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Friday, September 11, 2009, Vol. 4, No, 42 — 193
"True North is for opinion leaders"
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It was eight years ago today

Smoke, ash and tears

By William Rivers Pitt

Bring 'em on.
— George W. Bush

Does anyone even remember the first eight months of the George W. Bush administration? It was an unmitigated train wreck. One of the last nails in our current economic coffin got hammered in when he gave away the Clinton surplus to his one-percenter buddies with a massive tax cut we couldn't afford and they didn't need. Chinese fighters swatted some of our airmen out of the sky, and George made sure they had Bibles. He laid siege to the separation between church and state with a dead-on-arrival faith-based initiative. The main article in Newsweek on September 10, 2001, was all about how the Bush v. Gore decision, and in fact his entire presidency, was a farce and a sham. Eight months in, and he had "one-termer" written all over his pinched, confused face. — 812 words.

Indian farmers selling wives

Indian wives, daughters, sold as sex slaves by water-starved farmers
to repay debts to local loan sharks in wake of record weak monsoon

By Staff Writers

LUCKNOW, India — Drought-hit farmers in northern India are resorting to selling their wives to repay debts to local loan sharks, activists say, as one of the weakest monsoons in years takes its toll. Poverty, poor administration and a lack of education means farmers in the rugged Bundelkhand region are taking extreme steps to pull through a poor rainy season, they say. — 647 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 Notes

Friday, September 11, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 42 (193)

Canada is in danger because the leaders of the two main parties have no heart for the country that we know and love

Ignatief is a conservative in the wrong party. But even if he were in the right one, he'd have little patience for the political game because he came back to Canada certain that he would be anointed prime minister. He was wrong about that. Back home at Harvard he swallowed whole the Bush/Cheney lies and supported the unjustified attack on Iraq. Ignatieif also supported torture. On his return to Canada he made the silly statement that Quebec had to be saved from the separatists. The separatists are dead. The only reason Duceppe has been riding high is because of Liberal corruption and because Harper's insensitivity inspires voter anger. When the work's all done this fall, Ignatief will pack his bags and go home. Meanwhile, there's Harper. — 1,672 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Contributing Editor, Sustainable Development

Beaver Barracks was a sturdy "temporary" building that well served its World War 11 wartime purpose
Today the site is being transformed into a civilian residence in the best aspirations of the 21st Century

OTTAWA, Canada — The site of the block-long "temporary" wartime Beaver Barracks location in south-central downtown Ottawa is being transformed into a $105.5 million sustainable development project that will shine strong for more than a hundred years. — 617 words.

From the Desk of Judge Harold Wright

In the Court of Judge Harold Wright
it's said three right turns make a left

By Michael Gartner

Michael Gartner was an editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet. — 1,603 words.

Facing up to mental illness

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

The suicide of former Saskatchewan MP Dave Batters in June should be a wake up call for all of us to comprehend the devastation that mental illness causes individuals and communities. — 716 words.

Ignatieff's big problem — a Conservative in the wrong party

By Susan Riley
The Ottawa Citizen

One thing Michael Ignatieff needs, if he is ever to succeed, is a quick and savage response team — twitchy, obsessive partisans with no personal lives, no particular need for sleep and a pathological loathing of Conservatives. (Sort of like, well, you know ...) — 811 words.

Health Watch

15 horrifying reasons to never let anyone you love near a McDonald's

By Staff Writers

The Golden Arches: the ultimate American icon. Super Size Me taught us that fast food culture brings obesity, heart disease, hypertension and a whole slew of other problems. How bad do you really want that Big Mac? Here are 15 reasons you'll never let anyone you love get near those Golden Arches. — 1,069 words.

Media in Venezuela: fact and fiction

By Caitlin McNulty and Liz Migliorelli
Upside Down World

Media freedom in Venezuela a core issue as ownership held by two families here was a total news blockade; networks prohibited all employees from showing Chavez supporters on screen, forcing those with moral or ethical objections to leave. Venezuelan analyst Eva Gollinger states that:

The intentional censorship was a clear attempt to deny Venezuelan citizens access to true, objective and timely information, violating their constitutional rights and those rights garnered to them under international human rights instruments.

It wasn't until the protesters won back the state-run television station that Venezuelans began to receive news of what was happening in their country. — 2,639 words.


Thanks to the people who brought you the Great Recession,
the next Mexican revolution may come closer to home than you think

Now presenting a volatile Mexico — from the people who brought you the global financial meltdown

By Jeff Faux
The Nation

This past winter both the outgoing director of the CIA and a separate Pentagon report declared political instability in Mexico to be on a par with Pakistan and Iran as top-ranking threats to US national security. It was an exaggeration; Mexico is not yet a "failed state." On the other hand, it is certainly drifting in that direction. — 2,198 words.

U.S. privatizes Colombian war with its transnational mercenaries

By Staff Writers
Translated by Zachary Lown for

For the year 2009 the State Department of the United States will invest approximately $520 million in Plan Colombia. More than half of this money went to private North American contractors charged with developing, promoting and furthering irregular warfare in Colombian territory and in Latin America; this was revealed to the Bolivarian News Agency by the lawyer and researcher Eva Golinger. — 2,198 words.

Woman faces 40 lashes for wearing trousers

By Oakland Ross
The Toronto Star

If Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein did anything wrong on an afternoon of infamy in a city of fables and sand, it was to wear a loose-fitting pair of pants. The trousers in question were so voluminous that the Sudanese morality police who accosted her on July 3 were obliged to have her turn around several times so they could determine whether she was garbed in a skirt — which would have been acceptable — or a pair of pants, which would be deemed offensive. — 1,194 words.

Men who kiss their wives goodbye extend their lives by five years
A kiss that lasts one minute can relieve your body of 26 calories

Sixteen things you probably didn't know about kissing

Translated by Guerman Grachev

Everybody seems to know how to kiss. The question is: Are you aware of a variety of interesting facts and details about a kiss? Is kissing good or bad for you? How do they do it in Japan, France and other countries? Can you slim down by kissing too much? Below are some of the most curious things about kissing. — 606 words.


Music's essential influence

By Barbara Florio Graham
True North Perspective

Barbara Florio Graham uses music in her online creativity course. Information on her website:

Thoreau said, Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. But another famous writer, Hans Christian Andersen, said, Where words fail, music speaks. In fact, research has shown that music is an elemental part of our consciousness, and existed in early man before speech. — 508 words.

Give until just before it hurts

I'm delighted to report that readers are responding to our plea for financial support. So far it's a trickle, but trickles are known to grow and, eventually, to become nourishing rivers. Give us the flow and we'll take the current as it serves to provide you with the True North Perspective you deserve. Don't be shy. Shake your purse or your wallet or last winter's coat for a stray dollar you may have forgotten. If you find one send it to us. You won't miss it. We need it. We ask our readers to voluntarily donate $80 a year. But we'll be happy to receive whatever you can spare. So please give until just before it hurts. No subscription will be cancelled because of non-payment. For those who can't afford anything, we simply ask you to introduce True North Perspective to others. Please take time to send whatever you can afford to:

Carl Dow, True North Perspective, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9.

The newspaper-web war

By Jack Shafer

The newspaper industry and its allies have many grievances against the Web. They say the Web is parasitic, that it copies newspaper content and steals its advertising. They claim that Web creators will never provide the deep reporting that democracy needs and that newspapers provided before the Web arrived and ruined the media neighborhood. They want to tame the Web by rejigging copyright law. And they protest that the Web has undermined quality journalism by teaching readers to expect news for free. — 928 words.

The mouse that roars

By Robin Paxton

ANADYR — While Russia's population declines, there's a baby boom happening on its outer edge. Lilia Omrytagina has just given birth to her second child, Ruslan, in the hospital that serves Chukotka's biggest town. "We have belief in tomorrow," the 28-year-old mother said. — 1,073 words.

TIME magazine poll finds Jon Stewart still the most trusted newscaster in America

By Nancy Snow

On Friday, July 17, we lost the most trusted man in America. This week we've anointed a fake journalist his replacement. Or so Time magazine would have us believe. — 690 words.

Money and Markets

China is now a net SELLER of U.S. Treasury notes and bonds!

By Mike Larson
Money and Markets

JUPITER, FL. — We told you this was coming. Heck: A blind man could have seen it a mile away. For many months now, we’ve predicted that Washington’s wild spending and borrowing spree would make the global investors who buy our longer-term Treasuries — notes and bonds — as nervous as long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs. — 893 words.

Spirit Quest

'Yes there were dragons in those days'

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

I have always loved railway trains and often travel between Ottawa and Toronto by VIA Rail. On the way our streamlined coaches whip briefly past Trenton Junction. However, the old station building has now been replaced by what looks like a bus shelter and only few trains stop there. — 454 words.

Remembering Grandpa

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

Lea was only two when her grandpa died. She saw him every day since I babysat her and they lived next door. Although she was just a tiny little girl, she has some memory of Grandpa Brian and prides herself of having had the opportunity to know him. She is very proud of the fact that he called her "Sunshine" and that he was usually the first one to greet her at the door in the morning. — 905 words.

The Book End

7 Steps to Real Estate Riches

Every Friday in this spot True North will feature a book by a Canadian writer. The presentation will not be a review. Today we present 7 Steps to Real Estate Riches, by Jim Pellerin. — Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor.

Canadians from coast to coast have seen their savings clobbered by the recent stock market crash. Some are working harder than ever to make ends meet; others are miserable in their careers and worried about their retirement savings. — 574 words.

Smut and sanctimony

Girls Gone Wild vs. Virgins Till Marriage:
Why Is Sexual Life in America So Schizoid?

By Lara Riscol

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming book, Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Human Sexuality, published by McGraw-Hill.

"You would watch the girls give each other oral sex, do themselves with dildos, place cigars in their vaginas and rectums, suck on each others’ breasts, and lick freshly poured beer off of one another’s vulvas while their legs were tucked behind their necks." Often one fellow would get to have sex with one of the three performers directly before leering and cheering men. — 2,510 words.

The Movies

Julie & Julia: Women Excelling at Work

By Katha Pollitt
The Nation

Katha Pollitt is a columnist for The Nation. Her new book of poems, The Mind-Body Problem, has just been published by Random House.

There were many things I loved about Nora Ephron's clever and affectionate Julie & Julia, the feel-good hit of the summer for foodies and nonfoodies alike. Meryl Streep radiated warmth, excitement and cheer as Julia Child, learning to cook and writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1950s Paris. Amy Adams was vulnerable and endearing as Julie Powell, the drifting secretary-hipster who finds a purpose in life (and fame and fortune) when she spends a year cooking all 524 recipes from The Book and blogging about it. — 1,058 words.

The Big Book of Canadian Trivia now in stores

Ottawa author Randy Ray and his co-author Mark Kearney of London, Ont. have published their ninth Canadian book, The Big Book of Canadian Trivia, which is now available in stores and on the authors' Web site at:

The latest Ray-Kearney effort is best described as a "greatest hits" book that contains the best Canadiana from their previous eight books, plus a considerable amount of new material.

In one big book readers will find all the trivia and facts about Canada they need to know: there are stories of important Canadian artifacts and history including what became of Canada's World War II spy camp.

All regions and provinces are covered, as well as important Canadian figures like John Molson, Elizabeth Arden and Russ Jackson.

If that isn't enough there will also be pieces explaining whatever happened to such Canadian icons as the last spike, labour leader Bob White, hockey tough guy Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, the first skidoo, swimmer Marilyn Bell and the first Tim Hortons donut shop.

Some items are "classics." Others are little known facts. Approximately 25% of the material has never before appeared in print.

This fascinating Big Book brings together for the first time in one package the most notable facts and trivia from the archives of the trivia guys' collection.

The Big Book of Canadian Trivia is published by The Dundurn Group of Toronto.

In case you missed it ...
The Old Man's Last Sauna, a collection of short stories by Carl Dow

The short story, The Old Man's Last Sauna, a groundbreaking love story, in the Friday, April 24 edition of True North Perspective, concludes the collection titled The Old Man's Last Sauna, written by Carl Dow. On Friday, April 17, you'll find O Ernie! ... What Have They Done To You! The series began Friday, February 20, with Deo Volente (God Willing). The second, The Quintessence of Mr. Flynn, Friday, February 27. The third, Sharing Lies, Friday, March 6. The fourth, Flying High, Friday, March 13. The fifth, The Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows Ya, Friday, March 20. On Friday, March 27, One Lift Too Many, followed by The Model A Ford, Friday, April 3. The out-of-body chiller, Room For One Only, Friday, April 10. The series closed Friday, April 24, with the collection's namesake The Old Man's Last Sauna, a groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.

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
Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor
Benoit Jolicoeur, Art Director
Ian Covey, Director of Photography
Carl Hall, Technical Analyst and Web Editor
Randy Ray, Manager, Business and Publicity

Contributing Editors
Anita Chan, Australia

Alex Binkley, Ottawa
Dennis Carr, Vancouver
Rosaleen Dickson, Ottawa
Tom Dow, Sudbury
Bob Kay, Montréal
Randy Ray, Ottawa
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair, Ottawa
David Ward, Ottawa
Harold Wright, Ottawa