Friday, May 2, 2008 Vol 3 No 18 (132)
"True North is for opinion makers"
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The gas price blame game and the profitable road ahead for renewable energy

By Jeff Siegel
Energy and Capital|

The gas price blame game was in full swing this week. President Bush recycled the same old nonsense about drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. You know, the place that supposedly holds about 10 billion barrels. According to the Energy Department, opening up the refuge to oil development would only slightly reduce our dependence on imports, and lower prices by less than $0.50 a barrel. — 644 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.

Or quick and easy and perfectly safe, via Pay Pal. No donation is too small.

True North No Gas Fridays
Don't be shy! Just don't buy!
And here’s a good reason why!

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.

All the way to the bank and back

 dont go here

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

Friday, May 2, 2008

Consumers aren’t helpless against the plunder of Big Oil
Join No Gas Fridays and renew your sense of self respect

‘Unfortunately we have leaders of the stuff of play dough. All being manipulated by the same corporate bullies that President Theodore Roosevelt scorned and bridled.’

The No Gas Friday campaign by True North Perspective seems like a puny act by individual consumers. — 719 words.

Evidence revealed in the Court of Judge Wright
shows that the Taliban are as appalling as ever

In all the furor over the dishonest, and stupid bungling by the Bush administration over Afghanistan (Osama! Where are you?) and Iraq, we should not forget that the Taliban and al Qaeda are not the kind of people one would want as next-door neighbours. — 139 words.

The best of times, the worst of times
in Prague and Dresden then and now

By The Reverend Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” 

Charles Dickens began his historical novel, A Tale of Two Cities, standard literary fare of English Literature courses, with these words.  As I am about to embark on a brief trip to two cities, albeit not the ones that Dickens wrote about, I preface this article with his words. Indeed, as you read this, possibly Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, I will be visiting Prague and later Dresden. — 949 words.

Health Watch

Scalp, neck, skin cancers most lethal
should be priorities in examinations

By Alice Park

Not all melanomas are created equal. That's the conclusion of a study by University of North Carolina researchers who found that skin cancers can vary in lethality depending on where they start. — 412 words.

From the Desk of Mike (The Hammer) Garvin

The future will be here
sooner than you think

The Th!nk City is a 100-percent electric car manufactured in Norway by Think Global. It will be sold in the United States starting in 2009 at an estimated retail price of less than $20,000US.

Men of the Cloth: The Vatican Isn't So Far From Fundamentalist Mormonism

When it comes to keeping women in their place, polygamous Mormon fundamentalists and the Pope have a lot in common.

‘… police are on the lookout for girls and women who try to escape.’

By Katha Pollitt
The Nation

Child abuse. Sexual abuse. Women raised to be baby machines controlled by powerful older men in the name of God.  – 930 words.

 ‘Political journalism is a farce’

New York Times Magazine heralds MSNBC talker Chris Mathews
whose claim to fame is taunting Hilary as presidential candidate

‘Male media express contempt for first woman contender’

By Eric Boehlert
Media Matters for America

Tongues are still wagging over The New York Times Magazine's cringe-inducing cover story about MSNBC talker Chris Matthews. The cringes came courtesy of the name-dropping Matthews, whose raging insecurities danced across nearly every page of the piece.  — 2,251 words.

U.S. military rejects Canadian's Child Soldier defense
‘Canada would share shame if it allows trial to proceed’  

By Jane Sutton

MIAMI —- A Canadian captured in Afghanistan at age 15 can be tried for murder in the Guantanamo war crimes court, a U.S. military judge ruled in rejecting claims that he was a child soldier who should be rehabilitated rather than prosecuted. — 354 words.

Hundreds of EPA Scientists Report Political Interference 

An official with the independent group that conducted the survey says it indicates the widespread nature of the problem.

By Judy Pasternak
The Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — More than half of the scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency who responded to a survey said they had experienced political interference in their work. — 504 words.

How To Spot a Persian Prostitute

In Iran she’s not a prostitute if you marry her for a few minutes

By Juliet Lapidos
Editorial Assistant
Slate Magazine

Tehran's former police chief Reza Zarei attempted suicide in prison April 22 a month after being arrested for consorting with six naked women in a brothel.  In the aftermath of the scandal, the Times, the Associated Press, and the BBC all reported that prostitutes are becoming more visible on Iranian streets. Given the Islamic dress code, how do Persian prostitutes signal their trade? — 442 words.

Serpent River First Nation Leaders say ‘No’ to Uranium Exploration

From the Desk of Jamie Kneen
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
MiningWatch Canada

SERPENT RIVER FIRST NATION, ON. (CNW)- It has come to the point where Serpent River First Nation leaders insist they want decisive action from the Ontario government on a list of matters pertaining to development in their traditional territory including the exploration of minerals, especially uranium. — 600 words.

Life in an Austrian dungeon

What 24 years in a windowless basement will do to your health.

The basement where the daughter and her children were imprisoned

By Juliet Lapidos
Editorial Assistant
Slate Magazine

Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man who imprisoned his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children with her, is facing prosecution for rape, abduction, incest, and possibly murder. — 406 words.

China bids more than $100 million
in takeover move on Yukon Zinc

From the Desk of Joan Kuyek
National Coordinator
MiningWatch Canada

Canadian Press

Yukon Zinc Corp. (TSXV:YZC) said Monday it has received an unsolicited takeover offer from a group of Chinese companies for more than $100 million in cash. — 223 words.

Six Thousand Gallons of Regular, Please

How much does it cost to fill up a corporate jet?

By Jacob Leibenluft
Slate Magazine

The U.S. senate was set to vote Monday afternoon on a bill that would raise taxes on fuel for private jets from 21.8 to 36 cents per gallon. The higher tax would require corporate jet passengers to pay a larger share of the cost for upgrades to the U.S. air traffic control system.  How much will that set you back when you pull your jet up to the pump? — 477 words.

Matawa First Nations want consultation on decision to allow
exploration rights on 75,000 acres to Platinex mining company

From the Desk of Joan Kuyek
National Coordinator
MiningWatch Canada

THUNDER BAY, On — The President of Platinex says that he is upset about how his company has been viewed in the media. The small mining company has been at the centre of the controversy over the jailing of First Nations Chief, Band Councillors, and a resident of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI). — 399 words.

U.S. government General Accounting Office reveals
Bush openly spends tens of millions to destabilize Cuba

‘Ladies in White’ are considered a special spearhead

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective

WASHINGTON — Breaking or bending international (and national) law has never been a problem for President George W. Bush. Everyone knows about the attack on Afghanistan that rode on international empathy caused by infamous 9/11/01. There was the attack on Iraq based on lies about that country. We know there are at least 100,000 troops in bases throughout the world that we can be sure are not just sitting there doing nothing. But how many know that while Americans are not allowed to visit Cuba and companies in foreign countries including Canada are penalized for doing business there, the U.S. government is spending millions within Cuba to destabilize that country? — 627 words.

Goodbye, Anastasia

Last of the Romanovs died at Yekaterinburg in 1918
settling claims of women to being the grand duchess

Debate lingers on role of notorious ‘mad monk’ Grigory Rasputin

Russia Herald

LONDON — Russia's erstwhile Romanov Dynasty ended in 1918 with the execution of the last Tsar's two children, DNA tests of remains found last year in Yekaterinburg have confirmed. — 495 words.

Spirit Quest

Brutal competition illegal in ‘peaceable kingdom’
makes landfall in Montreal, some native reserves

By The Reverend Doctor Hanns F. Skoutajan

A new sport (?) is about to make its presence in Canada. It has made landfall in Montreal and on some native reserves. It is illegal in the “peaceable kingdom” except in Quebec. — 710 words.

Temperature of world’s largest body of fresh water moderates
confirming strong response to global warming in Siberia area

Russia Herald

WASHINGTON — Russian and American scientists have discovered that the temperature of Lake Baikal, the world's largest lake, located in freezing Siberia, is rising gradually, confirming that the region is responding strongly to global warming. — 249 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!

In 1951, Canada’s census found that nearly 10 per cent of Canadian homes did not have one of the following. Was it:
a) basic plumbing facilities b) a telephone c) insulated walls and ceilings d) a furnace

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:

Quebec Mining Week

With 255,00 active mining claims in Quebec
new coalition challenges mining sector
to develop sense of public responsibility

From the Desk of Joan Kuyek
National Coordinator
MiningWatch Canada

At the opening of Quebec Mining Week, a new coalition, called "Pour que le Quebec ait meilleure mine!" (roughly: A better public face for the role of mining in Quebec), has raised concerns about the lack of interest in the environmental and social impacts of mining during the current industry euphoria. — 675 words.

Reinventing energy – Deserts could produce power

Desert regions, receiving massive solar radiation, could supply
large amounts of electricity to feed much of the rest of the world

By Jeffrey Sachs
The Moscow Times

Jeffrey Sachs is Professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

The world economy is being battered by sharply higher energy prices. While Russia and OPEC countries are reaping huge profits, the rest of the world is suffering as the price of oil has topped $110 per barrel and that of coal has doubled. Without plentiful and low-cost energy, every aspect of the global economy is threatened.  — 768 words.

Push-back on pesticide ban

‘Scientific, medical claims shoddy to non existent’

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Originally published in Ontario Farmer

A Kingston based company is organizing legal challenges against municipal pesticide bans in hopes the civil actions will halt implementation of Ontario legislation to outlaw so-called cosmetic pesticides. — 447 words.

Focus on Real Estate

Focus on Real Estate is a new feature in True North Perspective. Each Friday we’ll bring you news and analyses on the subject from throughout the world. Today we begin with the below by Martin D. Weiss, a leading American investment analyst.

Bernake fumbles!

Denies inflation! Dooms U.S. dollar!
Hands investors chance to turn a grubstake into millions

By Martin D. Weiss
Weiss Research

Wall Street may be cheering right now. But that doesn’t change the fact that Wednesday’s action by the Fed will go down in history as one of the worst financial fumbles of the 21st century. — 775 words.

Random Acts Of Poetry

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor

Fellow scribe and legendary editor Rosaleen Leslie Dickson and I first passed like ships in the night in the autumn of 1942. Due to wartime exigencies I was being born at the Royal Victoria Hospital while Rosaleen was being wed to her beloved David in Westmount, Quebec. — 462 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 the award winning Run of the Town by Terry West. Looking forward.  — Carl Dow, Editor.
"Your mother lets you out to watch two lumberjacks in a vicious fist-fight. "Just stay back", she warns. You have Run of the Town. This is Hearst, Northern Ontario and environs, mid-20th century. Author West has evoked with first-hand loving care the raw, individualist, sensual, sub-arctic bush town persona by offering up 17 stories separate but simultaneously bound by a thin but unbreakable thread. A fine achievement!" -BRIAN DOYLE, 2005 winner of the prestigious NSK Neustadt International prize, from World Literature Today, University of Oklahoma for Children's Literature. For more click here.

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?

Basic plumbing facilities.  By 1982, only 1.6 per cent of Canadian homes did not have indoor plumbing.


Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher
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
Rosaleen Dickson
Geoffrey Dow
Tom Dow
Randy Ray
Harold Wright