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

Friday, April 16, 2010, Vol. 5, No, 19 — 223
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U.S. military still lying about Special Forces night raid in Afghanistan

By Robert Naiman

US officials are "probing a possible attempted coverup" in the deaths of five Afghan civilians in February in a raid carried out by US Special Forces accompanied by Afghan troops, the Los Angeles Times reports. Among the charges is that the bodies were tampered with by US forces to conceal the cause of death. But even as the US is supposedly investigating, US officials say allegations that bullets were dug out of the bodies as part of a coverup are baseless, the Los Angeles Times says. — 791 words.

Cartoon by Matt Borrs, Comics.com, 14 April 2010.

Venezuela Celebrates 'Day of the Bolivarian Militias, the Armed People and the April Revolution'

Rosa Martinez, a 60 year-old Chavez supporter from the working class neighbourhood of Petare, in Caracas, who attended the swearing in ceremony of the militias, told Venezuelanalysis.com, "There is a big international media campaign against Venezuela, against our president, against our people, but the reality is quite different to what the media says."

By Kiraz Janicke

CARACAS — Venezuela celebrated eight years since a popular uprising defeated a U.S. backed coup against President Hugo Chavez in April 2002 with a swearing in ceremony of 35,000 new militia members denominated the "Day of the Bolivarian Militias, the Armed People and the April Revolution" in central Caracas, yesterday. — 930 words.

Guest Editorial

Friday, April 16, 2010
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 19 (223)

Afghanistan: Who are the heroes here?

The Canadian mission has now tipped over and landed in Somalia in 1993

By Rick Salutin
The Globe and Mail

"I mean we can sort of quasi-invade it but we can't walk into one of their prisons. I mean, give me a break." (Former Canadian embassy in Kabul official Eileen Olexiuk, on being told by superiors that she couldn't investigate prisoner transfers despite serious concerns over torture.) — 665 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.

Letters to the Editor

Bravo for the Easter Bunny!

Bravo for Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair's Easter Bunny caper! Watch out Stephen Harper! I have always been of the opinion there should be more women in politics but of course, most of them are busy overseeing the survival of the species in our universe. They are already managing "too many bunnies" at a time, trying to keep everyone happy, healthy and productive. Bravo to women like Hilary Clinton who have learned to manage so well in the "boys' network" of government politics and can tell it as it is regarding world policies and women's issues.

— Lise Châtelain, Gatineau, Québec, Canada

Military vows to probe 'grave' detainee accusations
Defence Minister McKay calls allegations 'drive-by smears', ignores calls for inquiry

In troubling testimony, military employee says Canadian soldiers deliberately transferred Afghan prisoners to torture

'None did anything wrong except to be at home when the Canadian Forces murdered their neighbour,' Mr. Malgarai recounted. 'Yet Canada transferred all these innocent men to the NDS.'

By Steven Chase
The Globe and Mail

An Afghan-Canadian who served as an interpreter for Canada's military has breathed new life into the detainee controversy with troubling allegations that this country's soldiers deliberately transferred prisoners to torture. — 2,242 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Oilsands a sitting duck for critics

Industry's environmental record never seems to improve

By Gillian Steward

The petroleum industry launched a new public relations offensive last week designed to polish up the tarnished image of oilsands operations. Not surprisingly, news of the blitz grabbed front-page headlines in the Calgary Herald and attracted an enthusiastic audience at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. But then things started to go awry. — 583 words.

Shipbuilding policy in limbo

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Originally written for Canadian Sailings

The Harper government's promised shipbuilding strategy appears to have become so interwoven with its military procurement plans that even cabinet ministers get confused. — 812 words.

Restrict foreign control of telecoms to 49 per cent: CRTC

The Canadian Press

Canada's federal regulator has come out strongly against foreign control of the country's telecom sector, saying doing so risks turning Canada's communications industry into a "branch plant." — 629 words.

Nova Scotia apologizes to, pardons, Canadian civil rights heroine

Viola Desmond, now deceased, had attended a movie in 1946 in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia while waiting for her car to be repaired

By Stephanie Dearing

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA — Sitting in a section of the theater reserved for white people at the time, Viola Desmond refused to move from the prohibited seat, which resulted in her arrest and a night in jail. A charge was laid against her of defrauding the province one cent, which was the difference in the price between the seat where she was supposed to sit and where she had actually sat. — 542 words.

Quebec Muslim woman ordered to unveil or leave French course

Teacher, classmates protest abrupt expulsion of student who was considered a model pupil

By Ingrid Peritz
The Globe and Mail

One morning recently, a young Muslim woman whose face was hidden by a religious covering was pulled out of her government French class near Montreal and told to unveil or leave the course. "Aisha," a 25-year-old permanent resident from India, is the second such case to come to light in Quebec. Last month, the same ultimatum was given to Naema Ahmed, an Egyptian-born woman whose case sparked an uproar and led to landmark provincial legislation against religious face veils. But, while Ms. Ahmed was portrayed in media accounts as difficult to accommodate, Aisha, as she has asked to be called to shield her identity, didn't make waves. According to former classmates and officials at the suburban centre she attended, the young woman was a model student who placed no demands on others and even teamed up with male students for class assignments. — 670 words.

A True North Perspective classic

A garden bouquet to your health

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.

I have good news to share! News that gardeners have always suspected ... An extensive survey, financed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, has shown the numerous benefits of plants, flowers and gardening on the environment and on peoples' physical and mental health. — 605 words.

Spirit Quest

Twilight in springtime ...

A seafarer's elegy

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

I am about to sell the only water craft I ever owned, a sixteen foot red fibreglass canoe. Its just too heavy to lift up and take off the roof of our car. But we love it and it will be a difficult parting. Canoes have a reputation for being tippy, but not this one; we have enjoyed it on our camping trips and outings and at the cottage. — 1,777 words.

From the Desk of Alex Binkley, Contributing Editor

The uses and abuses of the precautionary principle

By Ronald Doering
Canadian Chemical News

Ronald L. Doering, B.A., LL.B., M.A., LL.D., is a past President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He practices Regulatory Law in the Ottawa offices of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.

In the last two weeks there have been rumbles in the Ottawa jungles that the Harper government might be interested in sending troops to take part in the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). The Chief of the Defence Staff was said to be telling the troops that Canada's next overseas mission was in Africa. The departing Chief of the Land Staff, General Andrew Leslie, was tipped to be the commander of the U.N.'s Congo force. There was even a hot rumour that the Governor General was to visit Kinshasa, the capital, and the media began writing informed stories on all the possibilities. — 889 words.

Atlantic plastic garbage patch found

'The U.S. government is concerned the pollution could hurt its vital interests'

The Associated Press

Researchers are warning of a new blight at sea: a swirl of confetti-like plastic debris stretching over a remote expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The floating garbage — hard to spot from the surface and spun together by a vortex of currents — was documented by two groups of scientists who trawled the sea between scenic Bermuda and Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores islands. — 880 words.

Health Watch

Smoking bans result in 'immediate and dramatic decrease' in hospital admissions

CBC News

Public smoking bans seem to have paid off in fewer hospital admissions for heart and lung problems, a Canadian study suggests. 604 words.

Decent exposure

Vermont man acquitted of indecent exposure in his home

Associated Press

FAIRFAX, Va. — A man charged with indecent exposure after two women said they saw him naked inside his own home was acquitted Wednesday by a Virginia jury.

Erick Williamson, 29, has argued since his October arrest that he should not be punished for being naked in the privacy of his own home. 549 words.

Birthday fun or long-term trauma?

Evil Clown hired for stalking, threats and a pie in the face

An 'evil' clown who stalks and threatens kids is being hired by parents as a birthday treat


LUCERNE, Switzerland — Dominic Deville stalks young victims for a week, sending chilling texts, making prank phone calls and setting traps in letterboxes. He posts notes warning children they are being watched, telling them they will be attacked. But Deville is not an escaped lunatic or some demonic monster. — 303 words.

Ask the Expert

A big blow for real estate investors

By Jim Pellerin

Jim Pellerin of Ottawa is a veteran real estate investor and the author of 7 Steps to Real Estate Riches. For more information visit www.JimPellerin.com.

I'm confused about recent announcements by the federal government that make it more difficult for people to purchase real estate as an investment. The major change is that banks can now lend a maximum of 80 per cent of the value of the property being purchased which means the investor must come up with the 20 per cent down payment. Let's try to figure this out. — 731 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.




35 Beechwood Ave
Ottawa, ON
Phone: 613-742-5030


A retired teacher, Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair, has three novels to her credit: Le Jardin Négligé (1990), The Neglected Garden (2005), and Une Prière pour Hélène (2007). An anthology is in the making. Her writing has given her the opportunity to appear on several TV shows and give presentations to women's and writers' groups. Her topics range from women's issues, violence against women, the importance of friendship and mental health issues. She has also given presentations on the art of writing. Presently, she writes for True North Perspective, an electronic newspaper.

Sigrid Macdonald is a book coach, an editor, and the author of three books including Getting Hip: Recovery from a Total Hip Replacement (2004), D'Amour Road (2005), and the newly released Be Your Own Editor (2010). Like Alberte, Sigrid has appeared on radio and TV talking about health and women's issues, and has dedicated D'Amour Road to Louise Ellis, a local woman who was murdered by her partner. Her editing book is a comprehensive writers' guide, covering everything from using proper punctuation to developing strong characters to structuring articles, essays and blog posts.


Gods and monsters

Fighting American wars from on high

On the ground bodies of innocents drenched in blood

By Tom Enelhardt

The Greeks had it right. When you live on Mount Olympus, your view of humanity is qualitatively different. The Greek gods, after all, lied to, stole from, lusted for, and punished humanity without mercy, while taking the planet for a spin in a manner that we mortals would consider amoral, if not immoral. And it didn't bother them a bit. They felt — so Greek mythology tells us — remarkably free to intervene from the heights in the affairs of whichever mortals caught their attention and, in the process, to do whatever took their fancy without thinking much about the nature of human lives. If they sometimes felt sympathy for the mortals whose lives they repeatedly threw into havoc, they were incapable of real empathy. Such is the nature of the world when your view is the Olympian one and what you see from the heights are so many barely distinguishable mammals scurrying below. The details of their petty lives naturally blur and seem less than important. — 3,191 words.

Report from Obama's America ...

While Washington looks the other way union-busting
kills miners in conditions that recall the 19th century

By Art Levine

In the wake of last week's disaster at Massey Energy Company's Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, it's become increasingly clear that CEO Don Blankenship has gamed the loophole-laden mine safety enforcement system. Despite a supposedly tougher federal law that passed in 2006 after the Sago, West Virginia, mine explosion killed a dozen miners, Massey and other companies have been able to use the law as a shield to avoid tougher enforcement measures by appealing safety citations — and overwhelming the weak Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) with a backlog of appeals. — 3,207 words.

Why working people are angry and
why politicians should listen"

'The fact is that for a generation we have built our economy on a lie'

By Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO
Speaking at the Institute of Politics, Harvard Kennedy School

I am going to talk tonight about anger — and specifically the anger of working people. I want to explain why working people are right to be mad about what has happened to our economy and our country, and then I want to talk about why there is a difference between anger and hatred. There are forces in our country that are working hard to convert justifiable anger about an economy that only seems to work for a few of us into racist and homophobic hate and violence directed at our President and heroes like Congressman John Lewis. Most of all, those forces of hate seek to divide working people — to turn our anger against each other. — 2,855 words

Not just another "'stan" ...

The defeat of the U.S.-backed regime in Kyrgyzstan was a really big deal
It's a huge loss for America in the global power game

There has been a massive breakdown in US diplomacy in Central Asia. The recent revolt against a U.S. backed regime in Kyrgyzstan proves it

By M. K. Bhadrakumar
Asia Times

Ambassador M. K. Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.

BEIJING — This is not how color revolutions are supposed to turn out. In the Ukraine, the "Orange" revolution of 2004 has had a slow painful death. In Georgia, the "Rose" revolution of 2003 seems to be in the throes of what increasingly appears to be a terminal illness. — 1,614 words.

Third Ways

Co-operative capitalism or creeping socialism?
Maine experiment provides new model for sustainable farming

Innovative new ways of doing business are blossoming and two companies are showing that serving consumers, workers, and farmers can be the wave of the future

By Vanessa Barrington

Innovative new ways of doing business are blossoming on both coasts. MOO Milk and Bob's Red Mill show how food companies that serve eaters, workers, and farmers can be the wave of the future. Late last winter, when dairy giant HP Hood informed 10 Maine dairy farmers that it would no longer buy their milk, things looked pretty bleak. These farmers had invested in going organic to supply the burgeoning organic milk market, but now, with the price of organic milk lower than the cost of production, the farmers were left with two choices: sell their cows, or dump their organic milk on the conventional market for even less money. 1,430 words.


How one man's choice to live car-free brought him more in touch with his neighbors, his community, and himself

By Orion Kriegman

On cold rainy days in February, when my shoes are soaked and my legs are damp, I often find myself wondering, "Why did I decide to live without a car?" Growing up as a teenager in the suburbs, I believed cars were a source of independence. Yet, over the years, I've come to see cars as a symptom of cultural sickness. In college, I decided to save money by not purchasing a car and found that I also escaped worries of shoveling the snow from around its tires, finding parking, and arguing with mechanics. Now, when parents or friends offer me their used vehicles, I turn them down, preferring to avoid the hassle of ownership. 810 words.

Dead man elected mayor of Tennessee town

'If he were to run again next week I'd vote for him again'

Agence France-Presse

A dead man was elected mayor of a small Tennessee town eager to oust a woman who'd been appointed to the job after the previous mayor died, local media reports. — 219 words.

Interview: Josh Stieber

'There is definitely a shock factor, but I don't think there should really be a surprise factor. This is what war looks like.'

'And as I thought about [how Jesus] lived and died, not getting punked around was not his highest priority ... So I realized there was a huge gap between what I said I believed and how I was acting. So I started slowly making changes and eventually became a conscientious objector.'

WikiLeaks video shocking but not surprising

Josh Stieber talks about how the disturbing video shouldn't be seen as a few soldiers behaving badly but as a sign of a broken system where the same 'outrages' will continue

By Liliana Segura

Josh Stieber was deployed to Iraq in February 2007 as part of the "surge" overseen by George W. Bush. An enthusiastic supporter of the war when he enlisted, Stieber served with Bravo Company 2-16, the same unit now depicted in the chilling video released last week by WikiLeaks.org, which shows American troops massacre 12 Iraqi civilians from an Apache helicopter, including two Reuters employees, photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his driver, Saeed Chmagh. Also killed was Saleh Mutashar, the father of two young children who were themselves injured on the scene, when their father attempted to pick up the wounded Saeed to take him to the hospital, only to get shot by U.S. troops. — 2,680 words.

How Wikileaks shone light on world's darkest secrets

How does a website run by just five full-time staff generate so many scoops?

By Archie Bland
The Independent

When the Ministry of Defence first came across Wikileaks, staffers were stunned. "There are thousands of things on here, I literally mean thousands," one of them wrote in an internal email in November 2008. "Everything I clicked on to do with MoD was restricted... it is huge." The website, an online clearing house for documents whose authors would generally prefer them to stay in the private domain, has since been banned from the MoD's internal computers, but it did no good: eventually, that email ended up on Wikileaks. And when a US Army counter-intelligence officer recommended that whistleblowers who leaked to the site be fired, that report ended up on Wikileaks too. — 846 words.

African land-grabs continue as elites resist regulation

'Some 320 thousand hectares have been assigned to the production of biofuels ... And yet, Senegal imports about 60 percent of its food'

By Hilaire Avril
Inter Press Service

A year after the purchases of vast swathes of farm land in Africa first drew public attention, transactions remain as opaque as ever

Private companies are resisting a global code of conduct that would ensure transparency and local elites continue to benefit from deals that encourage corruption and increase food insecurity. — 856 words.

Cuba hosts international Information Technology Congress

First Cuban Open Access Information forum linked to meeting


The first forum to be held in Cuba for Open Access Information will be a part of the International Information Technology Congress (INFO 2010) that will be in session from April 19 to 23, says the Organizing Committee. — 156 words.

The new East vs. West

Google Street View ruffles Euro-feathers,
but elicits only American shrugs

Whether a government or a private company gathers data, Europeans get nervous

By Michael Scott Moore

Recent controversies over the volume of information about ordinary Europeans that U.S. agencies have demanded in the wake of 9/11 — including banking details, flight-customer data and passport biometrics — show a strange difference between America and the Old World. Americans make noise about small government and individual freedom, but they tend to be more willing to give up private data than your average European. 754 words.

UN slams deliberate failure to adequately probe Bhutto assassination

Agence France-Presse

Pakistani police deliberately failed to properly probe the 2007 murder of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto which could have been averted if there had been adequate security, a UN-appointed independent panel said Thursday. — 465 words.

BRIC leaders to discuss expansion of trade currencies

The Moscow Times

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China will discuss broadening the array of world currencies used in international trade at their summit Friday as they seek to lessen their dependence on the dollar. — 545 words.

Women want to hold up half the sky — in style

'It's high time (we) tend to our spiritual home and invest in cultural consumption, be it books, concert, or art collection before we turn vulgar and coarse.'

By Ma Guihua
Inter Press Service

BEIJING — For decades, women have been "holding up half the sky in China," as the late Chairman Mao Zedong had exhorted them to do. But in recent years, a growing number of Chinese women want to do so with loads of charm and more than a hint of the social graces. Here and elsewhere, China's women are lining up for courses that in other countries — and in a bygone era — would be called "finishing school classes". — 936 words.


When faced with a clearly superior competitor
most of us don't step up our game — instead we give up

The superstar effect

By Jonah Lehrer
The Wall Street Journal

Competitors playing a match against Bobby Fischer, perhaps the greatest chess player of all time, often came down with a mysterious affliction known as "Fischer-fear." Even fellow grandmasters were vulnerable to the effect, which could manifest itself as flu-like symptoms, migraines and spiking blood pressure. As Boris Spassky, Mr. Fischer's greatest rival, once said: "When you play Bobby, it is not a question of whether you win or lose. It is a question of whether you survive." — 2,006 words.

Babies with three parents may be key to preventing genetic disorders — and could be only three years away

By Mark Henderson
The Times

Babies with three biological parents could be conceived within three years after research that could stop children from inheriting severe diseases. Scientists at Newcastle University have grown human embryos after merging DNA from two fertilised eggs, with a technique that could soon be used to prevent serious genetic disorders that affect 100 children in Britain a year. — 466 words.

Pentagon turns to 'softer' sciences

U.S. defence research to focus more on biology, cybersecurity and social sciences to help win conflicts

By Sharon Weinberger

By highlighting the limits of traditional military technology, the drawn-out conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have spurred the U.S. defence department to shake up its U.S.$12-billion science and technology research programme. The defence research and engineering office, headquartered at the Pentagon in Washington DC, is overseeing a budget shift away from applied research that supports weapons and into areas such as biology, computer science and the social sciences. All of these have "a potential for being game-changers" on the battlefield, says Zachary Lemnios, the defence department's chief technology officer and director of defence research and engineering. — 874 words.

Looking forward ...

Obama sets Mars goal for America

By Jonathan Amos
BBC News

Barack Obama says it should be possible to send astronauts to orbit the planet Mars by the mid-2030s and return them safely to Earth. The US president made the claim in a major speech to staff and guests at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. — 665 words.

Equality for Women — In Latin America the core of the problem is care

An interview with Sonia Montaño, head of ECLAC's gender unit

By Daniela Estrada
Inter Press Service

SANTIAGO — "Women help to reduce poverty and raise family incomes, but they pay too high a price for it, because in every country their working days are longer than men's," said Sonia Montaño, head of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean's (ECLAC) Division for Gender Affairs. — 984 words.

Boy Scouts of America lose sex-abuse case

By Joel Millman
The Wall Street Journal

PORTLAND, Oregon — A state-court jury found the Boy Scouts of America negligent in a sexual-abuse case, awarding damages of more than $1 million to an Oregon man who said he was molested by an assistant scoutmaster here in 1983 and 1984. — 406 words.

Venezuela, Nicaragua plan to double bilateral trade by end of 2010
with emphasis on food, oil refinery, and public health

By James Suggett

MÉRIDA — Venezuelan and Nicaraguan officials met in Managua on Wednesday to deepen bilateral economic ties with the goal of fostering import substitution, promoting Latin American integration, and creating an economic alternative to U.S.-dominated free trade agreements. — 647 words.

UNICEF says Cuba sets world high standard in post-delivery care
Praises hospitals for being friendly to newborns and their mothers

By David Koch

Post-delivery care is one of the hallmarks of child- and mother-friendly hospitals like the General Camilo Cienfuegos Provincial Hospital in Sancti Spíritus, Cuba. With a history of poverty and political strife, Cubans have experienced much deprivation over the years. But access to basic services, such as healthcare, is available to all — especially children — whose first right is to the best start in life. — 503 words.

China tests used nuclear fuel in Canadian atomic reactor

By Clive Banerjee
In-Depth News Analysis

VIENNA (IDN) – In a landmark step, China has become the first to take advantage of used nuclear fuel to run an atomic power plant, the kinds of which Canada has exported – along with the engineering expertise to build and operate them – to a number of countries including South Korea, Romania, India, Pakistan and Argentina. — 851 words.

Reality Check

Is START really a start?

A world without nuclear weapons —
With lots of popular pressure and a little bit of luck
START could mark the beginning of a nuclear weapons-free world

By Lawrence S. Wittner
History News Network

Dr. Lawrence S. Wittner is Professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany. His latest book is Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement (Stanford University Press).

Does the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague on April 8, really provide a beginning toward a nuclear-free world? That's what Obama implied in a statement two weeks earlier. Speaking to reporters at the White House, he described the treaty as an historic step toward "a world without nuclear weapons." — 980 words.

Rear-view Mirror

Tomorrow is yesterday ...
The internet: a view from 1995

Why cyberspace is hype and always will be

By Clifford Stoll

After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. — 743 words.

Money and Markets

'Recovery' as a race to the bottom

The future of American jobs

By Robert Reich


Many of my students at Berkeley who will be graduating in June are worried about the job market. I understand their worries. But they and other new college grads have less cause for concern than most American workers. Let me explain. — 1,045 words.

Economics 101

The decifit hawks no shame

The deficit hawks who brought America the disastrous housing bubble
are still trying to destroy Medicare and Social Security

By Dean Baker

Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He is a regular Truthout columnist and a member of Truthout's Board of Advisers.

Almost 25 million people are unemployed or underemployed right now. This was a completely preventable disaster. This is worth repeating a few hundred billion times so that even the geniuses in Washington can understand it. — 753 words.

The fabulous life of the ravenous vultures

For pennies on the dollar, perverted financial companies mock global development policies and squeeze profits from the poorest of the poor

By Evgenij Haperskij
Council on Hemispheric Affairs

Since the mid-90s, the so-called vulture funds have been suing poor countries so that they would fully pay back their debts which they had purchased for pennies on the dollar. In this way, the vulture funds frequently manage to exacerbate the economic situation in the poor countries, most of which are located in Latin America and Africa. Since the beginning of this year, Britain has worked to end these extortionist actions of the vulture funds. However, Christopher Chope, a Conservative member of the British House of Commons saw to it that the government's "Debt Relief Bill for developing countries," which had impressive cross-party support, would be terminated. — 1,685 words.

Annals of Education

Feds force Mississippi county to desegregate — after 40 years

By Daniel Tencer

Forty years after a Mississippi school district was ordered to desegregate its schools, a federal judge has finally enforced the order. A US District Court judge in southern Mississippi has ordered the Walthall County school board to stop segregating students by allowing white students to transfer to a predominantly-white school outside of their residence area and by "clustering" white students into separate classrooms in predominantly black schools. — 667 words.


Meinhardt Raabe, 1915-2010
From Oscar-Meyer, to Oz, and far beyond

Meinhardt Raabe, who died aged 94, played the Munchkin coroner in the film The Wizard of Oz in 1939'led a fantastic life'

By Sean Kirst
The Post-Standard

The coroner is dead. Really, most sincerely dead. That's how last week's passing of Meinhardt Raabe, at 94, played around much of the movie-watching world. Meinhardt was a little person. More than 70 years ago, he had a transcendent line while playing a Munchkin in a film that became an international classic. For the rest of his long life, he would be identified with that declarative ruling on the death of the Wicked Witch of the East. — 666 words.

The Stage

South Park's Matt & Trey launch Mormon Broadway musical with Avenue Q co-creator

By Michael Riedel
New York Post

A lot of very smart theater people — Stephen Sondheim among them — think the movie "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" is one of the best musicals of the past 15 years. South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone demonstrated a flair for musical theater, lovingly sending up its conventions and traditions while knocking out a batch of witty, catchy tunes that echo the beloved scores of the Golden Age of Broadway. — 742 words.


Hit Girl battles the critics

Chloë Grace Moretz, 13, is raising eyebrows as the foul-mouthed, pint-sized vigilante in Kick-Ass

By Peter Howell
Toronto Star

She's just turned 13, stands 5-foot-2 and looks and sounds as sweet as the peach cobbler of her native Atlanta, Ga. Yet hard-charging actress Chloë Grace Moretz has learned expert gun and knife skills — and she happily shoots down and carves up any argument that her new movie Kick-Ass, opening Friday, is a violent example of society's latest decline. — 1,149 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.


Yvette Pigeon, Associate Editor, 2006-2010

Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Geoffrey Dow, Managing 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