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

Friday, April 23, 2010, Vol. 5, No, 20 — 224
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Quote of the Week:

'We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.'
— Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee 'doesn't threaten' the creators of the cartoon South Park — 544 words.

Ash and lightning over the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajköll, on April 17, 2010.

Although the large ash plume was not unparalleled in its abundance, its location was particularly noticeable because it drifted across such well populated areas. The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in southern Iceland began erupting on March 20, with a second eruption starting under the center of small glacier on April 14. Although neither unusually powerful, the second eruption, melted a large amount of glacial ice which then cooled and fragmented lava into gritty glass particles that were carried up with the rising volcanic plume. — Marco Fulle/NASA

Looking forward ...

Why the U.S. fears a nuclear-armed Iran

By Michael Gass

A report prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on June 30, 1947, stated: "A peace enforced through fear is a poor substitute for a peace maintained through international cooperation based upon agreement and understanding. But until such a peace is brought about, this nation can hope only that an effective deterrent to global war will be a universal fear of the atomic bomb as the ultimate horror in war." We can see even at that time that nuclear weapons were seen as the ultimate deterrent to any nation's aggression. If Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons, the United States would not have invaded the country in 2003. In his own words, Saddam Hussein stated that he allowed the world to believe he had WMD so he wouldn't appear weak to Iran. He further stated, "By God, if I had such weapons, I would have used them in the fight against the US." — 2,094 words.

Cartoon by Clay Bennett, Comics.com, 21 April 2010

Who needs prorogation! Government plays delay, delay, delay ...
'The documents will be given to your counsel when they are good and ready.'

Lacking records from Ottawa,
detainee probe is losing steam, hearings face suspension
while torture allegations erupt in U.K.

By Steven Chase
Globe and Mail

Starved of government records requested from Ottawa, a watchdog probing Canada's Afghan detainee transfers is facing the prospect its investigation may be derailed, and hearings suspended. The Military Police Complaints Commission, irked that the flow of documents has slowed to "a trickle," has summoned a Canadian general and a deputy minister to answer for delays — and to address its suspicion that Ottawa is holding back vital information. — 1,255 words.

Editor's Notes

Friday, April 23, 2010
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 20 (224)

Tragedy against a background of hope

While a Washington still controlled by the military-industrial complex (against which President Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans in his final speech) moves about the world with its guns cocked and blasting away, two meetings took place this April that revealed how significantly the world is changing. — 516 words.

Open letter

A message of reconciliation and responsibility to the Iraqi people,
from current and former members of the United States military

By Josh Stieber and Ethan McCord

Peace be with you.

To all of those who were injured or lost loved ones during the July 2007 Baghdad shootings depicted in the "Collateral Murder" Wikileaks video. We write to you, your family, and your community with awareness that our words and actions can never restore your losses. We are both soldiers who occupied your neighborhood for 14 months. — 569 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.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Private citizen pushes federal government to enforce the law
and protect BC's wild salmon from multi-national Marine Harvest

By Olivia Fermi

On the eve of Earth Day, a private citizen has succeeded in her quest to enforce Canada's laws in the case of illegal possession of wild salmon in British Columbia by Marine Harvest, one of the largest multi-national fish farm companies in the world. — 630 words.

On Earth Day — and every day — we are all richer for being close to nature

Memories of the brooder room

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.

The Easter card I picked up for my mom was simply delightful: a half dozen spring chicks! Sometimes I pick cards that I would like to keep for myself. This one brought back wonderful memories of springtime rituals at the farm when I was a child. — 918 words.

Mixed-race couples on the rise,
up by 33 per cent between the 2001 and 2006

By Shannon Proudfoot

More than 340,000 children in Canada are growing up in mixed-race families, a new report from Statistics Canada reveals, and the number of mixed unions is growing much more quickly than that of other partnerships. — 1,158 words.

Complaints overwhelm Ontario human rights watchdog

$15,000 'gypsy' slur: Coffee shop confrontation among countless tales of rampant racism, work discrimination

By Moira Welsh
Toronto Star

Ontario's newly streamlined human rights watchdog is swamped with allegations of sex, race and disability discrimination, the Star has found. "We are really overwhelmed by our volume of cases now," said Katherine Laird, the senior official whose job it is to support people who say they are victims. "Our phones are ringing off the hook. — 3,274 words.

Iggy's poor aim: Liberal gun-control compromises
seem to be too little, too late

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Reading Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's compromise on the long gun registry reminds me of the boyhood taunt that you couldn't hit the broadside of a barn door with a 22. Now I will give Ignatieff credit for trying to find a compromise in this vexatious issue. After all, it's his party a decade ago that steered us into this mess with its heavy handed registry. — 573 words.

Homeowner charged $35,000 by archeologists

Vancouver Island resident unaware her land held aboriginal bones, artifacts
Provincial government has database of sites but doesn't disclose information

By Kathy Tomlinson
CBC News

A property owner and her family from Vancouver Island are up in arms over a $35,000 bill she was held responsible for after her land was registered as a heritage site. — 1,260 words.

Earth Day turns 40

By Rebekah Sears MA
True North Perspective
First written for Citizens for Public Justice

Rebekah Sears is the policy intern at Ottawa-based Citizens for Public Justice, www.CPJ.ca, an ecumenical social advocacy organization.

Thursday was Earth Day. Initiated by US Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 as a national movement for education and promotion of environmental care, Earth Day eventually was recognized and is now celebrated around the world. — 380 words.

Reality Check

Right-wing think-tank plays fast and loose with the numbers

Fraser Intitute's 'Consumer Tax Index' grossly misrepresents reality

By Erin Weir
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

On April 19, 2010, the Fraser Institute released The Canadian Consumer Tax Index, 2010. This report overstates average taxes and ignores the introduction of new public services during the past half-century. It does so in the following ways: — 477 words.

Toronto women pay tribute to an unlikely feminist

By Carol Goar
The Toronto Star

A few of the women who gathered at the University of Toronto last weekend grew up at a time when a young lady who became pregnant before marriage was hustled off to an unwed mothers' home to take care of her mistake. — 638 words.

Vilma Lucila Espín Guillois was a feminist with a gun
She bore four children and led the struggle for women's rights
throughout the world winning awards for her achievements

Read the remarkable story of how the wealthy daughter of the lawyer for the giant Bacardi Rum distillery and a science graduate who attended the U.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology became a frontline Castro rebel in Batista's Cuba, the most powerful woman of the revolution, a Communist, a poster girl for the cause, and the mother of Alejandro Castro Espin likely to become President of Cuba when his father Raúl fades from power.

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective

This is a story that almost didn't get written. On April 8, as I panned the world for golden nuggets of news not carried by the mainstream media, as I always do, I came across a brief, 259-word item, about a tribute in Cuba on the 80th birthday of a deceased woman called Vilma. The piece reported the glowing things that are said about someone who has died. In this case about the "humane influence of our Cuban heroine, outstanding combatant and a paradigm of revolutionary womanhood." — 1,878 words.

Ontario Premier says early sex-education needs 're-think'

Ontario turns tail two days after proposing sweeping changes to province's sex-education curiculum

CBC News

A controversial new sex education curriculum that would have seen Ontario children learn about sexual orientation in Grade 3 and masturbation in Grade 6 will be postponed and reworked, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Thursday. It's obvious from listening to parents over the past two days that the curriculum needs a "serious rethink," McGuinty said after an unrelated event in London, Ont. — 851 words.

Spirit Quest

Spirit is hard to explain, but it is there
(as even atheists must admit)

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

So the Senators, the ones that skate not the ones that sit, made it into the playoffs. Here in Ottawa the people are going bonkers. "Go, Sens Go" seems to be the greeting that has replaced "Hi" or even "Salut." The Senators' flags are flapping from cars all over the city. The image on the flag is unfortunately not that of a Roman senator but of a centurion. Senators didn't wear armour but white togas, nor did they fight but argue. Understandably the fans don't want to worship the image of those half-asleep appointees of the PM waiting for retirement but the tough combatants. Courts of "sober second thought" are a good thing to have around in government but don't do much on ice or field. — 797 words.

From the Desk of Alex Binkley, Contributing Editor

From handout to hand-up:
Aboriginal policy in Australia and Canada

Frontier Centre for Public Policy

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Frontier Centre for Public Policy today released Aboriginal Policy in Australia and Canada: From Handout to Hand-Up, by Frontier policy analyst Tahlia Maslin. The study compares the experience of and policy regarding indigenous populations in Australia and Canada. It also summarizes recent developments in policy in Australia and whether there might be a lesson for Canadian policymakers. — 515 words.

Health Watch

Drugging infants and toddlers: Like Hollywood,
a particularly American phenomenon —
Will it too spread to the rest of the world?

In the United States, babies are being declared mentally ill and so, medicated with anti-psychotics and other dangerous drugs

By Evelyn Pringle

The United States has become the psychiatric drugging capital of the world for kids with children being medicated at a younger and younger age. Medicaid records in some states show infants less than a year old on drugs for mental disorders. — 1,475 words.

When the John's a Jane

From call girl to calling the shots

A look at women who pay for their pleasure, and the sex workers who satisfy their cravings

By Monica Shores

Just because it's not talked about doesn't mean it's not happening: women, like men, are paying for sex. Recent years ushered in the prominence of feminist sex shops and sex worker rights activism, causing women across the country to think about the sex industry in new ways. 1,397 words.

Florida farm workers fight for one extra cent

An extra penny per pound of tomatoes would double workers' wages

By Andrew Stelzer
Inter Press Service

TAMPA, Florida — Chanting "No more slaves! Pay a living wage!", hundreds of farmworkers, students and others marched 22 miles through central Florida for three days, calling on the Publix supermarket chain to pay an extra penny to the impoverished workers who pick their tomatoes. — 1,193 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.


'Shocking' but no surprise

Former insider reveals Guantanamo deception:
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld knowingly
'detained the innocent for political reasons'

'Many of the prisoners detained at Guantanamo had been taken into custody without regard to whether they were truly enemy combatants, or in fact whether many of them were enemies at all.'

'The people who ended up in Guantanamo were mostly turned over to the US by Afghan warlords and others who received bounties of up to $5,000 per head for each person they turned in.'

By Bill Quigley

Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, provided shocking new testimony from inside the Bush Administration that hundreds of the men jailed at Guantanamo were innocent, the top people in the Bush Administration knew full well they were innocent, and that information was kept from the public. — 1,592 words.

'Operation Hope' brings dread to Kandahar

Those who haven't fled the US-led Kandahar offensive look to sell up and get out

By Jean MacKenzie

KABUL, Afghanistan — It is being called Operation Omid. The word omid means "hope" in Afghanistan's Dari language. But, judging by the reaction of local residents, the coming U.S.-led military offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar could not be more inappropriately named.

In Kandahar, residents like Abdul Salaam, a farmer, feel more a sense of dread than hope about a military operation that is being billed as one of the largest in the war to date. "Operation Omid will bring more insecurity, instead of peace," said Salaam, who lives in the Maiwand district of Kandahar Province. "We have just seen that the opposition has accelerated its attacks. There are more and more explosions in the province. You cannot bring peace through war." — 1,516 words.

Meanwhile, like the Soviets before them,
American troops pull out of Korengal Valley ...

The Korengal Valley, a favoured crossing point into Afghanistan for Taleban militants, has long been a thorn in the side of the American military, with 42 soldiers killed and hundreds injured since 2005

By Tom Coghlan

American troops have withdrawn from a notorious valley in eastern Afghanistan that has seen some of the worst fighting of the war, with commanders citing a shift in strategy. A low-key press release yesterday announced the "realignment" of US forces out of the Korengal Valley, where 42 American soldiers have been killed and hundreds wounded since 2005. One base established at the northern end of the six-mile-long valley will be retained to block a Taleban infiltration route. — 673 words.

... and the Taliban have already moved right back in

'There is a lot of ammunition left behind – mortars, rockets, and missiles. This, God willing, we will [use] against them.' — Anwar, local Taliban commander

Al Jazeera

The Taliban is claiming victory in eastern Afghanistan's Korengal Valley following the withdrawal of US forces from a remote outpost. Days after the US pulled out as part of "repositioning of forces", Al Jazeera visited the valley and found the Taliban had control of the area and access to every part of the camp. — 450 words.

Report from Obama's America ...

Lies of our times

In the Obama era, as in the days of Bush,
lying to Congress rewarded, not pushished

By Ray McGovern
Retired CIA analyst
Originally written for ConsortiumNews.com

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander may well be harboring the thought attributed to prevaricator Oliver North upon being spared punishment — and instead getting rewarded handsomely — for lying about the Iran-Contra Affair: "Is this a great country or what!" Gen. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency since August 2005, is about to become what the Army describes as "dual hatted." The Senate is about to confirm him to another highly sensitive leadership position requiring the utmost integrity and fidelity to the Constitution when he has shown neither. — 2,681 words

Boldness vs. bullets at the Gaza border

By Max Ajl

The razor-wire and concrete frontier between Israel and Gaza is intermittently interrupted by remote-controlled metal observation towers equipped with motion sensors. When the sensors detect something, the metal petals atop the towers peel back, blooming. A small bloom means the interior camera is peering around. A big bloom occurs when the people controlling the machine guns inside the turret are thinking about blasting someone. — 1,275 words.

Secret prison revealed in Baghdad

Forces under the office of Prime Minister Maliki held hundreds of Sunni men at the facility

By Ned Parker
Los Angeles Times

BAGHDAD — Hundreds of Sunni men disappeared for months into a secret Baghdad prison under the jurisdiction of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's military office, where many were routinely tortured until the country's Human Rights Ministry gained access to the facility, Iraqi officials say. — 1,259 words.

Biden lauds killing of 'al-Qaeda in Iraq' leader,
whom U.S. military once declared fictional

By David Edwards and Ron Brynaert

Monday afternoon in the White House briefing room, Vice President Joe Biden lauded reports that "early in the morning, October 18th, Iraqi security forces killed the two most senior leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq during a series of joint security operations." — 1,369 words.

'The China-Venezuela relationship extends from the subsoil to outer space ...
it goes from the search for petroleum to the Simon Bolivar Satellite.'

China, Venezuela sign seven trade agreements
China offers US$20 billion line of credit

By Tamara Pearson

MERIDA — Yesterday government representatives from Venezuela and China signed seven agreements in Caracas, six energy based ones and one around petroleum. China also offered US$20 billion in financing, the largest offer it has made in the last fifty years. — 546 words.

Secret copyright talks spring a leak

A draft of the anti-counterfeiting agreement confirms fears about threats to internet freedom

By Michael Geist

Negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) resume today in Wellington, New Zealand, with Canada, the United States, the European Union, and a handful of other countries launching the eighth round of talks. While even the most optimistic ACTA supporters do not expect to conclude an agreement before the end of the year, the next five days may prove to be a pivotal point in the negotiations since over the past several weeks, there have been two major leaks that could dramatically alter the still-secret discussions. — 590 words.

'The growth rate of clean technology is amazing despite all the problems. A lot of people don't realize that for the first time last year in the [United] States or Europe there was more renewable capacity brought onstream than nuclear and fossil combined. You tell people that and they say no, it must be wrong. No, it's not wrong, it's in the statistics.'

Interview: Jeremy Leggett

Confessions of a (former) oil industry consultant

By Christine Shearer

'I was really into it. I loved geology, I loved the process of studying history, I loved the research part. I researched the history of the oceans, so I came at the climate system through the research on oceans, the bottom up, as it were. My consulting, a lot of it was with the oil industry ... in Japan, in Pakistan ... with BP and Shell ... And the reason I ultimately grew disenchanted was the emergence of the worrying climate science in the mid-1980's coming from the atmospheric guys studying the climate from the top down. When I put those two things together, what they were saying about the heat-trapping ability of the atmosphere with what I knew about the behavior of the oceans, that's when I got really worried about global warming and of course still am.' — 2,185 words.

Cuba's 'seed man' wins global environmental prize

'Green Nobel' award-winner shifts farmers from dependence on chemicals

By Will Weissert
The Associated Press

BAUTA, Cuba — The folk-singing scientist strides over dry, fluffy soil that's brown with a hint of red, like brownies fresh from the oven. He's talking about seeds. He's always talking about seeds. Humberto Rios Labrada's campaign to let Cuban farmers choose the crops and seed varieties best for their lands helped him win one of the 2010 Goldman Environmental Prizes — known as the "green Nobels" — on Monday. — 927 words.

California county separates elderly couple
and sells all their possessions

By Kate Kendell

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place — wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health. — 489 words.

Washington scales back annual outlay for regime change in Cuba from $45 million to $20 million: Senator Kerry wants to be sure its money well spent

By José Pertierra
Translated by Machetra.Wordpress.com

José Pertierra is a lawyer. He represents the Venezuelan government in the case to extradite Luis Posada Carriles. His firm is located in Washington D.C.

Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity.

Presidents in Washington come and go, but the end goal of U.S. foreign policy remains the same: derail the governments who dare to defend their national sovereignty and destroy any revolution that ventures toward a different world than that which is programmed for them. The weapons that the United States has used in its offensive against Cuba have evolved over the last fifty years, but the war remains the same. — 1,805 words.


'An eruption like this 100 years ago wouldn't have caused any issues in Europe. Possibly we'd not even know about it.'

Volcano flight risk hard to assess: experts

'The science isn't as settled as first presented'

The Associated Press

To fly, or not? There's no easy answer about when it's safe to fly through a cloud of volcanic ash. But it'll be all too obvious if there's a wrong answer, experts say. With the volcano in Iceland, Mother Nature is giving high-flying Europe a lesson in risk, aviation technology, scientific uncertainty and economics. And how these fields intersect is messy. — 1,059 words.

Science of mind

It's tough all over for experts

Study suggests people are more likely to believe in ESP
when told it's been scientifically disproven

Newly published research on belief in ESP suggests a public disregard for — and perhaps even hostility toward — the scientific consensus

By Tom Jacobs

Scientists wondering just how low faith in their field has fallen will get some uncomfortable answers in a study examining belief in Extrasensory Perception (ESP), recently published in the online journal Current Research in Social Psychology. — 525 words.

Saturn's rings, gravity's rules

NASA's Cassini spacecraft gets a seven-year extension

By Guy Gugliotta
The New York Times

When it comes to voyages of discovery, NASA's venerable Cassini mission is about as good as it gets. In six years of cruising around the planet Saturn and its neighborhood, the Cassini spacecraft has discovered two new Saturn rings, a bunch of new moons and a whole new class of moonlets. It encountered liquid lakes on the moon Titan, water ice and a particle plume on the moon Enceladus, ridges and ripples on the rings, and cyclones at Saturn's poles. Cassini also released a European space probe that landed on Titan. And Cassini has sent back enough data to produce more than 1,400 scientific papers — at last count. — 1,688 words.

Crows can plan ahead, use 3 tools

CBC News

Researchers have shown that crows from the South Pacific can learn to use three tools in succession to reach some food, demonstrating an advanced way of thinking. Scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand said the New Caledonian crows, which use tools in the wild, have shown that they are able to develop new behaviours to solve problems. — 656 words.

Neanderthals may have interbred with early humans — twice!

'Neanderthal Man' might not be extinct after all

By Rex Dalton

Archaic humans such as Neanderthals may be gone but they're not forgotten — at least not in the human genome. A genetic analysis of nearly 2,000 people from around the world indicates that such extinct species interbred with the ancestors of modern humans twice, leaving their genes within the DNA of people today. — 759 words.

Russia may regret Kyrgyzstan coup

The Kremlin is not known for supporting pro-democracy movements
It may have bitten off more than it can chew

By Simon Tisdall
The Guardian UK

It's beyond argument, two weeks after the overthrow of Kyrgyzstan's president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, that Russia played a critical, possibly decisive role in his downfall. But as ethnic violence, score-settling, and political confusion continue to roil the impoverished central Asian country, the coming question is whether a clever-boots Kremlin has bitten off more than it can chew. — 1,280 words.

$613,793 per dead miner

Massey's CEO pay soared as mine concerns grew

Four of Massey Energy's mines had injury rates that were more than twice the national rate last year

By Howard Berkes
National Public Radio

Massey Energy Chief Executive Officer Don Blankenship was paid $17.8 million last year even as some of the coal mines he supervised accumulated safety violations and injuries at rates that greatly exceed national rates. — 883 words.

Third Ways

Coalition of the Tired of Waiting:
Fighting climate change at ground level

Nimble cities and regions aren't waiting for international treaties;
instead, they're eyeing the first-mover advantage

By Ann Danylkiw

Ann Danylkiw is a new media freelance journalist tracking the green transition. She is completing an MSc in finance and development economics at SOAS in London.

A pattern is emerging in the geopolitics of climate change this year: Countries are banding together to begin to map out strategies to adapt to and mitigate climate change outside of the UNFCCC process and ahead of a final international climate agreement. — 1,143 words.

Water Wars: How one city's fight against a multinational ignited a movement battling water privatization

Cochabama, Bolivia was ground zero 10 years ago in the fight against water privatization, but the threat still persists across the world

By Tina Gerhardt

High up in the Andean valley, 8,000 feet above sea level, lies Cochabamba, Bolivia. The name, Khocha Pampa, from the indigenous Quechua, means swampy plain. Once a lush and verdant land, its waters have come under pressure from a variety of sources. The first was privatization. — 1,697 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Portland is strange — and proud of it

Is Oregon's metropolis in the vanguard of American cities or a 'left-coast' anomaly?

The Economist

The city most comparable to Portland might be Vancouver in Canada, reckons Sam Adams, Portland's mayor, although "we look to Amsterdam, Helsinki and Stockholm" for ideas. Ethan Seltzer, a professor of urban planning in Portland, thinks little Freiburg, in Germany, is the best comparison, with its similar obsessions about recycling, sustainability, public transit and bicycling. Others pick Zurich, which, like Portland, has a view of snow-capped mountains, orderly (bordering on staid) streets with trams, even the same peculiar fondness for direct democracy and tolerance of assisted suicide. — 818 words.

Errata: Cookbook misprint penalizes bottom line of Australian publisher

Recipe calling for "salt and freshly ground black people" sees cookbook print-run pulped

BBC News

An Australian publisher has had to pulp and reprint a cook-book after one recipe listed "salt and freshly ground black people" instead of black pepper. — 196 words.

Reality Check

Corrupt practices accelerating the decline of American journalism
Embedded war reporting cannot escape its own bias

The decline of journalism, within wars and without them

By David Sirota
AlterNet.org and

Alison Banville
Guardian UK

No matter how much this week's Pulitzer Prize triumphalism hides it, the fact remains that journalism these days is "a disaster," as Ted Koppel said recently. And unfortunately, retrospection dominates the news industry's self-analysis. Like dazed tornado victims, most media experts focus on what happened and why, oh lord, why? — 1,436 words.

Comedian with attitude or,
Never strut 'round a copper

British comedian stopped and searched for 'over-confident attitude'
Mark Thomas wins £1,200 compensation and apology from London Police


Mark Thomas, the comedian and political activist who was illegally stopped and searched after a demonstration in East London, has won compensation from the Metropolitan Police. Mark Thomas received £1,200 and a full apology after having his wallet and shoulder bag searched by two police officers in September 2007. One officer it has been reported recorded in writing that he was suspicious of Mr Thomas because of his over-confident attitude'. — 438 words.

Tea Party roots lie deep in Stalin's Soviet Union

The Koch family, America's biggest financial backers of the Tea Party, would not be the billionaires they are today were it not for the godless empire of the USSR

By Yasha Levine

The Tea Party movement's dirty little secret is that its chief financial backers owe their family fortune to the granddaddy of all their hatred: Stalin's godless empire of the USSR. The secretive oil billionaires of the Koch family, the main supporters of the right-wing groups that orchestrated the Tea Party movement, would not have the means to bankroll their favorite causes had it not been for the pile of money the family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and early 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure. — 2,808 words.

Rear-view Mirror

1880s America: Libertarian paradise

A golden age for rich, white men

'It was a golden age of rights for women in which... oh, wait. Sorry. I forgot for a moment that women don't count when measuring freedom. Good thing, since in 1880 they couldn't vote, were excluded from many occupations, faced restrictions on their ownership rights, and were often treated as the property of their husbands. Naturally, their reproductive rights consisted of the right to reproduce — or die trying.'

By DevilsTower

It took the Republican Party sixty years of dedicated effort to make the word "liberal" radioactive in some parts of the United States. In less than half that time they've also done a pretty good job of making "Republican" just as disliked, associated as it is with the politics of wretched excess, fetishizing ignorance, bowing to K street lobbyists, and diaper-wearing-toe-tapping-lesbian-bondage sexual hypocrisy. — 2,105 words.

Money and Markets

Looters in loafers or scavengers in silk slippers ...

'The fact is that much of the financial industry has become a racket — a game in which a handful of people are lavishly paid to mislead and exploit consumers and investors'

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times

Last October, I saw a cartoon by Mike Peters in which a teacher asks a student to create a sentence that uses the verb "sacks," as in looting and pillaging. The student replies, "Goldman Sachs." Sure enough, last week the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the Gucci-loafer guys at Goldman of engaging in what amounts to white-collar looting. — 913 words.

Surprise: Goldman Sachs to pay out $5 billion
more in bonuses for first three months of 2010

By John Byrne

As if to put the icing on the cake, the investment bank Goldman Sachs is set to shell out another $5 billion in bonuses to employees. What's more, the bonuses are expected to cover the employees' work for just the first three months of the year, according to the UK Sunday Times. — 308 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Cartoon by Henry Payne, Comics.com, 20 April 2010

From the Desk of the Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

The calamity of Caledonia

What British Columbia can teach Ontario about Native land claims

By Christopher Moore
Literary Review of Canada

Can Ontario take the confrontation at Douglas Creek Estates seriously? No one, I think, denies the seriousness of the armed confrontation outside Caledonia in the Grand River valley of southern Ontario. For four years armed gunmen known as the Mohawk Warriors have occupied a ten-house real estate development on the edge of the reserve of the Six Nations of the Grand River, southwest of Hamilton. In April 2006, Ontario Provincial Police sent to carry out a court order for the Warriors' expulsion were driven back, with the gunmen supported by an estimated 1,000 demonstrators from the reserve. The armed standoff has continued ever since, with the constant threat that either miscalculation or provocation will lead to an explosion of gunfire and death. Throughout these years, the confrontation has been destroying homes, ruining businesses, and generally blighting lives and prospects on both sides of the barricades. — 3,654 words.


Poor No More:
Offering viable solutions to the challenges facing the working poor

By Rebekah Sears
True North Perspective
First written for Citizens for Public Justice

Rebekah Sears is the policy intern at Ottawa-based Citizens for Public Justice, an ecumenical social advocacy organization.

Last week I attended the Parliament Hill launch of Poor No More the documentary film hosted by Canadian television and film star, Mary Walsh. Directed and produced by the award winning team of Suzanne Babin and Bert Deveaux with executive producer David Langille, the film is aimed at exposing the challenges of the working poor in Canada and offering viable government solutions. — 532 words.

6,000 flock to Kremlin for Burnt by the Sun sequel

The original Burnt by the Sun was a powerful film that revealed the beginning of the horrors of Stalinism. Now we have Burnt by the Sun 2.

By Xenia Prilepskaya
The Moscow Times

Sixteen years after Burnt by the Sun won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, director Nikita Mikhalkov has unveiled the first of a two-part sequel set during World War II in a screening at the Kremlin. — 754 words.

'I think a lot of the Facebook experience was left out of Lite, especially the monetisable parts'

Facebook shuts its 'Lite' site after just seven months

By Maggie Shiels
BBC News

Facebook has shut down its Lite site aimed at users with slow or poor internet connections. The stripped down version of the original ran for around seven months. Facebook posted a note on its own fan page thanking those who used Lite, adding that it had "learned a lot from the test of a slimmed-down site". "I think a lot of the Facebook experience was left out of Lite, especially the monetisable parts," said Ray Valdes of Gartner Research. — 326 words.

In The Begining was The Word — now it's Poetry

The Hospital Window

By James L. Dickey
From The Whole Motion: Collected Poems 1945-1992.

I have just come down from my father.
Higher and higher he lies
Above me in a blue light
Shed by a tinted window.
I drop through six white floors
And then step out onto pavement. — 350 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, 1934-2010, National 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
Tom Dow, Sudbury
Bob Kay, Montréal
Randy Ray, Ottawa
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair, Ottawa
David Ward, Ottawa
Harold Wright, Ottawa