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Friday, December 5, 2008, Vol. 4, No, 1 — 152
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Editor's Notes

Friday, December 5, 2008
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 1 (152)

‘Canadians fail democratic literacy test’

Yes it was unusual
but it wasn’t crazy

The tumult and the shouting that developed in the past week should be considered a learning opportunity on how Canada works. — 605 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.

Ottawa Independent Writers elect new board members
and celebrate Christmas with poetry at dinner party

First prize in the contest went to Barbara Florio Graham. Second to Rosaleen Dickson. The third prize was won by Sid Allcom but unfortunately the text of his poem was not available when we went to press. — 524 words.

Raising the world's IQ with miracle substance

By Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — Travelers to Africa and Asia all have their favorite forms of foreign aid to "make a difference." One of mine is a miracle substance that is cheap and actually makes people smarter. — 745 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

2009 Jeep Wrangler X Review

By Justin Pritchard

You mightn't think there's much fun to be had in a new, twenty-thousand dollar vehicle- but Jeep is determined to continue changing that perception. — 827 words.

Mother, Daughter Face 10 Years for Stun-Gun Robbery

By Natalya Krainova
The Moscow Times

An elderly Moscow woman and her daughter are facing up to 10 years in prison for allegedly using a stun gun to rob a company offering a knitting course in which the daughter had enrolled, city police said. — 262 words.

Is Sarah Palin Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

By Abby Callard
Slate Magazine

Perhaps the best piece of campaign trail gossip to leak since Election Day is the report — by Fox News, of all places — that Sarah Palin couldn't name the countries involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement. But if the question is which countries constitute North America, the answer isn't so simple.Like the definition of the Bush Doctrine, it depends whom you ask. — 262 words.

If you’re not disgusted, you should be

By Alex Binkley
Originally written for Ontario Farmer

Most Canadians probably hoped the results of the October election were a clear signal to our Parliamentarians to take the high road and act in our best interests. Instead they’ve reverted to playing their silly games and if you’re not disgusted by what’s happening in Ottawa, you should be because it will poison political and public life in Canada for years to come. — 459 words.

China lectures U.S. on how to manage economy and finances
says more rapid China growth will help avert a global recession

International Herald Tribune

China urged the United States on Thursday to spare no effort to stabilize its economy and financial markets to help avert a global recession. — 869 words.

Holguín region has lowest infant mortality in Cuba

By Alexis Rojas Aguilera

HOLGUIN, Cuba — The rate of 2.88 per 1,000 live births achieved up to the end of November is the lowest infant mortality for this eastern region and the country as a whole during the 50 years since the triumph of the Revolution. — 189 words.

Hugo Chavez Frias says CNN quoted him out of context and gently urges
Venezuelan CNN correspondents to “Please, tell the truth, if they let you"

In a remarkable performance, Hugo Chavez Frias, President of Venezuela, challenged a report on CNN that Chavez had said that if the opposition had won the November 23 regional elections he would have called out the tanks. He spoke on the issue at a press conference attended by the world’s media, including CNN. A summary of his response may be found immediately below with a link to a video at the end. Although the video is in Spanish, it is a character study of Chavez that should be included in at least such disciplines as history, sociology, psychology, political science. The video enriches understanding as to why Chavez is able to play such a prominent role in the Western Hemisphere. — 1,375 words.

Everything You Need To Know About Hitler's "Missing" Testicle

And why we're so obsessed by the Führer's sex life

By Ron Rosenbaum
Slate Magazine

Isn't it obvious by now what this is about? Our need to prove that Hitler was not "normal," thus not like us, normal human nature thereby exculpated from producing a Hitler. It fills a need to reassure ourselves there is no Hitler potential in human potential. We're off the hook.

But despite the obviousness of it, it just doesn't stop. — 1,969 words.

Spirit Quest

'There’s always room at the top . . .
especially if you blow the foam off’

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

Every year about this time I struggle to produce a Christmas or year’s end letter, depending on my diligence. — 643 words.

Mugabe’s Biggest Sin

Anglo-American and Chinese interests clash over Zimbabwe’s strategic mineral wealth

By F. William Engdahl
Global Research

Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, presides over one of the world’s richest minerals treasures, the Great Dyke region, which cuts a geological swath across the entire land from northeast to southwest. The real background to the pious concerns of the Bush Administration for human rights in Zimbabwe in the past several years is not Mugabe’s possible election fraud or his expropriation of white settler farms. It is the fact that Mr. Mugabe has been quietly doing business, a lot of it, with the one country which has virtually unlimited need of strategic raw materials Zimbabwe can provide — China. — 2,482 words.

Saving the Big 3 for You and Me ...a message from Michael Moore

Michael Moore says Washington should buy-out Big 3, fire leaders


I drive an American car. It's a Chrysler. That's not an endorsement. It's more like a cry for pity. And now for a decades-old story, retold ad infinitum by tens of millions of Americans, a third of whom have had to desert their country to simply find a damn way to get to work in something that won't break down: 1,422 words.

Fascinating historical notes … by George Laidlaw

What is True?

Recently a mystery dating back to the assassination of the last Czar of Russia 17 July 1918, Nicholas II and his family have been put to rest! Well perhaps. The Bolsheviks removed the Czar and his family but there was a mystery when the bodies of the family didn’t add up. Two bodies were missing: the heir Alexei and a daughter (perhaps Anastasia). — 283 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

By Mike Heenan, Literary Editor, True North Perspective

Mixed Nuts!

My Gawd, what's going on up there? — 129 words.

New web site may be path to success
for authors, publishers, and companies

Prolific best-selling Ottawa author and publicist Randy Ray has developed a new Web site 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: He can be contacted at: (613) 731-3873 or

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

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


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