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Friday, March 20, 2009, Vol. 4, No, 15 — 166
"True North is for opinion makers"
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If only Jon Stewart had interviewed Dick Cheney

CNN let Cheney get away with spouting gross inaccuracies and weak excuses
They should have gone for the jugular, Jon Stewart style

By Arianna Huffington

Jon Stewart's Jim Cramer interview was a pivotal moment — not just for Stewart, Cramer, and CNBC but also for journalism. It was a bracing reminder of what great research and a journalist more committed to getting to the truth than to landing the big get — and keeping the big get happy, and ensuring future big gets — can accomplish. — 1,304 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.

Editor's Note

Friday, March 20, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 15 (166)

Communist conspiracy or CIA plot?

Hell no! True North Perspective was inspired by George W. Bush

TNP is simply an honest Canadian project to bring the world to readers by balanced reporting and analyses — dat's it, dat's all

All normal children are born with innate curiosity. As they grow, many well-meaning parents severely damage their progeny's ability to think speculatively. They impose label thinking and these children grow to adults incapable of thinking through possibilities about anything new. Their crippled minds must always fall back on labels. — 728 words.

Humour in the Court of Judge Harold Wright

Luke had been in Police work for 25 years....

Finally sick of the stress, he quits his job and buys 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible. He sees the postman once a week and gets groceries once a month. Otherwise it's total peace and quiet. After six months or so of almost total isolation, someone knocks on his door. He opens it and a huge, bearded man is standing there. — 239 words.

The feds have a responsibility in the pesticide debate

'This isn't just bashing the Harper Conservatives'

'Ontario ... shoved science out the back door and is acting on the basis of a widely contested report by a small group of doctors aided and abetted by misinformed environmentalists.'

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Originally written for Ontario Farmer

As poor as the thinking behind Ontario's cosmetic pesticide ban is, the federal government is equally complicit in this firm leap into the past by not objecting to the province's grandstanding on a subject that's supposed to be under Ottawa's jurisdiction. — 456 words.

Health Watch

Model forecasts 'substantial' health benefits from small cut in salt intake

CBC News

For every gram of salt that Americans cut from their diets every day, there would be 200,000 fewer deaths over a decade, researchers said on March 11, 2009. — 471 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

Girls, glamour, high-octane racing for 2009
Life in the fast lane runs both wild and mild

By Dave James

Lewis Hamilton is Formula 1 champion, has millions of dollars in his Swiss bank account and a pop star girlfriend who dreams of having "beautiful angel babies". As F1 embarks on another season, the sport's high-octane attraction for girls and glamour looks as powerful as ever, despite its cash-and-charisma crisis. — 534 words.

Scientists still wary after science minister confirms belief in evolution

'I think [his explanation] demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how evolution by natural selection works'

CBC News

Canadian scientists say they are somewhat comforted that Science Minister Gary Goodyear has clarified that he believes in the theory of evolution, but his recent comments still raised some concerns and questions. — 1,008 words.

Anti-gay appointee for refugee board

By Elizabeth Thompson
Ottawa Sun

A longtime Conservative who opposes same-sex marriage has been appointed to the tribunal that decides whether gays get refugee status in Canada. — 218 words.

Auditor General slams BC failure on homelessness

By Andrew MacLeod
The Tyee

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

The British Columbia government has so far failed to develop a plan to reduce homelessness, according to a report released by Auditor General John Doyle this morning. — 289 words.

Plan to split Taliban lures Obama deeper into war

By Gareth Porter
Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON — Advanced reports on the Barack Obama administration's strategy to "peel off" a majority of insurgent commanders from the "hard core" of Taliban suggest that it will be presented as a political route to victory in Afghanistan that would not require U.S. and NATO troops to win militarily. — 1,244 words.

What we don't know about Iraq

By Philip Bennett
The Washington Post

What do Iraqis call the war that is now entering its seventh year? If you can't answer that question, it's not because you haven't been paying attention. In this country, the Iraq war has been an American story. — 1,928 words.

The ongoing occupation of Iraqi artists

'The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.' — Albert Einstein.

'The lamp of my mind, like that in all of us, needs to discuss and review life continually.'

By Dahr Jamail
TruthOut | Perspective

For centuries, artists, writers, and intellectuals have been meeting in Baghdad's teahouses over tulip-shaped glasses of sweet lemon tea, cigarettes, and shisha pipes. A car bomb detonated near one of the oldest teahouses a year-and-a-half ago, causing massive destruction around the area. When it reopened recently, Mohammed Al-Mumain, a 59-year-old biology teacher resumed his visits there. The portly, jovial teacher brought tea for my colleague and me before settling to talk, "The mind needs art and education. I come here because the lamp needs electricity. The lamp of my mind, like that in all of us, needs to discuss and review life continually. That feeds me. When I come here I feel like a teenager again. All that I need, the old culture along with the new, I find here." — 2,259 words.

Hunting of baby harp seals banned after Putin appeal

The Moscow Times

The Natural Resources Ministry said Wednesday that it had banned the hunting of baby harp seals, weeks after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called it a "bloody industry." — 255 words.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich seeks investigation of Cheney "assassination ring"

'If substantiated, the allegation would have far reaching implications for the United States," Kucinich wrote to the House Oversight Committee'

As you may already be aware, recent media reports indicate that investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, while answering questions before a public audience at the University of Minnesota divulged information about what he calls an "executive assassination ring" operating under the George W. Bush Administration. — 378 words.

Lest we forget

By William Rivers Pitt

Six years ago, the United States of America began the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Since then, 4,259 American soldiers have been killed and tens of thousands more have been wounded. There is no accurate accounting of Iraqi dead and wounded, because as we were told, we do not do body counts. Because the Bush administration left its Iraq expenditures off the budget, and because of the tremendous amount of war-profiteering, graft and theft that has been involved, we do not know exactly how much we have spent. For the record, 2,192 days later, this is how we got here: — 2,869 words.

Atomic construction yields punchier power store

By Colin Barras

Devices from electric cars to laptops could benefit from a new kind of capacitor, which combines the best features of conventional devices to store a large quantity of charge and release it rapidly. — 459 words.

Yes he is

Obama calls himself a New Democrat and shows what it means

By Bruce Reed

For conservatives still trying to fit Barack Obama into their old tax-and-spend-liberal box, Tuesday was a very bad day. In the morning, the president gave a tough-minded education reform speech demanding more accountability from schools, teachers, students, and parents. The same afternoon, he brought members of the House New Democrat Coalition to the White House and told them, "I am a New Democrat." According to Politico, Obama went on to describe himself as a fiscally responsible, pro-growth Democrat who supports free and fair trade and opposes protectionism. — 1,822 words.

Obama calls for new start with Iran

Decades of mistrust can't easily be erased, says Iran

CBC News

The United States wants to engage with the people of Iran and end a decades-long strained relationship, U.S. President Barack Obama said in a recorded message on Friday. But Iran downplayed the statement, saying that decades of mistrust can't easily be erased. — 784 words.

OPEC bows to weak economy, Obama effect

By Barbara Lewis

VIENNA — OPEC's decision on Sunday to resist new supply cuts laid the ground not just for cheaper oil to help heal the economy, but for warmer relations with the world's biggest energy consumer. — 768 words.

Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) against Venezuela

By Eva Golinger

A secret document of the US Army National Ground Intelligence Center, recently declassified in part, through the application of the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), confirms that the Pentagon's most powerful team for psychological operations is employing its forces against Venezuela.1 The document, dating from the year 2006, analyses the border situation between Colombia and Venezuela. It was drafted by the US Army's 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) (4th PSYOP Group (A) or 4th POG) and the US Army National Ground Intelligence Center, a fact that thus reaffirms that the same psychological warfare team operates in the region against Venezuela. — 1,819 words.

'Stop treating Russia like a donkey'

By Peter Rutland
The Moscow Times

When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the "reset button" with the botched Russian translation of the word "reset," Lavrov — being the experienced, stoic diplomat that he is — probably would have smiled graciously, thanked Clinton for the nice gesture and not drawn attention to the flub. But he had little choice other than to answer her question directly when Clinton specifically asked Lavrov, "We worked hard to get the right Russian word — do you think we got it?" — 958 words.

'Vampire' unearthed in Venice plague grave

By Daniel Flynn

ROME — Italian researchers believe they have found the remains of a female "vampire" in Venice, buried with a brick jammed between her jaws to prevent her feeding on victims of a plague which swept the city in the 16th century. — 368 words.

Congress to consider banning some uses of toxic Bisphenol A

Sen. Feinstein, Rep. Markey introduce legislation to ban BPA in food and beverage containers

On Monday, March 16, 2009, after several weeks of unprecedented industry, state and municipal push back against the chemical bisphenol A, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced groundbreaking federal legislation that would ban BPA from food and beverage containers. — 578 words.

Rebuttal to Chris Hedges: Stop the tired overpopulation hysteria

Raising alarms about overpopulation distracts us from the real environmental tasks at hand and legitimizes top-down punitive policies that hurt women

By Betsy Hartmann

Is it any coincidence that just as the U.S. government is finally getting serious again about environmental regulation and climate change, there is an upsurge of overpopulation hysteria? Malthus is riding again on the dark horses of the apocalypse. Unless we start curbing birth rates now, preferably by voluntary means but through more coercive measures if necessary, we will breed ourselves to extinction. This is the message of a recent lead story on AlterNet by Chris Hedges (March 11, 2009). Last month a Global Population Speak Out campaign aimed to spread similar fears throughout the media. The population bomb is back in vogue. — 849 words.

Cuban Americans can go home more easily under Obama rules

'People are celebrating' and travel agents are preparing for more business, though the change stops short of Obama's campaign promise to remove travel limits altogether for Cuban Americans

By William E. Gibson
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Cuban Americans' travel to the communist island nation just got easier under guidelines issued last week by the Obama administration. The Treasury Department confirmed that Cuban Americans may visit extended relatives as well as close family members once a year and spend as much as $179 a day without fear of prosecution, effective immediately. — 520 words.

In power, El Salvador ex-rebels seek U.S. ties

By Catherine Bremer

SAN SALVADOR — El Salvador's President-elect Mauricio Funes said he wants strong relations with Washington after his party of ex-Marxist guerrillas ousted their right-wing civil war foes in a tight election victory. — 795 words.

Mexico slaps tariffs on U.S. goods in truck feud

By Adriana Barrera and Doug Palmer

MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON — Mexico slapped tariffs on 90 American agricultural and manufactured exports on Monday in retaliation for Washington's move to block Mexican trucks from using U.S. highways. — 613 words.

Winnipeg's New Flyer: Poster child for stimulus

By Tara Perkins
Globe and Mail

In Manitoba, New Flyer Industries Inc. is a Canadian success story chaired by a well-known former politician. In Minnesota, where it is known as New Flyer of America, the bus maker is the pride of the U.S. government. — 663 words.

True North Canuck Fact of the Day

Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, named after father of historic daughter

The southwestern Ontario community of Ingersoll is named for Major Thomas Ingersoll, the father of Laura Secord, the War of 1812 heroine who warned British troops of a surprise attack by the Americans. Ingersoll is the site of Ontario's first cheese factory.

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

China's last eunuch spills sex secrets

By Emma Graham-Harrison

BEIJING — Only two memories brought tears to Sun Yaoting's eyes in old age -- the day his father cut off his genitals, and the day his family threw away the pickled remains that should have made him a whole man again at death. — 798 words.

French sex toy sales fall as credit crunch bites

By Lucien Libert

PARIS — Sales in the French erotic industry have fallen as the global economic crisis has driven consumers to reduce their spending on sex toys, massage oils and other kinky products, sector specialists say. — 339 words.

NGOs hail congressional moves to ease US embargo against Cuba

By Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON — Leading advocates for lifting the nearly 50-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba are hailing Congress's approval Tuesday of a general appropriations bill that eases — albeit in a mostly symbolic way — several restrictions on travel and sales to the Caribbean nation. — 1,181 words.

Freeman affair puts Israel lobby in spotlight

By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON — Although the successful campaign to keep Amb. Charles "Chas" Freeman out of a top intelligence post marked a surface victory for the pro-Israel hardliners who opposed him, the long-term political implications of the Freeman affair appear far more ambiguous. — 1,361 words.

Israel Defense Forces in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement

By Amos Harel

During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive. — 591 words.

When times go bad, Americans don't turn to the Christian Right — they turn to each other

This economic crisis spells an exodus for the Christian ayatollahs and the culture wars of the past 40 years

By Frank Rich
The New York Times

Someday we'll learn the whole story of why George W. Bush brushed off that intelligence briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." But surely a big distraction was the major speech he was readying for delivery on Aug. 9, his first prime-time address to the nation. The subject — which Bush hyped as "one of the most profound of our time" — was stem cells. For a presidency in thrall to a thriving religious right (and a presidency incapable of multi-tasking), nothing, not even terrorism, could be more urgent. — 1,013 words.

Where the bailout money is really going

By Bill Bonner

Poor Warren. He's down to his last $25 billion. And Bill Gates can barely hold his head up; his pile has shrunk to barely $18 billion. And do a Google search of "AIG outrage" and you will get 621,000 hits. Alas, being rich isn't as easy or as much fun as it used to be. — 2,074 words.

Money and Markets

Dr. Ravi Batra: New thinking on the economy

By Matt Renner

Maverick Southern Methodist University economics professor Ravi Batra says the financial crisis is just one symptom of a long-festering economic disease — a disease caused by neglecting basic economic principles over the past 30 years. Comments made by President Obama seem to echo Dr. Batra's understanding of a domestic economy choked by consumer debt. — 1,331 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

Wasn't that a party!

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor
True North Perspective

Wasn't that a Party! It was more than grand to see all parties to the 10-year-old Peace Agreement stand shoulder to shoulder and denounce the foul murders of two policemen in Belfastthis week. — 166 words.

Spirit Quest

Spring is the birthday of God's spirit

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

It is the first day of Spring. Did we wonder whether it would ever come? Wiarton Wily warned us way back in February that we would have weeks to go wrapped in coats and hats and heavy winter boots. But we have made it through snowdrifts, against icy blasts and all the bad news that has met us along the way. In the nations capital, Ottawa, we did much of it without the benefit of public transportation. — 597 words.

Musings: Can't write humour? Yes you can!

By Barbara Florio Graham
True North Perspective

I was delighted to discover that my name is included among a list of Canadian humourists on Wikipedia. But "humourist" is probably the last adjective I'd use to describe myself. Although my humour book did win an international award, and I've won prizes in humour contests, I've always considered myself a "serious" writer. — 561 words.


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

The Richest Bitch In The Country
Ginny I hardly knows ya!

Many twenty-three-year-old females had adventures in Montreal during the World Exhibition known as Expo 67, but we've only got space here to tell of Ginny's. Ginny was the daughter of a multi-millionaire who had advanced the family wealth by continuing what her great-grandfather started in the nineteenth century — feeding the city's residential heating equipment with fuel. First by wood, then coal and coke, then coal gas, and now by natural gas. Ginny, in a moment of primary- school girlish giggle, would boast to a close friend that she had a thousand slaves working every day to maintain her as the richest bitch in the country. — 2,784 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