Friday, March 21, 2008 Vol 3 No 12 (126)
"True North is for opinion makers"
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"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.

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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.

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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

Another word on Fidel Castro just in case you missed it …

For those who missed Editor’s Notes, Friday. March 14, 2008, and are wondering how it came to pass that Fidel Castro (of all people) has become a Guest Columnist in your favourite on-line news magazine, I decided to run it again.

Letter to the Editor

One of 700,000 Canadians who visit Cuba, a reader of True North,
has a friendly greeting for our new Guest Columnist Fidel Castro

I would like to congratulate you on an excellent issue of True North, Friday, March 14, and may I comment particularly on your background piece on how "Fidel" came to find a place in True North. I must say I surprised myself by reading your forward to his stories three times. I was fascinated by the experiences that led to this decision. And of course I went on to read Fidel's short articles with interest. — 277 words.

The Reverend Hanns would borrow from the Ancient Greeks so that
today’s electorate wouldn’t have to hold their noses when they vote

By The Reverend Hanns Skoutajan

Did you hear a corporate sigh across this nation when the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition failed to oppose and allowed the government’s agenda: budget, military mission in Afghanistan, and crime legislation, to pass?  — 628 words.

IQ and stress tests in the Court of Judge Harold Wright

Judge Harold Wright has no time for members of the jury who lack the intelligence to handle the stress of important cases. — 164 words.

CanWest challenges Charter of Rights
in bid for millions in drug advertising

CanWest Global has launched a case in the Ontario Superior court claiming its “freedom of speech” guaranteed in the Charter of Rights has been violated by the prohibition on direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) in the Food & Drugs Act.  A group of advocacy groups and unions, including CEP, were granted intervener status in the case and are arguing two main points: — 632 words.

Wall Street's economic chaos has big political consequences

As the crisis continues on Wall Street, is it too much to ask McCain, Clinton, and Obama to address economic reality?

"Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"    -- Margo Channing (Bette Davis) in All About Eve. Nicholas von Hoffman is the author of A Devil's Dictionary of Business, now in paperback. He is a Pulitzer Prize losing author of thirteen books, including Citizen Cohn, and a columnist for the New York Observer.

'Turning the Screws’

Tory majority would lead to war for no good reason

Tory secret agenda apes failed Bush policy as Harper
feeds the military, cuts revenue, starves social programs

‘Would drown government spending in bathtub’

Harper's Conservatives in their latest budget have taken their lead from the Bush administration. They are simultaneously increasing the military's budget and cutting government revenue to set the stage for future cuts to social programs. — 1,007 words.

Big Oil scorns the dignity of Americans
U.S. needs a new bargain with Big Oil

By John F Kennedy — "During the OPEC oil embargo more than 30 years ago, the price of crude rocketed to historic highs in the world market while the controlled domestic price hovered below $4 per barrel. A few years later, the oil industry and the U.S. government reached a bipartisan deal: domestic oil prices would be allowed to float in exchange for a windfall-profits tax, with 25 percent of the bounty earmarked to help the poorest Americans who depended on hydrocarbons to keep warm." — 1,631 words.

Feast of the Spirit
Some thoughts on Good Friday

By The Reverend Hanns Skoutajan

T G I F —Thank Goodness Its Friday — Good Friday, that is. However, no one will greet you with “Merry Good Friday.”  I have been unable to find any greeting cards, not even in the Sympathy section of a Hallmark rack, that relates to Good Friday. It is a quiet day, a dour day. — 627 words.

The U.S.S. Queenfish after surfacing at the North Pole in August 1970. (United States Navy)

A Cold War mission deep in the Arctic is exposed
as recently-revealed secrets crack wall of silence

Atop the globe, the icy surface of the Arctic Ocean has remained relatively peaceful. But its depths have boiled with intrigue, no more so than in the Cold War. — 1,310 words.

Hopes for a 'Cuba after Fidel' turn to 'Cuba after Raúl'
while business is booming for everyone but Americans

HAVANA — When the ailing Fidel Castro resigned last month, stock prices of U.S. companies that stand to benefit from more business with Cuba rallied. Six days later, those shares retreated as his brother Raúl Castro, Cuba's first new leader in 49 years, was installed and picked old-guard revolutionaries to help him govern. — 538 words.

The Full Obama
Barack Obama's sweeping speech on race.

Can you give a State of the Union address before you're president? — 1,109 words.

Amid decline Bush appears carefree
as he does his four-year-old dance

WASHINGTON — Everyone here is flummoxed about why the president is in such a fine mood. — 828 words.

 ‘A civilized nation should never decide to go to war simply because a stable peace is hard to maintain. Yet that is what we did in the spring of 2003.’

Five Years Gone

What, exactly, has the Iraq war achieved? A lot? A little something? Nothing at all?

Fred Kaplan is Slate's "War Stories" columnist and the author of Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power.

Imagine it's early 2003, and President George W. Bush presents the following case for invading Iraq: — 1,625 words.

The mainstream media repeats stream of lies about Obama

‘If Moses was the Democratic nominee, he'd still be the victim of this hate mail,’ Doug Bloomfield, former legislative director for AIPAC. — 2,850 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 is weeping tile?

a) tile below the ground that drains water away from a home’s foundation b) the latest in plastic eavestroughing c) floor area where homeowners stand when their high tech stocks crash.

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

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Maria Isabel Salvador, applauds the final resolution (Telesur)

OAS rejects Colombia’s military incursion into Ecuador

WASHINGTON —After fourteen hours of tense debate, the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of American States (OAS) approved, early morning Tuesday 18 March in Washington, a resolution ratifying the declaration of the Rio Group Summit of March 7, which rejected Colombia's military incursion into Ecuador on March 1.  — 1,098 words.

Venezuela 1: ExxonMobil 0

CARACAS, Venezuela — It hasn’t been a good week for the U.S. corporate sector. The big Wall Street bank Bear Stearns was gone like a puff of smoke on Monday morning, absorbed by a rival, JP Morgan in the midst of the squeeze on credit generated by some particularly irresponsible mortgage lending in New York.  — 712 words.

Curse of the CIA

Corrupt. Inept. Affliction to all. A killer history.

In 1959 or 1960, I spent three consecutive evenings in McMillan Theater on the Columbia University campus listening to former president Harry S. Truman deliver a series of speeches. I remember the man better than what he said: a middle-sized, pink-cheeked old guy in a grey suit, speaking with a high, flat Missouri accent. I do recall his confidence, especially when he said he'd been right to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. — 1,080 words.

More than 100 firms vie for Iraqi oil fields

BAGHDAD (Reuters) — More than 100 companies including foreign majors are vying for deals to tap Iraq's vast oil fields, but a vital oil law is stalled by tension involving the country's Kurdish region, the Iraqi oil minister said. — 166 words.

IMF warning to governments a sign of the times

There's something truly scary about the current financial crisis and the potential risks to the global economy when the International Monetary Fund warns that governments need to "think the unthinkable." — 616 words.

Guest Columnist Fidel Castro reveals world
of loyalty, high intrigue, betrayal, and death

Fidel Castro’s Reflections call to mind the convoluted plots of John le Carré novels. It’s all here. International intrigue in high places. Violence on the ground. A mix of loyalty and duty contrasted with bribery and betrayal. All for the highest stakes. A deadly contest. A world to win. I find it fascinating to see the world through the eyes of one — love him or hate him — who even in Canada is almost a household name, and yet has always been remote. So far no cry of outrage against our new Guest Columnist. Only a word of support from a reader who is one of the 700,000 Canadians who visit Cuba each year. So here we go with the second installment of Reflections by Comrade Fidel, delivered verbatim as we received it from the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa. (For those who yet don’t know how Fidel Castro became a Guest Columnist for True North Perspective, Click here). — 157 words.

The 16 billion barrel investment death trap
while investments in Canadian oil gets hot

At least we can say it was expected.

There's been a huge rush of speculators into the oil market, most of them looking for a hedge against the falling dollar. Monday, oil spiked to record $111.80 per barrel. — 821 words.

How to Promote Your Book or Your Business:

An April 19, 2008 Workshop

Ottawa publicity experts Barbara Florio Graham and Randy Ray will share their expertise on how authors and businesses can get their message out to the public effectively and inexpensively.

The three-hour workshop opens at 1 p.m. on April 19 at the National Library in Ottawa and is sponsored by Ottawa Independent Writers.

Cost: $50 for OIW members; $60 for non-members.

For more information: Randy Ray: (613) 731-3873 or

Buried Secrets
James Steen

Robert Kristiansen often wondered why his parents had been so vague about their pasts.  He begins a journey to uncover his heritage by tracing an ancestor from Ireland who settled in the Ottawa Valley in 1817. He discovers many family secrets along the way, including a dark one that he hid from himself. The story takes place primarily in Almonte and Ottawa.

For more please click here.

Harold Wright, Doctor of Punology, and his colleague George Carlin succinctly deal with profound questions of life and living:"I am." is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do." is the longest sentence?”

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?

a) tile below the ground that drains water away from a home’s foundation


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Yvette Pigeon, Associate Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Ian Covey, Photography Editor
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Contributing Editors
Rosaleen Dickson
Geoffrey Dow
Tom Dow
Randy Ray
Harold Wright