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

Friday, February 19, 2010, Vol. 5, No, 11 — 215
"True North is for opinion leaders"
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

What's Driving Olympics Homeless Protesters

As housing prices soared, social housing went unbuilt for years; as a result, shelter is hot politics in Vancouver

By Monte Paulsen and Geoff Dembicki

Bruce Laking has lived on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside for 56 years, off and on. Early Monday afternoon, he gestured to a bright red tent on the sidewalk. "Hey, how d'you like my new home?" Laking shouted to a friend. Hundreds gathered on Tuesday at Pigeon Park, a triangular slice of concrete in the city's most troubled neighbourhood. They rallied for solutions to homelessness and erected an "Olympics tent city" just down the road. — 1,519 words.

Cartoon by Bruce Beattie, Comics.com, 18 February 2010.

Editor's Notes

Friday, February 19, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 11 (215)

A note to our readers

By Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor
True North Perspective

As most of you may recall, logistical problems forced the cancellation of last week's edition of True North Perspective. Similar issues have seen this week's edition released two days late.

To both our readers and our contributors, I apologize and thank you for your understanding. We will do out very best to return to our regular schedule on Friday, February 26.

"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.

Let's try really balancing Ottawa's books

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Originally writter for Ontario Farmer

The Harper government has been messaging steadily in recent weeks that it wants to rein in federal spending as part of its plans for the next session of Parliament. — 536 words.

Budget must tackle rising costs of greying population, watchdog warns

Slaying deficit isn't enough to counter looming squeeze on Canada's coffers, budget officer says

By Steven Chase
The Globe and Mail

Ottawa's battling to rein in record deficits, but there's a bigger problem at play that will make life even more miserable for politicians and taxpayers: Canada's aging population. — 747 words.

Privacy commissioner reviewing Google Buzz

By Peter Nowak
CBC News

Concerns around Google's recently unveiled Buzz feature are deepening with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada looking into the social-networking tool. — 513 words.

Ottawa rejects Abdelrazik claim that CSIS knew he faced torture

Despite six years of involuntary exile, government claims $27-million lawsuit by Canadian jailed in Sudan is frivolous

By Paul Koring
The Globe and Mail

Even if he was thrown in prison in Sudan at the request of Canadian agents, Abousfian Abdelrazik has no case against the federal government because Canadian law does not protect him overseas, Justice Department lawyers claim. — 827 words.

You can't always trust Cupid to guide you to love

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 response to the Chalet Suzanne article, my dear cousin Ronnie wrote "You are such a romantic!" And he is absolutely right! As a young girl, I was always conscious of people's tokens of love. I remember my widowed grandfather's lady friend and the loving look she shared with him. She showered some of that wonderful love on us when she visited. But the most beautiful love story I witnessed was from the parents of one of my sister's teenage boyfriends. — 1,101 words.

Spirit Quest

The Olympic Games: Let us return them to the athletes!

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

It is time for me to write something about the Olympics, everybody else has, so why not me. But, let me admit right at the outset that I am no fan of Le Grand Spectac — too commercial, too expensive, too much hype. The tax payers of Vancouver will soon enough find out. — 795 words.

Health Watch

'Gold Standard' Studies Show That Inhaled Marijuana Is Medically Safe and Effective

By Paul Armentano

The results of a series of randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of inhaled marijuana consistently show that cannabis holds therapeutic value comparable to conventional medications, according to the findings of a 24-page report issued earlier today to the California state legislature by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR). 452 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.

Bagram: Obama's secret penal colony

By Sarah Daniel
Le Nouvel Observateur
Translation, Truthout French Language Editor, Leslie Thatcher

They look at one another, happy and deeply moved. A little self-conscious also. How to meet again after so long? How to pick up the thread of an existence interrupted three, four years ago? They hardly know how any more. At Bagram, people lose the notion of time. This December morning, they are three who have been released from "the Americans' prison." In this Kabul alley, it's a strange spectacle to see these men squeezed into their new sky blue tunics that they've exchanged for their red prisoners' uniforms. They laugh at meeting their dear ones whom they don't dare embrace. "Is it really you, Ahmad, my brother? — I thought you were dead!" Politely, the two first ex-prisoners brush aside our questions: they're in a rush to be alone with their families after such a long absence. Soon, their silhouettes disappear, erased in Kabul's dusty wind. — 2,462 words.

No joke: South Carolina now requires 'subversives' to register

Five-dollar registration fee for persons planning to overthrow U.S. government

By Daniel Tencer

Terrorists who want to overthrow the United States government must now register with South Carolina's Secretary of State and declare their intentions — or face a $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. — 398 words.

Beleaguered U.S. to blow up some chemical weapons

By Jeffery McMurray
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Ky. — Under the gun to destroy the U.S. chemical weapons stockpiles — and now all but certain to miss their deadline — Army officials have a plan to hasten the process: Blow some of them up. — 1,185 words.

Greece told to make more spending cuts

BBC News

Greece has been warned by European finance ministers that it must make further cuts to spending and public sector wages or face more sanctions. A joint statement from the 16 eurozone nations it said Greece needed to get its debt under control and calm "irrational" financial markets.— words.

No fantasy: India's Dongria Kondh live out Avatar scenario

By Julien Souissou

Le Monde

The Dongria Kondh reside far from the studios of Hollywood. Its 8,000 members live in little dried mud houses covered with palm leaves, with neither electricity nor television, withdrawn from the world on a mountain of the Orissa region in the most remote reaches of eastern India. Yet, their history resembles the scenario of James Cameron's box-office-record-breaking film Avatar, to the point you could imagine the movie was based on it. — 682 words.

Reality Check

No, IPCC climatologists did NOT make sloppy errors

By Joshua Holland

This headline, from Sunday's Washington Post, is factually inaccurate: Series of missteps by climate scientists threatens climate-change agenda. You could read the entire article that follows and come away with no idea that there have in fact been zero errors identified in the UN climate change panel's science. — 1,339 words.


(Very) Ancient mariners

Stone tools 130,000 years old strong evidence of early sea voyages

By John Noble Wilford
The New York Times

Early humans, possibly even prehuman ancestors, appear to have been going to sea much longer than anyone had ever suspected. That is the startling implication of discoveries made the last two summers on the Greek island of Crete. Stone tools found there, archaeologists say, are at least 130,000 years old, which is considered strong evidence for the earliest known seafaring in the Mediterranean and cause for rethinking the maritime capabilities of prehuman cultures. — 1,067 words.

Annals of Education

If it sounds to good to be true ...

U.S. school accused of web spying

Parents in the U.S. have accused a school of spying on children
by remotely activating webcams on laptops

By Angela Harrison
BBC News

A couple from Pennsylvania have filed a lawsuit against a school district which gave laptops to its high school pupils. They say their son was told off by teachers for "engaging in improper behaviour in his home" and that the evidence was an image from his webcam. — 474 words.

Faber republishes novel smuggled out of Nazi Germany in a cake

Jan Petersen's Our Street, a million seller in its time, to reappear in publisher's print-on-demand series

By Alison Flood
The Guardian UK

A manuscript which was smuggled out of Nazi Germany in a cake is being brought back into print by Faber & Faber. Jan Petersen's Our Street tells the true story of left-wing resistance in the fascist Germany of the 1930s. Set on Wallstrasse, in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin during the period from just before Hitler became chancellor to the early days of Nazi government, the book — a fictionalised version of events to avoid reprisals for those still working in the underground in Germany — tells of the violence exacted on the street's inhabitants in revenge for the killing of a stormtrooper. — 620 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