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Friday, January 23, 2009, Vol. 4, No, 7 — 158
"True North is for opinion makers"
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From the Desk of Harold Wright, Contributing Editor

Bridge in Canada

This is the actual turn-off From Banff, Alberta, Canada to the #1 highway to Calgary.

Great picture isn't it?

They had to build the animals (especially the elk) their own crossing because that was where the natural crossing was and after the highway was built there were far too many accidents.

It didn't take the animals long to learn that this was their very own bridge!

"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.

Editor's Notes

Friday, January 23, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 7 (158)

What a relief!

The passing of George W. Bush, President of the Liars and Delinquents Club of America, was an immense relief to the world. So satisfying to watch and hear the new President of the United States of America and sense his intelligence, imagination, and integrity. So satisfying to see the cowardly spoiled brat with an inflated ego that overwhelmed whatever brain he has, leave Washington with his tail between his legs. — 433 words.

From the Desk of Harold Wright, Contributing Editor

The Irish claim Barack Obama

Moneygall is a small village in County Offaly, Ireland. It has a population of approximately 300 people, a Roman Catholic church, five shops, a post office, a national school, a police station and two pubs (of course).

President of the United States of America Barack Obama's great great great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney, emigrated from Moneygall to New York City at the age of 19 in 1850 and eventually resettled in Tipton County, Indiana. Kearney's father had been the village shoemaker, then a wealthy skilled trade.

And now for the SONG... — 402 words.

Bush's Arctic blast mostly hot air

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Originally written for Canadian Sailings

OTTAWA — Outgoing President George W. Bush had lots to say in his final days in the White House including an aggressive blast about Arctic jurisdiction. 1,015 words.

Health Watch

Same cookbook, more calories

By Tralee Pearce
The Globe and Mail

If you're counting calories, you may want to dust off your grandmother's edition of the Joy of Cooking. The average calorie count of some of the book's classic recipes rose 63 per cent between its 1936 and 2006 editions, according to new research. — 534 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

2009 Lexus IS 250 Review

A big surprise in a small package

By Michel Deslauriers

When you compare the Lexus IS to other sports-luxury compacts, such as the Cadillac CTS, the BMW 3-Series, the Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, you'll notice something peculiar; it has a much lower base price. — 749 words.

Obama sings along with Seeger and Springsteen
'This Land Is Your Land'... like Woody wrote it

At the conclusion of Sunday's concert for president-elect Barack Obama 89-year-old Pete Seeger joined Bruce Springsteen for a sing-along with perhaps half a million people of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," which I dare say practically everyone in the country knows from childhood. — 589 words.

From the Desk of Contributing Editor Bob Kay

How pleasant to listen to two brilliant men who transformed
the world of communications and made hundreds of millions
without killing or wounding anyone or wrecking the economy

Steve Jobs and Bill Gates entertain and inform about the core history of the innovation of the computer industry as applied to public use in an 11 part video that’s sure to hold your rapt attention. Don’t miss it.


From the Desk of Anita chan, Contributing Editor, Australia

China taxi drivers strike for union recognition against
obstruction by private owners and city governments

China Labor News Translations

'What is clear from these articles is that taxi drivers were not at all eager to resort to striking, but rather had tried diligently for some months to resolve their grievances through official, legalistic channels. Unfortunately, in both cases the government was completely incapable of responding effectively to the legitimate concerns of the drivers. As has been the case time and again for workers in China, these drivers realized that the only way they could get the authorities to take them seriously was to cause major disruptions.' — 776 words.

Labour Council President says
'It's important that we get our buses back running'
as strike by 2,3000 transit workers enters day 45

Labour relations professional says '...the city's representatives declared war on the union and they are responsible for the consequences.'

Drivers object to work-day increase to 13.5 hours

By Carl Dow
True North Perspective

OTTAWA, Canada — Sean McKenny, President of the Ottawa and District Labour Council, which represents 90 different unions in the area, says Mayor Larry O’Brien is responsible for the strike that has done much to cripple the capital’s economy. Downtown merchants agree with him. There is talk among them of suing the city for bad faith bargaining. Other businesses representatives throughout the city of almost one million say they don’t care who’s responsible they just want the strike to end. — 978 words.

Obama Inauguration: Slide on Wall Street. Where have all the creditors gone?...

"When Will We Ever Learn?"

By Michel Chossudovsky

Michel Chossudovsky is a Canadian economist. He is a professor of economics at the University of Ottawa.

Across the land, an atmosphere of hope and optimism prevails. The Bush regime has gone. A new president is in the White House. While America had its eyes riveted on the live TV broadcast of Barack Obama's presidential inauguration, financial markets were sliding. A major "market correction" had occurred. Removed from the public eye, virtually unnoticed, a new stage of the financial crisis has unfolded. — 899 words.

Gorbachev accuses state of bailing out the rich

The St. Petersburg Times

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev accused the government on Friday of bailing out billionaires at taxpayers’ expense in a letter co-signed by four businessmen and economists. — 442 words.

Afghan journalist escapes death sentence
but gets 20 years for 'blaspheming' prophet

Reporters Without Borders says "Afghan justice has again failed to protect Afghan law and guarantee free expression. The appeal proceedings were marred by ideological distortion, a glaring lack of evidence and incomprehensible delays."

By Abdul Waheed Wafa
The New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — An appeals court sentenced a young Afghan journalist to 20 years in prison for blasphemy on Tuesday, overturning a death sentence ordered by a provincial court but raising further concerns of judicial propriety in the case. — 481 words.

Auto plants in Europe, including Ford opt
for shorter work hours instead of layoffs

The Associated Press

FRANKFURT — BMW and Volkswagen said Tuesday that they would put thousands of German employees on reduced working hours as they slowed production during the economic downturn. — 239 words.

While Canadians suffer one-passport mania
Americans carry several to dodge travel bans

By Micahel T. Luongo
International Herald Tribune

Alessandro Pappalardo, an artist in New York, holds passports from Italy and Argentina and, last year, added an American one. Previously an executive with Aerolíneas Argentinas, he said, "I used to go a lot to Brazil, and I would always decide what passport to show depending on what line was shorter." — 886 words.

True North Canuck Fact of the Day

Mario Lemieux only player to score 50th on penalty shot

Mario Lemieux is the only player in the NHL to score his 50th goal of the season on a penalty shot.  The goal came on April 11, 1997 against Florida Panthers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck.

Trivia compiled by Randy Ray and Mark Kearney, authors of eight books about Canada. For more fabulous facts, visit their Web site at:

U.S. Marines find Iraq tactics don't work in Afghanistan

Nancy A. Youssef
McClatchy Newspapers

DELARAM, Afghanistan — On a sunset patrol here in late December, U.S. Marines spotted a Taliban unit trying to steal Afghan police vehicles at a checkpoint. In a flash, the Marines turned to pursue, driving off the main road and toward the gunfire coming from the mountain a half mile away. — 1,383 words.

Iraq responds to Russian oil courting

A Russian delegation visiting Baghdad is attempting to reboot ties with Iraq. Russia was expecting a leg-up in either resigning a Saddam-era oil deal or other energy prospects, and hoped a 2008 move erasing Iraqi debt would clinch it, to no avail. — 1,338 words.

Fidel was the perfect end to my visit to Cuba
says Argentine president — Raúl bids her farewell


President Raul Castro, yesterday afternoon bade Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner farewell from the bottom of the aircraft stairs, at the end of her three-day official visit to the island. — 676 words.

US urged to repair military ties, stop selling weapons to Taiwan

By Cui Xiaohuo and Wu Jiao
China Daily

China Tuesday urged the US to take concrete steps to put bilateral military ties back on track after relations were derailed because of Pentagon's arms sales to Taiwan last year. — 373 words.

Obama delivers stark repudiation of Bush and Cheney

By David E. Sanger
International Herald Tribune

WASHINGTON — Though couched in indirect terms, Barack Obama's inaugural address was a stark repudiation of the era of George W. Bush and a vow to drive the United States into "a new age" by reclaiming the values of an older one. It was a delicate task, with Bush and the former vice president, Dick Cheney, sitting feet from him as he described the false turns and the roads not taken. — 918 words.

Why Obama should meet with Hugo Chavez

By Chesa Boudin

Chesa Boudin, a Rhodes Scholar and student at the Yale Law School, worked as a foreign policy advisor to President Chávez in 2005 while researching for a degree in public policy in Latin America at Oxford University. In April Scribner is releasing his new book, Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America.

The same President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela who rapped a gavel to close a session at the New York Stock exchange in 1999 called President Bush "the devil" in a 2006 speech at the United Nations. Last week he announced that despite rumors to the contrary and a freefalling price of oil he would continue a home heating oil charity program in the US which totaled $100 million and reached over a quarter of a million families last year. With this gesture of good will from Caracas and Bush out of office, will President-elect Obama be open to dialogue with the US' one-time ally? — 1,237 words.

Two men get death sentence, one woman life
as China hammer falls on tainted milk scandal

By Lucy Hornby

SHIJIAZHUANG, China — A Chinese court on Thursday sentenced two men to death for their role in a tainted milk scandal that killed at least six children, while the woman most widely blamed for the tragedy got life in jail. — 481 words.

Registered with the do-not-call list?
Expect more calls, says consumer watchdog

By Sharon Oosthoek
CBC News

Canada's highly touted do-not-call list is having the opposite effect, leading to more telemarketer calls, says the Consumers' Association of Canada. "It's a travesty," president Bruce Cran said Friday. "Here we have all these people thinking they were getting rid of incoming phone calls. Anyone who is registered should suspect their phone number is being broadcast to the four winds." — 389 words.

From Russia an open letter with an olive branch
from the director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre

By Dmitry Trenin
Director, Carnegie Moscow Centre
The St. Petersburg Times

Dear President-elect Obama,

Even though most of your foreign policy will be devoted to issues not directly related to Russia — namely, the global economic crisis, the wars and insurgencies in the Greater Middle East from the Gaza Strip to Pakistan, terrorism and climate change — relations with Moscow need to be high on your agenda from Day One. — 992 words.

The next big shock

City and State deficits will torpedo
your income and wealth in 2009

By Martin Weiss
Money and Markets
Jupiter, Florida

With Wall Street reeling from the dangers of new megabank failures … and with Washington lurching toward its worst fiscal crisis of all time, recent warnings of the NEXT big shock are barely being heard. — 861 words.

Fascinating historical notes ... by George Laidlaw

Bird Strike:
Feather Dusters, Deadly Darts

The recent landing of an Airbus in the Hudson River has been identified as being caused by a bird strike. Birds and aircraft don't mix and there isn't an aircraft that can't be brought down by a bird. — 282 words.

Spirit Quest

'Undoubtedly Obama's visit here or anywhere
in the world will be filled with jubilation'

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

“The tumult and the shouting dies, the captains and kings depart...”

These words written by Rudyard Kipling for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee apply very well to the scene in Washington DC. The celebrations surrounding the inauguration of the presidency of Barrack Hussein Obama have overwhelmed the capital of the United States. It reminds me of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, each having to outdo the other in glitz and costs. — 645 words.

Musings: Let's ban these words

By Barbara Florio Graham
Ottawa Citizen Special

Every so often, a TV host mentions that he/she can’t say a particular word on the air, or a guest defies that rule and the offending word or phrase is bleeped. — 495 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

Wasn’t That A Party!

The world was moved to tears of joy and renewed hope by President Barack Obama at his inauguration last Tuesday. — 643 words.

The Book End

Rideau: Whispers In Stone

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor True North Perspective

Every Friday in this spot True North will feature a book by a Canadian writer. The presentation will not be a review. It will include a profile of the author written by him/herself and about the product of the author’s literary labours. If a reader wants to file a review we’ll publish it. Today we offer Rideau: Whispers In Stone, by C.D. McCue. His fictional accounts, consistent with historical records, speak to a forgotten time when Irish, Scottish, American, French, and English cultures converged and sometimes clashed — Mike Heenan, Literary Editor, True North Perspective. — 365 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
Bob Kay
Randy Ray
Harold Wright