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Friday, May 30, 2008 Vol 3 No 21 (135)
"True North is for opinion makers"
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Former Bush Donors Now Giving to Obama

‘I just can't get over it that my name is in there for sending money to that miserable president,’

By Greg Gordon
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Beverly Fanning is among the campaign donors who'll be joining President Bush at a gala at Washington's Ford's Theater Sunday night, but she says that won't dissuade her from her current passion: volunteering for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. — 886 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!

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                

hahhaha 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 30, 2008

Liars and collaborators

I was sitting in my living room when George W. Bush delivered his 2002 televised Ohio speech on Iraq, justifying the attack on that country that he would launch less than six months later. In the moment of silence that followed I said, “Brilliant.” The others in the room looked at me, puzzled. They knew I had no use for the usurper of 2001. “The only problem,” I said, “is that he’s lying.”  — 184 words.

Spirit Quest
Constructing God

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

“God is a human construct,” so writes Christopher Hedges in his recent book: I Don’t Believe In Atheists. For someone who doesn’t espouse atheism those words may seem rather surprising. That God is a human construct might well be an atheist credo. — 751 words.

Older brain really may be a wiser brain
it’s just got a lot of clutter to sift through

By Sara Reistad-Long
The New York Times

When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining. But a growing number of studies suggest that this assumption is often wrong. Instead, the research finds, the aging brain is simply taking in more data and trying to sift through a clutter of information, often to its long-term benefit. — 679 words.

Health Watch

Post-traumatic stress soars in U.S. troops
while 300 Russian servicemen die in suicides

MOSCOW (Reuters) — The chief military prosecutor said Thursday that more than 300 servicemen committed suicide last year, despite higher spending and reforms to improve army conditions and equipment. — 658 words.

Canada must control Arctic shipping

‘… every time a Russian vessel enters Hudson Bay, “they acknowledge our sovereignty.”’

By Alex Binkley
Originally written for Fairplay Magazine

Canada’s sovereignty over its Arctic islands and marine channels is solid and the government should follow up by establishing control over ships that want to sail through the Northwest Passage, says a legal expert. — 744 words.

McClellan and His Media Collaborators
‘From squeals of protest to mighty roar’

By Jeff Cohen
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Jeff Cohen is the founder of Fair, and author of the new book, Cable News Confidential: my misadventures in corporate media. His columns have appeared in dozens of dailies, including USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Atlanta Constitution, and Miami Herald.  — 1,063 words.

US Airways to cut free snacks on domestic routes

TEMPE, Arizona (AP) -- Fliers, let go of the pretzels and peanuts.

In what could be the ultimate cost-cutting move by airlines buffeted by sky-high fuel prices, US Airways Group says it will eliminate free snacks in coach class on all its domestic flights starting June 1. The airline's largest hub is in Charlotte, North Carolina.

US Airways also says it has matched last week's fare hikes by United Airlines, AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc. The increases are from $10 to $60 per round trip and vary based on the length of the flight.

US Airways spokesman Morgan Durrant says the move to cut free snacks was needed to save money in a time of extremely high fuel costs. The price of jet fuel has soared this year with crude oil prices in the $130-per-barrel range.

The airline is still providing complimentary soft drinks.

China premier Wen equates peace with prosperity

VIENTIANE (Xinhua) — Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has pledged that China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development.

Addressing the recent Third Summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion, Wen said that China will develop itself through upholding peace and promote peace with its own development. — 185 words.

Poorest hit in pocket book as new Conservative
London mayor cancels oil deal with Venezuela

LONDON — Recently elected Conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson,
has announced that he is scrapping a discounted oil agreement with Venezuela that provides half-price bus fares for London ’s poorest citizens. — 362 words.

Recent Venezuelan poll shows
Chávez approval rating 68.8%

By James Suggett

MÉRIDA, Venezuela  — A national poll conducted between April 24 and May 2 by the Venezuelan Data Analysis Institute (IVAD) showed that 68.8% of Venezuelans believe the presidency of Hugo Chávez has been excellent, very good, or good, while 28.2% consider it to have been bad, very bad, or terrible. — 423 words.

Amnesty International report assails U.S. for failure 
to practice UN standards on torture, human rights

By Alan Cowell
International Herald Tribune

PARIS —  Sixty years after the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, governments in scores of countries still torture or mistreat their people, Amnesty International said in a recent report that again urged the United States to close down the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. — 527 words.

Venezuela to build 50,000 houses for poor families

CARACAS, Venezuela (Xinhua) — The Venezuelan government announced Wednesday that it will build 50,000 houses for poor families in six urban complexes, Housing Minister Edith Gomez said. — 109 words.

How to look for life on Mars
Sorting through the extraterrestrial dust

By Chris Wilson
Slate Magazine

Humankind's latest envoy to Mars, the spacecraft Phoenix, touched down near the planet's north pole on Sunday. If all goes as planned, Phoenix will begin collecting soil samples next week in a search for evidence that basic organisms could survive on the planet. What is Phoenix looking for? — 472 words.

Venezuelan Youth and Children orchestras return home
with Prince Asturias Arts prize won last year by Bob Dylan

By EuroNews

It is the beginning of the Prince d'Asturias prizewinners season, and in Oviedo, northern Spain, the winner of the Arts prize has been announced. — 150 words.

U.S. Supreme Court upholds law that will
suppress voting by poor and minorities

Winston-Salem Journal
The U.S. Supreme Court has effectively reinstated the poll tax that once kept minorities and the poor from voting, and it did so for no justifiable reason. — 476 words.

Traditional Conservative Ron Paul takes calm aim
at John McCain’s projected September coronation

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Interview
Despite what the mainstream news media choose to report, Senator John McCain of Arizona is not the last remaining Republican candidate for president today. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas never abandoned his run for the GOP nomination, and he fully intends to present himself before the Republican National Convention in September as a true conservative alternative to McCain's status-quo candidacy. — 546 words.

From the other side of the fence

Fidel Castro takes on Barrack Obama

Reflections by Fidel Castro Ruiz

It would be dishonest of me to remain silent after hearing the speech Obama delivered on the afternoon of May 23 at the Cuban American National Foundation created by Ronald Reagan. I listened to his speech, as I did McCain’s and Bush’s. I feel no resentment towards him, for he is not responsible for the crimes perpetrated against Cuba and humanity. Were I to defend him, I would do his adversaries an enormous favor. I have therefore no reservations about criticizing him and about expressing my points of view on his words frankly. — 2,067 words.

Open letter to Douglas Kelly, Editor-in-Chief, National Post from Ernesto Senti Darias, Cuban Ambassador to Canada. — 196 words.


from the Cuban Embassy
Ottawa, May 27, 2008.

— 604 words.

Focus on Real Estate

Focus on Real Estate is a new feature in True North Perspective. Each Friday we’ll bring you news, analyses, and personalities, from throughout the world. Today we begin by introducing one of Alberta’s leading Realtors, Judy Dryzmala. a member of the Calgary Re/Max family.


Judy Dryzmala of Re/Max House of Real Estate, Calgary

Judy Dryzmala, mother of two daughters, is one of Alberta’s most successful real estate agents. — 581 words.

CB Richard Ellis says Moscow second only to booming
Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City for rising cost of office rates

By Max Delany

Top-end office rates in central Moscow are now the second-priciest in the world after occupancy costs almost doubled over the past year, a survey released Wednesday said. — 676 words.

U.S. housing prices fall 14.4 percent in sign of continuing slump

By Vikas Bajaj
The New York Times

America's home-buying season, when for-sale signs sprout like dandelions, is shaping up to be even worse than expected this year, with prices falling, sales slowing and few signs of a turnaround emerging. — 1,257 words.

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

Exiled union leader uses cell phone in B.C.
to guide Mexican miners in a one-day strike

By Andy Hoffman
The Globe and Mail

As Mexico's mining and metals industry ground to a halt yesterday with more than 20,000 workers staging a one-day strike, the union's leader was calling the shots by cellphone from a secret location in Vancouver. — 534 words.

Design defects, obsolete buildings factors in disaster
according to Sichuan provincial education department

‘Those responsible for sub-standard construction will be punished’

CHENGDU (Xinhua) — Design defects and obsolete buildings are among the reasons that many schools collapsed in the 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan Province, the provincial education authority said on Wednesday. — 199 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!

This household tool is called a pounder, beetle, mallet, maul, pestle, and a sledge.  What is it more commonly known as?

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

You ain't seen nothing yet!

Preserve your wealth and double your investment income even as the Fed's big Bankster bailout destroys the dollar ...

By Larry Edelson
Money and Markets

JUPITER, Florida — Nearly every natural resource under the sun is about to enter the second, most powerful phase of their bull markets, eventually reaching dizzying heights that make today's record prices seem tame by comparison. — 2,031 words.

For Union, Pragmatism vs. Principle

SEIU is active in one recruiting drive
in Philadelphia, but abandons another

Two Philadelphia companies and one of the nation's largest labor unions - led by a former Philadelphian - are at the heart of fiery debate about union tactics. — 1,163 words.

Interesting historical notes … by George Laidlaw

George Laidlaw is a novelist and President of the Ottawa Independent Writers.

What’s in your back yard?

Perhaps everyone hopes or believes that somewhere in the back yard or back forty lies a treasure or mysterious object long buried. Most find that their dreams are not fulfilled. However a farmer outside Collinsville, Illinois  thought there was something suspicious with the glacial mounds on his back forty. He called in an archaeologist to investigate and discovered a Wonder in the New World. — 148 words.

Random Acts of Poetry

By Mike Heenan
Literary Editor

Leading American essayist and literary stylist of his time E.B. White was known for his crisp, graceful, relaxed style. "No one can write a sentence like White," James Thurber once stated. White's stories and poetry ranged from social satire (see below) to children's fiction (Charlotte’s Web) While he often wrote from the perspective of slightly ironic onlooker, he also was a sensitive spokesman for the freedom of the individual. — 562 words.

The Book End

The Crimson Boy

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 Crimson Boy by Patricia Kathleen McCarthyMike Heenan, Literary Editor. (For book cover, synopsis, and author profile please 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?

 A hammer


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