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Friday, December 19, 2008, Vol. 4, No, 3 — 154
"True North is for opinion makers"
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Mr. Harper's shaky aim

Patrick Corrigan, the Toronto Star

By Jeffrey Simpson
The Globe and Mail

It has been instructive, and a bit painful, to watch the Harper government slip-sliding toward solid footing on how to handle the recession. So many different, even contradictory, messages have emanated from the government that it would appear the blinkers of ideology, rapidly deteriorating economic circumstances and inexperience combined to produce confusion. — 719 words.

Editor's Notes

Friday, December 19, 2008
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 3 (154)

Yes We Can!

When Monica Lewinski was on the brink of fame, if not fortune, for being exposed as having given head in the Oval Office to then U.S. President Bill Clinton, she called her mother from Washington. The best advice her mother in California had was: “Lie!” I became aware that people told barefaced lies when I was age five. But I was in my twenties before I reluctantly concluded that people would lie even when the truth will do. — 476 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.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
From Contributing Editor Harold Wright

RCAF Lt. Colonel (Ret’d) Harold Wright, a founding contributing editor of True North Perspective, an author, and humourist known here as Judge Harold Wright and as Dr. of Punology, takes this moment to wish all his readers A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Health Watch

Tumour in newborn's brain contained foot

Colorado Springs, Colo. — A pediatric neurosurgeon says a tumour he removed from the brain of a Colorado Springs infant contained a tiny foot and other partly formed body parts. — 278 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

2009 BMW 335d First Impressions

By Luc Gagné

Wolfsburg's TDI monopoly will soon be no more. A new market segment is fast emerging and the 2009 BMW 335d, the first premium compact sedan to run on diesel in Canada, represents the tip of this iceberg — 826 words.

Russian conservatives challenge notion of 'universal' values

By Robert Coalson
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Conservative thinkers in Russia are not celebrating the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Instead, they are denouncing it as aggressive colonialism, yet another attempt to impose "Western" values on other cultures. — 1,239 words.

Did our cosmos exist before the big bang?

By Anil Ananthaswamy

Abhay Ashtekar remembers his reaction the first time he saw the universe bounce. "I was taken aback," he says. He was watching a simulation of the universe rewind towards the big bang. Mostly the universe behaved as expected, becoming smaller and denser as the galaxies converged. But then, instead of reaching the big bang "singularity", the universe bounced and started expanding again. What on earth was happening? — 2,331 words.

'Mind-reading' software could record your dreams

By Celeste Biever
New Scientist

Pictures you are observing can now be recreated with software that uses nothing but scans of your brain. It is the first "mind reading" technology to create such images from scratch, rather than picking them out from a pool of possible images. — 640 words.

U.S. Fed refuses to disclose recipients of $2 trillion
Bloomberg sues under Freedom of Information Act

By Mark Pittman

The Federal Reserve refused a request by Bloomberg News to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from U.S. taxpayers and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Bloomberg filed suit Nov. 7 under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act requesting details about the terms of 11 Fed lending programs, most created during the deepest financial crisis since the Great Depression. — 1,083 words.

China increases US treasury holdings

By Andrew E. Kramer
International Herald Tribune

China increased its holdings of US treasury securities by $65.9 billion in October, consolidating its place as the No 1 holder of American debt, according to the Treasury's latest report on international capital flows. — 520 words.

Afghanistan, Another Untold Story

By Michael Parenti

Barack Obama is on record as advocating a military escalation in Afghanistan. Before sinking any deeper into that quagmire, we might do well to learn something about recent Afghan history and the role played by the United States. — 2,225 words.

Spying on pacifists, environmentalists and nuns

An undercover Maryland State Police trooper infiltrated
non-violent groups and labeled dozens of people as terrorists.

By Bob Drogin
Los Angeles Times

TAKOMA PARK, Md. — To friends in the protest movement, Lucy was an eager 20-something who attended their events and sent encouraging e-mails to support their causes. Only one thing seemed strange. — 1,005 words.

Castillo: the “missing link” in the Cubana passenger airliner
that was blown out of the sky in 1976 killing all 73 on board

By Jean-Guy Allard
Granma International

Eva Bolinger
Eva Bolinger

New evidence revealed in declassified documents obtained by Eva Golinger, a native New York attorney, points to the ‘missing link’ in the terrorist scheme. Ms. Golinger is a writer and investigator who is author of several books including The Chavez Code: Cracking U.S. Intervention in Venezuela (2005) and Bush vs. Chavez: Washington’s War on Venezuela. The interview below is based on Ms. Golinger’s research.

Just like Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, masterminds of the mid-flight explosion of a Cuban airliner on October 6, 1976, and Frank Castro — currently a drug trafficker but, at that time, another CIA collaborator who took part in this terrorist attack that killed 73 people — there is another man who stills lives in Miami without ever having been taken to trial for his actions. — 1,282 words.

Eat local Cuban style

By Esteban Israel

HAVANA — After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba planted thousands of urban cooperative gardens to offset reduced rations of imported food. Now, in the wake of three hurricanes that wiped out 30 percent of Cuba's farm crops, the communist country is again turning to its urban gardens to keep its people properly fed.. — 740 words.


Amazon staff punished for being ill

By Claire Newell and Daniel Foggo
The Sunday Times

Amazon, Britain’s most popular website for Christmas shopping, is making its staff work seven days a week and threatening them with the sack if they take time off sick. — 1,563 words.

Coca-Cola 'abused workers' rights'

By Hu Yinan
China Daily

Coca-Cola has come under fire after a private investigation accused it of "serious infringement" of the rights of its dispatched workers in China. — 426 words.

45 years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy:

The CIA Nostra

By Gabriel Molina
Granma International

CIA documents declassified since 1992 under the JFK Records Act, in conjunction with other investigations, demonstrate that President John F. Kennedy was the victim of a sinister conspiracy. — 1,408 words.

Did America get punk'd on the bailout?

By David Sirota

When I went on Rachel Maddow's show on Tuesday, she asked a question about the bailout that is really the question of our time: Did we get punk'd? As progressive bailout critics have been saying since the current Wall Street bailout was first proposed, the answer is yes. — 1,071 words.

Spirit Quest

Advent needs to transcend those gathering to worship

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

I am not particularly fond of waiting, few people are, and yet its seems that many of us spend much time in waiting rooms, awaiting a phone call or in anticipation of the moment for action, the kairos. It is difficult to stand and wait. — 754 words.


By Barbara Florio Graham
True North Perspective

Although Air Canada attached "Heavy Baggage" tags to our luggage when we returned from three weeks in the west, the cab driver groaned as he lifted our suitcases into his trunk. "What've you got in here, lady," he asked, "rocks?" I hate to lie, so I ignored his question. — 878 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

By Mike Heenan, Literary Editor, True North Perspective

And now, for some different seasonal poems: — 374 words.

Vampire movie transforms angst ridden teen lives
into an exciting hormonal immortal existence

The vampire movie Twilight scored more than $150 million at the box office in 2008. Patricia K. McCarthy, a writer in the genre, reviews the movie for True North Perspective. — 354 words.

The Book End

Leo’s War from Gaspe to Vimy

Leo’s War tells the story of the author’s uncle Leo through his letters from the Front in the first World War. Leo Leboutillier was born in Gaspé Québec and joined the 24th Victoria Rifles in Montréal on November 1914. He writes his mother, father and sisters from the trenches until the Battle of Vimy Ridge where he receives a fatal wound. — 403 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

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


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