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Friday, September 18, 2009, Vol. 4, No, 43 — 194
"True North is for opinion leaders"
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American Medicare is a Socialist or Nazi plot

When Canada’s New Democrats brought in Medicare in 1962 by way of Saskatchewan, the commercial health industry and the political right wing, kept it simple. They said Medicare was a Communist plot to undermine the moral fibre of the nation. Today gullible right-wing Americans, brainwashed by the same commercial health industry, are all over the map as illustrated by the cartoon below. Let’s hope common sense prevails rather than blind prejudice.

Is America hooked on war?

By Tom Engelhardt

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project, runs the Nation Institute's He is the author of The End of Victory Culture, a history of the Cold War and beyond, as well as of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing. He also edited The World According to TomDispatch: America in the New Age of Empire (Verso, 2008), an alternative history of the mad Bush years.

"War is peace" was one of the memorable slogans on the facade of the Ministry of Truth, Minitrue in "Newspeak," the language invented by George Orwell in 1948 for his dystopian novel 1984. Some 60 years later, a quarter-century after Orwell's imagined future bit the dust, the phrase is, in a number of ways, eerily applicable to the United States. Last week, for instance, a New York Times front-page story by Eric Schmitt and David Sanger was headlined "Obama Is Facing Doubts in Party on Afghanistan, Troop Buildup at Issue." It offered a modern version of journalistic Newspeak. — 2,936 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 18, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 43 (194)

In case you missed it ...

Winston Churchill: Give us the tools and we'll finish the job

Give until just before it hurts because ...

It's NOT free

Following are reasons why you should donate to True North Perspective

Let's say that news throughout human time has been free. Take that time when Ugh Wayne went over to the cave of Mugh Payne with news that the chief of his group had broken a leg while chasing his laughing wife around the fire. That news was given freely and received as such with much knowing smiles and smirks to say nothing of grunts of approval or disapproval. — 688 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Is it too strong to say that the B.C. government is conspiring with corporations to carry out the assassinations of our rivers and streams?

Assassins of the wild

Our rivers and fish face premeditated murder. To stand by is immoral.

By Rafe Mair

Let's take a look at what is proposed for the 125 MW Glacier/Howser hydro project, intended for an area next to the Duncan Reservoir in the West Kootenays. It includes the diversion of water from five rivers, the drilling of 16 kilometres of tunnel into a mountain, and a proposed 91.5 kilometre-long transmission line across the Purcell Mountains. — 713 words.

If PM played China card, Uncle Sam might listen

'Waltzing with the U.S. is still Canada's first choice. But China is too hungry a trader and too useful a lever not to be used by Canada to shift the U.S. focus from protecting itself to maximizing North America's international competitiveness.'

By James Travers
Toronto Star

OTTAWA — It's encouraging that Stephen Harper is spreading Canadian resistance to U.S. trade protectionism beyond Barack Obama to Congressional, state and business leaders. It's discouraging that the strategy didn't include a Toronto stop en route to Washington. — 579 words.

Prince Charming exposed in the Court of Judge Harold Wright

In a dramatic court scene the clearly offended, shocked, and outraged Crown Attorney Smedley Snodgrass cornered Prince Charming in a brilliant display of relentless legal repartee and ... well ... As the Chinese say, a picture is worth a thousand words so, having prepared yourself for the worst possible assault on your social sensibilities, please look below.


Facing up to mental illness (Part II)

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

In preparing my first column on the suicide of former Saskatchewan MP Dave Batters in June after a long battle with depression, I stopped at the website of the Canadian Mental Health Association. What I read stunned me. — 881 words.

Canada's record on poverty among the worst of developed countries — and it's getting worse

By Staff Writers
The Conference Board of Canada

OTTAWA, Canada — Poverty rates in Canada— especially among children and the working-age population—are among the worst of 17 leading developed countries, according to the Conference Board's annual ranking on Society indicators. — 417 words.

Canada denies visa to Russian Senator Margelov

By Nikolaus von Twickel
The Moscow Times

A senior Federation Council senator complained Friday that Canada had refused to issue him a normal visa to participate in an international parliamentary conference. — 342 words.

From the Desk of Medically Incorrect Robert Jones

The real secrets of personal health, revealed!

By Doctor William H. Needle

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap. — 605 words.

Ahh! The joy of private health insurance

U.S. doctors slash vaccines due to rising costs

Health care providers say insurers don't reimburse them enough for essential vaccinations, so they're not offering them

Parija B. Kavilanz

NEW YORK — Parents who bring their kids to Dr. G. Andrew McIntosh for the chicken pox vaccine are out of luck. The family physician, who has a solo practice in Uniontown, Ohio, doesn't offer that shot because he can't afford it. Most insurers won't sufficiently cover the cost. — 1,031 words.

Believe it or not

How you walk reveals your immediate sexual history

When you walk down the street, are you actually revealing your sexual history to everybody? Yes — if they know what to look for, that is.

Research from Belgium suggests that vaginal orgasms influence the way women walk.

Dr. Aurelie Nicholas and her colleagues at the Institut d'études de la famille et de la sexualité observed two groups of women, one group in which the women had a history of vaginal orgasm from intercourse and one group in which the women did not. The researchers found that women with a history of vaginal orgasm had a gait that "comprises fluidity, energy, sensuality, freedom, and absence of both flaccid and locked muscles."

They speculate that the reduction in stress and the greater use of muscles with vaginal orgasm manifests in a smoother, more fluid walk.

Clitoral orgasm was not found to have an impact on gait. So if you thought you were walking funny after last night, you probably are. And all those people staring are just jealous.

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.


Why Antarctica's sea ice isn't melting

By Adam Voiland

GREENBELT, Md. — Global temperatures are increasing. Sea levels are rising. Ice sheets in many areas of the world are retreating. Yet there's something peculiar going on in the oceans around Antarctica: even as global air and ocean temperatures march upward, the extent of the sea ice around the southern continent isn't decreasing. In fact, it's increasing. — 1,173 words.

Fraud Autumn: Afghans still voting often for Karzai

By Pierre Tristam

Iran is no longer the fraudster of the year. It's now officially in a runoff with Afghanistan for the title, with Mahmoud Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamid Karzai contesting for Most Venal Man of the Year. — 417 words.

Prosperity promise of Bolivia's salt flats

Bolivia's Uyuni salt flats hold half of the world's reserves of lithium,
a metal used in high energy density lithium batteries

By Peter Day
BBC News

As international carmakers scramble to find a suitable alternative to petrol vehicles, Bolivia hopes its lithium reserves could be harnessed to provide an energy source — and hold the key to new-found wealth and political influence. Peter Day has been to the Uyuni salt flats. — 842 words.

My flower to Bush, the Occupier

The story of my shoe

By Mutadhar al-Zaidi
Translated by Sahar Issa
McClatchy Newspapers

Mutadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi who threw his shoe at George Bush gave this speech on his recent release.

In the name of God, the most gracious and most merciful. Here I am, free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. Firstly, I give my thanks and my regards to everyone who stood beside me, whether inside my country, in the Islamic world, in the free world. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. — 1,857 words.

Obama not much better than Bush on rights

By Haroon Siddiqui
Toronto Star

Barack Obama won well-deserved applause for banning torture and promising to shut down Guantanamo Bay. But his overall record and that of the Democratic-controlled Congress in restoring the rule of law and human rights leave a lot to be desired. — 712 words.

How to end a war, Eisenhower's way

Bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan
might require President Obama to be like Ike

By Jean Edward Smith
The New York Times

President Obama's unscheduled visit to Iraq suggests a president determined to see a war zone first hand and draw his own conclusions. Lincoln availed himself of that opportunity during the Civil War, but the most pertinent example may be Dwight D. Eisenhower, who toured the battlefront in Korea shortly before his inauguration. Ike had pledged to go to Korea if elected, and most voters assumed that the supreme commander — who had so effectively defeated the German Wehrmacht — would quickly dispatch the North Koreans and their Chinese allies. — 1,070 words.

'Venezuela is the one spot in the world where there is optimism'
Say two US Iraq combat veterans on tour against 'war on terror'

By Eva Golinger

An interview with Josh Simpson and Benji Lewis, two ex US soldiers who fought in combat in Iraq and now publicly oppose Washington’s Global War on Terror during their first visit to Venezuela as part of an anti-war, pro-peace delegation from the Portland Latin America Solidarity Coalition. — 2,550 words.

Support our troops
Bring them home from a deadly unwinnable war in Afghanistan

By Pierre Tristam

Luckily for President Obama, the circus of distractions (over health care reform posing as town hall meetings, over sabotage brigades posing as patriots) is drowning out far more than members of Congress having showdowns with their constituents. It's drowning out what American and Nato forces in Afghanistan can no longer deny. The Taliban is in control of most of the country. Obama's "surge" isn't denting that control. Worse, it may be playing into the Taliban's strategy. — 478 words.

New rule: Float like Obama, sting like Ali

By Bill Maher

New Rule: Democrats must get in touch with their inner asshole. And no, I'm not being gratuitously crude when I say that. I refer to the case of Van Jones, and I'm sure you know who Van Jones is. At least I hope you do, because I haven't a clue, or at least I didn't until this week, when I found out he was the man the Obama administration hired to find jobs for Americans in the new green industries. Seems like a smart thing to do in a recession, but Van Jones got fired because he became the Scary Negro of the Week on Fox News, where, let's be honest, they still feel threatened by Harry Belafonte. — 747 words.

How to look better naked and get the keys to the universe

By Tara Stiles

How many topics can a blogger write about yoga? When it comes to the physical benefits of the practice there seems to be only one category that sums it up. Looking better naked. Somehow that became the goal. Now, who are we aiming to look better than? Are we striving to look better than our current self or someone else? Both options take us far away from the present moment, where everything is happening. — 1,039 words.

Scientist rubbishes Apollo 15 conspiracy theory

By Staff Writers

DELHI, India — A Camera on board India's maiden unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 has recorded images of the landing site of US spacecraft Apollo 15, a scientist said today, rubbishing conspiracy theories that the fourth US mission to land on the moon four decades back was a hoax. — 237 words.

Porn, Glenn Beck and nudie pics: Is our mass culture
turning kids Into sex crazed, right-wing automatons?

By Branwyn Lancourt

Kids today are exposed to vast amounts of sleazy, pornified media at the same time that they are hammered with silly puritanism. The future doesn't look good.

Following in the footsteps of fellow zygote-ian twits Vanessa Hudgens and Rihanna, the most recent set of nudie pics leaked to the internets belong to tadpole Ashley Greene of "Twilight" fame. — 810 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.


Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary dies

Travers expressed disdain for folk-rock, telling the Chicago Daily News in 1966 that "it's so badly written. ... When the fad changed from folk to rock, they didn't take along any good writers."

By Polly Anderson
Toronto Star

NEW YORK — Mary Travers, one part of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, which used beautiful, tranquil harmonies to convey the angst and turmoil of the Vietnam anti-war movement, racial discrimination and more, died after a battle with leukemia. She was 72. — 1,121 words.

The rise of gonzo porn is the latest sign of America's cultural apocalypse

By Chris Hedges

I reported in my new book, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle from the ringside of professional wrestling bouts at Madison Square Garden, from Las Vegas where I wrote about the pornographic film industry, from academic conferences held by positive psychologists — who claim to be able to engineer happiness — and from the campuses of universities to chronicle our terrifying flight as a culture into a state of illusion. I looked at the array of mechanisms used to divert us from confronting the economic, political and moral collapse around us. I examined the fantasy that if we draw on our inner resources and strengths, if we realize that we are truly exceptional, we can have everything we desire. — 1,770 words.

Money and Markets

Bernanke’s secret debt solution

By Larry Edelson
Money and Markets

JUPITER, FL. — Wow! I just checked here on my personal blog and found more than 500 brilliant responses to my article in Money and Markets yesterday, and more are still pouring in! In that article, I detailed how, even if every American family could save five percent of their income year after year ... and even assuming every single penny of that savings was thrown into the pot to pay off Washington's debt ... — 1,351 words.

Spirit Quest

Uprooted and transplanted

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Some time ago I read these wise words by George Santayana in an article by Janice Kennedy in the Ottawa Citizen. It being July 12, she applied Santayana's prophetic words to the Irish situation. I am not Irish but have many Irish friends, some of whom I greatly admire. I hate bigotry except that which I myself harbour. The point that Kennedy made was that there is a difference between remembering our history and harbouring our historic animosities. — 885 words.

Don’t be fooled by The Secret

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair

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

A lot has been said about The Secret. When it came out, people raved about it; it sold like hotcakes. I love psychology and spirituality so I got a copy. I never finished it! I had this odd feeling that I was reading an exaggeration of the law of attraction. I associated it more with my mother’s lifelong "wishful thinking" where someone, anyone, would make her dreams come true without her putting any effort into it. — 924 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.

The Movies

Capitalism marches on! Michael Moore on Capitalism: A Love Story

By Michael Moore

It hasn't quite hit me that Capitalism: A Love Story my new film, will be opening in theaters in New York and L.A. on September 23rd. And everywhere else on October 2nd. Is it already the fall? Having spent the last year and a half living pretty much under the radar and quietly putting together this movie for you, it is heartening, to say the least, to read the early reviews where Time Magazine called it "Moore's magnum opus," the Los Angeles Times has declared it my "most controversial film yet," and Variety has said that Capitalism: A Love Story is "one of Moore's best films." Wow. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, considering this film is an all-out assault against the racket polite people like to call "Wall Street." — 796 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
Rosaleen Dickson, Ottawa
Tom Dow, Sudbury
Bob Kay, Montréal
Randy Ray, Ottawa
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair, Ottawa
David Ward, Ottawa
Harold Wright, Ottawa