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

Friday, June 18, 2010, Vol. 5, No, 28 — 232
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'But here was the strange thing. In the midst of the Great Recession, under a new president with assumedly far fewer illusions about American omnipotence and power, war policy continued to expand in just about every way. The Pentagon budget rose by Bushian increments in fiscal year 2010; and while the Iraq War reached a kind of dismal stasis, the new president doubled down in Afghanistan on entering office — and then doubled down again before the end of 2009. There, he "surged" in multiple ways. At best, the U.S. was only drawing down one war, in Iraq, to feed the flames of another.'

Entering the Soviet era in America:
In Washington today, for every problem there is only one solution: more money for the military

By Tom Engelhardt

15 June 2010 — Mark it on your calendar. It seems we've finally entered the Soviet era in America.

You remember the Soviet Union, now almost 20 years in its grave. But who gives it a second thought today? Even in its glory years that "evil empire" was sometimes referred to as "the second superpower." In 1991, after seven decades, it suddenly disintegrated and disappeared, leaving the United States — the "sole superpower," even the "hyperpower," on planet Earth — surprised but triumphant.

The USSR had been heading for the exits for quite a while, not that official Washington had a clue. At the moment it happened, Soviet "experts" like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (then director of the CIA) still expected the Cold War to go on and on. In Washington, eyes were trained on the might of the Soviet military, which the Soviet leadership had never stopped feeding, even as its sclerotic bureaucracy was rotting, its economy (which had ceased to grow in the late 1970s) was tanking, budget deficits were soaring, indebtedness to other countries was growing, and social welfare payments were eating into what funds remained. Not even a vigorous, reformist leader like Mikhail Gorbachev could staunch the rot, especially when, in the late 1980s, the price of Russian oil fell drastically.

Looking back, the most distinctive feature of the last years of the Soviet Union may have been the way it continued to pour money into its military — and its military adventure in Afghanistan — when it was already going bankrupt and the society it had built was beginning to collapse around it. In the end, its aging leaders made a devastating miscalculation. They mistook military power for power on this planet. — Read the full article at TruthOut.org, 3,379 words.

Mike Thompson, Comics.com, 14 June 2010.

Special prosecutor named in Dziekanski case
following release of damning public inquiry report

The death of Robert Dziekanski
October 14, 2007

CBC News

18 June 2010 — The British Columbia government has appointed a special prosecutor to reopen the investigation into the actions of the four RCMP officers linked to the death of Robert Dziekanski, Attorney General Mike de Jong says.

The move follows the release of retired justice Thomas Braidwood's harshly critical final report into the fatal incident at Vancouver airport in October 2007.

"There was misconduct here ... and that reflects badly, and that's why Mr. Braidwood used the language that he did," de Jong said in a statement issued Friday. — Read the full article at CBC News, 314 words.

Editor's Notes

Friday, June 18, 2010
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 28 (232)

Cascade of errors, cascades of lies

Reports on 1985 Air India bombing and 2007 Robert Dziekanski killing
reveal unchanging institutional culture of buck-passing and self-protection

By Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor
True North Perspective

The tragedies — the crimes (moral if not legal) — were close to 20 years apart, but the Public Inquiry reports were coincidentally handed in on the same week and reveal that all too little has changed in the culture of Canada's national police force and intelligence service.

In the earlier case, the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in which 329 people were killed when a bomb blew up the airliner off the coast of Ireland, former Supreme Court Justice John Major reported, "The level of error, incompetence, and inattention which took place before the flight was sadly mirrored in many ways for many years, in how authorities, governments, and institutions dealt with the aftermath of the murder of so many innocents."

In the later case, four RCMP officers repeatedly tasered a man who posed no immediate threat to anyone at all (see the video accompanying the story, "Special prosecutor named in Dziekanski case following release of damning public inquiry report" on our front page in this week's edition), resulting in his death. The thuggish incompentence was bad enough, but the real story was the self-serving dishonesty displayed by the RCMP in the aftermath, from the officers themselves to their superior officers and all the way up the ranks.— Read the full article inside, 680 words.

Ten reasons not to talk — or listen — to CSIS

By the People's Commission Network

15 June 2010 — Over past months, reports have multiplied of Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) visits to the homes and even workplaces of people working for social justice. In addition to its longstanding and ongoing harassment and intimidation of indigenous peoples, immigrant communities, and others, the spy agency has become much more visible in its surveillance of movements for social justice.

The People's Commission is aware of dozens of such visits in the Montreal area alone. People visited range from writers and artists to staff at advocacy organizations and anarchists living in collective houses. Unannounced, in the morning, the middle of the day or the evening, CSIS agents knock at the door of private homes.

Their interest is far ranging: from the tar sands, to the G8, to indigenous organizing, Palestine solidarity, Afghanistan; who you know and what you think. Their very presence is disruptive, their tone can be intimidating, and their questions intrusive, manipulative and inappropriate. They guarantee confidentiality — "just like in security certificate cases" — and invariably ask people to keep quiet about the visit. — Read the full article at Rabble.ca, 1,438 words.

Two activists speak out about G8/G20 CSIS intimidation: Stefan Christoff's story

By Stefan Christoff

Two Montreal activists, Freda Guttman and Stefan Christoff, say they and their friends have been targetted by CSIS in the run up to the Huntsville G8 and Toronto G20 summits. Both write exclusively for rabble.ca on what they are experiencing. Stefan Christoff's story is below. Read Freda Guttman's by clicking here.

4 June 2010 — Over recent months, phone calls to me from friends across Montreal have been filled with a distressing tone, a request to meet me in person over coffee, and vague references to unwelcomed visits by Canadian government intelligence officials.

When we meet, they have told me a story that involves members of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) arriving at their apartments unannounced, often in the early morning hours, demanding sit-down interviews.

And, shockingly, CSIS representatives have wanted to speak to my friends about me. This has now happened five times this spring. The questions were forced on artists and activists from different social networks, including people who have been close to me over a decade. — Read the full article at Rabble.ca, 1,407 words.

Letters to the Editor

Tributes to Villeneuve-Sinclair's 'Dads'

"A tribute to dads" had me holding back tears. The photo reminded me how safe I felt when I was with Dad, holding on to his little finger. I loved it when he rocked us in the big wicker rocking chair. I loved watching him shave at the kitchen sink. I admired his silent ways, his courage, his stamina and his perseverance. He was skillful at many things and as you said, he taught us all to love and appreciate nature. Thanks!

— Diane Albert, Vars, Ontario

"A tribute to dads" touched my heart with Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair's fond memories of her dad. They are identical to mine! Working by my father's side in the fields helped me develop skills that my father truly valued. There, I gained self-confidence which later enabled me to take up challenging projects and handle them successfully. Even when I became a teacher my father remained my best teacher in all aspects of everyday life. With age, he became the "wise old sage" I would consult before making any major decision. Thanks for the memories!

— Anita Bourdeau, Ottawa, Ontario

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair's article pays tribute to dads around the world, which they richly deserve. Your article brings back so many fond memories of Dad. He taught me how to play card games at a very young age. I was a real tomboy, into sports big time! On Saturday nights, we used to watch the Toronto Maple Leaf games together, each equipped with a jar of olives (a contest to see who would finish first). He always won but I didn't care. Watching my Dad shadow box with the TV and scream at the refs made it all the more exciting. He went to his grave a true war vet, a Leaf fan and a great Dad!

— Dawn McBride, Toronto, Ontario

"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.

Major urges cabinet to react swiftly on security report

Some fixes will be uphill fight against bureaucracy, he says

By Colin Freeze
The Globe and Mail

18 June 2010 — After finally publishing volumes on how to fix Canada's national-security system, inquiry commissioner John Major left Ottawa this week to relax at home. He urges Canada's Conservative ministers to cram in some serious reading before they follow suit.

"If they can't give an answer this week, they can give an answer next week," the retired Supreme Court judge said from his Calgary law office on Friday. "Let's take them at their word they haven't had a chance to read it. It's a detailed document, so give them the benefit of the doubt. But a week is plenty."

The Tories were non-committal on Mr. Major's recommendations as the government released his 4,000 pages of findings on the Air India bombing Thursday — one day before Parliament recessed for the summer. — Read the full article at theThe Globe and Mail, 644 words.

Self inflicted wounds

Harper's addiction to secrecy provides opposition parties with free ammunition on more than just the G8 and G20 summits

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

18 June 2010 — The $1 billion and counting in spending in preparation for the G8 and G20 Summits has earned Prime Minister Harper plenty of criticism, all richly deserved.

If Harper wasn't such a secrecy addict, he would have started months ago to sell the Summit preparations to the opposition parties. After all, they don't want to be seen as making Canada look cheap to leaders of 40 to 50 countries that will be here for a few days in late June.

Now that approach might have cost Harper his fake lake and Industry Minister Tony Clements probably would have to scale back his efforts to turn the summit into an Economic Action Plan for his riding. — Read the full article inside, 680 words.

G8 funds flood Clement's riding: Liberals

CBC News

16 June 2010 — The Opposition Liberals are accusing the Conservative government of blowing $50 million of G8 summit-related spending in Industry Minister Tony Clement's riding in an attempt to boost his chances of re-election.

Liberal MPs Mark Holland and Marcel Proulx presented a slideshow at a news conference on Wednesday showing G8 legacy project sites in Clement's Ontario riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka.

Dubbing the presentation the "Tour de Pork," the MPs said most of the money has been spent on projects that are nowhere near delegates during the one-day G8 summit and that will not be completed in time for the event. — Read the full article at Source, words.

West Quebec Wisdom

'To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.'
— Bertrand Russell

Here and now Dad gets a Karcher for Father's Day

By Lakshmi Sundaram
True North Perspective
First published in the West Quebec Post

18 June 2010 — We visited my father-in-law this past weekend. He was celebrating his 70th birthday. We were all entranced by his aged wisdom, listening to stories of the past and challenging him with grade 10 algebra.

Gazing out over the lake after a moment of pensive silence, he suddenly turned to my husband and exclaimed "Michel, as tu un Karcher?"

A Karcher, for those of you who don't know, is the brand name of a pressure washer and Grandpapa was quick to list its proficiencies, "C'est fantastique, t'as absolutement besoin d'acheter un Karcher!" — Read the full story inside, 507 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Vancouver's bicycle revolution about to shift into a higher gear

By Miro Cernetig
Vancouver Sun

L.A.'s bold transit moves

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to cram 30 years of transit projects into one decade is gathering steam in Washington — and other cities are watching closely

By Nate Berg

15 June 2010 — The Mayor has argued his case persuasively, emphasizing the project's environmental and economic significance along with its mobility and livability benefits for Angelenos. The transit expansion itself, even if not accelerated, has much to recommend it: 200 million fewer driving miles annually, 570,000 fewer pounds of emissions annually, and 80 million more transit trips each year. — Read the full article at Planetizen.com, 214 words.

17 June 2010 — If you think cyclists are taking over Vancouver's streets now, just wait until next year when the next phase of the bicycle revolution begins.

That's when Mayor Gregor Robertson, who pedals to most of his meetings, hopes to put in place a city-wide public bike-sharing scheme to enable people to pick a bicycle at various stations around the city, ride around and drop them off at another station.

The plan is modelled after Bixi, a system developed in Montreal that has been a hit and is now being exported around the world.

In the Vancouver version, there will be about 2,000 Bixis — that's bike and taxi together — docked in about 200 stations spread around the downtown core, Kitsilano, Fairview Slopes and Mount Pleasant, perhaps even as far out as Commercial Drive and the University of British Columbia.

People will pay about $78 a year to belong to the system and get to ride a bike for free for the first 30 minutes, or pay a few dollars for the time they ride after that. — Read the full article at Vancouver Sun, 625 words.

Pop Life at the National Gallery of Canada, reviewed

'Art' of Onanism:
Pop Life and the National Gallery of Canada mock us all

By Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor
True North Perspective
First published at Edifice Rex Online

18 June 2010 — "It's not pandering. We have certainly not lowered our standards or principles in order to have line-ups at the door." — National Gallery of Canada director Marc Mayer, quoted in the National Post.

Well. Thank God that's settled!

But the denial does beg the question, "Just what kind of standards did the National Gallery have before the June 10 opening of the blockbuster travelling show, Pop Life? — Read the full article inside — but please note, there explicit images and language under the link, 1,954 words.

Academic earns her keep

Anne of Green Gables may have had fetal alcohol syndrome
says University of Guelph professor without enough real work to do

CBC News

Hannah Endicott-Douglas as Anne

18 June 2010 — The risk-taking and impulsive nature of Anne of Green Gables, one of Canada's most beloved literary characters, may have been a sign of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, according to a professor from the University of Guelph.

Helen Hoy makes the claim in a collection of scholarly essays about Lucy Maud Montgomery's most famous creation. Hoy's work was commented on in this week's edition of Maclean's magazine.

Hoy said she started seeing parallels between Anne and her own daughter Elizabeth, who suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome.

"Anne's positive features are among the strengths of people with fetal alcohol," she said. — Read the full article at CBC News, 311 words.

Chinese president to visit Canada


19 June 2010 — OTTAWA — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Friday that Chinese President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Canada on June 23-25, which is expected to build on the successful visit by Harper to China in December 2009. — Read the full article at China Daily, 177 words.

Generosity, tolerance and patience ...

A tribute to dads (part 2)

'This is the legacy he left behind for his children'

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.

18 June 2010 — I was reflecting on the fulfillment of dreams before I started writing today, reflecting on the fact we don't always achieve our dreams but often, our children will.

I would have loved to study psychology but after my Teachers' College, I went into teaching and never went back to university. But my daughter did!

I wanted three children but I only had one. My dream has been surpassed by my daughter and son-in-law's family. They recently announced there is another baby in the making ... — Read the full article inside, 1,168 words.

'His faith was forged in the cauldron of politics'

Spirit Quest

A Spirit shared, from beyond the barrier of death

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

The Reverend Doctor Hanns F. Skoutajan

18 June 2010 —

In my family we never celebrate Father's Day, but recently as I was enjoying my coffee at the local Bridgehead my mind wandered and father, or Vati as we called him, intruded in my mind. I recalled how he despaired of my mathematical ineptitude — I had one hell of a time coping with the multiplication table. I recalled how he drove the car — jerkily — how he gently mussed my hair, and salivated over the meat counter at the Loblaws store.

My father was a teacher, a journalist, a refugee, a farmer and a quality control engineer, in that order. It was only after I was ten years of age that I really got to know him. Before that he was too busy, travelling and attending meetings, writing and speaking to spend much time at home. The times we were together were rich but short.

All that changed abruptly when we had to flee our homeland. — Read the full article inside, 1,060 words.


Glitz and Ritz glitter among the desperate
the moneychangers, and the drug peddlers

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective

Photo by Geoffrey Dow, www.ed-rex.com.

18 June 2010 — As I went out shopping today, I noticed several people picking through the garbage. One for beer bottles for exchange money, one for anything salvageable for fixing and selling. Then on Queen Street I saw someone going through the restaurant garbage for FOOD.

This gave me goose pimples and my mind immediately went back to those commercials we all see on TV where children in third world countries are picking through mounds of garbage and the commenter is asking you to donate "just a dollar a day " to save this poor child. I couldn't help thinking sometimes we don't realize it's not just in third world countries where there is a problem — look in our own backyard. — Read the full article inside, 685 words.

Health Watch

Female libido pill questioned by FDA

'It's a fairly complicated area, unlike in men's sexual dysfunction where there's a major mechanical concern.' — Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler

The Associated Press

16 June 2010 — The first pill designed to boost the female sex drive failed to make a significant impact on libido in two studies, federal health regulators in the U.S. say.

Despite missing that goal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that women taking the pill did report slightly more sexually satisfying experiences.

Boehringer Ingelheim has asked the FDA to approve its drug flibanserin for women who report a lack of sexual desire, a market that drugmakers have been targeting for more than a decade since the success of Viagra in men. — Read the full article at CBC News, 471 words.

Cornell doctor sliced young girls' genitals
Tested girls as young as six with vibrator, columnist says

By David Edwards

17 June 2010 — A Cornell doctor is performing partial clitoris removal on young girls and then using a vibrator to test their sensation in follow-up tests, a shocking column by syndicated columnist Dan Savage asserted Wednesday.

Dr. Dix P. Poppas has been performing the procedure on girls older than five for several years, according to 2007 paper documenting the research.

The doctor and patients' parents allegedly believe that the girls' clitorises are too large and create too much sensation. — Read the full article at RawStory.com, 754 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.

Steve Jobs says True North Perspective
is gumbooting it down the right road

'... for any single good idea to succeed, it needs a lot of resources, time, and attention, so only a few ideas can be developed fully.'

Steve Jobs says True North Perspective is on the right track. We have to contend with Chicken Littles who tell us that the sky is falling. That the Sword of Damocles swings ever closer. We are inundated by good ideas but because we can't possibly deal with them all, we have to kill most of them or put them on a shelf for future notice. So we shrug off the fears that others would impose and sail on, hard against the wind, firm hand on the wheel, and sharp eye on the north star. Now let's hear it from Steve Jobs in his own words. — Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective. — Read the full story inside, 414 words.

Everything old is new again

Turkey is chasing China to become the next big thing on the world stage

By John Feffer

13 June 2010 — The future is no longer in plastics, as the businessman in the 1967 film The Graduate insisted. Rather, the future is in China.

If a multinational corporation doesn't shoehorn China into its business plan, it courts the ridicule of its peers and the outrage of its shareholders. The language of choice for ambitious undergraduates is Mandarin. Apocalyptic futurologists are fixated on an eventual global war between China and the United States. China even occupies valuable real estate in the imaginations of our fabulists. Much of the action of Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age, for example, takes place in a future neo-Confucian China, while the crew members of the space ship on the cult TV show Firefly mix Chinese curse words into their dialogue.

Why doesn't Turkey have a comparable grip on American visions of the future? Characters in science fiction novels don't speak Turkish. Turkish-language programs are as scarce as hen's teeth on college campuses. Turkey doesn't even qualify as part of everyone's favorite group of up-and-comers, that swinging BRIC quartet of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Turkey remains stubbornly fixed in Western culture as a backward-looking land of doner kebabs, bazaars, and guest workers.

But take population out of the equation — an admittedly big variable — and Turkey promptly becomes a likely candidate for future superpower. It possesses the 17th top economy in the world and, according to Goldman Sachs, has a good shot at breaking into the top 10 by 2050. Its economic muscle is also well defended: after decades of NATO assistance, the Turkish military is now a regional powerhouse. — Read the full article at TruthOut.org, 4,158 words.

Report from Obama's America ...

'The cult of the inerrant leader'

U.S. Supreme Court says Washington has right to kidnap and torture with impunity

No apology, no compensation for tortured Canadian Arar

By Glenn Greenwald

14 June 2010 — The [United States] Supreme Court today denied a petition of review from Maher Arar, the Canadian and Syrian citizen who was abducted by the U.S. Government at a stopover at JFK Airport when returning to Canada in 2002, held incommunicado for two weeks, and then rendered to Syria, where he spent the next 10 months being tortured, even though — as everyone acknowledges — he was guilty of absolutely nothing.

Arar sued the U.S. Government for what was done to him, and last November, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of his lawsuit on the ground that courts have no right to interfere in these decisions of the Executive Branch.

That was the decision which the U.S. Supreme Court let stand today, ending Arar's attempt to be compensated for what was done to him. — Read the full article at Salon.com, 742 words.

Arar working with RCMP as it probes his overseas torture

As U.S. courts throw out his suit, Syrian-Canadian says he's now co-operating with RCMP detectives probing his overseas torture

By Colin Freeze and Steven Chase
The Globe and Mail

14 June 2010, TORONTO and OTTAWA — Canada's federal police, long faulted for a role in the overseas torture of Canadian Maher Arar, appear to be trying to build a criminal case against the foreign officials who orchestrated his interrogation.

Mr. Arar and his legal team revealed Monday they are co-operating with an RCMP investigation. The probe, known as Project Prism, now involves a team of four detectives said to be jet-setting around the globe to gather evidence.

Unlike past probes focusing on the actions of Canadian officials, these RCMP detectives are targeting Syrian and, to a lesser extent, American officials, according to Mr. Arar's lawyer. — Read the full article at The Globe and Mail, 714 words.

Pakistani spy agency supports Taliban — report

By Sebastian Abbot
The Associated Press

13 June 2010, ISLAMABAD — Pakistan's main spy agency continues to arm and train the Taliban and is even represented on the group's leadership council despite U.S. pressure to sever ties and billions in aid to combat the militants, said a research report released Sunday.

The findings could heighten tension between the two countries and raise further questions about U.S. success in Afghanistan since Pakistani cooperation is seen as key to defeating the Taliban, which seized power in Kabul in the 1990s with Islamabad's support.

U.S. officials have suggested in the past that current or former members of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, have maintained links to the Taliban despite the government's decision to denounce the group in 2001 under U.S. pressure.

But the report issued Sunday by the London School of Economics offered one of the strongest cases that assistance to the group is official ISI policy, and even extends to the highest levels of the Pakistani government. — Read the full article at Yahoo News, 765 words.

Happy 'endings' ...

BP CEO Tony Hayward gets his life back

As oil continues to foul the Gulf of Mexico
BP chief quits response management, goes to a yacht race

The Associated Press

19 June 2010 — BP chief executive Tony Hayward, often criticized for being tone-deaf to U.S. concerns about the worst oil spill in American history, took time off Saturday to attend a glitzy yacht race off England's Isle of Wight.

Spokeswoman Sheila Williams said Hayward took a break from overseeing BP efforts to stem the undersea gusher in Gulf of Mexico to watch his boat "Bob" participate in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

The one-day yacht race is one of the world's largest, attracting hundreds of boats and thousands of sailors.

In a statement, BP described Hayward's day off as "a rare moment of private time" and said that "no matter where he is, he is always in touch with what is happening within BP" and can direct recovery operations if required. — Read the full article at the RawStory.com, 618 words.

Reality Check

As Obama kicks BP's ass
Pentagon subsidizes oil giant

By Nick Turse

17 June 2010 — Residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are livid with BP in the wake of the massive, never-ending oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — and Barack Obama says they ought to be. But there's one aspect of the BP story that most of those angry residents of the Gulf states aren't aware of. And the president hasn't had a thing to say about it.

Even as the tar balls hit Gulf beaches, their tax dollars are subsidizing BP and so far, President Obama has not shown the slightest indication that he plans to stop their flow into BP coffers, despite the recent call of Public Citizen, a watchdog group, to end the nation's business dealings with company. In fact, the Department of Defense, which has a longstanding, multi-billion dollar business relationship with BP, tells TomDispatch that it has no plans to sever current business ties or curtail future contracts with the oil giant. — Read the full article at TruthOut.org, 2,426 words.

A(n im)modest proposal


It's time for the American people to quite the 'Narcotic in Chief' cold turkey, says William Rivers Pitt

By William Rivers Pitt

15 June 2010 — Reports have been coming out of the Gulf for days about British Petroleum blocking access to beaches and animal-cleaning stations, in some instances using private Blackwater-style mercenaries to do so. Journalists as well as citizens have been thwarted in their attempts to see for themselves the extent of the damage being done by the runaway Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Know what I'd like to see happen? I would like to see a thousand people, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, just show the hell up down there and demand access. Citizens and reporters alike, just get down there, link arms, and walk to the beaches and the marshlands with digital cameras and cell phones for instantaneous blogging of what they see, hear and smell. Pile into as many rented, borrowed and begged boats as can be mustered and plow out there to the scene of the crime. Dare the gendarmes to stop us.

One of two things would happen: either the people would break through those unconscionable corporate barriers and show the world what is really going on in the Gulf, or the forces BP has arrayed against the truth would react with violence, which would tell us everything we need to know about what is happening, and would be enough to break that God damned criminal corporation finally and forever. — Read the full article at the TruthOut.org, 781 words.

Don't miss the theatrical launch of Water On The Table, featuring Maude Barlow!

There will be an introduction beforehand, and question & answer period to follow with Maude Barlow and director Liz Marshall.

June 20th, 7:00pm

Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Ottawa.


What can be done?

When it comes to oil, individual choices can make a difference

By David Sirota

15 June 2010 — For those who are not (yet) heartless cynics or emotionless Ayn Rand acolytes, the now-famous photographs of sludge-soaked pelicans on the Gulf Coast are painful to behold. It's those hollow pupils peeking out of the brown death, screaming in silence. They are an avian version of the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg that F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote about — and they implicate us all.

As President Obama correctly stated: "Easily accessible oil has already been sucked up out of the ground" — and drilling companies must now use ever-riskier techniques to find the oil we demand. While British Petroleum and federal regulators are certainly at fault for their reckless behavior, every American who uses oil — which is to say, every American — is incriminated in this ecological holocaust.

If we accept that culpability — a big "if" in this accountability-shirking society — we can start considering how to reduce our oil addiction so as to prevent such holocausts in the future. And when pondering that challenge, we must avoid focusing exclusively on legislation. As Colin Beavan argues in his tome "No Impact Man," green statutes are important, but not enough. Those oil-poisoned birds, choking to death on our energy gluttony, implore us to also take individual action. — Read the full article at TruthOut.org, 634 words.

From the Desk of Carl Hall, Technology Editor

Apple selling unlocked iPhones in Canada

Peter Nowak
CBC News

15 June 2010 — Apple is trying to go where Google failed by selling unlocked phones directly to customers in Canada through its website.

Customers can purchase the eight-gigabyte iPhone 3GS for its full cost of $549, or the upcoming iPhone 4, which does not yet have a price listed on Apple's website. The customer is then free to go shopping for the best monthly service deal they can find, the company said.

"When you purchase your iPhone from the Apple Online Store, you'll get it commitment-free. So you can sign up for service with the carrier of your choice and change your carrier at any time," the website said. — Read the full story at CBC News, 486 words.

Cuba rejects U.S. 'defamation' on person trafficking

Statement by Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director of the North America Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba


15 June 2010, HAVANA — Cuba categorically rejects as false and disrespectful the allegations of the Department of State report on the trafficking of humans and the "implausible inclusion of Cuba in the worst of its categories."

"This shameful defamation profoundly offends the Cuban people," said Mr. Ferreiro.

"There is no sexual trafficking of minors in Cuba, but an exemplary performance in terms of the protection of children, young people and women.

"Cuba does not qualify either as a country of origin, or of transit or of destination in relation to this scourge. Legislation and measures adopted in this sphere place us among the countries of the region with the most advanced regulations and mechanisms for the prevention and combating of person trafficking," Mr. Ferreiro said.

"This can only be explained by the desperate need on the part of the government of the United States to justify, with any pretext whatsoever, the persistence of its cruel blockade policy, overwhelmingly rejected by the international community."

World Bank tribunal favour Venezuela in suit against Exxon Mobil

By Tamara Pearson

14 June 2010, MERIDA — Last Thursday the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ruled in favour of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the lawsuit against it by Exxon Mobil, which was filing for higher compensation following the nationalisation of its share of an Orinoco Oil Belt project. Also, on Sunday, President Hugo Chavez called for the formation of Socialist Petro-Industrial Bases.

The decision by the ICSID tribunal, a World Bank institution based in Washington that arbitrates investment disputes between member countries and individual investors, was the first ruling since the case began in 2008, following a series of claims and responses by the two parties.

After the nationalisation of the Orinoco Oil Belt reserves in May 2007, the Venezuelan government required that the state have at least 60% stakes in all oil projects. Six major companies were asked to hand over proportions of their stakes, and Chevron Corp, Total, BP PLC and Statoil negotiated deals with Venezuela to continue on as minority partners. But ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips rejected the terms and Venezuela then nationalised Exxon's 42% stake of the Cerro Negro project, with an offer of compensation. — Read the full article at Venezuelanalysis.com, 840 words.

Vast majority of Venezuela media freely hostile to government
Officials reject OAS and UN accusations of free speech limits

By James Suggett

18 June 2010, MERIDA — In response to recent accusations by the Organization of American States and the United Nations that Venezuela is using the judicial system to limit free speech, Venezuelan officials said the accusations are politicized interventions based on a case that is not related to free speech.

Last week, the Venezuelan Attorney Generals' Office issued an arrest warrant for Guillermo Zuloaga, the owner of a prominent opposition television news channel, for usury and the hoarding vehicles. The charges were originally brought against him when 24 luxury vehicles were found on his property last year. Zuloaga recently fled the country to avoid arrest.

Zuloaga's station, Globovision, colluded with a short-lived coup d'état against President Hugo Chavez in 2002 by transmitting manipulated images to justify the ascension of the coup plotters to power. — Read the full article at Venezuelanalysis.com, 780 words.

Devon mother and son 'thrown off bus' in Plymouth

pregnant mother says she was forced to get off a bus because the driver was disturbed by her toddler's behaviour

BBC News

18 June 2010 — Sharon Tracey, 35, said she was told by the driver to keep her two-year-old son Brandon quiet on the number 62 in Plymouth, Devon.

Mrs Tracey claims they were then made to get off more than a mile from her stop because she failed to heed the driver's warning.

The transport company Plymouth CityBus said it was investigating.

The alleged incident happened on Tuesday as part-time hairdresser Mrs Tracey, who is four months pregnant, was heading home to Crownhill from the city centre. — Read the full article at BBC News, 300 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Post-Soviet Mongolia struggles with harsh climate
economic crisis, and influx of former nomads to its capital city

By Sarah Bassett

2 June 2010 — Located in Northern Asia between Russia and China, Mongolia is still transitioning from its days of being a part of the former Soviet Union.

Becoming a democratic nation in 1990, the country has a current population of three million, with forty percent living a pastoral lifestyle.

Amongst economic crisis, one of the major issues the country faces are its nomadic populations being forced to move into urban centers in ger (or yurt) districts, particularly Ulaanbaatar its capital city.

As a reaction to nomadic traditions, a decrease in livestock, and adverse economic and weather conditions in rural areas, the capital has been unable to cope in terms of city planning, provision of services, and protection of the environment. — Read the full article at ThePolisBlog.org, 414 words.

No killing sheep in courtyards
Moscow preps etiquette guide for foreigners

By Alexey Eremenko
The Moscow Times

17 June 2010 — Moscow authorities are preparing an etiquette handbook for foreigners that advises them to speak in Russian, not to walk around the city in national attire and to avoid slaughtering sheep in the courtyard of their apartment building.

City Hall is collaborating with diasporas and scientists to create the "Muscovite's Code," a list of nonbinding behavior guidelines to be presented to every foreigner who moves to Moscow.

"There are unwritten rules that residents of our city are obliged to follow, such as not slaughtering sheep in the backyard, not grilling shashliks on the balcony, not walking around the city in national attire, and speaking in Russian," Mikhail Solomentsev, head of City Hall's committee for interregional cooperation and national policy, told Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

"Now we want to develop a code to speed up the integration of migrants who take up permanent residency in Moscow," Solomentsev said in an interview published Wednesday. — Read the full article at Source, 536 words.

Bible-bearing, Sword-wielding American arrested in Pakistan

53 year-old businessman, suffering from kidney problems and high blood pressure, hoped to find and kill Osama bin Laden

Agence France-Presse

15 June 2010, PESHAWAR, Pakistan — An American businessman armed with a pistol, dagger and a sword has been arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of wanting to hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden, police said Tuesday.

The 50-year-old from California was detained on Monday in what was apparently the first such case in Pakistan since the United States offered a bounty of 25 million dollars for the world's most-wanted man.

The suspect was arrested in the northern mountains of Chitral, once a rumoured hiding place of bin Laden, near Afghanistan's Nuristan province, said police officer Mumtaz Ahmad Khan.

Police identified him as Gary Brooks Faulkner. He was caught armed with a pistol, a dagger and a sword, carrying night-vision goggles, a night-vision camera and religious literature on Christianity, Khan said. — Read the full article at RawStory.com, 538 words.

KFC latest company in China to increase salaries

China Premier Wen Jiabao says the country must lift the incomes of workers to protect stability

By Liu Ce and Xie Yu
China Daily

18 June 2010, SHENYANG — After a six-month negotiation, US fast food giant KFC on Thursday signed its first collective contract on the Chinese mainland with its employees in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province.

According to the contract, more than 2,000 workers of the 66 KFC and Pizza Hut outlets, under the Yum! Brands Inc in Shenyang, will get a minimum monthly wage of 900 yuan ($131.70), up from the existing 700 yuan.

Workers will also have an annual pay raise of 5 percent or more, the contract stipulates. With a contract period of 18 months, the trade union will launch a new round of collective negotiations with the company in 2011. — Read the full article at Source, words.

Russian president Medvedev targets
Investment boost, tax cuts, privatization
But says private companies must compete


18 June 2010, ST. PETERSBURG — President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday said tax breaks, foreign investment and the privatization of some state enterprises are key to modernizing the economy and reducing reliance on oil.

The reliance on oil and gas — which account for some 60 percent of budget revenues — meant that Russia felt the global crisis much more deeply than most of its emerging market peers, witnessing the deepest economic slump in 15 years in 2009.

Medvedev, halfway through his presidency, has made modernization his main cause, launching a project to build Russia's answer to Silicon Valley, the Skolkovo innovation city, and securing some tax breaks for innovation companies. — Read the full article at The Moscow Times, 549 words.


The planet's only immortal animal is spreading fast

By Michael Bolen
Yahoo! Canada News

17 June 2010 — A species of jellyfish has evolved the potential for immortality — and they're starting to spread.

The species turritopsis nutricula is able to transform itself from its mature state back into a polyp (immature jellyfish) and then back again — picture a gelatinous 'Benjamin Button' on repeat.

The species, which is only 4-5 mm in diameter, performs this miraculous feat using a process known as transdifferentiation, in which one type of cell transforms into another. While this sounds a lot like what happens in stem cells, the process is distinct. — Read the full article at Yahoo! Canada News, 366 words.

Ancient Mars had a vast ocean, new evidence shows

By Ker Than
National Geographic

14 June 2010 — A vast ocean chock-full of microbes may have once covered more than a third of Mars's surface, scientists say.

The new evidence, from an analysis of dried-up Mars river deltas, adds to growing signs the red planet was once wet.

On Earth, river deltas all lie at more or less the same elevation and reflect the current sea level. In fact, by estimating the elevations of ancient deltas, scientists can reconstruct how sea levels have changed over time.

Brian Hynek and Gaetano Di Achille of the University of Colorado at Boulder applied this thinking to Mars.

By determining the elevation of 52 desiccated deltas on Mars, the scientists found that 17 of the deltas lie at approximately the same elevation.

"If there was an ocean on Mars, then the deltas should be at a constant elevation — or at least the majority of them, and that is what we found," Hynek said. — Read the full article at National Geographic, words.

Looking forward ...

The reproductive revolution:
How women are changing the planet's future

The population bomb is being defused. It is being done without draconian measures by big government, without crackdowns on our liberties — by women making their own choices

By Fred Pearce
Scientific American

11 June 2010 — Aisha, Miriam and Akhi are three young factory workers in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. They are poorly educated and badly paid. But, like millions of other young women, they relish their freedom from the stultifying conformity of rural life, where women are at the constant beck and call of fathers, brothers and husbands.

There is something else. The three women together have 22 siblings. But Aisha plans three children, Miriam two and Akhi just one. They represent a gender revolution that many see as irrevocably tied to a reproductive revolution. Together, the changes are solving what once seemed the most difficult problem facing the future of humanity: growing population.

Almost without anyone noticing, the population bomb is being defused. It is being done without draconian measures by big government, without crackdowns on our liberties — by women making their own choices.

Family planning experts used to say that women only started having fewer children when they got educated or escaped poverty. Pessimists feared that if rising population prevented the world's poor from advancing, they would get caught in a cycle of poverty and large families. The poverty trap would become a demographic trap.

But the reality is proving very different. Round the world, women today are having half as many children as their mothers did. — Read the full article at Scientific American, 1,980 words.

U.S. 'wrong' to blame China for own woes

By Ding Qingfen and Li Xing
China Daily

18 June 2010, WASHINGTON — The United States must learn more about China instead of criticizing the country for its exchange rate and trade policies if it wants to increase exports to the world's largest market, U.S. economists have said.

The comments followed a new bout of China-bashing launched by US legislators at a US House of Representatives hearing on Wednesday.

U.S. congressmen and industrial associations criticized China for its foreign exchange regime and trade-related policies, including indigenous innovation, government procurement, intellectual property rights (IPR), market access and the investment environment. — Read the full article at China Daily, 904 words.

Annals of military intelligence

Timing of Afghan mineral wealth 'revelation' provokes scepticism

By Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service

14 June 2010, WASHINGTON — The timing of the publication of a major New York Times story on the vast untapped mineral wealth that lies beneath Afghanistan's soil is raising major questions about the intent of the Pentagon, which released the information.

Given the increasingly negative news that has come out of Afghanistan — and of U.S. strategy there — some analysts believe the front-page article is designed to reverse growing public sentiment that the war is not worth the cost.

"What better way to remind people about the country's potential bright future — and by people I mean the Chinese, the Russians, the Pakistanis, and the Americans — than by publicising or re-publicising valid (but already public) information about the region's potential wealth?" wrote Marc AmBinder, the political editor of The Atlantic magazine, on his blog. — Read the full article at Inter Press Service, 1,043 words.

Cuba and the Vatican celebrate the
75th anniversary of uninterrupted diplomacy


17 June 2010 — Respect and cordiality were highlighted last night at the concert commemorating 75 years of diplomatic links between Cuba and the Holy See.

The event was attended by Vice President Esteban Lazo Hernández and Monsignor Dominique Mamberti, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States.

"La Misa Cubana" by José María Vitier highlighted the musical evening, which was also attended by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla; Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, archbishop of Havana; Monsignor Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the apostolic nuncio; and Caridad Diego Bello, director of the Religious Affairs Office of the Central Committee. — Read the full article at Granma, 293 words.

Money and Markets

Shades of 1937

American hypocrites or German moralizers,
Deficit hawks are putting the world's economic recovery at risk
and have neither logic nor numbers on their side

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times

17 June 2010, BERLIN — Suddenly, creating jobs is out, inflicting pain is in. Condemning deficits and refusing to help a still-struggling economy has become the new fashion everywhere, including the United States, where 52 senators voted against extending aid to the unemployed despite the highest rate of long-term joblessness since the 1930s.

Many economists, myself included, regard this turn to austerity as a huge mistake. It raises memories of 1937, when F.D.R.'s premature attempt to balance the budget helped plunge a recovering economy back into severe recession. And here in Germany, a few scholars see parallels to the policies of Heinrich Brüning, the chancellor from 1930 to 1932, whose devotion to financial orthodoxy ended up sealing the doom of the Weimar Republic. — Read the full article at The New York Times, 832 words.

Russia to invest in Canadian, Australian currencies for first time

By Paul Abelsky and Maria Levitov
Bloomsberg Businessweek

16 June 2010 — Russia may add the Australian and Canadian dollars to its international reserves for the first time after fluctuations in the U.S. dollar and euro.

"Adding the Australian dollar is being discussed," Alexei Ulyukayev, the central bank's first deputy chairman, said in an interview at an event hosted by Bloomberg in Moscow last night. "There are pros and cons. We have added the Canadian dollar but haven't yet begun operations" with the currency.

U.S. dollars account for 47 percent of Russia's reserves, while euros make up 41 percent, British pounds 10 percent and Japanese yen 2 percent, Ulyukyaev said in November. The central bank has reduced dollars from 50 percent in 2006, when euros accounted for 40 percent and the remaining 10 percent was in yen and pounds. — Read the full article at loomsberg Businessweek, 612 words.

Book review

Greenspan convinced virtually all the world he was the greatest economist of the age — in spite of a record as one of the worst forecasters of economic trends at every stage of his career

The real legacy of Alan Greenspan

By Ryan McMaken

Panderer to Power
by Frederick J. Sheehan

15 June 2010 — For those of us who were mere economics undergraduates in the 1990's, Alan Greenspan was rather like a god. Admittedly, the vision of Greenspan handed down to the undergrads by the faculty wasn't one of vulgar hero-worship. Greenspan's mumblings and evasions were, after all, treated with bemusement by the faculty.

But, there was the feeling that Greenspan, for all his lack of clarity, seemed to understand things that the rest of humanity didn't understand, and there was indeed faith in the idea that he must possess almost supernatural powers in fine-tuning the economy to ensure economic prosperity indefinitely.

Later, some of us were cured of the Greenspan religion by Austrian economics, but for most, the image of Greenspan as The Maestro (to use the term popularized by Bob Woodward) continued right up until even the fall of 2008 when The Panic set in.

Greenspan's reputation has suffered since then, although many still pay him six-figures for 45 minutes of his wisdom. And, while Greenspan himself may be having trouble portraying himself as a mere innocent bystander in the current economic collapse, Greenspan's policies are alive and well in his successor. — Read the full article at Source, 1,874 words.

'One might expect that the newspapers and their shareholders would choose another path, one that would make them more independent of the 20 families controlling the economy.'

The press in support of the tycoons

Certain editors find close relations with powerful families to be convenient, pleasant and reassuring

By Eytan Avriel

14 June 2010 — The lead story in one of our weekend papers bellowed — straight from the throat of a leading businessman, who talks a lot with journalists but not on record — that it's nonsense: The country's economy isn't dominated by handful of tycoons.

"That's a misguided agenda. Populist." The latter word was emphasized in huge letters, 50% larger than the rest of the text.

Is this declaration true?

The Bank of Israel report for 2009, a turgid 350-page document, can hardly be called "populist." It is written in the driest language, studded with tables, graphs and academic citations. I doubt there's a businessman or journalist alive who read it from start to finish. — Read the full article at Haaretz, 1,263 words.

Toronto Star wins back at 20th annual Canadian Journalism Foundation awards

The Canadian Journalism Foundation

10 June 2010 — Lise Bissonnette, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis and the editors of Toronto Star and Metroland Durham Region were among the award winners and honorees at the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) 13th Annual Awards Gala on June 10 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

Peter Mansbridge hosted the gala dinner, where close to 500 guests — comprised of media luminaries, prominent journalists, business executives and academic leaders — gathered to celebrate the CJF's 20th anniversary of fostering excellence in journalism.

The Toronto Star won the Excellence in Journalism Award in the large or national media category. "Editors, publishers and even owners are only as good as their reporters, and this country has some great reporters — I'd like to say mostly at the Toronto Star, but also at the Globe and Mail and the National Post, and the Sun papers," said editor Michael Cooke during his acceptance speech. — Read the full story at The Canadian Journalism Foundation, 935 words.

The end of an era

After 88 years, no happy ending for Little Orphan Annie

By Chris Sims

14 June 2010 — Comics readers hear the phrase thrown around pretty often, but yesterday really was the end of an era: After 86 years of daily publication saw its circulation numbers dwindle down to less than 20 newspapers, the "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip came to an end.

And the ending is completely insane.

Seriously. Popular perception of the strip may be rooted in the rags-to-riches musical version that hit movie screens in 1982, but as early as the late '20s, "Annie" had shifted to focus on almost Dick Tracian levels of brutality and crime, a tradition the last team, Jay Maeder and Ted Slampyak, were keeping alive and well in the current stories.

Did you know, for instance, that the last Annie storyline involved Annie getting embroiled in a plot to distribute fake passports to Mexican drug dealers, from whom she is "rescued" by an aging war criminal? — Read the full article at ComicsAlliance.com, 536 words.

Silvio dedicates concert to Pete Seeger
Second Carnegie Hall performance
by Cuban singer-songwriter

By Pedro de la Hoz

17 June 2010 — Pete Seeger was visibly moved when Silvio Rodríguez dedicated his second concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall to this legendary figure of American folk music.

This simple meeting of two artists took place one year and one month after the U.S. authorities refused to issue an entry visa to the Cuban New Trova artist, thus preventing him from participating in a tribute to Seeger at Madison Square Garden. — Read the full article at Granma, 220 words.

Cuban folk song pioneer breaks U.S. travel blacklist at New York's Carnegie Hall and dedicates concert to Pete Seeger

By Jon Pareles
The New York Times
With files from Pedro de la Hoz, Granma

6 June 2010 — Outside Carnegie Hall on Friday night were knots of demonstrators, for and against the Cuban government. Inside was an uproar of adulation: repeated standing ovations, eagerly shouted requests, Cuban flags and banners unfurled, fervent singalongs, roses hurled onstage. The object of it all was a bespectacled, casually dressed man with a gentle voice and an acoustic guitar: Silvio Rodríguez, the 63-year-old Cuban songwriter who is making his first tour of the United States since 1980.

Mr. Rodríguez was a pioneer of Cuban nueva trova, which was part of the folky, literary, socially conscious songwriting movement that spread from South America (where it was called nueva canción, or new song) through the Caribbean in the 1960s. Nueva canción often drew on local traditions but emphasized lyrics over dance rhythms. On Friday Mr. Rodríguez sang "Carta a Violeta Parra" ("Letter to Violeta Parra"), a song from his most recent album, Segunda Cita (Sony/BMG Argent/Zoom), that praises Parra, a leader in Chilean nueva canción. — Read the full article at The New York Times, 565 words.

Silvio Rodríguez: A brief biography in English

By Fausto Tavárez

How easy it would be to write one love song after the other. How easy it would be to go through life without leaving a trace. But Pablo Milanés wrote that "poor is the singer of our days/ that won't risk his string/ for fear of his life." Silvio Rodríguez has taken this notion seriously, both personally and artistically.

I wonder if he knew when he was writing his thousands of songs that he was affecting so many lives, that he was writing for the ages, that decades later some of us would be calling him the Maestro. I think he did. And he accepted this responsibility as only a man of his caliber could.

Silvio Rodríguez, along with Pablo Milanés and Noel Nicolá, were the founders of Nueva Trova Cubana (New Cuban Song), a musical movement that started in the 60's after great success thought the rest of the continent and Spain.

Nueva Trova (New Song), also known as Nueva Canción, started in Argentina with the great Atahualpa Yupanqui, spread to Chile with Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, and then moved to the rest of the countries. The movement reached Cuba in a very important part of its history. It came after the success of the Revolution of 1959, after which the Socialist government came into power. This Revolution was and still is a source of great inspiration for the Cuban troubadours. — Read the full article at SilvioRodriguez.org, 933 words.

Torrent this!

'World's worst director' sues thousands over illicit downloads

By Muriel Kane

13 June 2010 — The long-running debate over Internet file sharing seems certain to be renewed as a result of litigation filed by a Washington, DC legal group against more than 14,000 unidentified "John Does," who are alleged to have downloaded movies from various independent producers using BitTorrent.

According to the Washington Post, attorneys for the US Copyright Group say their goal is to save the film industry from copyright pirates, but the three advocacy groups which have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case charge that they're only in it for the money.

"These are organizations that are formed for the purpose of suing, and they view the legal system as a system for making money and then use it to fund additional lawsuits," Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorney Jennifer Granick told the Post. "At least the RIAA was a real organization," she added.

Adding to the interest value of the case is that the most prominent of the filmmakers behind the suit is Uwe Boll, widely known as "the world's worst director." — Read the full article at RawStory.com, 809 words.

In case you missed it ...
The Old Man's Last Sauna
A collection of short stories by Carl Dow

An eclectic collection of short stories that will stir your sense of humour, warm your heart, outrage your sense of justice, and chill your extra sensory faculties in the spirit of Stephen King. The final short story, the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Sauna is a ground-breaking love story.

The series begins with Deo Volente (God Willing). Followed by The Quintessence of Mr. Flynn, Sharing Lies, Flying High, The Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows Ya, One Lift Too Many, The Model A Ford, the out-of-body chiller, Room For One Only and O Ernie! ... What Have They Done To You! The series closes 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 Source, Source, 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.


Yvette Pigeon, 1934-2010, National Editor, 2006-2010

Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Geoffrey Dow, Managing 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

Nick Aplin, Ottawa
Alex Binkley, Ottawa
Dennis Carr, Vancouver
Tom Dow, Sudbury
Bob Kay, Montréal
Randy Ray, Ottawa
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair, Ottawa
David Ward, Ottawa
Harold Wright, Ottawa