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Friday, June 13, 2008 Vol 3 No 23 (137)
"True North is for opinion makers"
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Quebec companies charged with fixing gas prices
Competition Bureau probe continuing in other parts of Canada

CBC News

Criminal charges have been laid against 13 people and 11 companies accused of fixing the price of gas in Quebec, the federal Competition Bureau said Thursday. The suspects and companies operated in Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog and Sherbrooke. Three companies and one person pleaded guilty in Quebec Superior Court in Victoriaville on Thursday to related charges. The companies, which included Ultramar Ltd., face up to $2 million in fines in total. — 451 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, June 13, 2008

'Harper (will) find himself on the steps of the Peace Tower,
bag in hand, wondering what the hell happened?'


I've got nothing against conservatives, some of my best friends are. Personally, I lean toward conservatism. When I drive along what were once roads that led through lush farmlands, I’ll startle my passengers by putting up a protecting arm against the sight of new subdivisions, crying out, "Aaagh! Ugly scar! Ugly scar!" I've always thought highly of John G. Diefenbaker. He brilliantly led the Progressive Conservative Party to parliamentary victory in 1958 with what was then the highest majority in the history of our country. His leadership gave the Tories a sweep of Quebec, which had voted Liberal ever since John A. Macdonald hung Louis Riel. — 561 words.

Fury at soaring fuel costs spreads around the world

Gridlocked cities, empty shelves and bloodshed as fury at
soaring costs spreads around the world.

By The London Evening Standard

Worldwide protests over the rising price of fuel has escalated, with the Philippines presidential palace besieged by lorries, fishermen burning their boats in Thailand, and Spanish petrol stations running dry as hauliers blockade major roads.

A man walks past a burned truck during
a transport strike in Portugal. (Photo- Reuters)

Violence has already claimed lives of lorry drivers on either side of the dispute, while one haulier was nearly burned to death in his cab by strikers. — 1,059 words.

Toronto’s Parkdale is a tough neighbourhood that
combines pain, pride, courage and tenderness

Toronto’s Parkdale, a south centre-west community that reaches right down to the Lake Ontario waterfront, is as tough and as colourful a community as you’ll find anywhere in Canada. Anything that happens anywhere in the world happens in Parkdale. Beneath its rough-and-ready surface beats a strong, tender heart. Here is one Parkdale story told in first person by one of its tough-tender residents.

Furious Peacenik solves The Peace Tree Mystery
By Frances Sedgwick (Parkdale)

There was a furious peacenik in Parkdale — that's me. I went to the library to drop off some papers and then to the community centre to do a workout in the gym. Well, I got my workout alright. As I approached the Community Centre I noticed my Peace Tree had been chopped down. This peace tree I had fought so hard to get as a symbol in our community of Peace to counteract all the other not so peaceful monuments along the Lakeshore and in our neighbourhood. — 644 words.

Attack Iran? Cheney's Already Tried

How U.S. military common sense has prevailed (so far) against
the jugheads who rule Washington’s White House

By Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service News

Pentagon officials firmly opposed a proposal by Dick Cheney last summer for air strikes against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

WASHINGTON—Pentagon officials firmly opposed a proposal by Vice President Dick Cheney last summer for airstrikes against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) bases by insisting that the administration would have to make clear decisions about how far the United States would go in escalating the conflict with Iran, according to a former George W Bush administration official. — 1,072 words.

Political chasm between Washington and Latin America continues to
deepen, as Chávez rejects FARC's armed campaign

Chávez call for FARC disarmament takes Washington by surprise
but media has ignored the fact that he's said this several times before

'Here in Washington the tendency is to take Colombia's word for it. However, this (Columbia) is a military that, according to the Washington Post, kills teen-agers in the countryside and dresses the corpses as guerrillas. Not to mention that 30 legislators aligned with President Uribe have been arrested and 32 more are under investigation for various crimes, including links to paramilitary death squads.'

By Mark Weisbrot

(WASHINGTON) — Washington's foreign policy establishment — and much of the U.S. media — was taken by surprise this week when President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) should lay down their arms and unconditionally release all of their hostages. — 1,455 words.

Iraqi Parliament's Push for Sovereignty

Would use centralized American political model
but want all American troops and contractors out

'We think that the American people and Congress are misinformed about what the Iraqis want … We hope we will have more chances to bring the voices of the majority of Iraqis to America.' — 1,067 words.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) introduced 35 articles of
impeachment against President George W. Bush late on Monday during
a speech on the House floor.

By Christopher Kuttruff

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a former contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, pointed to "high crimes and misdemeanors" committed by the Bush administration, including misrepresenting intelligence in the lead-up to the war, violating domestic and international laws against torture, illegally spying on American citizens, obstructing justice and governmental oversight, and dozens of other violations.—719 words.

More lies to Americans by war-loser George W. Bush to
satisfy his hidden compulsion to attack Syria and Iran

By Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jun 12 (IPS)—Two key pledges made by the George W. Bush administration on military bases in its negotiations with the government of Iraq have now been revealed as carefully-worded ruses aimed at concealing U.S. negotiating aims from both U.S. citizens and Iraqis who would object to them if they were made clear.—1,279 words.

The Perfect Orthodox Wahhabi

Why does ex-KGB colonel act like an amateur?

By Yulia Latynina
The Moscow Times

On June 5, a Moscow City Court jury acquitted Vladimir Kvachkov, a retired military intelligence colonel, of charges that he attempted to kill Anatoly Chubais, the architect of privatizations in the 1990s and head of Unified Energy System. After being freed from custody and asked what he would do next, Kvachkov replied, "Now I have a chance to finish what I started."—638 words.

Celebrating Russia's Independence Day June 12 is like
Britain celebrating independence from India

'Thus, for some, June 12 signifies a tragedy because it marks the end of a glorious Soviet era. And for others, the date means nothing at all. What a fitting date for a state holiday!'

By Boris Kagarlitsky
The Moscow Times

It's amazing how difficult it is to remember the name of the holiday on June 12. First it was called Independence Day in 1991, then, in 1994, it was renamed the Day of the Declaration of the Sovereignty of the Russian Federation, and finally, in 2002, Putin again renamed it Russia Day.—734 words.

Focus on Real Estate

Calgary home buyers enjoy excellent buying conditions

By Judy Drzymala
RE/MAX House of Real Estate

CALGARY, Alberta—Now is the time to act while the sale lasts! A high level of inventory, excellent interest rates and a strong economy, presents buyers with great purchasing opportunities.

Hilton to open Waldorf-Astoria
$100 million luxury hotel in Jerusalem

The Hilton Hotel chain along with the Canadian Reichman brothers' IPC Jerusalem will open a new hotel in Jerusalem under the Waldorf-Astoria brand name, the first in Israel. The two firms announced their management agreement to run the hotel, which is scheduled to open toward the end of 2010, at the end of last week. The new hotel will be in the building where the Palace Hotel once stood at the intersection of King David, Agron and Mamilla Streets in the heart of Jerusalem, a short distance from the Old City and near the King David and The David Citadel. — 368 words.

Russian patriotism leads movie comeback

Government backed privately owned multi-billion
film industry surges against a patriotic background

By Amie Ferris-Rotman
The Moscow Times

SUZDAL, Vladimir Region—A gang of black-clad horsemen gallop past a line of gallows, splattering tufts of snow against frozen corpses. They are the oprichniki, loyal henchmen of 16th-century Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Severed dogs' heads dangle from their saddles, a warning to the motherland's internal enemies.—569 words.

Russia for racists

Both the state and openly racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic groups … increasingly ignore the country's multi-ethnic character. In an everyday context, this is reflected in slogans like “Russia for Russians,” which really means white European Russians.

By Suzanne Scholl
The Moscow Times

In Russia, if you have dark hair and a slightly swarthy complexion, you are likely to be in danger. Sadly, the country's leaders have tolerated, if not encouraged, fear of foreigners and assaults on those whose appearance differs from the average Russian.—754 words.

Money and Markets

Three Lucrative Trends in China

How to cash in on China's success

By Tony Sagami

JUPITER, Florida

'While watching Jackie Chan sing (he isn't bad, by the way), I was struck at how unified a country of 1.4 billion people had become. The death and economic toll are tragic, but the spirit and perseverance of the Chinese people was heartwarming.' — 1,068 words.

Challenging the militarization of US energy policy

How Energy Policy Got Militarized

By By Michael T. Klare

American policymakers have long viewed the protection of overseas oil supplies as an essential matter of "national security," requiring the threat of—and sometimes the use of—military force. This is now an unquestioned part of American foreign policy. On this basis, the first Bush administration fought a war against Iraq in 1990-1991 and the second Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003. With global oil prices soaring and oil reserves expected to dwindle in the years ahead, military force is sure to be seen by whatever new administration enters Washington in January 2009 as the ultimate guarantor of our well-being in the oil heartlands of the planet. But with the costs of militarized oil operations—in both blood and dollars—rising precipitously isn't it time to challenge such "wisdom"? Isn't it time to ask whether the U.S. military has anything reasonable to do with American energy security, and whether a reliance on military force, when it comes to energy policy, is practical, affordable, or justifiable?—2,642 words.

A Game As Old As Empire:

The Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption

As a former HQ Public Relations Writer for Bell Canada in the late 60's, I recall all too well the takeover strategy and tactics of major Canadian corporations and monopolies at that time. They were "nasty, brutish and short." These now global monopolies work with governments of all sorts around the world to secure and strengthen their strangleholds on the industries and governments concerned. The late comedian Lenny Bruce put it nicely when he quipped, "You **** with Ma Bell and you end up with a Dixie cup and a thread."—753 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!

The snowblower was invented by a Canadian. True or false?

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:

Spirit Quest

Tom Bata was a fellow Czech who escaped the Nazis
and put his shoe making tools to make arms for Canada

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

As you read this (June 14) I am attending a reunion called “The Batawa Homecoming.” It is one of those shocking events when you are made dramatically conscious of the passage of time and the fact that you too have been carried downstream by this temporal current. There will of course be passionate embracing of old friends and cautious eyeing  of others - “ is that ‘so and so’?” And of course everyone will remember me, “ Hanns, you haven't changed one whit!” — 829 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor

In our one permitted frenzied act of blatant self promotion, we offer our own Mike Heenan's Selected Urban Affairs & Country Matters this week. Fresh from the printer, this self-published selection of poetry over the past 40 years contains a variety of some 48 poems of varying style and quality. It's strength lies in the various stylistic virtuosity of this poet indicating a growth of spirit and control over the "crafte so longe to lerne".

The Book End

An Ageless Company

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 An Ageless Company by John "Robbie" Robertson, CD—Mike Heenan, Literary Editor. (For book cover, synopsis, and author profile please click here.) — Mike Heenan, Literary Editor. (For book cover, synopsis, and author profile please click here.) 

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?

True. Its creator was Arthur Sicard, a Montreal-area farm boy-turned entrepreneur who tired of having his milk spoil when the roads to market were blocked by snowdrifts. The initial device he invented in the late 1880s was similar to a farm threshing machine. It consisted of revolving metal ``worms’’ and a fan that blew snow up a pipe and out of a stack. Sicard patented his invention in the late 1920s.


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
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
Geoffrey Dow
Tom Dow
Randy Ray
Harold Wright