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

Friday, January 22, 2010, Vol. 5, No, 8 — 212
"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:
"Now polls never tell the full story but this much is certain: whenever the party in power drops 15 points in 15 days, you can be assured of one thing — someone in charge just did something really stupid."
Rick Mercer, RickMercer.com310 words.

'When I traveled into Haiti's disaster zone last week from the Dominican Republic, I did so alone and on a bus ... Since then, whether on the road to Port-au-Prince or within the city, I have not witnessed anyone wielding a gun, a machete or a club of any kind.'

The myth of Haiti's lawless streets

To withhold aid because of the 'security situation' is a miserable excuse for agencies' failure to deliver desperately needed help

By Inigo Gilmore
The Guardian UK

As a member of the media covering the tragedy in Haiti, it's with a sense of alarm and astonishment that I've witnessed how some senior aid officials have argued for withholding aid of the utmost urgency because of sensational claims about violence and insecurity, which appear to be based more on fantasy than reality. — 1,625 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 Chris Britt, Comics.com, 19 January 2010.

After Massachusetts defeat ...

Time for Obama to fight back

The Republicans' upset victory in Massachusetts is a sign that Barack Obama needs to embrace voters' populist anger

By Dan Kennedy
The Guardian UK

A few minutes before Scott Brown began his substance-free victory speech last night, a politically connected friend messaged me on Twitter: "This is the most horrifying but fascinating moment I've ever seen in Mass politics," he wrote. "Hope we can figure it out." We will all be trying to figure this out for quite some time. — 1,258 words.

Guest Editorial

Friday, January 22, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 8 (212)

Covering Haiti

When the media is the disaster

By Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit lives in San Francisco with her earthquake kit and is about to make her seventh trip to New Orleans since Katrina. Her latest book, A Paradise Built in Hell, is a testament to human bravery and innovation during disasters.

Soon after almost every disaster the crimes begin: ruthless, selfish, indifferent to human suffering, and generating far more suffering. The perpetrators go unpunished and live to commit further crimes against humanity. They care less for human life than for property. They act without regard for consequences. I'm talking, of course, about those members of the mass media whose misrepresentation of what goes on in disaster often abets and justifies a second wave of disaster. I'm talking about the treatment of sufferers as criminals, both on the ground and in the news, and the endorsement of a shift of resources from rescue to property patrol. They still have blood on their hands from Hurricane Katrina, and they are staining themselves anew in Haiti. — 2,853 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.


Parliament is broken, not worthless

Prorogation is another lap in the race toward one-man rule

By Carol Goar
The Toronto Star

Why should you care if Parliament is closed for the next six weeks? It's not as if MPs were accomplishing much with their relentless partisan bickering. The government won't stop functioning when the legislature is dark. There will be no interruption in Old Age Security, employment insurance payments, children's benefits or provincially run health and social programs. Federal services will continue. Life will go on more or less normally. — 628 words.

Tough times in the trees

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Canada's primary industries such as agriculture, forestry and mining, have taken a beating during the tough economic times of the last few years. Many in those businesses are thinking long and hard about how to approach the future. — 571 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Sustainable sockeye 'eco-fraud'

B.C. environmental groups outraged at certification plans

By Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail

British Columbia's sockeye fishery — including the troubled Fraser River run which is currently the focus of a judicial inquiry — is about to get international certification as a sustainable fishery. — 637 words.

Vale Inco mulls deep cuts at Sudbury mine

But Brazilian parent plays down seriousness of 'proposed strategy' for strikebound operations

By Tony Van Alphen
The Toronto Star

Brazilian mining giant Vale Inco wants to cut staff at its strikebound operations in Sudbury by as much as 50 per cent and overhaul workplace practices significantly over the next five years, according to internal company documents. — 758 words.

Rogers wants rivals to pony up for unpaid cellphone bills

By Peter Nowak
CBC News

Rogers Wireless wants to put all cellphone providers on the hook for ex-customers' unpaid bills. — 625 words

Beat first, ask questions later

Vancouver police apologize after man beaten

Responding to domestic dispute, plain-clothes officers
beat innocent man on back, head and face, breaking bones

CBC News

The Vancouver Police Department has issued an apology after a man said he was beaten by officers who knocked on the wrong door while investigating a report of a violent domestic dispute. — 292 words.

Spirit Quest

'When the Son of Man comes in his glory ...'

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

"I am a lot more concerned by God's verdict on my life than the one of the historians." That quote from Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, recently caught my eye. — 709 words.

In the name of 'brand integrity', H&M destroys surplus winter clothes rather than donate them to the needy

Perfectly good shirts, sweaters and pants and winter jackets are ripped up and trashed instead of going to New York City's huge poor population

By Liliana Segura
Originally written for PEEK

Liliana Segura is an AlterNet Staff Writer and Editor of Rights & Liberties Special Coverage.

In a story that should have us all railing against the cancer of capitalism, it recently came to the attention of many, thanks to the New York Times, that ubiquitous fashion retailer H&M has apparently been destroying perfectly usable unsold clothing, in the middle of winter, in a city where one third the population is poor. — 1,270 words.

Ottawa will fast-track Haitian adoptions, but balks at expanding immigration

Immigration minister disagrees with Ignatieff that Canadians are calling for new rules applying to Haitians in crisis

By Campbell Clark
The Globe and Mail

Canada will speed adoptions and family reunifications from Haiti, but will not expand the rules to allow whole new classes of Haitians to come here. — 598 words.

Health Watch

Concussion should be termed brain injury: study

CBC News

Concussions in children should be renamed "mild traumatic brain injuries," to better convey their seriousness, some Canadian researchers say. Children diagnosed with a concussion were released from hospital sooner and returned to school faster than those diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, regardless of the severity of the injury, occupational therapist Carol DeMatteo of McMaster University in Hamilton, and her colleagues report in Monday's issue of the journal Pediatrics. 488 words.

Court approves raw milk co-op

'Cow-sharing' operation doesn't run afoul of Ontario's laws, judgment says

By Megan Ogilvie
Toronto Star

Dairy farmer Michael Schmidt will be allowed to continue his raw milk co-operative after a Newmarket court ruled Thursday that it does not break laws against selling unpasteurized milk. — 1,136 words.

Life is all about creating beautiful memories

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.

The laundry is done, the luggage has been stowed away till the next trip and the souvenirs have been distributed but memories of my 2010 trip to Florida will live for ever. You may already wonder what I will say as you know very well Florida fell under a cold Arctic spell that damaged the citrus crops in the past few weeks. Yes it was cold and I didn't get to wear my tank tops or Bermuda shorts. In fact, I almost forgot my swimsuits there when we left ... Swimming was far from my mind! But I had a wonderful time and this climatic misfortune paved the way to some wonderful discoveries we would have missed otherwise. — 771 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.

U.S. Supreme Court lifts campaign finance limits

Republicans hail decision as 'freedom won,'
Obama vows 'forceful response'

By Ron Brynaert

The US Supreme Court on Thursday lifted a 20-year ruling which had set limits on campaign financing by US businesses, and critics, including nonpartisan watchdogs and Congressional Democrats, are up in arms about the decision, which most had feared for a long time. Meanwhile, aside from Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Republicans appear to be gleeful about their second apparent victory of the week. — 1,961 words.

Liberal talk radio takes a hit as Air America goes down in flames

By Daniel Tencer

Right on the heels of the Democratic Party's loss of Ted Kennedy's Congressional seat, Air America, the six-year-old liberal-leaning radio network credited with helping the political career of Sen. Al Franken and discovering MSNBC prime-time host Rachel Maddow, announced Thursday it is ceasing operations immediately and plans to file for bankruptcy. — 285 words.

No fly zone

Twitter joke leads to arrest and lifetime airport ban for British man

Man bailed but suspended by his employer after ordeal by interrogation

By Mark Hughes and Jason Walsh
The Independent

When heavy snowfall threatened to scupper Paul Chambers's travel plans, he decided to vent his frustrations on Twitter by tapping out a comment to amuse his friends. "Robin Hood airport is closed," he wrote. "You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" — 576 words.

Born in Japan, but ordered out

Blood and parentage, not place of birth, determines citizenship

By Blaine Harden
The Washington Post

TOKYO — Fida Khan, a gangly 14-year-old, told the court that immigration authorities should not deport him and his family merely because his foreign-born parents lacked proper visas when they came to Japan more than 20 years ago. — 1,138 words.

'Significant' progress in US-Russia nuclear talks: Medvedev


MOSCOW — The United States and Russia have made "significant" progress towards a new nuclear disarmament treaty, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Saturday. — 455 words.

Chile's Pinera takes nation on a right turn with runoff win

China Daily

SANTIAGO — Billionaire Sebastian Pinera, who won a landmark victory in Sunday's presidential election, will become Chile's first strongly conservative leader since the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet two decades ago. — 656 words.

Old rivals to meet in presidential runoff in Ukraine

Russia Herald

KIEV — Opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych and current Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are heading for a runoff Feb 7 in Ukraine's presidential vote set to decide the future of a country torn between traditional ties with Russia and a post-Soviet drive westward. — 432 words.

Money and Markets

Expect 200 U.S. bank failures in 2010

By Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D.

JUPITER, Florida — Washington has so thoroughly botched its supervision of the banking industry that 200 banks are likely to fail this year — easily surpassing last year’s 140 bank failures … inevitably involving the greatest bank losses in history … and already costing the FDIC ten times more than the great S&L and banking crisis of the 1980s did. — 1,054 words.

China soaring

Blistering fourth-quarter performance puts country on course
to overtake Japan as the world's second-largest economy

By Zhou Xin and Chris Buckley

China easily beat its 2009 growth target after a blistering fourth-quarter performance that set the stage for further monetary tightening and put it on course to overtake Japan to become the world's second-largest economy. — 812 words.

China launches third orbiter for indigenous global SatNav system

Xinhua News Agency

XICHANG, China — China took one step forward in its ambition to build an independent global navigation network capable of rivaling foreign congeneric systems with the successful launch of a new orbiter into space early Sunday morning. — 830 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

New Focus is first fruit of Ford's new global "One-Ford" strategy

DETROIT, Michigan — We've never heard the word "global" used so often at a vehicle's unveiling.

But this shouldn't have been a surprise, we guess, as this new-generation Focus is the first vehicle to embody everything Ford hopes to achieve with its new "One Ford" vehicle strategy — build and sell the same vehicle (with appropriate regional customization) everywhere in the world.

Ford designated its European design and engineering centre in Cologne, Germany, as its "Centre of Excellence" for global small car development. As such it was responsible to create the new C-car platform, which will eventually underpin 10 different models and account for 2 million units of annual production by 2012. The C-car segment is the largest vehicle segment there is — accounting for one of every four cars sold worldwide.

The first model off the new platform is actually not Focus, but the crossovers Ford C-MAX and Ford Grand C-MAX (unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, and set for launch in Europe in the second half of 2010).

Production of Focus will begin simultaneously in Europe and North America in late 2010, with cars arriving by early 2011. Launches in Asia, Africa and South America will follow (122 countries in total). Initial production is set for the Saarlouis (Germany) and Wayne (Michigan) assembly plants. Also in line for C-vehicle production will be a yet-to-be-built plant in Chongquing (China), and current facilities in St.Petersburg (Russia) and Valencia (Spain).

But enough about its "globalness" — let's check out the sheet metal...

For more on this please see Auto123.com.

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.

Reality Check

Errors and lies thrive in cold weather

One cold snap in Florida doesn't mean global warming isn't real

By Michael Le Page
New Scientist

Here's the question to put to all those who confidently declare that the recent severe winter conditions prove that global warming is nonsense: "Next time there's a heatwave in summer or an unusually mild spell in winter, will you publicly accept that the 'warmists' were right all along? If not, why not? If a cold snap means the climate is getting colder, surely a spell of hot weather proves it is getting warmer?" — 386 words.


Giant ribbon at the edge of the solar system — mystery solved?

By Dr. Tony Phillips

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Last year, when NASA's IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) spacecraft discovered a giant ribbon at the edge of the solar system, researchers were mystified. They called it a "shocking result" and puzzled over its origin. Now the mystery may have been solved. — 528 words.

The Reading Room

Renaissance genius meets the distant future —
But is the author's heart in his own conceit?

Galileo's Dream, by Kim Stanley Robinson:

Robinson's return to hard science fiction a mixed success at best

Review by Geoffrey Dow
True North Perspective
Originally published at Ed-Rex.com

Geoffrey Dow blogs at Edifice Rex Online.

"If I have seen less far than others," Galileo complained in irritation to Aurora, "it is because I was standing on the shoulders of dwarfs."
— Galileo Galilei explains his limitations in Galileo's Dream.

Is Kim Stanley Robinson getting tired of science fiction? In the five novels since the final book in his already-classic Mars trilogy was published in 1996 and the North American release of Galileo's Dream just after Christmas, Robinson sojourned in alternate history with the excellent stand-alone novel, The Years of Rice and Salt and the very near future, with the not-entirely-successful "Science in the Capital" series; not quite abandoning the field, but staying on its peripheries. — 943 words.


'I can't think of another figure like him in Canadian letters'

Paul Quarrington, 56

Accomplished as both a writer and a musician, he felt all his artistic endeavours served the same end — to explore the human condition

By Mark Medley
National Post

An award-winning novelist, musician, filmmaker, playwright, and screenwriter, Paul Quarrington was perhaps Canada's foremost renaissance man. He passed away Thursday morning after a nine-month battle with lung cancer. He was 56. A short statement on Quarrington's website said that "he passed peacefully at home in Toronto in the early hours surrounded by friends and family. It is comforting to know that he didn't suffer; he was calm and quiet holding hands with those who were closest to him." He leaves behind two children, Carson Lara and Flannery. — 1,074 words.

Nevermore? Edgar Allan Poe 60-year grave ritual broken

CBC News

BALTIMORE, Maryland — A 60-year annual tradition that involved a mysterious visitor leaving roses and a bottle of cognac at the grave of writer Edgar Allan Poe on the anniversary of his birthday appears to have ended. — 550 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