barack Obama has proven himself a master of the compromise, at least in his energy and environmental policy — and he is reaping the criticism that comes with it. — 1,144 words.

Putin arrives in Venezuela to close multi-billion
arms, oil, and nuclear development contracts

By Darya Korsunskaya and Anthony Boadle
Reuters (UK)

CARACAS — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Caracas on Friday to meet the two main South American foes of the United States and launch a $20 billion (13.1 billion pounds) venture to tap the vast Orinoco heavy oil belt. — 690 words.

Grandmother fined $1,500, electronically tagged for selling goldfish to child

Agence France-Presse

LONDON — A British grandmother was heavily fined and electronically tagged for selling a goldfish to a child, triggering criticism Wednesday of over-zealous use of animal protection laws. — 394 words.

Interview: Izzy Award-winner Jeremy Scahill

'I think you had quite a substantial amount of intellectual dishonesty from people who were holding the Bush administration accountable for actions that the Obama administration was taking from day one, and even announced on the campaign trail. Health care is a perfect example of this. Obviously, we want to have pre-existing conditions covered. Obviously, we want young people to be able to continue on their parents' health care plans. There are many things that are going to be improvements.

But let's be clear here: This is a complete and total sellout to the interests of the insurance lobby by the Obama administration. This is, as Michael Moore has said, a complete victory for the ultra-capitalists. Yet, if you look on the liberal blogosphere, people like Jane Hamsher are attacked mercilessly for having the audacity to stand up and say "this is a Democratic sellout." So you have this blind allegiance to ... what? To Obama as a man? To the Democrats as a party? To me, it's very dangerous when you start going down the road of unquestioning support for any powerful individual or any politician. The moment you cede your conscience to a politician is the moment you stop struggling for a better society.'

Independent journalism — limited realities, unlimited possibilities

By Byard Duncan

On March 24, 2010, the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY announced that award-winning independent journalist Jeremy Scahill would receive the second annual "Izzy Award." The Izzy, which is named after the legendary muckraker I.F. Stone, celebrates outstanding achievement in independent media. Last year's winners were Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com. — 2,526 words.

Cuba and Brazil join in 'conspiracy of solidarity" with Haitians
as both countries pour in health aid for earthquake victims

By Leticia Martínez Hernández

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — This Saturday was a joyful one here, although few Haitians noticed it. The fact is that this is a country where the infant mortality rate is in excess of 80 per 1,000 live births, where life expectancy is under 60, and where tens of thousands of people die from tuberculosis, malaria, and dengue fever ... it could not experience a better day than one on which its highest authorities agreed to a program to strengthen health services and create a epidemiological prevention network. — 534 words.

National Security Agency wiretaps were unlawful, U.S. judge rules

Meanwhile in Canada the CSIS in the name of national security routinely conducts wiretaps without warrants

By Charlie Savage and James Risen
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency's program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration's effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former President George W. Bush. — 795 words.

Freed FARC hostage thanks efforts of Venezuelan president to win his liberation

By Kiraz Janicke

CARACAS — Captain Pablo Emilio Moncayo thanked the presidents of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías; of Ecuador, Rafael Correa; and of Brasil, Luis Inacio "Lula" Da Silva, as well as Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba, for their efforts to win the liberation of hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), upon his release yesterday. — 629 words.


Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has produced record-breaking high-energy particle collisions — but not a single black hole

Think making two bullets collide is difficult?
Then try doing it at the subatomic level

(P.S. The end of the world has been cancelled)

By Dick Ahlstrom
The Irish Times

Imagine two rifles pointing at each other, a mile apart, and then firing and hitting each other head on. Well that would be easy by comparison with the challenge of getting subatomic particles to strike one another at almost the speed of light in the world's newest, most powerful collider. — 839 words.

I see, a Pac-Moon risin'

1980s video-game icon glows on Saturn moon

By Jia-Rui C. Cook

PASADENA, Calif. — The highest-resolution-yet temperature map and images of Saturn's icy moon Mimas obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal surprising patterns on the surface of the small moon, including unexpected hot regions that resemble "Pac-Man" eating a dot, and striking bands of light and dark in crater walls. — 755 words.

Looking forward ...

Welcome to World War III

'Western war states such as the US and Britain are not threatened by the Taliban or any other introverted tribesmen in faraway places, but by the antiwar instincts of their own citizens ... on both sides of the Atlantic, serious dissent exposing illegal war has become a serious crime.'

By John Pilger

Here is news of the Third World War. The United States has invaded Africa. US troops have entered Somalia, extending their war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and, now, the Horn of Africa. In preparation for an attack on Iran, American missiles have been placed in four Persian Gulf states, and "bunker-buster" bombs are said to be arriving at the US base on the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. — 957 words.

Ready for the Long War? It's already begun

Without public debate and without congressional hearings, the folks who brought the world the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now maybe Pakistan and Iran, foresee at least another 80 years of warfare for the United States (and the rest of the world)

By Tom Hayden
The Lost Angeles Times

Without public debate and without congressional hearings, a segment of the Pentagon and fellow travelers have embraced a doctrine known as the Long War, which projects an "arc of instability" caused by insurgent groups from Europe to South Asia that will last between 50 and 80 years. According to one of its architects, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are just "small wars in the midst of a big one." — 1,063 words.

Venezuela and Ecuador create joint mining, fishing, cacao, auto lubricant companies

By James Suggett

MERIDA — On Friday, Ecuadoran and Venezuelan officials created a series of bi-national companies to produce automobile lubricant and food, and progressed on plans for joint oil and gas exploration, in what the leaders called a step forward for continental integration. — 536 words.

China executes thousands: Amnesty International

714 executions reported in 18 countries, but Chinese data secret

CBC News

Amnesty International urged China Tuesday to release details on the "thousands" of people it is believed to have executed last year. — 493 words.

Chinese navy build-up no threat to ASEAN countries


BEIJING — Chinese military experts have told their counterparts from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy will never be a threat to the region. — 416 words.

Post-Palin Alaska has largest debt burden in U.S.


Sarah Palin has long sold herself as a fiscal conservative, arguing against the Democrats' health overhaul on the grounds that the nation simply can't afford it. But when the former vice presidential candidate resigned as governor of Alaska in the summer of 2009, she left the state with a 70 percent debt-to-GDP ratio — the highest state debt burden in the United States. — 338 words.

Reality Check

Charges and counter-charges

Did Bush knowingly mislead the U.S. into war with Iraq?

By David Corn

Peter Wehner, a Politics Daily colleague, was quite gracious to accept my challenge to defend his old boss, George W. Bush — that is, to partially accept it. I insisted that the evidence is quite clear that Bush and his crew misled the American public into the Iraq war. I noted that in the months prior to the March 2003 invasion they had "waged a willful campaign of misrepresentation and hyperbole" about the supposed WMD threat posed by Iraq. It wasn't merely a matter of Bush, Dick Cheney and the others repeating in good faith intelligence that later proved to be wrong. They incessantly made provocative (and false) assertions overstating the lousy intelligence, and, on other occasions, they simply made stuff up. I offered a sampling of eight false statements that characterized this endeavor. And I dared Wehner, who worked in the W. White House, Karl Rove, Bush's uber-strategist, and Ross Douthat, a New York Times columnist — each of whom had recently dismissed the notion that Bush had misguided the nation — to provide a line-by-line response. Wehner was the sole member of this Bush-backing trio willing to give it a shot. But he has only managed to put up half a fight. — 2,624 words.

India deploys world's hottest chilli to fight terrorism

Bhut jolokia, or 'ghost chilli', to be used for teargas-like grenades to immobilise suspects

By Stephen Bates
The Guardian (UK)

Ever since the Trojan Horse — and probably long before — men have bent their minds to developing the ultimate secret weapon. Now, at last, the Indian army just might have discovered it: the world's hottest chilli pepper. — 273 words.

Iceland of the free?

Iceland may soon become a Utopian haven for journalists and publishers

By Samuel Knight
In These Times

Icelandic members of parliament have plans to transform their crisis-ridden North-Atlantic nation into a sanctuary for publishers, production companies and information technology firms from around the world. "It would free the press from fear," says Thor Saari, one of the members of parliament spearheading the proposal, which is known as the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI). Iceland's Parliament, the Althingi, is expected to support the effort. — 762 words.

Rear-view Mirror

Half-century of unofficial warfare

Cuba recalls 50th anniversary of Eisenhower's Executive Order
approving secret and terrorist action against the small island nation


HAVANA — In the face of another hostile media campaign directed by Washington, Cuba recalls today the 50th anniversary of former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower's executive order approving covert and terrorist action against the island. Called the Program of Covert Action against the Castro Regime, the document signed by Eisenhower gave the official green light to all kinds of illegal operations aimed at overthrowing the revolutionary government. — 430 words.

Money and Markets

Punks and plutocrats

American citizens now guarantee the investment decisions of their banks
Will those banks be able to enjoy taxpayers protection without regulations?

By Paul Krugman

The New York Times

Health reform is the law of the land. Next up: financial reform. But will it happen? The White House is optimistic, because it believes that Republicans won't want to be cast as allies of Wall Street. I'm not so sure. The key question is how many senators believe that they can get away with claiming that war is peace, slavery is freedom, and regulating big banks is doing those big banks a favor. — 813 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Despite recalls and quality concerns, Toyota's Canadian sales up 24 per cent in March

CBC News

Toyota Canada continued to shrug off the effects of a massive global recall for the second month in a row in March, reporting a sales increase of 24 per cent. Despite recalling 270,000 vehicles in Canada over problems with accelerator pedals, Toyota said Thursday its car sales were up 18 per cent. Truck sales gained 36 per cent compared with a year earlier. — 363 words.

Annals of Education

Obama Signs Sweeping Student Loan Reform Bill Into Law

Cutting out the middleman banks, direct loans to students will save $60 billion over 10 years

By Grace Huang

U.S. President Obama signed legislation on Tuesday that will revamp the existing federal student loan system, allowing the government to directly provide loans to college students in the US. The bill will end a $60 billion program that gave federal money to private banks to provide loans for students, effectively cutting out their role as a middleman. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, direct lending by the government will save taxpayers about $61 billion over the next ten years. — 716 words.


'Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world.'
— Tommy Douglas

Brian McInnis, 55: Activist followed his conscience

Whistle-blower Brian McInnis revealed CSIS hired neo-Nazi Heritage Front informant

By Leslie Ferenc
Toronto Star

"He lived what he believed: Every person should do the right thing and each one of us can make a difference." That's the legacy of Brian McInnis who, guided by his moral compass, walked the walk and even bent rules to right wrongs and make his community — his country — a better place for all. It's how his friend, Susan Teskey, a CBC producer, remembered McInnis as she paid tribute to the former photojournalist, community activist and political organizer, "who always did the right thing." — 765 words.

Through the comics, darkly: plots that once oozed nationalism and swagger — acted out by virile samurai, robot salarymen, boy superheroes and improbably powerful fairies — have given ground to themes of suicide, depression and criminality

Japanese sense of decline, defeat and despair
reflected in tidal wave of bleak new manga

By Leo Lewis

TOKYO — At the Kinokuniya bookshop in the heart of Tokyo's shimmering financial district the economic texts and business guru biographies have been shoved aside to make room for a section on poverty and despair. Tailored to reflect the dismal mood of 21st-century Japan, and named after The Lower Depths, the relentlessly bleak play of Maxim Gorky, the display creaks with dozens of works on penury, failure and defeat. All in cartoon form. — 970 words.

The Stage

'It's like Gertrude Stein: Beyond Thunderdome'

800-page science fiction classic hits the stage in the city that gave it birth

By Sam Anderson
New York Magazine

Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren is — like Moby-Dick, Naked Lunch, or "Chocolate Rain" — an essential monument both to, and of, American craziness. It doesn't just document our craziness, it documents our craziness crazily: 800 epic pages of gorgeous, profound, clumsy, rambling, violent, randy, visionary, goofy, postapocalyptic sci-fi prose poetry. The book is set in Bellona, a middle-American city struggling in the aftermath of an unspecified cataclysm. Phones and TVs are out; electricity is spotty; money is obsolete. Riots and fires have cut the population down to a thousand. Gangsters roam the streets hidden inside menacing holograms of dragons and griffins and giant praying mantises. The paper arrives every morning bearing arbitrary dates: 1837, 1984, 2022. Buildings burn, then repair themselves, then burn again. The smoke clears, occasionally, to reveal celestial impossibilities: two moons, a giant swollen sun. To top it off, this craziness trickles down to us through the consciousness of a character who is, himself, very likely crazy: a disoriented outsider who arrives in Bellona with no memory of his name, wearing only one sandal, and who proceeds to spend most of his time either having graphic sex with fellow refugees or writing inscrutable poems in a notebook — a notebook that also happens to contain actual passages of Dhalgren itself. The book forms a Finnegans Wake-style loop — its opening and closing sentences feed into one another — so the whole thing just keeps going and going forever. It's like Gertrude Stein: Beyond Thunderdome. It seems to have been written by an insane person in a tantric blurt of automatic writing. — 1,600 words.


Uma Thurman's Motherhood's disastrous performance at the box office provokes bitter confrontation between producer and UK distributor

£88 opening weekend — lousy movie or lousy promotion (or both)?

By Amelia Hill
The Guardian (UK)

It should have been a red carpet event. When just one British cinema was given exclusive permission to launch Uma Thurman's new film earlier this month, the film's producers presumably hoped that exclusivity would create a buzz around the movie. Though limiting the release would obviously limit takings, they must have hoped word of mouth could make it a slow-burning success — 1,414 words.

By their solo careers shall ye know them

Are Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld
Comedy's Lennon and McCartney?

What The Marriage Ref can teach us about creative partnerships

By Lucy Berrington and Jeff Onore

When an explosively successful creative partnership comes to an end, you have to wait until the artists unveil their individual work before you can figure out retroactively what each contributed. So it is with Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Since the end of Seinfeld, Seinfeld and David's paths through the comedy world could hardly have been more different. We've had seven seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David's compelling yet mortifying exploration of conflict and alienation, in which everything is skewered and inverted: a dessert becomes a disaster, cancer's a joke. And we have too — at last — Jerry Seinfeld's return to TV, with The Marriage Ref, a concoction of prime-time froth in which conflict and alienation are represented by some of the most inane, inconsequential dilemmas that have ever troubled human relationships. — 816 words.

In case you missed it ...
The Old Man's Last Sauna
A collection of short stories by Carl Dow

The short story, The Old Man's Last Sauna, a groundbreaking love story, in the Friday, April 24 edition of True North Perspective, concludes the collection titled The Old Man's Last Sauna, written by Carl Dow. On Friday, April 17, you'll find O Ernie! ... What Have They Done To You! The series began Friday, February 20, with Deo Volente (God Willing). The second, The Quintessence of Mr. Flynn, Friday, February 27. The third, Sharing Lies, Friday, March 6. The fourth, Flying High, Friday, March 13. The fifth, The Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows Ya, Friday, March 20. On Friday, March 27, One Lift Too Many, followed by The Model A Ford, Friday, April 3. The out-of-body chiller, Room For One Only, Friday, April 10. The series closed Friday, April 24, with the collection's namesake The Old Man's Last Sauna, a groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.

Website may be path to success
for authors, publishers, and companies

Prolific best-selling Ottawa author and publicist Randy Ray has developed a website 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 web site is: www.randyray.ca. He can be contacted at: (613) 731-3873 or rocket@intranet.ca.

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  chall2k5@gmail.com , and he will be more than happy to assist you.


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor
Yvette Pigeon, Associate Editor
Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Ian Covey, Director of Photography
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Randy Ray, Publicity

Contributing Editors
Anita Chan, Australia

Alex Binkley, Ottawa
Dennis Carr, Vancouver
Rosaleen Dickson, Ottawa
Tom Dow, Sudbury
Bob Kay, Montréal
Randy Ray, Ottawa
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair, Ottawa
David Ward, Ottawa
Harold Wright, Ottawa