Friday November 18 2011

 

With eerie similarities to Iraq's
non-existent 'weapons of mass destruction'

Old accusations, dressed up as news
lead push for attack on Iran's 'nukes'

'Those who want to drum up support for a bombing attack 

on Iran sort of aggressively misrepresented the report'

By Seymour Hersh
The New Yorker
 
18 November 2011 — The first question in last Saturday night’s Republican debate on foreign policy dealt with Iran, and a newly published report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The report, which raised renewed concern about the “possible existence of undeclared nuclear facilities and material in Iran,” struck a darker tone than previous assessments.
 
But it was carefully hedged.
 
I’ve been reporting on Iran and the bomb for The New Yorker for the past decade, with a focus on the repeatedly inability of the best and the brightest of the Joint Special Operations Command to find definitive evidence of a nuclear-weapons production program in Iran. The goal of the high-risk American covert operations was to find something physical — a “smoking calutron,” as a knowledgeable official once told me — to show the world that Iran was working on warheads at an undisclosed site, to make the evidence public, and then to attack and destroy the site.  — 1,376 words.
 

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Occupy Canada: Toronto Anglican church 'unable' to offer

sanctuary because city deal creates a 'seamless garment'

The Canadian Press

17 November 2011 TORONTO — Occupy Toronto protesters cannot use the city's landmark cathedral to evade eviction if the courts rule they have to leave the park they took over more than a month ago, the Anglican dean of Toronto said Thursday.

Rev. Douglas Stoute said the church owns some of the land adjacent to the majestic St. James Cathedral, but the city owns the rest and runs the park as a "seamless garment."

"We have no authority to allow them to stay here or not," Stoute said of the protesters.

His comments came as five protesters prepared to appear before Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown on Friday 18 November to argue the city's eviction order is unconstitutional. 601 words.
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Forces use of expensive-to-use, polluting gas generator

By Steve Aplin
Energy Management Consultant
 
17 November 2011 OTTAWA Canada — Today I interviewed some of the protesters at Occupy Ottawa. Very friendly. I asked them about the gasoline generator that is providing power to the site: couldn't they just plug into the grid? 208 words.
 
True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, please read
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
 
True North Perspective
Vol. 6, No. 38 (298)
Friday, 18 November, 2011
 

Editor's Notes

Those who have the courage to challenge brutal behaviour

reveal intelligence and imagination that we should applaud 

From the bottom of their hearts all the Occupiers want

is the practice of honesty and fair treatment for everyone

Despite the tuts and smirks of the Hems and Haws that will come as the Canadian Occupiers operate at a lower intensity for the winter, the discourse here at home and throughout the world has been changed. The talk now is of greed and its brutal application by the One Per Cent.
 
The frustration and anger, the sense of betrayal, that has been profoundly felt by millions have been given vent. No longer marking time for a messiah to put things right, the advance guard of the mentally alert took to the streets and became Occupiers. 509 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.
 
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Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst. Readers will be aware that his columns in True North Perspective have foreseen political and economic developments in Canada. This week in ... 

The Binkley Report

One good sign in the Canadian Wheat Board debate

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

18 November 2011 — By the time you read this, the Harper government will be using its majority to push the bill to end the Canadian Wheat Board’s (CWB) marketing monopoly through final approval in the Commons. It will do the same in the Senate before the end of November.

Throughout an acrimonious debate about the government’s motives, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has said plenty about marketing freedom for western farmers and how the end of the CWB’s dominance will lead to new food processing jobs on the Prairies.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties and farm groups that oppose the government’s plan have gone on and on about the legitimacy of the government’s action and the trampling of democracy. — 744 words.
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

 
 
By Stacy Mitchell

07 November 2011 — Walmart adopted sustainability as a corporate strategy in 2005. It was struggling mightily at the time. Bad headlines stalked the chain, as its history of mistreating workers and suppliers finally caught up with it. One analysis found that as many as 8 percent of Walmart’s customers had stopped shopping at its stores. Grassroots groups were blocking or delaying one-third of its development projects. Stockholders were growing nervous. Between 2000 and 2005, Walmart’s share price fell 20 percent.

As then-CEO Lee Scott told The New York Times, improving labor conditions would cost too much. It would also mean ceding some control to employees and perhaps even a union. Going green was a better option for repairing the company’s image. It offered ways to cut costs and, rather than undermining Walmart’s control, sustainability could actually augment its power over suppliers. Environmentalism also had strong appeal among urban liberals in the Northeast and West Coast—the very markets Walmart needed to penetrate in order to keep its U.S. growth going.  912 words.
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Canada Post says it will respect Supreme Court ruling

CBC News

17 November 2011 OTTAWA Canada — The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of workers Thursday in a pay equity case involving women at Canada Post that was originally filed 28 years ago.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) claimed in August 1983 that women were being discriminated against under the Canadian Human Rights Act because they made less than men in comparable Canada Post jobs.

After lengthy proceedings, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled in the workers' favour in 2005.

PSAC had originally asked for $300 million, but the tribunal reduced the damages by 50 per cent to $150 million. 535 words.
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By Olivia Ward
Foreign Affairs Reporter
The Toronto Star
 

The wet, grey snow oozed into boots, numbed the feet, leached through sodden clothing.

In the winter of 1997, the revolution smelt of cheap cigarettes, tarry espresso, wet wool. And fear, as heavily-armed riot police bore down on daily demonstrations with guns and clubs. But on a fall day three years later, the sun came out. The protesters took back their country. 1.294 words.
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'Our son is more Canadian than Chinese, I’ll tell you that'
My Steven Chase
The Globe and Mail
 
16 November 2011 — Wojtek Sawicki, a Polish-born immigrant who now calls Toronto home, says he thinks newcomers should adopt Canadian values as a requirement of settling here, including the idea that men and women are fundamentally equal.

A new poll suggests the 31-year-old is far from alone. In fact, there’s a solid consensus around the notion that immigrants should accept certain values as a precondition for joining Canadian society.

The survey, conducted by Environics and commissioned by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, found that both immigrants to Canada and those born here have almost identical opinions on the subject.647 words.

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Canadian website? American rules!

Proposed, 'aggressive' U.S. laws to halt web piracy could affect Canadian sites, too
 
By Michael Geist
TheTyee
 
15 November 2011 — The U.S. Congress is currently embroiled in a heated debated over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), proposed legislation that supporters argue is needed combat online infringement, but critics fear would create the "great firewall of the United States."

SOPA's potential impact on the Internet and development of online services is enormous, as it cuts across the lifeblood of the Internet and e-commerce in an effort to target websites that are characterized as being "dedicated to the theft of U.S. property." This represents a new standard that many experts believe could capture hundreds of legitimate websites and services.659 words.

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Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

The sharing of the guard

True North Perspective

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

Dear readers,

I would like to introduce a very special friend: Geneviève Hone.

Geneviève was a professor and a family therapist at St. Paul's University in Ottawa. She is also a writer.

Geneviève and I have many things in common. A year ago, I asked her if she would agree to share my column.1,384 words.

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Spirit Quest
 
 
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

18 November 2011 —  Missed again!

On Tuesday, November 8, an asteroid, 2005 yu55, a black, unfriendly hulk of rock, passed harmlessly by our living planet. It was described as being the size of an aircraft carrier or two football fields — popular ways, it seems, of parlaying the enormity of objects.

It was very big and moving very fast. Contact with such an object would  be quite dramatic and traumatic. How big was the asteroid that 65 million years ago in the Jurassic age, tilted the world, causing climate change which latter is something our present day dinosaurs deny?

Ray Williamson, director of Secure World Foundation, has  said that this planet Earth is “a sitting duck for a cosmic shooting gallery.” All sorts of debris are wheeling around in space, the manmade and the celestial. Doubtless sometime in the future there will happen an unforgettable rendezvous. If every day as you rise you say to yourself that this is my last day, then someday you will be dead right. 811 words.
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ParkTales 

Save our Libraries - No Cuts Please!
 
 
By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective

Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

On a recent visit to the Parkdale Public Library I picked up this amazing free magazine, Young Voices 2011, published by The Toronto Public Library.

Mayor Rob Ford's threatened cuts to our Parkdale Library including accessibility, materials and programs, has made me more aware of the role our libraries play in our communities.
 
I discovered just how much talent alone is being expressed there. For example, I was so impressed with one magazine being produced, especially the age of the contributors, that I just have to share it with you.507 words.
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Two poems from a collection by Beverly D. Blanchard

Beverly D. Blanchard is an Ojibway writer and healer who assists people in connecting with their inner being so they can manifest the joyful lives they deserve.  She has a book of poetry on consciousness and society which will be launched by Petrabooks in November 2011. 379 words.


Move over, Mayor Ford!

Man calls 911 to fix broken iPhone

By Matt Jurek

12 November 2011 — For some strange reason Michael Skopec of Illinois thought that by calling 911 they might help fix his broken iPhone. Mr Scopec dialed 911 five times before being arrested by police for obscruction of justice.

After the five calls were made police traced the calls to his home in Illinois where they found him drunk and belligerent. He was arrested because he would not follow the police officers orders. It has yet to be made clear what he was actually trying to accomplish by calling 911 to get help with his iPhone. Although he was arrested he only faces misdemeanor charges and has to be in court next week.

Makes you wonder, if his iPhone wasn’t working did he call 911 with it or another phone?

 
From the Desk of Darren Jerome

A continuing update on the war against WikiLeaks transparency

Please be advised that the below is not just the same old thing. By clicking on it you'll find the petition in support of Julian Assange and discover fascinating on-going reports and videos related to one of the most important events in modern history, and the desperate attempts to put a lid on information that everyone should know. Don't miss this special opportunity to stay informed.

Future? Imperfect
 
 
In ecologically relevant analysis, Canada, U.S. and Australia fall from top 10 to close to 30th place on development index
 
By Annalee Newitz
io9.com
 
16 November 2011 —  Every year the U.N. releases its Human Development Index, a widely-respected ranking of nations based on levels of health care, education, economic growth, and other factors.
 
But now, says one analyst, the long-respected ranking system has to be overhauled. Its definition of "development" is outdated because it doesn't take into account whether any of that development is sustainable from an environmental perspective. So which nations would rise to the top of the HDI if sustainability were taken into account? Chuluun Togtokh, a Mongolian environmental scientist and development policymaker, decided to find out.461 words.
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are arming radical Islamists who are promoting civil war

Foreign minister admits government slow to move on reforms

mathaba.net

17 November 2011 DAMASCUS Syria — The top Syrian diplomat recalled that NATO’s aggression against Libya was carried out under the guise of restoring human rights and protecting civilians.

‘They send money to kill Syrians’

Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal al-Mikdad, has demanded that the countries financially and militarily supporting armed religious extremists on his country’s soil assume responsibility for financing terrorism. 748 words.
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Always worth repeating

'Give us the tools and we'll finish the job'

— Winston Churchill

Let's say that news throughout human time has been free. Take that time when Ugh Wayne went over to the cave of Ugh Wayne 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.
 

More than 30,000 march in NYC in support of Occupiers 

and in defiance of billionaire mayor Bloomberg's shut down

The 99 percent showed up around the city to stand in solidarity with the evicted occupiers and express their support for a growing, expanding, living movement.

By Sarah Jaffe, Nick Turse, Sarah Seltzer, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Kristen Gwynne
AlterNet.org

18 November 2011 NEW YORK CITY — New York City showed its billionaire mayor and the rest of the 1 percent that the fight is far from over, just two days after the violent crackdown on Liberty Plaza in the middle of the night Tuesday. 

From a 7 a.m. march on Wall Street itself to subway speak-outs around the city, from student walk-outs at universities like CUNY and Columbia to a giant, permitted rally in Foley Square that had a reported 30,000-plus attendees to a march across the Brooklyn Bridge with projections on the Verizon building declaring,"We are Winning" and "Occupy Earth," -- the 99 percent showed up around the city to stand in solidarity with the evicted occupiers and express their support for a growing, expanding, living movement. — 2,715 words.
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Be sure to hear it for yourself

13 November 2011 HONOLULU Hawaii — A popular Hawaiian recording artist turned a top-security dinner of Pacific Rim leaders hosted by President Barack Obama into a subtle protest with a song in support of the “Occupy” movement.
 
Makana, who goes by one name, was enlisted to play a luau, or Hawaiian feast, Saturday night for leaders assembled in Obama’s birthplace Honolulu for an annual summit that is formulating plans for a Pacific free-trade pact. 399 words.
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Cuban News Agency  

18 November HOLGUIN, Cuba — As part of the activities of the Seventh Colloquium to Free the Cuban Five a monument will be unveiled in honor of state terrorism victims, on Friday, in the town of Boca de Sama, in the eastern province of Holguin, which was attacked by mercenaries 40 years ago.
 
The monument, by Luis Silva, member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) in the province, is made up of three gun shot marble rocks. 330 words.
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What a woman’s brain looks like while having an orgasm

 
By Debra Black
The Toronto Star

17 November 2011 — What does a woman’s brain look like while she’s having an orgasm? Apparently, its like a multi-layered, multicoloured abstract or neon sign that flashes on and off. Or so an animated video of a woman’s brain as she reaches orgasm using brain scan images reveals.

 
It’s all part of research to understand how the brain and sexuality work, said Barry Komisaruk, a psychology professor at Rutgers University who presented the video at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington. 481 words.
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Science

Honduran teen builds eye-tracking

computer interface for the disabled

Open-source software tracks eye-movements and uses them to choose letters in a grid, so that users can type entire words using just their eye motions
 
By Loz Blain
GizMag.com
 

14 November 2011 —  This unique and worthwhile project was put together by a 17-year-old electronics and programming whiz from Honduras, of all places. (Click to play his video, at left.)

The Eyeboard system is a low-tech eyeball-tracking device that allows users with motor disabilities to enter text into a computer using eye gestures instead of a physical interface.

This kind of system is not unique - there's plenty of eye tracking interfaces out there — but Luis Cruz has figured out a way to build the full system into a set of glasses for less than US$300, putting easier communication within reach of users in developing countries.
 
He's also releasing the software as open source to speed up development.828 words.
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Geoengineering trial aims to 'store' winter temperatures in a giant block of ice that will cool and water Ulan Bator in summer
 
By Jonathan Watts
The Guardian
 
15 November 2011, ULAN BATOR — Mongolia is to launch one of the world's biggest ice-making experiments later this month in an attempt to combat the adverse affects of global warming and the urban heat island effect.

The geoengineering trial, that is being funded by the Ulan Bator government, aims to "store" freezing winter temperatures in a giant block of ice that will help to cool and water the city as it slowly melts during the summer.

The scientists behind the 1bn tugrik (£460,000) project hope the process will reduce energy demand from air conditioners and regulate drinking water and irrigation supplies. If successful, the model could be applied to other cities in the far north.  — 439 words.

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Annals of (Sex) Education

Schools grab .xxx website names in porn panic

CBC News
 
9 November 2011, ST. LOUIS, Missouri — Schools nationwide, including The University of Missouri and Washington University, are snapping up .xxx domain names to avoid links of their names to porn sites.

The new address system is arriving soon for pornography providers, reports The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In a defensive maneuver, universities are registering their names with the .xxx address to keep names like washu.xxx and mizzou.xxx away from pornographers.405 words.

   

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Always looking forward ...

Venezuela's Housing Mission on track to build two million

new homes: public, private sectors build 95,912 since April

Venezuelanalysis.com

17 November 2011 MÉRIDA Venezuela — 95,912 houses and apartments have been built in the first seven months of Venezuela’s massive house building program, the “Great Housing Mission” (GMV), said energy and petroleum minister Rafael Ramirez yesterday.

Of these, 59,730 (62%) were built by the public sector and 36,182 (38%) by the private sector reported Ramirez, who is also Vice-president of the government’s Superior Housing Authority, which convened in the north-western state of Zulia yesterday.

“This is a number without precedent...there has never been so much done in one year” he commented with regards to the Venezuelan state’s contribution to the figures. 615 words.


Advertorial

New longer-life batteries have green appeal

 

04 November 2011 VANCOUVER B.C. — A new lineup of replacement batteries from Dr. Battery of Richmond, British Columbia, is saving consumers and businesses money and significantly reducing the number of used batteries that end up in landfill sites.

Thanks to ground-breaking battery cell technology developed by its research and development partners, Dr. Battery’s Advance Pro Series, Green Series and Professional Series batteries are providing users of cameras, hand-held game systems, laptops, PDAs, I-pods, and other electronic devices with a power source that has a longer life, is more reliable and performs better in extreme temperatures.  793 words.


The Old Man's Last Sauna
A collection of short stories by Carl Dow
 
An eclectic collection of short stories that will stir your sense of humour, warm your heart, outrage your sense of justice, and chill your extra sensory faculties in the spirit of Stephen King. The final short story, the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Sauna is a ground-breaking love story. The series begins with Deo Volente (God Willing). Followed by The Quintessence of Mr. FlynnSharing LiesFlying HighThe Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows YaOne Lift Too ManyThe Model A Ford, the out-of-body chiller, Room For One Only and O Ernie! ... What Have They Done To You! The series closes with the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Saunaa groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.