tnp logo

Friday, March 13, 2009, Vol. 4, No, 14 — 165
"True North is for opinion makers"
Mission Statement        Archives        Contact the Editor        Subscribe!

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes 'executive assassination ring'

By Eric Black

At a “Great Conversations” event (MP3) at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.” — 1,482 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.

Guest Editorial

Friday, March 13, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 14 (165)

Bipartisanship a pipe dream across Canada

The StarPheonix
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

'For Canadians looking to their prime minister for leadership and to govern in everyone's interest, it was disappointing to see Mr. Harper treat the Liberals as the main foe to be defeated rather than the economic monster gobbling up jobs and spreading hurt nationwide.'

If the prime minister had wanted to promote Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's pitch for a more bipartisan approach to politics, he couldn't have done a better job than by proving this week why it's so badly needed. — 744 words.

From the Desk of Judge Harold Wright, RCAF Lt. Col. (Ret'd.)

Here is a quiz for you just click on the link below:

Maple Leaf steps up its battle with Listeria

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Maple Leaf Foods is tackling Listeria on several fronts in its 27 Canadian food plants to try to keep the wily bacteria out of its meat products, senior company officials explained during an hour long media briefing March 6. — 639 words.

Running and other thoughts....

By Bill Horne
True North Perspective

OTTAWA — I recently returned from completing the ING Miami half-marathon, along with some 8,000 other runners. After about 23 years of running, and many races of all lengths from marathons to 1k sprints, Miami was the biggest race I have done. I placed in the top 15% of my age group, and enjoyed the customary feeling of exhilaration on completion. I had joined a "Run 'n' Fun" group, organized by some folks in Cambridge Ontario, so a few hours later, about two dozen of us climbed on board the Carnival cruise ship Valor, for our "recovery" seven day cruise around the eastern Caribbean. A very special feature was having Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic marathon gold medallist, along with us. We enjoyed his clinics and his incredible running lore. One thing I did not know before the cruise was that he attended Yale at the same time as George W. Bush, but I did not hold that against him. — 690 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Roll on these rims to win

Toyota gets it right again with new crossover

By Ted Laturnus
The Globe and Mail

Tim Hortons is offering its customers the chance to win a Toyota Venza in the latest round of its "Roll Up The Rim To Win" contest. You know the drill: peel back the lip of your coffee cup and you could find yourself behind the wheel of Toyota's newest crossover vehicle — 35 Venzas in total will be given away. — 888 words.

Smart women, dangerous choices — Part two

By Sigrid Macdonald

Sigrid Macdonald is a book coach, book editor and the author of two books, including her novel about women who fall for the wrong men — D’Amour Road. Visit her at

Last week I wrote about women who were attracted to the wrong men, and I discussed one woman in particular that I knew who was drawn to a criminal. I received so many comments about that short article that I decided to write a slightly more in-depth sequel, asking the question "Why?" Why do perfectly intelligent, often well-educated, decent women who deserve so much better fall for men who are abusive? Worse, why do they stay? — 1,359 words.

Ottawa is still bungling the China file

As Canada dawdles on bridge-building with Beijing, countries like Australia are cleaning up

By Bill Schiller
Toronto Star

Former prime minister Joe Clark was among the first to criticize. Then came a report from conservative think-tank the Fraser Institute, accompanied by critical comments from former Conservative foreign affairs minister David Emerson. Then Bob Rae piled on. So did Liberal trade critic Scott Brison. And finally, last week, Canadian political scientist Charles Burton weighed in. Everyone has the same message: when will Ottawa cease bungling the China file and build Canada's relationship with the world's fastest growing economy, a rising power and Canada's second largest trade partner – a country Stephen Harper has yet to visit since becoming prime minister in February 2006? — 1,103 words.

All's well in The Kingdom of Canada

By Haroon Siddiqui
Toronto Star

In the five years since it was established by some students at the University of Toronto, Israeli Apartheid Week has spread to 40 cities around the world, according to its organizers. — 678 words.

Aboriginals less reliant on federal transfers

By Bill Curry
The Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — A new report argues Canada's native population has shown steady economic improvement over the past 40 years as communities reduce their dependence on federal transfers by learning skilled trades and starting successful tourism projects. — 308 words.

The party's over

No lifeline guarantee for Russian tycoons

By Gregory L. White
The Wall Street Journal

MOSCOW — A top Kremlin official warned that Russia's debt-burdened tycoons might have to part with their assets amid the deepening global crisis -- and says the government no longer has the resources to bail them out. — 1,042 words.

Missile-throwing chimp plots attacks on tourists

By Linda Geddes

A chimp that deliberately fashions discs of concrete to later hurl at zoo visitors is being hailed as definitive proof that the apes plan for future events. — 579 words.

Vatican backs excommunication of Brazilian MDs over child's abortion

CBC News

A Vatican cleric is defending a Brazilian archbishop's decision to excommunicate several doctors who performed an abortion last week on a nine-year-old girl who became pregnant with twins after alleged sexual abuse by her step-father. — 410 words.

Sea level rise could bust IPCC estimate

By Catherine Brahic

Sea level rises could bust official estimates – that's the first big message to come from the climate change congress that kicked off in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. — 371 words.

As good times fade, 'good guys' are a good catch

By Raymond Zhou
China Daily

In the go-go pre-2009 days, gold diggers in China were busy digging golden boys who raked in bundles of cash. Not anymore. The men, who tend to work in business and finance, have been buffeted by the winds of the massive economic downturn sweeping across the globe. Some have lost jobs, others perks, and almost all have had their sense of security or superiority severely dented. — 427 words.

Constitutional crisis sparks all-out war for control of powerful union

A struggle for power within one of the nation's most powerful unions, UNITE HERE, has devolved into all-out civil war

By Lindsay Beyerstein

A struggle for power within one of the nation's most powerful unions, UNITE HERE, has devolved into all-out civil war. Internal hostilities have all but paralyzed the union just as organized labor faces its biggest political battle in modern history, facing down big business to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. — 2,434 words.

Giant space rock passed 72,000 km from Earth on Monday

CBC News

An asteroid similar in size to an object that exploded above Siberia in 1908 with the force of 1,000 Second World War-era atomic bombs sped past the Earth on Monday, astronomers said Tuesday. — 351 words.

Human rights absent in relic ransacking

By Li Xing
China Daily

Western media ascribe China's outcry against the auction in Paris of two Qing Dynasty animal heads to "nationalist sentiment", as if any other nation had a legitimate interest in these relics. — 900 words.

Israel, Gaza and the left

By Ken Brociner
In These Times

One of the left's most significant ideological failings in recent years has been its habit of issuing shrill and hostile rhetorical assaults against the State of Israel. Before going any further, let me first establish my left-wing bona fides. — 979 words.

Kadyrov defends honor killings

By Lynn Berry
Moscow Times

GROZNY — The bull-necked president of Chechnya emerged from afternoon prayers at the mosque and with chilling composure explained why seven young women who had been shot in the head deserved to die. — 689 words.

Males dominated 'out-of-Africa' migration 60,000 years ago

China Daily

Africa is known to be the cradle of human evolution, and recent studies show that the peoples today inhabiting other continents originate from a relatively small band of Homo sapiens sapiens who moved through the Near East, into Europe and beyond some 50,000 and 70,000 years ago. — 373 words.

US-AFGHANISTAN: Obama nixed full surge after quizzing brass

By Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 — President Barack Obama decided to approve only 17,000 of the 30,000 troops requested by Gen. David McKiernan, the top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, and Gen. David Petraeus, the CENTCOM commander, after McKiernan was unable to tell him how they would be used, according to a White House source. — 1,243 words.

US court jails Colombia militants

BBC News

Two Colombian paramilitary leaders have been jailed for 20 years on drug-trafficking charges by a US court. Javier Zuluaga Lindo and Ramiro Vanoy had pleaded guilty of conspiring to import some 18 tonnes of cocaine from Colombia into the US in the late 1990s. — 319 words.

Women who pay for sex

Hannah Barnes
BBC Radio 5 Live

It's not just men who pay prostitutes to sleep with them. For some women, paying for sex is more convenient than cruising bars and clubs trying to find men. "They don't want to be found out. They want to do something private — it's their own world, a part of their life that they want to be secret." — 791 words.

Look out for number one — America turns to prophet of self-interest as crash hits

By Oliver Burkeman
The Guardian

Some products do comparatively well in times of recession: alcohol, chocolate, cinema tickets, cigarettes. But one surprise bestseller of the economic Armageddon is a decades-old science fiction novel about an imaginary economic Armageddon — popular now, its fans insist, because the collapse of civilisation it describes is on the verge of coming true. — 761 words.

Tory deficit will 'hold us back,' former PM Martin says

Martin blasts Harper government for squandering $10-billion surplus ahead of recession

By Paul Waldie
The Globe and Mail

Paul Martin says he went through five financial crises during his tenure as finance minister and prime minister and that this recession should not have caught the Harper government so ill-prepared. — 587 words.

'Sex-Crazed' Evangelicals Talk Spanking and Anal Sex

There is a growing movement of 'sex-positive' evangelicals, who bluntly talk about how to have better (married) sex

By Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte co-writes the popular blog Pandagon. She is the author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.

We all know that the growing evangelical movement is one (with a few left-leaning pockets exempted) obsessed with sex.  Controlling it.  Punishing it.  Using it to control women.  Stomping out most versions of it completely.  Shaming people who enjoy it.  And now, believe it or not, promoting it as an important part of healthy marriages. Wait, come again?  Sex-positive evangelicals? — 1,273 words.

Video on religious right — 'neo fascist'

True North Canuck Fact of the Day

Elora, Ontario, is the home of John Cannon who patented the world’s first panoramic camera in 1888. It photographed 360 degrees in one exposure by advancing the film at the same speed as the camera’s lens moved.

Trivia compiled by Randy Ray and Mark Kearney, authors of eight books about Canada. For more fabulous facts, visit their Web site at:

Saudi women want right to drive

BBC News

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive. Women's rights activist Wajeha Huwaider posted a video online of herself driving. She tells the BBC's Crispin Thorold why she wants to be able to get behind the wheel.

Click here to view it.

SEIU split widens

And many worry about the consequences for California healthcare workers and the labor movement

By David Moberg
In These Times

On Jan. 27, after a long, fierce battle over union strategy and organizational democracy between the national leaders of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and one of its biggest and most successful local unions, SEIU President Andy Stern took control of the dissident 150,000-member United Healthcare Workers West (UHW-West). — 975 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

Padraig's Horn

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor
True North Perspective

Here's one that gets a good workout every March 17. For those good readers outside The Ottawa Valley, it refers to a local legend about the annual spring break-up of the Ottawa River ice. It resonates for the descendants of the many Irish settlers who came to The Valley with increasing frequency after two great famines and many hardships in Nineteenth Century Ireland. — 425 words.

Spirit Quest

'My great consolation at turning 80 is that I am assured that I shall not die young'

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

Friday, March 13, four score years ago I was born. I began my life journey on the cusp of the great stock market crash and ensuing Great Depression. We hear about it often these days. I hope to survive this one as I did the first. — 845 words.

Musings: War of words

By Barbara Florio Graham
True North Perspective

Some days I feel like a warrior going into battle. Armed with books, flip charts, and a strong voice, I prepare to take on a formidable army. A vanguard of vacuous verbs leads the charge, followed by a phalanx of fractured phrases. — 765 words.

The Book End

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 My CANADA: Every step of the way by Hélène Viel. Enjoy. — Mike Heenan, Literary Editor, True North Perspective. — 256 words.

Book Review

Atlas Shrugged: Genocide is painless

The world according to Ayn Rand

Review by Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor
True North Perspective

The end of the world has a long pedigree in western literature, in the modern sense going back at least to H.G. Wells' Martians. The appeal of an apocalypse to a writer is easy to see; there's nothing quite so drmatic as the End of the World. Provided the story assumes at least a few survivors, it allows the writer a more or less blank slate for social satire, adventure, horror or the romance of Starting Civilization Over (and, presumably, Better). — 2,217 words.


A short story by Carl Dow
Editor and publisher
True North Perspective

Flying High

As a child on the farm, he would cross the ten-acre hayfield to where the quarter-mile string of tall evergreens guarded the height that gently sloped away to north and south. There, shaded from the mid-afternoon sun, but with a clear view of the open sky, he'd lie on his back and watch the yellow Harvard Trainers dog fight several miles up hard against the deep blue. He was ten years old, and yearned to be up there with them. — 2,649 words.

Website may be path to success
for authors, publishers, and companies

Prolific best-selling Ottawa author and publicist Randy Ray has developed a website to promote his publicity services, which he offers to authors, publishers and companies. Mr. Ray has helped many clients get their message out across Canada on CTV, CBC Radio, CH-TV, A-Channel and Global TV, and in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, Halifax Herald and many Ottawa-area weekly newspapers. Mr. Ray's web site is: He can be contacted at: (613) 731-3873 or

Link not working? Story not loading? Can't click on the links? Got another computer problem? Never fear! Carl is here!

If you have any problems with accessing the newsletter or problems with your computer, send an email to Carl Hall , and he will be more than happy to assist you.


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor
Yvette Pigeon, Associate Editor
Mike Heenan, Literary Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Ian Covey, Director of Photography
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Contributing Editors
Anita Chan, Australia
Rosaleen Dickson
Tom Dow
Bob Kay
Randy Ray
Harold Wright