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

Friday, January 15, 2010, Vol. 5, No, 7 — 211
"True North is for opinion leaders"
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A note to our readers:

Over the past few weeks True North Perspective has suffered more than its share of "down-time", when our site has been inaccessible, offering only a dreaded "404 error". Without going into the boring details, we are in the process making a number of changes, including an upgrade to our servers and soon a rebuilt web-site and front-page.

Unfortunately, these improvements have come with more than a few hiccups, at least as frustrating for us as they must be for you. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working hard to ensure the problems will soon be a thing of the past. Meanwhile, we ask that you bear with us during these growing pains and, should you find us "down" again, that you'll wait an hour or so, then try to find us again.

Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor

Quote of the Week:
"But you haven’t explained why."
89-year old veteran correspondent Helen Thomas tries to get answers
to the obvious questions about terrorism.
2,861 words.

Up to 200,000 feared dead
following Haitian earthquake

Governments and individuals rally to devastated island nation

Al Jazeera

Up to 200,000 people are feared to have been killed in the earthquake that devastated Haiti and three-quarters of the capital, Port-au-Prince, will need to be rebuilt, Reuters news agency quoted authorities in the Caribbean country as saying. — 1,061 words.

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

Cartoon by Cam Cardow, Comics.com, 13 January 2010.

Prorogation tightens gap between Tories, Liberals

CBC News

The lead enjoyed by the Conservatives over the Liberals has dramatically narrowed since Prime Minister Stephen Harper suspended Parliament last month, a new poll suggests. The Conservatives now lead by a marginal 1.6 percentage points over the Liberals, compared with the 15-point advantage they had in a mid-October survey, according to the EKOS poll released exclusively to CBC News. — 310 words.

Guest Editorial

Friday, January 15, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 7 (211)

What future, if we don't invest?

Time to Save Haiti

Canada should step in and really make a difference

By Crawford Kilian

Enough is enough.

The January 12 earthquake has only made life in Haiti that much worse, and we really can't go on staring at the Haitian disaster the way we have for generations. If no one else is going to do anything for Haiti except offer condolences, Canadians had better step in — if only so we can sleep at night and look at ourselves in the mirror the next morning. — 661 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.

HMCS Halifax, Athabaskan headed to Haiti

By Stephen Maher
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA, Canada — A frigate and a destroyer are being loaded with emergency supplies in Halifax Harbour for an emergency mission to quake-stricken Haiti. HMCS Halifax was recalled to port last night after word of the tragedy, and it is being loaded with food, bottled water, medical equipment and humanitarian supplies for a relief mission to Port-au-Prince. The navy plans to send a second vessel — HMCS Athabaskan. The two ships are expected to leave Thursday morning and will take about five days to reach Haiti, arriving Jan. 18 or 19. — 1,613 words.


Elizabeth May: Executing the Green master plan

'People thought that Harper had become more popular between the 2006 and 2008 elections but not so: 170,000 fewer people voted for a Conservative candidate in 2008 than in 2006. His larger seat count is a tribute to his ability to discourage people from voting.'

By Murray Dobbin

I had the opportunity recently to talk to Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada about her party, its policies, its electoral chances and its place on the political landscape in Canada. As always, Ms. May was articulate, enthusiastic and pretty straight forward about the challenges she faces. When she took over the leadership in August 2006, the Greens had high hopes from the high-energy former head of the Sierra Club. — 3,262 words.

Parliament prorogued, life goes on

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

While his timing and reasons are dodgy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn't create any precedents when he prorogued Parliament at the end of December and delayed the start of a new session to March. Harper talked about the need for a new focus. Whose fault is it that his government doesn't have a lot on its agenda other than pressing on with stimulus spending and tough on crime initiatives while downplaying climate change concerns? — 487 words.

Fatwa declares attack on Canada, U.S. is attack on Muslims

CBC News

A group of Canadian and U.S. Islamic leaders on Friday issued a fatwa, or religious edict, declaring that an attack by extremists on the two countries would constitute an attack on the 10 million Muslims living in North America. — 337 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Indigenous capitalists, from B.C. to Peru

For Nisga'a and Amazonian aboriginals alike, the private ownership message of economist Hernando de Soto is stirring controversy

By Arno Kopecky

Eleven years after the Nisga'a became the first tribe in B.C. to sign a treaty, gaining self-government over 2000 square kilometers on the northwest coast, the nation went a step further and decided to let its citizens own the homes they live in. The news that private ownership would be legal on Nisga'a land rippled out of the Nass River valley in November, reminding those who heard it of how things work for the rest of Canada's First Nations. If you live on a reserve in this country, your home belongs to the Crown, effectively barring you from the single most important economic tool in Western society: credit. — 2,291 words.


Is prorogation diminishing Canada's democracy?

By Rebekah Sears MA
True North Perspective
First written for Citizens for Public Justice

Rebekah Sears is the policy intern at Ottawa-based Citizens for Public Justice, www.CPJ.ca, an ecumenical social advocacy organization.

In the past year many more Canadians have become familiar with the term prorogation. Parliament was due to resume on January 25, but for the second time in just over a year the government decided to prorogue, killing all bills currently before Parliament, and more importantly shutting down the venue for democratic debate for two months. — 774 words.

Spirit Quest

Vigilance in terror and modesty

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

I hereby go on record as being in favour of the new full body scanners being installed in all major Canadian airports. I know you won't believe this, but yes, I am. — 781 words.

A True North Perspective classic

Nova Scotia beckons

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.

I love Nova Scotia’s television advertisement. It beckons and I have wanted to go back to Nova Scotia ever since my dear friend and former teaching partner retired and moved to Beaver Harbour where her husband, Austin, was born and raised. — 1,130 words.

Honking from behind, Part 4

By Rosaleen Dickson
Contributing Editor
True North Perspective

Rosaleen Leslie Dickson has been an active, leading member of a number of organizations including the National Press Club and the Ottawa Independent Writers. She has been publisher and editor of her own weekly newspaper, professor of journalism, author of two books and has an on-line advice column with an international circulation. For more, please visit her webpage.

Another pertinent fact about gees comes immediately to mind as we see our Prime Minister flapping out of town when his country needs him right here in Parliament, where we pay him to be. — 231 words.

Rights group rift turns ugly after sudden death of president

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The entire staff of a government-funded rights advocacy group is calling for the resignation of three Conservative appointees from the board of directors, including the chairman. — 217 words.

Vancouver librarians told to stand on guard for 2010 sponsors

'If you are planning a kids' event... approach McDonald's and not another well-known fast-food outlet,' instructs memo

By Geoff Dembicki

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Librarians are being asked to help police kids' events and other gatherings on their premises to make sure the brands of corporations like Coke and McDonald's get exclusive play during the 2010 Olympics. An internal memo obtained by The Tyee advises Vancouver Public Library branches to protect Olympic sponsors. — 676 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.

Haiti didn't become a poor nation all on its own:
America's hidden role in the disaster

Decades of U.S.-sponsored political turmoil left the Haitian government ill-prepared to respond to such a disaster

By Carl Lindskoog

In the hours following Haiti's devastating earthquake, CNN, the New York Times and other major news sources adopted a common interpretation for the severe destruction: the 7.0 earthquake was so devastating because it struck an urban area that was extremely over-populated and extremely poor. Houses "built on top of each other" and constructed by the poor people themselves made for a fragile city. And the country's many years of underdevelopment and political turmoil made the Haitian government ill-prepared to respond to such a disaster. — 780 words.

Looking forward ...

Iraq political fissures widen as March vote approaches

By Dahr Jamail

With all attention on Afghanistan as violence and US troop commitment there surges, the occupation in Iraq has received less attention in recent months than it has since the invasion of Iraq took place in March 2003. However, national elections in Iraq, originally scheduled to take place this month, but postponed until March 7, rather than possibly bringing greater stability to war-torn Iraq, now threaten to reignite a powder keg of political tensions that has been simmering for years. — 1,683 words.

Iran, Iraq still feud over oil fields


BAGHDAD — Iraq and Iran are still feuding over an abandoned oil field along their poorly defined border weeks after Iranian troops briefly occupied one of the wells, unmasking the centuries-old Persian ambition of dominating its historical Arab — and energy-rich — adversary.. — 763 words.

Canada no longer a haven for war resisters

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined to send back the some 200 American asylum-seekers who have fled the Iraq war

By Sandro Contenta

TORONTO, Canada — Canada has long been a haven for Americans escaping their wars. During the American Revolutionary War in the late 1700s, an estimated 50,000 colonists who wanted to remain loyal to Britain fled north to what would later become Canada. Thousands more crossed the border during the Civil War, using an underground railroad that led escaped slaves to freedom. — 879 words.


Why Google is quitting China

Hint: It's not because of censorship or hackers
The search giant just couldn't compete with Baidu

By Rebecca Fannin

It's easy to give up if you've already lost the battle. And Google is doing just that in China. Eric Schmidt's move to quit offering a censored Google.cn search engine to the Chinese market has been read by idealists as the right thing to do. But it is first a business decision. — 871 words.

eSolar And Penglai agree on landmark solar thermal agreement


PASADENA, California — eSolar and Penglai Electric have announced a master licensing agreement to build at least 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar thermal power plants in China over the next 10 years. — 368 words.

Health Watch

Three approved GMOs linked to organ damage

Rady Ananda

In what is being described as the first ever and most comprehensive study of the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers have linked organ damage with consumption of Monsanto's GM maize. 768 words.

Morphine helped wounded soldiers avoid stress disorder

CBC News

Soldiers who quickly received a shot of morphine after being wounded were less likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorders, U.S. researchers have found. "It was surprising how strong the effect of the morphine was," said study leader Troy Lisa Holbrook, an epidemiologist at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego. — 484 words.

From the Desk of Alex Binkley, Contributing Editor

Why New Year’s resolutions never stick

By Dr. Rebecca Schalm
Troy Media Corporation

Rebecca Schalm is a Practice leader with RHR International.

CALGARY, Alberta — So it's a new year and a new decade. The pressure to look optimistically and confidently ahead, to resolve to change old ways and embrace the new, is palpable. The media, with tiresome predictability, are chock-full of advice from the experts on how to make and stick to your resolutions. Forget it. Most people really don't want to change, and some shouldn't even try. — 813 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

'Unsafe at any speed' indeed
Automotive 'good old days' pretty but deadly

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety demonstration conducted on September 9, 2009, between a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu.

In a real-world collision similar to this test, occupants of the new model would fare much better than in the vintage Chevy.

"It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection," says Institute president Adrian Lund.

What this test shows is that automakers don't build cars like they used to. They build them better."

— 25 September 2009.

Roxxxy the sex robot makes her world debut

Agence France-Presse

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Billed as a world first, Roxxxy the sex robot made here debut in front of adoring fans at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. The life-size robotic girlfriend comes complete with complete with artificial intelligence and flesh-like synthetic skin. — 531 words.

Police close first Mr. Gay China pageant one hour before opening

Associated Press

BEIJING — Police shut down what would have been China's first-ever gay pageant today an hour before it was set to begin, highlighting the enduring sensitivity surrounding homosexuality and the struggle by gays to find mainstream acceptance. — 751 words.

Largest religious festival on Earth under way in India

Agence France-Presse

HARIDWAR — Close to a million Hindu pilgrims bathed in India's holy river Ganges on Thursday in an immense display of colour and devotion at the start of the world's biggest religious festival. — 754 words.


'I am not a hero. I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness.'

Miep Gies, 100

With her husband Jan, she risked her life to shelter the family of Anne Frank from the Nazis for more than two years; later she helped to save Anne Frank's diary for posterity.


She was born Hermine Santrouschitz on February 15 1909 into a German Roman Catholic family in Vienna, but was sent to the Netherlands when she was 11 to escape the food shortages in Austria. The family with which she lived in Leiden gave her the nickname Miep and later adopted her. By the outbreak of the Second World War she was working as an assistant to Otto Frank, the owner of a pectin manufacturing company in Amsterdam. — 881 words.

Rear-view Mirror

Remembering Ronald Reagan

By Kirk Anderson

U.S. economy lost 85,000 jobs in December
Decade ends with net job losses

Hours worked fell by 3.8 per cent over 10 years

By Dean Baker
Center for Economic and Policy Research

The American economy lost another 85,000 jobs in December, driven by continued job losses in construction and manufacturing. While the current data still show a 378,000 job gain for the decade, these numbers will be lowered by approximately 824,000 when the benchmark revision is incorporated into the data with the release of the January employment report. The data show a decline in private sector jobs of 1,549,000 for the decade. The benchmark revision will increase the private sector job loss for the decade to more than 2.4 million. — 736 words.

China moves to rein in lending amid overheating fears


BEIJING — China pulled a pair of fiscal levers on Tuesday as authorities sought to rein in a surge of aggressive lending by banks that has raised fears of inflation and a looming asset bubble. — 681 words.

Bankers without a clue

Paul Krugman
New York Times

The official Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission — the group that aims to hold a modern version of the Pecora hearings of the 1930s, whose investigations set the stage for New Deal bank regulation — began taking testimony on Wednesday. In its first panel, the commission grilled four major financial-industry honchos. What did we learn? — 808 words.


Hints Of Hesperian lakes on Mars


LONDON — Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published in the journal Geology. — 851 words.

Tombs suggest pyramids not built by slaves

CBC News

Egypt displayed on Monday newly discovered tombs more than 4,000 years old, and said they belonged to people who worked on the Great Pyramids of Giza, more evidence that slaves did not build the ancient monuments. — 528 words.

Annals of Education

Germany, United States, only two countries where current generation's
educational attainment is lower than that of their parents'

'U.S. students today are also less likely to earn technical degrees, courses of study are rising elsewhere with the advent of the digital age'

By Daniela Perdomo

According to a recent report, Americans aged 25–34 have attained less education than their parents' generation. If the data cited by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) commission report is correct, the United States and Germany are the only two nations in the world where this holds true. — 253 words.

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.

Open letter to Rush Limbaugh

You know exactly what you're doing

By Roger Ebert

You should be horse-whipped for the insult you have paid to the highest office of our nation. Having followed President Obama's suggestion and donated money to the Red Cross for relief in Haiti, I was offended to hear you suggest the President might be a thief capable of stealing money intended for the earthquake victims. — 497 words.

The Stage

Artsculture Beyond Eden, a musical set on Haida Gwaii

Bill Reid, a suicide and the ethics of 'rescuing' totems inhabit Cultural Olympiad play

By Heather Ramsay

In 1957 a group of anthropologists from museums in Vancouver and Victoria, a filmmaker, a Haida crew and the renowned artist Bill Reid, then a CBC broadcaster, set out to "save" what were considered to be the last remnants of an endangered culture. Armed with saws, a small boat and a carpenter to hammer together the shipping crates, the team arrived on Anthony Island off the far southwestern coast of Haida Gwaii that summer. — 1,746 words.

The Glass Teat

Maybe you can go home again
But usually you really shouldn't

Death Comes to Town is a sad class reunion for The Kids in the Hall

By Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor
True North Perspective

Time was, in the late 1980s and early 1990s — and for the first time since the heyday of SCTV back in the late 1970s — one of the few "must-see" programs on television was a Canadian show. Working in the scripted but anarchic tradition of SCTV and Monty Python's Flying Circus before that, the Kids were hip, daring, sometimes shocking and almost always very, very funny. — 595 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 Hall  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