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Friday, September 25, 2009, Vol. 4, No, 44 — 195
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'United States back as a team player on the international stage'

In about face from Bush regime U.S. President Barack Obama says world must tackle stark challenges and U.S. cannot face them alone

By Staff Writers
BBC News

In his first speech to the UN General Assembly, Mr Obama said global problems included nuclear proliferation, war, climate change and economic crisis. All nations bore responsibility for addressing these problems, he said. President Obama apologised for the perceived past inaction of the US in his speech. But he added that the US now sought "a new era of engagement with the world". — 465 words.

Cold War's nuclear embers still glowing:
Inside the Soviet Union's apocalyptic Doomsday Machine

By Nicholas Thompson

Nicholas Thompson is a Senior Editor of Wired Magazine and the author of The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War.

Valery Yarynich glances nervously over his shoulder. Clad in a brown leather jacket, the 72-year-old former Soviet colonel is hunkered in the back of the dimly lit Iron Gate restaurant in Washington, DC. It's March 2009 — the Berlin Wall came down two decades ago — but the lean and fit Yarynich is as jumpy as an informant dodging the KGB. He begins to whisper, quietly but firmly.

"The Perimeter system is very, very nice," he says. "We remove unique responsibility from high politicians and the military." He looks around again. Yarynich is talking about Russia's doomsday machine. That's right, an actual doomsday device — a real, functioning version of the ultimate weapon, always presumed to exist only as a fantasy of apocalypse-obsessed science fiction writers and paranoid über-hawks. — 3,259 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 25, 2009
True North Perspective
Vol. 4, No. 44 (195)

Two black comedies and two acts of sanity

Black comedy I

Last year the United States pulled its Fourth Fleet out of mothballs, complete with battleships and aircraft carriers, and assigned it to cruise the Caribbean and the entire coast of South America. Under Bush it stopped sales of arms and arms parts to Venezuela. The evidence is clear that the US was involved in the failed coup to overthrow the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Knowing the US penchant for offshore invasion from Cuba and Grenada, to Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq to name but a few, and its more than 100 military bases throughout the world, Venezuela, not to be disarmed by a Washington, then under the control of schoolyard bullies led by Bush and Cheney, looked around to upgrade its increasingly obsolete military equipment. — 963 words.

Letters to the Editor

Readers comment on columns by Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair

Re: Remembering Grandpa, Friday, September 11. 2009: It is always nice to have and hold those memories that are just so dear to us, sometimes if only we could hold on just a little longer.

Yes, I do like reading you in True North Perspective. Thanks.

Dianne Frigon
Ottawa, Canada

Re: Don't be fooled by The Secret, Friday, September 18, 2009: Just to let you know that I really enjoyed your article on The Secret. Certainly, I can agree that the way the book and the movie presented the law of attraction did not take into consideration many factors — including the perseverance of which you write. "Belief" that I can persevere with positive outcomes has always assisted me in achieving my goals.

Cheryl Driskell
Ottawa, Canada

CCPA news release: Affordability gap between rich and poor

OTTAWA, Canada — There is a major affordability gap between Canada's richest and poorest households, says a new Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives study released today. — 324 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

BC's new wheat kings

Marquis wheat is making a return to the back forty

By Jeff Nield

For those of us who grew up with textbook images of the Canadian Prairies as the "breadbasket of the world," Cedar Isle Farm is a gentle shock. Here, golden wheat fields spread not to some flatland horizon but toward the steep flanks of the Canadian Cascades. All around are dark forests and the big-easy backwaters of the Fraser River. Nothing fits with expectations, yet on this family farm an essential part of our national food history is coming full circle. — 1,980 words.

Alumbrera, Producer of Riches, Poison and Corruption

20 tonnes of rock for every gold ring

Huge Canadian-backed mine's name means 'illuminator'. But there's a dark side

By Cole Robertson

We are sitting at the kitchen table of a quiet adobe house in the desert just above the town of Andalgalá in remote Catamarca, north-western Argentina. Seventy kilometres to the west, Alumbrera mine is in full operation, digging into the ground 24 hours a day. Alumbrera, from the Spanish alumbrar — to illuminate — was sold to the people of Andalgalá on the promise of bringing light to the little village. There would be modernisation: new hospitals, schools, jobs and even a farfetched town-wide WiFi network. — 2,591 words.

Little bouts on the prairie: Police break up teen fight club

By Patrick White
Globe and Mail

The case baffled Brandon police for months. Parents in the quiet prairie city were reporting unexplained bumps, bruises, even broken bones among teenaged boys. On Monday, after one teen's debilitating injuries landed him in hospital, police finally cracked the case. — 645 words.

A great man passes with little recognition

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Odds are if you went around announcing the death of Norman Borlaug, most people would look at you in puzzlement. Yet he lead a revolution in agriculture that gave millions of hungry people around the world the ability to feed themselves and many others without putting a lot more land into production. He led the way in developing farming practices that in today's parlance would be considered leading edge green. — 527 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

'Crown jewel' draws praise, awards

Architects impressed by unique green design of the Richmond Oval

By Bruce Constantineau
Vancouver Sun

If awards reflect success, the Richmond Olympic Oval has already triumphed. The $178-million speed skating venue on the banks of the Fraser River, considered by many to be the crown jewel of the 2010 Games, opened less than a year ago but has already captured an armful of awards and more could be on the way. — 641 words.

In case you missed it ... and always worth repeating

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

Give until just before it hurts because ...

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.

Google exec says Canadian business missing web's potential

By Peter Nowak
CBC News

Canadian businesses are lagging behind their peers in other developed countries when it comes to advertising online, according to one of Google's top executives. — 436 words.

Health Watch

Dangerous levels of salt on children's menus

By Carly Weeks
Globe and Mail

Children's menu items at popular restaurant chains across Canada contain dangerously high amounts of sodium — in many cases, enough to raise a child's risk of developing high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and other serious health problems. — 448 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.


Number one climate myth: Any cooling disproves global warming

In fact, even if the world does cool over the next few years as some predict, it in no way undermines the certainty about long-term warming due to greenhouse gas emissions

By Michael Le Page

Let's start with a thought experiment. Suppose you managed to find some children who knew nothing about the oceans, handed them a long measuring stick and sent them off to the seaside find out whether sea level is rising or falling. As soon as they saw the waves crashing on the shore, the children would realise they had been set a tricky task: how do you measure sea level when it is constantly changing? — 734 words.

Polar ice sheets melting into sea: study

By Staff Writers
CBC News

The massive ice sheets that cover Greenland and Antarctica are thinning rapidly, say British researchers who have analyzed 50 million laser measurements from a NASA satellite. — 229 words.

India's space exploration reveals water on the moon

By Jonathan Amos
BBC News

A surprising amount of water has been found to exist in the Moon's soil. Data from three spacecraft, including India's Chandrayaan probe, shows that very fine films of H2O coat the particles that make up the lunar dirt. The quantity is tiny but could become a useful resource for astronauts wishing to live on the Moon, scientists say. — 813 words.

Ice on Mars revealed in fresh craters

By Staff Writers
CBC News

Fresh meteorite impacts on Mars have revealed water ice under the surface far closer to the Martian equator than astronomers expected to find it. The new craters, found about halfway between the planet's north pole and the equator, revealed bright deposits of ice that may be 99 per cent pure. — 547 words.

German nudists want right to bare more than arms

Germany is traditionally tolerant of nudity, but a plan to give naked ramblers their own wilderness path is still some way from the sunny uplands

By Staff Writers
BBC News

A campsite manager, Heinz Ludwig, aims to establish Germany's first official naked ramblers' footpath — an 18km (11-mile) route in the Harz Mountains. — 204 words.

Obama's smart decision: to scuttle Bush's European missile-defense plan

By Fred Kaplan

President Barack Obama's scuttling of George W. Bush's plan to deploy a missile-defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland—or, more particularly, the way he scuttled it—amounts to a remarkably shrewd bit of politics and statesmanship. — 1,609 words.

Is the Afghan Army a figment of Washington's imagination?

By Ann Jones

'In fact, the determination of Western military planners to create a national army and police force has been so great that some seem to have suppressed for years the reports of Canadian soldiers who witnessed members of the Afghan security forces engaging in a fairly common pastime, sodomizing young boys.'

'One small warning: Don't take the insecurity of the Afghan security forces as an argument for sending yet more American troops to Afghanistan. Aggressive Americans (now numbering 68,000) are likely to be even less successful than reluctant Afghan forces. Afghans want peace, but the kharaji (foreign) troops (100,000, if you include U.S. allies in NATO) bring death and destruction wherever they go. Think instead about what you might have won — and could stildowl win — had you spent all those military billions on food. Or maybe agriculture. Or health care. Or a civilian job corps. Is it too late for that now?' — 3,067 words.

Too drunk to drive, man pushes car home

By Staff Writers
China Daily

A heavily intoxicated man decided to push his car all the way home in Tianjin municipality, fearing he might get arrested for drunken driving, last week. However, while passing through his neighbor's home in Baodi, the man collapsed and passed out beside his car.

His neighbor mistook him for a victim of a hit-and-run case and phoned police, who arrived at the scene and patiently waited for the man to sober up so that he could tell them why he was sleeping on the road next to his car. — (September 16, 2009.)

Incredible India Events to begin in Russia in October

By Staff Writers
Russia Herald

NEW DELHI, India — The Ministry of Tourism, the Government of India in association with the Indian Mission in Russia and the Experience India Society will organise Incredible India Events in Russia from October 22-27 as part of celebration of the "Year of India in Russia". — 340 words.

In 1799 Russian troops kicked Napoleon out of Switzerland
and fifteen years later was a guarantor of Swiss neutrality

By Staff Writers
The Moscow Times

ANDERMATT, Switzerland — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, pressing the case for a new European security pact to replace NATO, said Russia's historic role in creating Swiss neutrality showed that it could play a positive role in Europe. — 366 words.

The road to Zelaya's return: money, guns and social movements in Honduras

By Benjamin Dangl

Nearly three months after being overthrown by a violent military coup, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has returned to Honduras. "I am here in Tegucigalpa. I am here for the restoration of democracy, to call for dialogue," he told reporters. The embattled road to his return tested regional diplomacy, challenged Washington and galvanized Honduran social movements. — 2,719 words.

'You get pregnant, you give birth.
And that's about it'

By Jessica Leeder
Globe and Mail

When they wake in the morning, the women try to steal a few moments of peace for themselves before the children rise. They drink tea, not coffee. Before it's allowed to pass their lips though, they spend a few quiet minutes kneeling, their foreheads pressed down onto colourful prayer mats. When the carpets are rolled up, the predictable family frenzy of morning begins — even in Kandahar. — 988 words.

Girl gang leader gets 8 years

Teenage Russian girl gang leader gets eight years for racist attacks
on non-Slavic foreigners as Moscow court gets tough on street youth

By Staff Writers
Russia Herald

A Moscow court has sentenced members of a youth gang to jail terms of up to 10 years for a spate of brutal attacks on foreigners. — 182 words.

Shining a light on Israeli aggression in Gaza

By Haroon Siddiqui
Toronto Star

So, Stephen Harper and his ministers were defending possible war crimes and crimes against humanity, while Michael Ignatieff and senior Liberals were staying mostly mum. And much of our mainstream media were averting their gaze from, or excusing, the possible crimes. — 639 words.

'Peace dividend' at last?

Obama ready to slash US nuclear arsenal

Pentagon told to map out radical cuts as president prepared to chair UN talks

By Julian Borger
the Guardian

Barack Obama has demanded the Pentagon conduct a radical review of US nuclear weapons doctrine to prepare the way for deep cuts in the country's arsenal, the Guardian can reveal. — 883 words.

Blue is the new black

By Maureen Dowd
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Women are getting unhappier, I told my friend Egbert.

"How can you tell?" he deadpanned. "It's always been whine-whine-whine."

Why are we sadder? I persisted.

"Because you care," he replied with a mock sneer. "You have feelings."

Oh, that. — 776 words.

Colombian rock star in Havana greeted
by 1.150 million cheering young Cubans

Granma International

Colombian Juanes arrived on the stage of the Peace without Borders concert via his own initiative. He was received with an ovation and the unrestrained enthusiasm of young people for whom the sun was no obstacle (and thanks for the afternoon clouds). — 284 words.

The conscience of a Liberal

The freshwater backlash (boring)

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times

So Justin Fox reports that Chicago really, really didn't like my article. Surprise. What I think you have to understand here is that for a long time — in fact, for three decades — the Chicago position has been that Keynesian economics was nonsense that has been utterly refuted. — 406 words.

Money and Markets

Dollar sinking; gold soaring!

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

Burdened by inadequate tools

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

One day my father came home from the office with a large piece of heavy paper. He also unpacked a bottle of black ink and a pen with a fat nib. After supper he unrolled the paper on the dining table and began drawing lines, squaring its surface. Into the spaces he inscribed numbers which turned out to be times tables to put on the wall of my room to help me memorize them. I was having some considerable difficulties with arithmetic at school and father intended to help me with my problem. I recall staring with some puzzlement at this chart. His artwork was magnificent but its efficacy was less than successful. I remember his frustration at my efforts. — 1,153 words.

What creature comfort would you miss the most?

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair

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

We have all heard of Ingrid Betancourt's six and a half years of captivity in the Colombian jungle where she was isolated, humiliated and neglected by her captors. She suffered both physically and mentally, never knowing whether she would survive this ordeal. Tied for hours on end to a tree, she endured hunger, intense heat and horrible sanitary conditions. — 681 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. 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 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

Barack Obama must see Michael Moore's new movie (and so must you)!

'Michael goes directly to the beating heart of the economic crisis ... The knot in your stomach starts to tighten — and the outrage starts to build.'

By Arianna Huffington

Michael Moore has proven again and again that he has a remarkable feel for where the zeitgeist is heading. He's like a zeitgeist divining rod. Roger and Me was way ahead of the curve on the collapse of the auto-industry. Fahrenheit 9/11 was way ahead of the curve on the collapse of the house of cards the Bush administration used to lead us to war in Iraq. Sicko was way ahead of the curve on the collapse of the US health care system. And now, with his new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, he is riding the wave of the collapse of trust in our country's financial system. — 1,203 words.

Actress consensually slept with Dad for 10 years

By Staff Writers
China View

BEIJING (Xinhuanet) — U.S. actress Mackenzie Phillips said in an interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey that aired on Wednesday that she had an incestuous relationship with her father John Phillips, the late singer with 1960s band The Mamas & the Papas for years. — 387 words.

In the begining was the Word - now it's poetry

Word on the Street: Downtown Eastside poet finds inspiration in the darker side

By Paul Hiebert

Originally from the Bigstone Cree Nation of Calling Lake, Steven Cardinal isn't surprised that he grew up to be a drug-addicted deviant. Raised in alcoholic homes, juvenile detention centers and federal prisons, he didn't know any other way of living. The big surprise in Cardinal's life is that now, at age 33, he's clean and sober. — 653 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