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Friday, July 18, 2008 Vol 3 No 28 (142)
"True North is for opinion makers"
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The Pentagon and the Hunt for Black Gold

By Nick Turse

For years, "oil" and "Iraq" couldn't make it into the same sentence in mainstream coverage of the invasion and occupation of that country. Recently, that's begun to change, but "oil" and "the Pentagon" still seldom make the news together. Last year, for instance, according to Department of Defense (DoD) documents, the Pentagon paid more than $70 million to Hunt Refining, an oil company whose corporate affiliate, Hunt Oil, undermined U.S. policy in Iraq. Not that anyone would know it. — 1,340 words

"Screwed Up" and "Abused": The Interrogation of 16-Year-Old Omar Khadr
Research reveals Harper regime lied to Canadians about torture of child soldier

By Andy Worthington
Andy Worthington's Blog

As the Abu Ghraib scandal demonstrates, a photo is worth a thousand words — even if, as Errol Morris' newly-released documentary Standard Operating Procedure demonstrates, those words are sometimes what the viewer wishes to see, rather than what actually happened.— 1,710 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.

Or quick and easy and perfectly safe, via Pay Pal. No donation is too small.

True North No Gas Fridays
Don't be shy! Just don't buy!

Join True North No Gas Fridays and hit back at Big Oil price gouging. When enough drivers make the point that they're mad as hell and won't take it anymore Governments will act. You can count on it. Protect yourself with True North No Gas Fridays.

All the way to the bank and back                

hahhaha dont go here

Take care, beware, don't go near that thing on Friday . . . theres a gouger lurking, with a very greedy eye on your hard-earned money.

Editor’s Notes
Friday, July 18, 2008

Don’t get excited: the peaceniks have not taken over the Pentagon

Traditionally these are journalism’s dog days of summer when news is so scarce that a catfight or a broken fire hydrant could land on the front page. But not the summer of 2008. It looks like it will be a long hot news summer because news is breaking out all over. — 434 words.

Gas Prices: Boycott or Slow Down?

Letter to the Editor

Re: No Gas Fridays

The letter by Pete Hodgins Sr. (July 11, 2008) prompts me to write to you, to consider another alternative to boycotting gas companies in order to get prices down.

Gas prices are high because we keep paying those high prices. Price is what the market will bear. If we all stopped buying so much gas, its price would soon drop, to entice us to buy more of it. This result comes from basic marketing principles. — 358 words

As the Germans found out Friendly Fascism is not friendly for long

'It takes public vigilance and clear vision as well as a dedication to democratic action to detect the dry rot that is ever ready to invade the structures of our society'

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
Op-Ed Contributor

On a morning a few days ago some of the residents of Kanata, a planned suburban city on the western fringes of Ottawa, were shocked to discover swastikas and racist symbols painted in emerald green on power posts and street signs. The residents of this pleasant neighborhood bearing such street names as Stonehaven, Steeplechase and Elk Island Circle (not an island), were annoyed to say the least. Efforts were immediately made to remove this pornography of hate and fascism and find the culprits. — 643 words

From the Desk of Judge Harold Wright

Man spent $1,000 a week on beer?

SYDNEY (Reuters) — An Australian man convicted of his seventh drink-driving charge was spending about A$1,000 ($972) a week on beer — enough to buy more than 2,500 small bottles a month, a newspaper said Tuesday. — 163 words.

Health Watch

Calorie reduction helps reduce signs of aging

China Daily

Cutting just 300 to 500 calories a day from your diet could be the key to slowing the signs of aging and living longer, according to a new study. — 400 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

2009 Dodge Ram Preview

By Amyot Bachand,
Dodge firmly intends to gain new market shares in the pickup/truck segment despite skyrocketing gas prices. The company's diesel engines already enjoy a solid reputation with the heavy-duty Ram models (2500+). For 2009, the most significant changes were made to the bodywork and cabin. — 864 words.

Control freak Poobah Harper obscures work of food agency
Whistle blower fired biologist Pomerleau should win grievance

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Originally written for Ontario Farmer

Most readers have heard about the Harper government’s obsession with rigid, centralized control over every peep uttered by federal departments and agencies. It was understandable when the Harper cabinet came to power in 2006 short on experience in government. Since then it has evolved into a generally stupid policy. — 574 words.

Soon, image guided surgical robots to perform brain surgery
Canadian brainchild is milestone in medical technology

Russia Herald

CALGARY — Researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada claim to have developed the world's first image guided surgical robot that promises to enhance accuracy and safety of brain surgery. — 342 words.

CSIS a culture of cruelty and stupidity tortures child soldier
Then sends him to the Americans and the hell of Guantanamo

Russia Herald

OTTAWA — Alleged terror suspect, Omar Khadr, the youngest detainee at Guantanamo, is featured in a secretly recorded video which has been posted online. Khadr, a Canadian ciizen, was arrested in Afghanistan in 2002 at the age of 15 after being accused of killing a US soldier in a firefight. The video was posted online by lawyers for Khadr, who is shown being questioned at a prison by Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents in February, 2003. — 344 words.

Chinese police nab suspect after Canadian model murdered in Shanghai

By Wang Zhenghua
China Daily

Diana O'Brien, 23, a resident of Saltspring Island, British Columbia, was killed at her apartment on Sunday night. (

SHANGHAI — A man was arrested in Anhui province on Friday and confessed to the murder of Canadian model Diana O'Brien in Shanghai. — 263 words.

US environmental agency lowers value of a human life
During Bush reign American worth drops by $1 million

By Elena Schor
The Guardian UK

It sounds like a spot of gallows humour, but the numbers are no joke: the US environmental protection agency (EPA) has lowered the value of a human life by nearly $1m under George Bush's administration. — 566 words.

Anti-Chávez Student Group Attacks Police,
Creates Chaos in Mérida, Venezuela

By James Suggett


MERIDA — A notoriously violent Venezuelan student organization aligned with the Venezuelan opposition known as the March 13th Movement (M13) fired gunshots and threw Molotov cocktails at police officers, blockaded streets using seized university buses, and ransacked sections of the Andean town of Mérida on Thursday and Friday, to protest crime and insecurity in the city. 1,097 words.

Cuba decentralizing construction decision-making
to strengthen role of local contractors in housing

By Marc Frank

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba has begun decentralizing decision-making in construction, in the second major reorganization of an industry since Raul Castro became president in February, official media reported on Thursday. A parliament hearing on Wednesday focused on disorganization and theft plaguing the state-run industry and its failure to meet apartment building plans or conclude larger projects on schedule and within budget. — 377 words.

Naked in Dubai

China Daily

A fully clothed man enjoys the view as he walks along the beach, as two women talk to a man on the Umm Suqaim public beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, July 16, 2008. (Agencies)

Westerners were getting too racy on the beaches of this Persian Gulf tourist haven, and a police crackdown on topless sunbathing, nudity and other such behavior has resulted in 79 arrests in recent days. — 544 words.

Is the Fourth Estate a Fifth Column?
Corporate media colludes with democracy’s demise

By By Bill Moyers
In These Times

‘Sadly, in many respects, the Fourth Estate has become the fifth column against democracy, colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom, and that is the truth.’ — 1,848 words.

New China public poll measures performance linked
to promotion to help keep officials at their best behaviour

By Wu Jiao
China Daily

The central government is using a public poll for the first time to help assess the performance of officials and give people a greater say in deciding their promotions. — 371 words.

Russian scientists abandon melting Arctic ice floe

The Moscow Times

St. Petersburg scientists are evacuating a research station built on an ice floe drifting in the western Arctic Ocean because global warming is melting the ice early, a spokesman said. — 330 words.

Did you know?

Homes Quiz – by Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

For many Canadians, their home is their castle.  It’s where they spend the greatest portion of their time relaxing with friends and family, entertaining, tackling odd jobs, or sleeping.  They also spend a large chunk of their income on mortgage payments, property taxes, repairs and upgrades.

But how much do Canadians know about the homes they live in or are planning to buy?  As you tour open houses in search of your dream home this spring, or plan renovations at your existing abode, we invite you to test your knowledge of housing with our trivia quiz.. We’ll pose one question each issue here. You can find the answer at the bottom of the page. Good luck

What type of freezers do most Canadians prefer — chest style or upright?

Randy Ray of Ottawa and Mark Kearney of London, Ont. are the authors of seven books, including Pucks, Pablum & Pingos, a Canadian trivia book, published in April.  Visit their Web site at:

KBR water is poisoning U.S. troops in Iraq

'My Boss at KBR: "The military is none of our f..king concern.'

(KBR, Inc. (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) NYSEKBR is an American engineering and construction company, formerly a subsidiary of Halliburton, based in Houston. After Halliburton acquired Dresser Industries in 1998, Dresser's engineering subsidiary, The M. W. Kellogg Co., was merged with Halliburton's construction subsidiary, Brown & Root, to form Kellogg Brown & Root. KBR and its predecessors have won many contracts with the U.S. military during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as well as during World War II and the Vietnam War. KBR is the largest non-union construction company in the United States.)

By Ben Carter

I had been operating my own company in the fall of 2004, when my 20-year-old son suddenly died from a bad combination of prescription medication. This tragedy caused my marriage to end only a month later. With little reason to stay in Utah, I pursued the opportunity of going to work for Halliburton, because I had gotten word that Halliburton was looking for people with expertise in water purification to operate their reverse osmosis water purification units (ROWPU). I had extensive experience with a wide range of water purification technologies, and I was attracted to the idea of providing a valuable service to our soldiers serving in Iraq. — 1,813 words.

Heavy trucks, construction equipment, stolen in Russia
Western models safer because of advanced technology

By John Wendle
The Moscow Times

A KamAZ truck and a loader standing parked at Moskva-City on Saturday. (Photo: John Wendle / MT)

MOSCOW — Call it the case of the missing cement truck. Construction equipment is disappearing from Moscow's beehive of construction sites and off its jammed roads as the capital nears the peak of the summer construction season. — 1,088 words.

Sudan grateful to China for Darfur help in improving humanitarian conditions, especially water supply

By Li Xiang
China Daily

BEIJING — Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha yesterday thanked China for continually supporting a peaceful resolution to the Darfur issue, saying its efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in the region is helpful to fundamentally resolving the problem. — 291 words.

Putin calls for legislation that would block corrupt police, health, fire-services officials
who traditionally blackmail small and mid-size businesses and force them to pay bribes

The Moscow Times

MOSCOW — The government spends nearly $7 billion per year investigating companies for procedural infractions, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Monday, calling on the government to change fundamentally its approach toward regulating business. — 314 words.

China’s initiation of market reforms is joined by gradual revival of drug trade
Death penalty sentences included for those found guilty of accepting bribes

"Even the devastation caused by the earthquake couldn’t make them postpone the execution by a single day," said Xu Youping, a colleague of Zhou Jianzhong from the same law firm. "Rescue efforts were the number one priority, executions (for corruption) were the second"

By Antoaneta Bezlova
Inter Press Service

CHENGDU — China’s intensified "people’s war on drugs" is undermining efforts to reform the use of the death penalty. As host to the 2008 summer Olympic games, Beijing has pledged to use the ultimate punishment sparingly and cautiously, sending all death sentences handed down by the provinces for review by the country’s Supreme Court. — 973 words.

Asteroid passes near earth, misses now but ‘potentially hazardous’ says NASA

By Wu Jiao
China Daily

A good-sized asteroid sailing past our planet right now turns out to be two giant rocks doing a celestial jig. — 376 words.

Afghanistan Analysis:

Deadly Assault Could Alter Campaign Dynamics

By Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service News Agency

WASHINGTON — If nothing else, the deaths Sunday of nine U.S. soldiers at a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan close to the Pakistan border are likely to bring home to the U.S. electorate what top national security officials have been saying for much of the past year — that the central front in Washington's "global war on terrorism" has moved eastwards about 1,800 kms from Iraq. — 992 words.

TNK-BP dispute leaves no approved 2008 investment program, nor interim dividend

The Moscow Times

MOSCOW — A boardroom war between BP and its four Russian partners over their troubled joint venture TNK-BP has left the company without an approved 2008 investment program or an interim dividend, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said Monday. — 192 words.

Tens of thousands of free Bibles at Beijing games

By Wu Jiao
China Daily

BEIJING — Athletes, officials, spectators and tourists can pick up the Bible or just the New Testament for free during the Olympic Games next month. — 429 words.

Security has collapsed again in Fallujah, despite U.S. military claims

‘Authorities may have controlled the media better than the violence’

By Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail
Inter Press Service News Agency

Local militias supported by U.S. forces claim to have "cleansed" the city, 70 km to the west of Baghdad, of all insurgency. But the sudden resignation of the city's chief of police, Colonel Fayssal al-Zoba'i, has appeared as one recent sign of growing unrest. — 631 words.

China challenges BBC documentary alleging violation of Darfur weapons embargo: ‘trucks are not weapons’

By Jiao Xiaoyang
China Daily

A BBC documentary alleging China has violated the UN arms embargo in Darfur is biased and made with ulterior motives, China's special envoy for Darfur said Monday. — 356 words.

Israel fears the womb more than the bomb
Olmert says retreat from West Bank a must

By Peter Hirschberg
Inter Press Service News Agency

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has laid it out in the starkest possible terms for his fellow Israelis. If they do not relinquish control of the occupied territories, he has warned them, Israel will ultimately cease to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. If Israel does not extract itself from the West Bank and a Palestinian state is not established alongside the Jewish state, he said in an interview late last year, Israel will find itself trapped in an apartheid-like reality. — 1,337 words.

Pentagon calms liar, coward, bully, war-crazed president and Israel
by seeking negotiations for peaceful settlement with nuclear Iran

By Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service News Agency

WASHINGTON — While Wednesday's test-firing by Iran of nine medium- and long-range missiles was strongly denounced by Israel and the United States, there appears to be a growing consensus here that the chances for war, at least between now and the U.S. elections in November, have actually receded in recent days. — 1,147 words.

GM, Fannie, Lehman: Too big to fail?
Or too big to save?

By Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D.
Money and Markets

If you're worried about the IndyMac Bank failure on Friday — America's third largest in history — brace yourself. This crisis is about to get uglier. And in this double-length issue, I'm not going to pull any punches. General Motors is now nearer to bankruptcy than at any time since it nearly failed in 1920. — 3,305 words.

Spirit Quest

Birth of granddaughter serves as inspiration to live in hope

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

It is now  two years since my family gathered around a festive supper table on the deck of the cottage. The meal prepared by my son on the barbecue, salmon, I think it was, well garnished with vegetables and rice was served. The wine was poured, Beaujolais, I believe. Glasses were raised in a toast when suddenly my daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, blurted out: “Cheers, Stephen’s gonna be a dad!” — 794 words.

Anne of Green Gables at 100

By Meghan O'Rourke

One hundred years ago, L.M. Montgomery did for women's imaginative lives what Susan B. Anthony did for women's political lives by publishing Anne of Green Gables, the story of an outspoken red-haired orphan growing up on Canada's Prince Edward Island. — 475 words.

The Book End — A Review

Reviewer examines Wilpert’s take on the Bolivarian Revolution
while considering Holloway’s alternative theoretical ambition

‘This contribution alone, and especially Wilpert's attention to detail, would have been enough to recommend Changing Venezuela By Taking Power. But Wilpert's coup de grace is that he also serves up utterly unsentimental criticism where appropriate, and an unromantic assessment of the contradictions, dangers and myriad challenges that the Bolivarian Revolution faces. In this, Wilpert does not let his intimacy and his engagement with his subject colour his analysis.’

‘The right-wing media outlets in Venezuela itself have been so outrageous — the 2002 coup against Chavez has even been termed the world's "first media coup" due to the overt participation of the private media giants in the toppling of a democratic government — they have caused their readership and credibility to plummet. — 1,344 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

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 , and he will be more than happy to assist you.

Answer to Homes Quiz Did You Know?

More than 80 % of all freezers sold in Canada are chest style, says Canadian freezer maker the W.C. Wood company. In the U.S. the split between the two styles is about 50-50.


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
Rosaleen Dickson
Tom Dow
Randy Ray
Harold Wright