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

Friday, February 5, 2010, Vol. 5, No, 10 — 214
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Quote of the Week:
"I'm going to want to take a look at your math."
U.S. President Barack Obama takes Republican Senator to (primary) school.1,250 words.

'Throughout the Copenhagen negotiations ... our clear policy was to support the outcome of Copenhagen and also to align our clean energy and climate change policies with those of the Obama administration'

Canada outlines greenhouse gas reduction targets in advance of UN deadline

Critics claim 'reduction' actually an increase

By Bill Graveland
The Canadian Press

CALGARY — Environmentalists and opposition politicians are dismissing the Conservative government's latest pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with one group predicting they'll actually increase under a new agreement hammered out last year. — 806 words.

Cartoon by Brian Jenkins, The Globe and Mail, 3 February 2010.

How the Harperites ambushed the rights agency

By Haroon Siddiqui
The Toronto Star

The proroguing of Parlia-ment we understand. Also Stephen Harper's emasculation of independent institutions. And his firing/silencing/demonization of critics, like labelling Jack Layton "Taliban Jack" for saying in 2006 (as argued in this space as well) that NATO had messed up so badly in Afghanistan it could no longer win, and the only way out was political reconciliation, which is what Barack Obama has decided and Ottawa has signed on to. — 711 words.

Editor's Notes

Friday, February 5, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 10 (214)

'Ready, aye ready!'

With contempt for Parliament and for Canadians ...
'Me too' Harper boldly vows that Ottawa
will do whatever Washington tells it to do

By Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor
True North Perspective

Jim Prentice inadvertently made his government's understanding of what it means to govern perfectly clear when he announced Canada's greenhouse gas reduction targets in Calgary earlier this week. Canada's environment minister explained the Conservative government's policy was to "support the outcome of Copenhagen and also align our clean energy and climate change policies with those of the Obama administration" (emphasis added). — 753 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

Landmark Report Urges British Columbia To Conserve At Least 50% of Its Land Base As Part of Expanded Climate Change Strategy

Protect nature to protect us

New report and accompanying letter signed by top international scientists and environmental thinkers urges government to integrate nature conservation into provincial climate action strategy

By Dr. Jim Pojar

VANCOUVER — British Columbia's fight against climate change should focus on conserving at least 50% of its land base using new strategies for nature conservation and carbon storage, says a new peer-reviewed report by senior ecologist Dr. Jim Pojar. — 373 words.

'Danny Millions' Williams heads south for heart surgery

Wealthy Newfoundland premier sparks a backlash over decision to get treatment in United States

By Tonda MacCharles
The Toronto Star

OTTAWA — Danny Williams' decision to head south for heart surgery has sparked a furious debate on both sides of the border. The premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, a former lawyer and millionaire businessman, left Monday for an unspecified cardiac surgical procedure at an undisclosed U.S. hospital. The move raised questions about whether he could have the operation in Canada. — 627 words

Ignoring the real issue with the Canadian Wheat Board

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

The last two weeks have produced a couple of judicial decisions that may finally set the stage for some rational discussions about the future of the Canadian Wheat Board. The venerable Winnipeg-based institution has the mandate from the federal government to sell the wheat and barley of Prairie farmers, whether they like it or not. In recent years, those who don't like it have become increasingly restive and vocal in their desire to get out from under the CWB's heavy hand and make their own decisions on marketing their grain. Those actions have inspired the Board's defenders to seek every possible avenue to thwart them and protect the monopoly. — 800 words.

'Someone who is truly remarkable'

Five-time Olympian Clara Hughes named flag-bearer for Vancouver

By Shi Davidi
Canadian Press

Over a successful career spent on the ice and on her bike, Clara Hughes has grown into more than simply an accomplished amateur athlete. She's an advocate for the environment. She's a humanitarian activist. She's a motivational speaker and engaged world citizen. And now the 37-year-old is the face of Canada's Olympic team as the flag-bearer for the Vancouver Olympics. — 1,525 words.

Soft touch department

Time to retire touch-tone fee: researcher

Bell claims the monthly charge funds other system upgrades

By Charlene Sadler
CBC News

Touch-tone fees introduced by Bell in the 1970s to fund the switch from a rotary-dial system should be dropped, as the costs have been more than paid for, says a wireless technology researcher. — 749 words.

Government refuses to ask for Khadr's return to Canada

Foreign affairs minister says other options are being discussed

By Janice Tibbetts
The Vancouver Sun

The Harper government says it will not seek Omar Khadr's repatriation from Guantanamo Bay, but that it is considering other undisclosed options to make up for violating his constitutional rights. — 421 words.

Harper violating Constitution, placing executive above parliament

Continued refusal to release uncensored documents on Afghan prisoners
will put Government in contempt of Parliament: constitutional law professor

CBC News

The Conservative government has violated the Constitution and will be in contempt of Parliament if it continues to refuse to release uncensored documents regarding the Afghan detainee issue, a constitutional law professor says. — 430 words.

Study finds Arctic ice melting even faster than predicted

'It's happening much faster than our most pessimistic projections'

By John Bowman
CBC News

The head of the largest climate change study ever undertaken in Canada says the Arctic sea ice is thinning faster than expected. "It's happening much faster than our most pessimistic projections," said University of Manitoba Prof. David Barber, the lead investigator of the Circumpolar Flaw Lead study. A flaw lead is the term for open water between pack ice and coastal ice. — 850 words.

Everything can change in the blink of an eye

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.

In the cold of our Canadian winters in Ottawa, I always tell my friends the sound I love most is that of my furnace starting up. But how we take our creature comforts for granted! On Thursday afternoon of January 28th, the weather changed quite suddenly to blizzard conditions. The winds picked up, the temperature plummeted and the ensuing blowing snow created a white-out. I couldn't see my neighbor's house across the street. — 1,256 words.

For information on how to help or on how to find your friends or relatives, visit CBC.ca's Haiti Relief information page.

Spirit Quest

Death's word may be final, but love is triumphant

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

"In this world nothing is certain except death and taxes." Thus wrote Benjamin Franklin 300 years ago, and nothing has changed since then. In recent days we have heard a great deal about the activity of the Grim Reaper. In Haiti more than 150,000 lives were extinguished in a matter of a few moments as the earthquake leveled the city of Port au Prince. Nor did the scythe distinguish between the rich and the poor. Posh hotels such as the Montana ( have you looked at the pictures of that hotel prior to the earthquake?) and the hovels of the slums of that city were leveled. It is amazing that many seemed to have escaped and found were alive two weeks later. — 743 words.

Health Watch

Medical journal retracts study linking autism to vaccine

By Madison Park

The medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday retracted a controversial 1998 paper that linked the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to autism. The study subsequently had been discredited, and last week, the lead author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, was found to have acted unethically in conducting the research. The General Medical Council, which oversees doctors in Britain, said that "there was a biased selection of patients in The Lancet paper" and that his "conduct in this regard was dishonest and irresponsible." — 1,192 words.

Forget deodorants and douching! Surgery and toxic colorants are the next big thing!

The six weirdest things women do to their vaginas

What in the world is vaginal rejuvenation? Who would want their vagina bleached?
Here's a list of the strangest ways to make your genitals meet the demands of the beauty industry

By Andy Wright

What's wrong with your vagina? If you answered "nothing," you're probably wrong. According to the beauty-industrial complex, it's ugly, and it smells bad. But don't worry — there's nothing that money can't fix. 1,279 words.

Curb your enthusiasm! (Please!)

Couple caught having sex at concert go scot free

By Ross Romaniuk

WINNIPEG — Who says leg room at MTS Centre is a problem? Video has surfaced showing a man and woman — or perhaps another woman — engaging in a raunchy act of sexual nature at the downtown arena last Friday night during a Motley Crue concert. 456 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.

Google to enlist National Security Agency to help it ward off cyberattacks

By Ellen Nakashima
The Washington Post

The world's largest Internet search company and the world's most powerful electronic surveillance organization are teaming up in the name of cybersecurity. — 967 words.

Reflections of Fidel

We are sending doctors, not soldiers, to Haiti

By Fidel Castro
Translated by Granma International

In my "Reflection" of January 14, two days after the disaster in Haiti that destroyed that neighboring sister nation, I wrote: "In the field of healthcare and other areas, Cuba — despite being a poor and blockaded country — has been cooperating with the Haitian people for many years. Around 400 doctors and healthcare experts are offering their services free of charge to the Haitian people. Our doctors are working every day in 227 of the country's 337 communes. On the other hand, at least 400 young Haitians have trained as doctors in our homeland. — 1,336 words.

Lies, damned lies and self-serving intelligence briefings

U.S. intelligence report classifies Venezuela as "Anti-US Leader"

By Eva Golinger

As is custom at the beginning of each year, the different US agencies publish their famous annual reports on topics ranging from human rights, trafficking in persons, terrorism, threats, drug-trafficking, and other issues that indicate who will be this year's target of US agression. Yesterday, it was the intelligence community's turn. Admiral Dennis Blair, National Director of Intelligence, presented the Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. — 1,438 words.

Chavez calls for calm after violent pro-RCTV protests

By Tamara Pearson

MERIDA — Following a range of sometimes violent protests across the country last week over the temporary suspension of TV station RCTV, as well as one protest last Monday in Merida which left two youths dead, president Hugo Chavez has called for calm, arguing that the protests, together with a media terrorism campaign, are aimed at creating a climate of distress in the country. — 1,150 words.

Mexico considers clamping down on Twitter

Mexicans are using Twitter to avoid drunk-driving checkpoints. Drug cartels might be using it too. Does that justify restricting social networking sites?

By Michael E. Miller

MEXICO CITY — Mexico has racked up its fair share of menacingly named outlaws in a three-year drug war: the Zetas, Aztecas and even a band of female assassins called the Panthers. — 981 words.

Americans are learning medicine the Cuban way

The San Francisco Bay Area is a hub for new doctors who want to practice family medicine and help the poor, yet had to leave the country to learn how to do it

By Julia Landau
East Bay Express

Melissa Rose Mitchell was discouraged. After taking the Medical College Admission Test, she was uneasy about applying to medical schools. In prep courses for the exams, she had glimpsed her future as a doctor, and she didn't like the environment she saw. "People were like, 'What kind of doctor do you want to be?' and it was all based on how much money you make," the Oakland resident recalled. "It was a really scary moment, because this thing that all my life I had wanted to do without question, all of a sudden I'm thinking, 'I don't know if I want to do this.'" — 2,814 words.

The new pornography: Homemade smut gives pro porn a run for your money

Adult movies have become predictable, leaving the door open for amateur auteurs to fill the market with reality-based fare many viewers say they can't get enough of

By Cherry Trifle

My lover purrs, low and breathy. He is spent — eyes closed and flat on his back, arms limp, legs slack, rotated outward just slightly. His abdomen rises and falls hypnotically. In yoga, they call this "corpse pose" — or savasana. Done correctly, it can stimulate blood circulation and relieve conditions including nervousness and insomnia. Not unlike the toe-curling orgasm that brought him here in under four-and-a-half minutes — and without all those grueling sun salutations. — 1,294 words.


NASA extends Cassini's tour of Saturn, continuing international cooperation for world class science

12 year-old probe given at least another seven years to live and explore


PASADENA, Calif. — NASA will extend the international Cassini-Huygens mission to explore Saturn and its moons to 2017. The agency's fiscal year 2011 budget provides a $60 million per year extension for continued study of the ringed planet. — 615 words.

From the Desk of Alex Binkley, Contributing Editor

Politicizing science; scientizing politics

By Ronald Doering
Special Edition

Dr. Ronald L. Doering, a lawyer with Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, is the former President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. An edited version appeared in the Financial Post, January 14, 2010, "Don't be fooled. Science is always politicized."

In spite of the media treatment of them, there is nothing that is surprising about the now famous climategate emails. Surprise could only come from a misunderstanding of the relationship between science, policy and politics. Of course the emails reveal that the climate scientists were affected by policy and political considerations. They had to be. Science, policy and politics cannot be separated: they are inextricably intertwined. What is surprising is how much our public discourse is still dominated by the quaint Utopian view that science and policy can be strictly separated. — 841 words.

Rear-view Mirror

The Iraqi oil conundrum:
Energy and power in the Middle East

Whatever happened to the American plans to Control Iraq's Oil?

Dick Cheney thought the US occupation would see a quadrupling of Iraq's capacity to pump oil, and a privatization of its production. Nothing worked out quite according to plan

By Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz is a professor of sociology and faculty director of the Undergraduate College of Global Studies at Stony Brook University. He is the author of War Without End: The Iraq War in Conext.

Americans have largely stopped thinking about Iraq, even though we still have approximately 110,000 troops there, as well as the largest "embassy" on the planet (and still growing). We've generally chalked up our war in Iraq to the failed past, and some Americans, after the surge of 2007, even think of it as, if not a success, at least no longer a debacle. Few care to spend much time considering the catastrophe we actually brought down on the Iraqis in "liberating" them. — 3,352 words.

Money and Markets

The next contagion

By Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D

JUPITER, Florida — It is unexpected on Wall Street, misunderstood in Washington — and very dangerous. It could sabotage the plans of the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and many of their counterparts overseas. It is ... — 1,247 words.

U.S. bailouts created more risk in system

The Associated Press

The American government's response to the financial meltdown has made it more likely the United States will face a deeper crisis in the future, an independent watchdog at the Treasury Department warned. — 1,689 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Become a True North 10 per center

True North Perspective invites our readers to join us in celebration of our 200 series, that began with the Friday, October 30, 2009, Edition — #200.

While most of our readers are in Canada and the United States we are being read in growing numbers in as many as 88 countries. October saw us reach a record number of 59,493 hits. Ever more high-end readers are finding satisfaction in what we publish. However, we're operating at a severe financial deficit. That's why we're asking readers, effective Edition 200, to become True North Perspective 10 per centers.

Ten per cent of 200 is $20. If all readers were to send in $20, it would help ease us back from the edge of financial desperation. We need the nourishment. We are happy to rely on our readers to provide. Please take time to give this request a key moment of attention by mailing your 10 per cent to:

Carl Dow, True North Perspective, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9.

Annals of Education

The new School of Google

Why make students memorize facts easily found on the Net? We must change how we teach

By Nick Smith

Nick Smith, a Vancouver and Sunshine Coast high school English teacher for the past 15 years, received a reader-supported Tyee fellowship to write the series Teaching that Inspires.

I graduated in the early '80s, back when the net was what you used to pull fish out of the water. My fellow graduates and I had come to accept the "spray and pray" model of education used by our teachers: Spray us with facts for 12 years, and pray that enough of them stuck, that by the time we got the handshake and diploma we were well informed enough to survive the adversities of the real world. — 1,717 words.

Way to open up, NFB!

The National Film Board's super-accessible Screening Room hosted 3.7 million film views in its first year

By Michael Geist

In recent years, Canadians have become increasingly accustomed to hearing about Internet success stories elsewhere with fewer examples of homegrown initiatives. However, an unlikely Canadian online video success has emerged recently that has not received its due — the National Film Board of Canada's Screening Room. — 600 words.

Still pining after all these years —
U.S. 'Calvin and Hobbes' fans to be rewarded with postage stamp
but iconic boy and tiger show no sign of coming out of retirement

By John Campanelli

For many newspaper readers, flipping back to what used to be called the funny pages is bittersweet. It's dependable amusement, yes, with Funky and Garfield and Beetle, but it's also a daily reminder that someone's missing. Scanning the strips is like gazing out the window to the old maple next door . . . and its empty swing, swaying in the breeze. — 1,760 words.

The Book End

RV-ING and Other Adventures North of 60

By Hazel Johnson

Every Friday (or as often as we can) in this spot True North Perspective will feature a book by a Canadian writer. The presentation will not be a review. It will include a profile of the author and information about the product of the author's literary labours. If a reader wants to file a review we'll publish it. Today we present RV-ING and Other Adventures North of 60, by Hazel Johnson. — Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor.

950 words

The Big Book of Canadian Trivia now in stores

Ottawa author Randy Ray and his co-author Mark Kearney of London, Ont. have published their ninth Canadian book, The Big Book of Canadian Trivia, which is now available in stores and on the authors' Web site at: TriviaGuys.com.

The latest Ray-Kearney effort is best described as a "greatest hits" book that contains the best Canadiana from their previous eight books, plus a considerable amount of new material.

In one big book readers will find all the trivia and facts about Canada they need to know: there are stories of important Canadian artifacts and history including what became of Canada's World War II spy camp.

All regions and provinces are covered, as well as important Canadian figures like John Molson, Elizabeth Arden and Russ Jackson.

If that isn't enough there will also be pieces explaining whatever happened to such Canadian icons as the last spike, labour leader Bob White, hockey tough guy Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, the first skidoo, swimmer Marilyn Bell and the first Tim Hortons donut shop.

Some items are "classics." Others are little known facts. Approximately 25 per cent of the material has never before appeared in print.

This fascinating Big Book brings together for the first time in one package the most notable facts and trivia from the archives of the trivia guys' collection.

The Big Book of Canadian Trivia is published by The Dundurn Group of Toronto.

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


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

Contributing Editors
Anita Chan, Australia

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