tnp logo

Friday, March 27, 2009, Vol. 4, No, 16 — 167
"True North is for opinion makers"
Mission Statement        Archives        Contact the Editor        Subscribe!

From the Desk of David Ward, Contributing Editor

The big takeover

The global economic crisis isn't about money — it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution

By Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone

It's over — we're officially, royally taken to the cleaners. No empire can survive being rendered a permanent laughingstock, which is what happened as of a few weeks ago, when the buffoons who have been running things in this country finally went one step too far. It happened when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was forced to admit that he was once again going to have to stuff billions of taxpayer dollars into a dying insurance giant called AIG, itself a profound symbol of our national decline — a corporation that got rich insuring the concrete and steel of American industry in the country's heyday, only to destroy itself chasing phantom fortunes at the Wall Street card tables, like a dissolute nobleman gambling away the family estate in the waning days of the British Empire. — 9,027 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 27, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 16 (167)

Harper government walks into the Lion’s mouth
by barring British MP Galloway from Canada

In what has become classic knee-jerk tunnel vision by Harper and his minions it has once again acted against the spirit of Canadian democracy. — 876 words.

The mainstream media revisits agriculture

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Originally written for Ontario Farmer

What could have been an instructive model of political co-operation in Ottawa tripped at the starting line and will probably become one more example of the mess politicians create when they play games. — 462 words.

British MP barred from Canada

CBC News

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says he won't use his authority to intervene in a decision to bar controversial British MP George Galloway from entering Canada. Speaking in Calgary Friday, Kenney said he wouldn't override a Citizenship and Immigration Canada decision to deny Galloway permission to enter the country based on security grounds. — 614 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

A more pious Prius

A statement about Toyota's green street-cred

By Jeremy Cato
The Globe and Mail

YOUNTVILLE, CALIF. — Make no mistake, the Prius is the franchise, the brand, a rolling metaphor for everything Toyota is and wants to be. This is why the redesigned, third-generation Toyota Prius, the 2010 version, matters so much. — 1,388 words.

From the Desk of Jamie Kneen, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Mining Watch

A win for treaty critics at United Nations

By Dan Ferguson
Surrey North Delta Leader

Canada's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva has been told his country must co-operate with a UN investigation into complaints about the B.C. treaty process and the agreements it has produced. — 544 words.

Death of a Salesman — Male Suicide Is All the Rage

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

Recently I watched a television version of the all-time classic play Death of a Salesman.  I was struck by its continued relevance today, in this time of economic uncertainty when so much pressure is still applied on men to be successful providers. — 1,199 words.

Americans are raring for a fight against corporate power

3/4 of Americans want to see a huge worker protection bill pass through Congress, and the greedy corporations are running scared

By Jim Hightower

Last October, Home Depot cofounder Bernie Marcus blew a gasket, spewing outrage in all directions. "This is the demise of civilization," he exploded. "This is how a civilization disappears. I'm watching this happen and I don't believe it!" — 3,049 words.

Kiss her fat ass?

No, thanks. I'd rather talk about Meghan McCain's inarticulate and boring writing

By Vanessa Richmond

This week, one woman said another woman was fat. The insulter didn't say it to the insultee's face; the insulter said it to other people in a public forum. OK, I'll admit this schoolyard-style behavior probably happened far more than once this week. So I'll be more specific, though I'm loath to lend the insultee any more publicity (more on that below): right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham body-snarked on Meghan McCain, blogger daughter of John McCain. And the story spread like wildfire to both newspapers and tabloids, where many people expressed outraged about the slight, jumped to her defense, and even declared allegiance to Team Meghan. I'm with them on the first point, anyway. — 770.

From three decades as a colonel and diplomat to six years as a peace activist

‘There are many ways to serve one's country. I fully believe challenging policies that one feels are harmful to our nation is service, not treason.’ Diplomat and United States Army Colonel (Ret’d) Ann Wright.

By Ann Wright

Ann Wright is a retired US Army & Army Reserves colonel and former US diplomat, who resigned in opposition to the Iraq war. She was a US diplomat in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She is the co-author of "Dissent: Voices of Conscience". Her March 19, 2003, letter of resignation can be read at

It was six years ago today that I resigned from the Bush administration and the US diplomatic corps in opposition to the war on Iraq. I remember the day so well. I woke up about 2 in the morning. Like so many mornings in the past months, I could not sleep through the night. I was very worried and upset hearing the comments out of Washington, that we, the US government, were being forced into taking military action against Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi government. — 809 words.

A rising China waltzes gingerly with the Russian bear

By Tim Johnson
McClatchy Newspapers

MANZHOULI, China — The stream of Russian traders that once filled the streets of this neon-lit border post has dwindled to a trickle, turning Manzhouli from boom town to ghost town. — 1,196 words.

South American nations meet in Venezuela to lay foundation for Bank of the South

By James Suggett

MERIDA — Top government officials from seven South American countries met in Caracas Monday to draft constitutive plans for the Bank of the South, an international initiative launched in 2007 to improve regional integration and invest national reserves in social and economic development on the continent. — 290 words.

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

Spitfires and Hurricanes take to the skies for the RAF's 90th birthday

Side by side, in perfect formation, these two old warriors soar above the white cliffs and lush fields of the south coast just like they did all those years ago. — 1,163 words.

South Africa blocks Dalai Lama visit

CBC News

The government of South Africa has refused the Dalai Lama permission to enter the country to attend a peace conference in Johannesburg, due to begin Friday. — 221 words.

Beat the traffic: take the flying car

U.S. company tests its $194,000 US 'roadable aircraft'

CBC News

A U.S. company has realized the longstanding fantasy of a flying car.

Terrafugia Inc.'s "roadable aircraft," named Transition, completed its first flight at Plattsburgh, N.Y., on Wednesday, the company said. — 1,388 words.

Water not recognized as human right in forum statement

CBC News

A week-long international conference ended Sunday in Istanbul with a statement that recognizes access to safe drinking water as a "basic human need," but not a "human right," as some delegates had proposed. — 452 words.

Give up seafood, save the planet?

By Martin Mittelstaedt
Globe and Mail

Eating fish has always been touted as an excellent dietary source of protein, with Health Canada's food guide recommending everyone eat two servings a week. The recent craze over the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish has only added to the allure. — 807 words.

Ronald Reagan: The great American socialist

By Ravi Batra

Socialism has been much in the news for some months. Recently, some GOP stalwarts charged President Obama with preaching the heresy. John Boehner, the House minority leader, characterized Obama's stimulus package as, "one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment." — 773 words.

How Zimbabwe slew the dragon of hyperinflation

By Geoffrey York
Globe and Mail

HARARE — Zimbabwe's wily street hawkers have finally found a use for the worthless 100-trillion-dollar banknotes that were issued here in January. They sell the bizarre banknotes as souvenirs to foreign tourists for $2 each. — 974 words.

Intelligence made it clear Saddam was not a threat, diplomat tells MPs

By David Hencke
The Guardian

A former diplomat at the centre of events in the run-up to the Iraq war revealed yesterday that the government has a "paper trail" that could reveal new information about the legality of the invasion. Carne Ross, who was a first secretary at the United Nations in New York for the Foreign Office until 2004, told MPs: "A lot of facts about the run-up to this war have yet to come to light which should come to light and which the public deserves to know." There were also assessments by the joint intelligence committee which had not been disclosed, Ross told the Commons public administration select committee. — 651 words.

Watch this soap opera treatment of Venezuela’s battle over 'Red Oil'
A four-part series that reveals every-day life behind the headlines

Filmmakers: Lucinda Broadbent and Aimara Reques

Ever since Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, was elected in 1998, he has polarised opinion both at home and abroad with his strong socialist ideals. — 151 words.

Cleaning up 'world's biggest toilet'

By José Adán Silva
Inter Press Service

MANAGUA — After dumping its untreated wastewater into lake Managua for more than 80 years, the capital of Nicaragua has started to clean up the huge source of water in this country, where 80 percent of fresh water sources are polluted. — 1,023 words.

Creating a 'Safe Water Chain'

By Joshua Kyalimpa
Inter Press Service

KATOSI, Uganda — Uganda spends close to $10 million each year treating waterborne diseases; the productive time lost to illness and caring for the sick has an even greater financial impact. But residents of Katosi village on the shores of Lake Victoria aren't waiting for the government to find a solution. — 881 words.

Coping in a world of 'peak water'

By Nastassja Hoffet
Inter Press Service

UNITED NATIONS — As more than 20,000 people meet in Istanbul for a major week-long conference on future management of the world's water supplies, women's groups are working to ensure that policy decisions about this critical natural resource take their concerns into account. — 812 words.

Cellphone video of fatal shooting erased by police, witness alleges

CBC News

VANCOUVER, Canada — Police identified the man who was fatally shot by an officer on Friday in downtown Vancouver as 58-year-old Michael Vann Hubbard. An autopsy found that Hubbard, of no fixed address, was killed by a single gunshot. Police said they are reviewing surveillance video of the shooting obtained from two separate sources. However, a man who said he used his cellphone to record video of the shooting said he believes a police officer on the scene erased his video. — 459 words.

Wallowing off the coast of Tristan

British writer who revealed secret regretfully accepts
being banned from British island in the South Atlantic

By Simon Winchester
BBC News

Journalist Simon Winchester reflects on the price he is still paying for betraying the trust of a group of islanders in the South Atlantic Ocean nearly a quarter of a century ago.

I am currently sitting on a boat, wallowing in a south Atlantic ocean swell, five cables off the rocky coastline of the most isolated, permanently-populated island in the world. — 858 words.

Rihanna and domestic violence: How we are messing up a teachable moment

Rihanna's abuse has sparked a national discussion about domestic violence. Unfortunately, most of it is offensive and unproductive

Pop star Rihanna's beating by boyfriend Chris Brown sparked a national conversation about intimate partner abuse, a tragic issue that rarely makes it into the national spotlight despite the millions of women (and some men) who fall victim to domestic violence every year. — 1,348 words.

The millennial generation could pull American politics even further to the left
and for a longer time, than the Reagan generation pulled our politics to the right

By Paul Waldman
The American Prospect

Paul Waldman is a senior correspondent for the Prospect and the author of Being Right is Not Enough: What Progressives Must Learn From Conservative Success.

A quarter-century ago, political observers marveled at a new phenomenon: an enormous wave of conservative young people. Instead of tuning in, turning on, and dropping out, they were donning polo shirts, keeping their hair cut short, and waxing eloquent on the wonders of the free market. Their exemplar was Alex P. Keaton, the hero of the television show Family Ties, whose ex-hippie parents shook their heads at their son's affection for Ronald Reagan. The series ran from 1982 to 1989; in its finale, Alex leaves home to take a job on Wall Street. — 1,127 words.

"Secret" Red Cross report confirms more torture at CIA black sites

By Liliana Segura

A front page story in the Washington Post on March 16 reveals that a "secret report" by the International Committee of the Red Cross on the CIA's "black sites" has confirmed that the Bush administration used gross interrogation methods in its overseas prisons that "constituted torture" and violated the Geneva Conventions. — 512 words.

Gaza assault was 'inhumane'

The United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories has said Israel's military offensive on Gaza "would seem to constitute a war crime of the greatest magnitude under international law". — 834 words.

The trembling ace

The air aces of World War I — like the Red Baron — left a rich mythology that persists to the present day. But the man who was, perhaps, Britain's best pilot, remains little known

By John Hayes Fisher
BBC News Magazine

A 90-year-old photo album discovered recently in northern France, reveals possibly the last picture of Britain's "highest scoring" fighter pilot from World War I. It's an innocent photograph. A highly decorated RAF pilot poses for the camera, his arm gently resting on the shoulder of a local French child standing in front of him. — 954 words.

True North Canuck Fact of the Day

And his fate is still unknown ...

Before becoming a political leader in the 1860s, a founder of Manitoba that entered the Canadian confederation as a province 15 July 1870, and hanged for high treason 16 November 1885, Louis Riel trained for the priesthood and worked as a law clerk in Montreal. Despite the hanging there is a movement to have him declared as a Father of Confederation.

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

Money and Markets

Enormous Profits Ahead ...

By Larry Edelson
Money and Markets
Jupiter, Florida

All markets are reaching critical turning points this month. If my indicators are correct, and I strongly believe they are, we should see …

I urge you to watch these markets like a hawk this month. There are enormous profit opportunities ahead. But don’t just jump into them recklessly. The swings will be wild, and risk will be running high. — 1,273 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

O'erweening Pride

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor
True North Perspective

Here are two coincidental poems, written about a half-century apart, by two Canadian poets who had seen enough of their respective colleagues to beware that most deadly of the seven sins, "O'erweening Pride." — 285 words.

Dangerous at two ... dangerous at 87

A poem about Rosaleen Leslie Dickson when she was Two
Writ by her poet father Kenneth Leslie who won a Governor General’s award in 1938

Note: Gloria and Kathleen are Rosaleen’s two older sisters.285 words.

'The Soviet Union is a country with an unpredictable past'

By Alexei Pankin
The Moscow Times

MOSCOW — On Sunday, March 22, Rossia's "Vesti Nedeli" television program dedicated a segment to the film "Taras Bulba." This recent movie was based on Nikolai Gogol's novella of the same name, a classic work of 19th-century Russian literature with ethnic Ukrainian origins. The film's director, Vladimir Bortko, a Russian citizen with a Ukrainian surname, said in an interview, "Gogol's story is dedicated to the common history of the Russian people." But Bogdan Stupka, a Ukrainian who played the film's leading role, disagreed. "Gogol wrote about the history of the Ukrainian people," he said. "And the word 'Russian' in Ukrainian has a different meaning than in Russian." — 585 words.

Spirit Quest

The meaning of love is varied

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

"Pre-loved Cars" proclaimed a banner stretching over and array of highly polished cars in a used car lot. I suppose these are the ones that were driven by little old ladies only on Sundays to and from church, according to the salesmen. — 1,014 words.

Musings: Water, water, everywhere

By Barbara Florio Graham
True North Perspective

Canada's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva has been told his country must co-operate with a UN investigation into complaints about the B.C. treaty process and the agreements it has produced. — 511 words.


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

One Lift Too Many

The city's PanAmerica News branch was a closed shop as tight as any Atlantic waterfront union local run by gangsters. Only this hive of criminal activity was two thousand kilometers inland. It had no links to either a legitimate union or the mafia. It was run by remnants of what the newspapers had dubbed the Inchbury Gang — teenagers who had learned to terrorize the city's west end while their fathers were away laying to rest the malicious adolescents in adult bodies who had started World War II. — 2,132 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
David Ward
Harold Wright