January 2016 - Holiday Special

Happy New Year !

Halifax refugee centre to stop accepting

donations due to ‘overwhelming generosity’

Image: Screenshot of report on Nova Scotians' generosity towards Syrian refugees.
30 December 2015
By Susan Bradley
CBC News
The province will stop accepting donated items for Syrian refugees at a drop-off centre in the Bayers Lake Business Park earlier than planned.
"Initially, we planned to accept donations until the end of January, but the response has been so tremendous that we have more than enough to meet the needs of the incoming refugees," said provincial Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab. (More)

Notes from behind the Coffee Curtain

Image: Logo of Geoffrey Dow's Cuba Diary: Notes from behind the coffee curtain.

In mid-December of 2015, Geoffrey Dow, True North Perspective's Managing Editor, and Raven, his mysterious partner-in-crime, took to the skies and landed in Cuba. Naturally, he kept a diary and took a lot of pictures. His reports, written with enlightening humour, are a refreshing, fascinating, critical analysis of an experience that affected all five senses. Don't miss it! Read more here!

Image: A billboard reads, "Fight against the impossible and win". Detail of image by JIM at Wikipedia via ed-rex.com.

What Cuba can teach us about food and climate change

Image: Photo of Cuban farmers sowing sweet potatoes. STR/AFP/Getty Images, via Slate.com.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and against a severe U.S. economic blockade, Cuba faced many of the agricultural challenges that the rest of the world is now anticipating.

January 1, 2016
By Raj Patel
The New Republic
The Studebakers plying up and down Havana's boardwalk aren't the best advertisement for dynamism and innovation. But if you want to see what tomorrow's fossil-fuel-free, climate-change-resilient, high-tech farming looks like, there are few places on earth like the Republic of Cuba.
Under the Warsaw Pact, Cuba sent rum and sugar to the red side of the Iron Curtain. In exchange, it received food, oil, machinery, and as many petrochemicals as it could shake a stick at. From the Missile Crisis to the twilight of the Soviet Union, Cuba was one of the largest importers of agricultural chemicals in Latin America. But when the Iron Curtain fell, the supply lines were cut, and tractors rusted in the fields.
Unable to afford the fertilizers and pesticides that 20th-century agriculture had taken for granted, the country faced extreme weather events and a limit to the land and water it could use to grow food. The rest of the world will soon face many of the same problems. (More)

New boss: Same as the old boss?

Ottawa going ahead with Saudi

arms deal despite condemning executions

Image: Detail of photo of supporters of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protest against the execution of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Baghdad January 4, 2016. (THAIER AL-SUDANI/REUTERS) via The Globe and Mail.

04 January 2016
By Steven Chase
The Globe and Mail
The Canadian government is proceeding with a controversial $15-billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia even as it publicly condemns Riyadh for a mass execution of 47 people, including a dissident Shia Muslim cleric.
Foreign Affairs Minster Stéphane Dion released a statement this week decrying the capital punishment meted out Jan. 2 and calling on the Saudis to respect peaceful dissent and respect human rights. Sheik Nimr al-Nimr, the Shia cleric, was executed along with 46 others convicted on terrorism charges.
But the biggest Saudi mass execution in decades – delivered by beheading and in a few cases firing squad – is not moving Ottawa to reconsider a massive deal to supply the Mideast country with armoured fighting vehicles. (More)

Federal election results and affordable housing:

Liberal winners have many promises to keep

By Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation
The Liberal party won a majority in the Monday 19 October federal elections. In their platform, they promised to develop a national housing strategy, renew federal leadership in affordable housing, help build more housing units, refurbish existing ones, renew existing co-operative agreements, and provide operational funding support for municipalities. Achieving these commitments will have a great impact on the wellbeing of our neighbourhoods.

Some 2,000 Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) tenants live in the riding of Ottawa Centre. So we’re quite proud that Ottawa Centre had the highest voter turnout in the country, with 82% of eligible voters casting their vote on Monday 19 October. Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna defeated NDP incumbent Paul Dewar. We’d like to thank (former CCOC tenant) Paul Dewar for his strong voice in support of affordable housing. We’re very heartened that Catherine McKenna’s first comments were about the importance of affordable housing and her making it a priority during her term. (More)

Final words of 2015 from Sanders, Clinton, O'Malley

Observe Hillary giggle at Gaddafi's murder without trial
20 December 2015  (For video click (HERE)

The Old Man's Last Sauna
'Life is scary, frustrating and sometimes funny. All of these themes are explored in Carl Dow’s collection of short stories, told with the pristine elegance that we haven’t seen since the likes of Stephen Leacock or even Pierre Berton.'
— Award-winning author Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Image: Cover of The Old Man's Last Sauna, by Carl Dow.

Click here for True North Humanist Perspective

Lia Tarachansky

A Jew reports from Israel and Palestine

Lia Tarachansky is an accomplieshed journalist and videologist. Lia Tarachansky is also a supreme writer of poetry and prose. Here is one of her powerful poems.

There's no work here


Billionaire George Soros advances U.S. schemes

while pretending the peace maker with his NGOs

promoting all from Occupy to refugees to Germany


Culture Shock: Hear the rational voice of Syria's Assad

who Washington neo-cons say is a blood thirsty tyrant


Is Trotskyism the new neo-conservatism?


MI6 and Libya torture

Is this the road to criminal trial for Blair and Straw?


China builds bridge across Indian Ocean vs U.S., India


Retired U.S. Major General Paul Vallely

says ‘US delusional on progress in Syria’


Syria now has military might to clear its skies

of all uninvited NATO war planes and missiles



TrueNorth Humanist Perspective

True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, please rea
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience
Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective
True North Perspective
Vol. 11, No. 02 (362)
January 2016

Editor's Notes

On defeat of Harper, Canada breathed a sigh of relief

Trudeau's housekeeping brings cheers despite stumbles

And a word on the despicable hypocrisy of Barack Obama

Image: True North Perspective Editor and Publisher Carl Dow. Photo by the Phantom Phographer.

As we went to "press" (Tuesday 5 January 2016) U.S. president Barack Obama was making his cynical, hypocritcal, despicable televised delivery on gun control. He did not deal with the fact that America has long since had a gun culture. A gun culture that has not only been thoroughly nurtured by Hollywood but by Washington in collusion with the military-industrial complex.

Never mind that war criminal George W. Bush, under Obama's watch alone, Washington has launched its own illegal wars, Libya and the current conflict in Syria being but two examples. The U.S. has a decades-long history of such crimes. Shoot first and ask questions later is a proud mantra buried deep in the subconscious of those Americans who are weak on critical analysis.

Sure, prevent the clinically insane from freely buying guns, but there is no mention of preventing gun manufacturers from freely selling such as automatic rifles on the open market. Any serious hunter would be ashamed of himself for attacking deer or even grizzly bears with weapons of war.

I doubt there remains a shred of honesty in he who promised hope and change but if there is Obama should lean hard on his masters in the military-industrial complex and stop responding to resistance to so-called American exceptionalism with force of arms.

But it's too late to expect anything from that quarter, and Hillary Rodham Clinton would be no better. She already has proven that she's a pathological liar closely linked to the American war machine.

The only hope for America is Bernie Sanders. Let's hope Sanders can escape being drowned in corporate money and is able to reach American voters with his honest logic.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .

Despite the Liberal failure to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada by end December 2015, a gender-balanced cabinet, and moves on the environment, among other logical housekeeping promises kept, have put Canadians in a political comfort zone.  The public, still hurting from Harper's closed authoritarian rule, is in a forgiving mood and is not dismayed by the reckless Liberal promise on refugees.

But of signal importance is the fact that Canadian military jets are still flying in combat in concert with the American war in the Middle East. The announcement that the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton has been deployed to the Mediterranean does little to encourage promise that Canada is soon to withdraw from the Washington-inspired war madness in that area of the world. True, the Fredericton is returning to the Mediterranean after a half-year break, to replace the HMCS frigate, Winnipeg, so the move can't be called any up-scaling of Canada's war involvement. But to allege that the decision is aimed at promoting security and stability in central and eastern Europe is ludicrous by any stretch of the imagination. (More)

Op Ed

How New Democrats can outsmart Liberals in 2016

Image: Photo of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair speaking, NDP Flickr via TheTyee.ca.

Not by moving further left, but by moving ahead (where they've usually been)

04 January 2016

By Crawford Kilian 

Every time the New Democratic Party fights an election, win or lose pundits will offer it advice on how to do better next time. Not that the pundits would ever vote NDP, no matter how much advice it took.

After Oct. 19, the NDP needs real advice, not the patronizing comments of right-wingers. As a long-suffering, off-and-on supporter of the party, here's what I suggest Tom Mulcair and his much-reduced caucus do between now and 2019.

Face it: Justin Trudeau and the Liberals outsmarted you. Instead of standing up for principles and good ideas, you offered us Stephen Harper with a beard, obsessed with the need to balance the damn budget regardless. Now it's time to outsmart the Liberals -- not by moving left of them, but by moving ahead of them, where the NDP has usually been. (More)

The Binkley Report

Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is www.alexbinkley.com. Readers will be aware that his columns in True North Perspective have foreseen political and economic developments in Canada. In this edition ...

Memories of another refugee crisis

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective Image: Cover of Humanity's Saving Grace, a novel by Alex Binkley. Click to purchase at Amazon.ca

The news photos and television footage of Syrian refugees arriving in Canada brought back personal memories of another influx of people from a different war torn region of the world.

Back in 1980 my parents were part of a community effort in Brantford, Ont. to bring in families of Vietnamese boat people. They found homes, clothes and the other amenities of life for the newcomers who arrived with very little. In time, the newcomers became active members of the community. The son of one couple took engineering with my son at Western University. Others have done well in businesses they started in the city. (More)

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Abbotsford decision suggests

new avenue for right to housing in Canada

Image: Detail of photo of Doug Smith in front of tent y Jeff Vinnick, courtesy of Pivot, via TheTyee.ca.

When governments fail our most vulnerable, courts can help

27 November 2015

By D.J. Larkin

A landmark decision in a case brought by homeless people challenging municipal bylaws that left them nowhere to go, suggests a new avenue to advance the right to housing in Canada.

On October 21, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson of the Supreme Court of British Columbia held that municipal bylaws in Abbotsford, B.C. that prohibited the homeless from being in parks overnight, or from setting up shelter in any public place, were unconstitutional.

The decision recognized that continual displacement of homeless people causes serious psychological pain and stress, and threatens their health — in breach of their rights to liberty and security of the person enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The court went on to find that a more balanced approach for governments is one that ensures that space exists where the homeless can sleep, rest, shelter, stay warm, eat, wash, and attend to personal hygiene. (More)

Goodbye Hanns Skoutajan

Image: Detail of photo of a young Hanns Skoutajan.

After The Reverend Dr. Hanns Felix Skoutajan filed his November 2015 column, Spirit Quest on Life As A River, he told me that, for health reasons, that would be his last column.

Dear Carl. Thank you for enhancing my blog with that pic of the Elbe River. The bad news is that this (will) be my last Spirit Quest. My cancer is making a come-back, particularly as the chemo affects on my lungs. I am now harnessed to an oxygen machine 27/7. My departure is not imminent, as my doctor keeps assuring me but I am certainly limited in my activities.

I need to thank you very much for including me in the TNP roster of writers. It was a lot of fun.

Whatever atheists do as an alternative to prayer, please do for me.

And thanks for TNP (True North Perspective).


After about a decade of publishing his sage comments, I refused to accept that Hanns' cherished Spirit Quest would come to an end. (There is no gap that cannot be bridged between atheists and theists who have mutual concern for peace on earth and good will to all.)   I sent Hanns a note to cheer him and to urge him to continue tapping his keyboard. Your mind is clear, I said. That's what counts.

On 21 November, 2015 9:47:58 PM EST, Hanns replied:

"Thanks for the encouragement. I am presently undergoing a major struggle as i try to breathe. I am afraid that I am fighting (a) losing battle. My consolation is that I have lived 86 years . . . now there isn't a helluva lot of steam left in the boiler. I must content myself in reading what others have written and there is lots there. I look forward to the next issue (of True North Perspective).

Hanns died 20 days later on Thursday 10 December 2015. His wit and wisdom will remain forever in the archives of True North Perspective Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True Norrh Perspective.


Words by Hanns F. Skoutajan
To the tune Unser Herrscher

Where is home, the land familiar, where the
village known so well, where the mountains and
the river, where the forest and the sea, where
the city thronged with people? Land of birth
remember me.

Long the journey’s search for freedom, hiding,
running through the night, seeking refuge
among strangers, begging help, a place to hide,
wanderers seeking safer havens, often hated,
seldom loved.

Some there are compassionate people, knew
their master also fled, from mad Herod’s purge
of children, waiting for that storm to pass.
Willingly these offer shelter, brothers, sisters,
Christ their host.

In God’s realm there are no boundaries, no
barbed wires, trenches, walls, where there are
no racial ghettos, all are welcome none are lost.
Peace and justice is their charter, fear
deported, love enshrined.

The Reverend Doctor Hanns Felix Skoutajan

Testimonials to a life well lived (Click HERE)

Final Spirit Quest

Czechoslovakian immigrant on the Samaria

16 April 1939 was Welcomed then Welcoming

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

As I awoke in my upper bunk I immediately noticed the difference. The ship was motionless, the throb of the engine that had accompanied us for the past eight days had ceased. The North Atlantic is not very pacific in the early spring. Mountainous waves had pitched the 2,000 on the Samaria of the Cunard White Star Line like a cork. We had seen icebergs not too far away. Now, however, all was tranquil. We had arrived.

Our cabin did not have a porthole, so I quickly dressed and headed up to the deck. What I discovered was a new season. It was sunny but cold and the wooded shoreline was fringed with ice and there was snow on the ground. Our ship lay anchored off shore. Behind us I could see the narrow entrance to the harbour through which we must have passed in the early hours of the morning. In front of our ship St. George's Island seemed to stand like a sentinel. The buildings and church towers of the city of Halifax and of course the citadel made an impressive background for the piers where we would disembark.

My parents and I were part of a group of 30 families who had fled from the Nazi takeover of Czechoslovakia. Indeed, we had all lived in what was known as the Sudetenland, a predominantly ethnically German part of the country. We had been deprived of our homes the previous October when Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of Britain along with the President of France had signed the Munich Declaration that ceded the vital industrial frontier for "Peace in our time". All of our group, the first to arrive of some 2000 who were to follow, were anti-fascists who had managed to flee from Hitler's Gestapo. Some 35,000 others didn't and ended in Dachau and other concentration camps. We were the lucky few who were to be settled as farmers in northern Saskatchewan and in the Peace River area of British Columbia. The latter group arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick. (More)

From the Desk of Nick Aplin

In celebration of

Floyd Bennett Williston

Image: Photo of Floyd Bennet Williston.

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on January 02, 2016

FLOYD BENNETT WILLISTON was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, January 12, 1931. He died peacefully in Winnipeg, Manitoba, December 28, 2015, after a brief illness. Floyd moved west in  1954. Ever the traveller he was the Canadian representative at the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) and was involved in the planning for two world Youth festivals for Peace and Friendship, in Moscow in 1959 and Vienna two years later.

In Budapest he married his Winnipeg sweetheart, Elsie Sawiuk, his lifelong partner and when they returned to Winnipeg with infant son Donny he became manager of the Co-op Book Shop while becoming the impresario for the Co-op Folk Concerts, bringing to Winnipeg such notables as Pete Seeger, for whom he was Canadian agent, Guy Carawan, Odetta, Ewan Macall, the Mitchell trio, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, and he even had a contract with Bob Dylan (who never showed up), as well as many other luminaries in the folk music field. Floyd played a leading role in the Canadian Folk Song Revival. Floyd was a founding member of the Winnipeg Folk Festival amd was active in New FACES: Child and Family Services, the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres, Director of the Provincial Job Office (SNNEP), a member of the Manitoba Peace Council.

Floyd was a freelance correspondent for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick newspapers, a partner in Galleria Travel, Manitoba Maritimers Association, and in the past few years he was a member of the Boards of the Seven Oaks Historical Society and the North East Winnipeg Historical Society. Despite all these activities Floyd also found time to write. He authored the first biography of Johnny Miles, Nova Scotia's Marathon King, a Boston marathon runner and two time winner, with whom he formed a life time friendship. 

He also wrote Through Footless Halls of Air, the stories of several RCAF pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain in which two of his brothers, David and Albert, died.

Floyd is survived by his wife Elsie. He was predeceased, by his two sons Donald and David, his brother-in-law William (Sawiuk) and by his in-laws, Peter and Irene Sawiuk. He was also predeceased by his mother Katherine (McLeod) Williston and father, John Harry Williston, brothers and sisters, Malcolm, Royce, David, Albert, Art, Harry and Dr. Johnny, Isabelle, and Mary; his nephews, Jack, Jimmy Billy MacDonald and his uncle A.A.McLeod.

A special thank you to Dr. Harvey Lee and Doctor Pilot and the caring staff at the N332 Concordia Hospital for making Floyd as comfortable as possible during his final hours.

Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

01 January 2016

Our 2016 mission aboard Mother Earth

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair
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.

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-SinclairImage: Photo of woman in red staring at the sky, with Pope Francis quote: 'Life is a journey. When we stop, things don't go right.'For years I have made a point of staying home on New Year’s Eve so I can sit back, relax, review the past year and take a few resolutions for the upcoming year. I have decided to include everyone as I go forward with this year’s resolutions.

I am very aware that the desire for peace is universal so my first prayer is borrowed from St. Francis of Assisi: “God make me an instrument of your peace.” This year, I will practice thinking peace. This past year has been a difficult year worldwide and a disappointing one. In February 2015, my article had mentioned that many astrologists had concluded “that the processes that had been unfolding and spreading chaos for the past few years were finally starting to stabilize… Mankind once again had high hopes for the future.” Instead, the conflicts intensified in many countries, not just in Syria and Iraq but also in Ukraine, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, to name a few. These wars have displaced millions of refugees, killed and maimed thousands and there seems to be no resolution in sight. (More)

Mexico roundup by Isabella Tandutella, Contributing Editor, Mexico City

31 December 2015

Legal marijuana make Mexican drug cartels poorer
Image: Detail of photo of marijuana and joint, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images via vox.com.
By German Lopez
We're still not sure of the full impact of marijuana legalization, in terms of pot use and abuse, in the states that have legalized. But a report from Deborah Bonello for the Los Angeles Times shows one way that legalization for recreational and medical purposes is working:
The loosening of marijuana laws across much of the United States has increased competition from growers north of the border, apparently enough to drive down prices paid to Mexican farmers. The drop in price — and competition from higher-quality US-made marijuana — is hitting drug cartels, too. So now they have to look to other opportunities, or look for ways to deal in high-quality cannabis, to make up for lost profits, or just accept the hit in their finances. (More)


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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.

Climate disruption amplifies Atlantic currents' contribution to sea level rise

Image: Detail of Shutterstock photo, Rising Sea, via Truthout.
02 January 2016
By Dahr Jamail
Anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) has progressed to a point where it is, literally, changing one of the most important ocean circulatory currents in the world.
In a paper recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, NASA researchers confirmed that the circulation of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is slowing down. In 2009 and 2010 that shifting had already been linked to a sudden and extreme five-inch sea level rise on the East Coast.
While most people have likely never heard of the AMOC, it plays a critical role in both global climate patterns and sea level rise along the Eastern Seaboard of the US - and it is being changed for the worse due to our carbon dioxide emissions. (More)

There can be no life without laughter

2016: An astrological guide to the year ahead

Image: Detail of chart of zodiac


Your recent run of bad luck changes when you die suddenly in your sleep and avoid being prosecuted for historic child sex abuse crimes.

Read the full story now at NewsBiscuit.com

Holiday Quiz

By Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

Mark Kearney of London, Ont. and Randy Ray of Ottawa are the authors of nine books about Canada, with best-seller sales of more than 50,000. Their Web site is: www.triviaguys.com

Big Book of Canadian Trivia cover


Since Victorian times, puzzles and games have helped make the holiday season a joyous time for kids and adults of all ages.

Christmas crackers with amusements tucked inside, special games and toys associated with Hanukkah and board games left under the tree by Santa have long been an integral part of holiday celebrations.

With this trivia quiz, we’re keeping the tradition alive with 20 challenging questions that will add some cheer and knowledge to a season known around the world for joy and merriment.

Score one point for each correct response (some questions have more than one answer) out of a total of 30 points. But remember, answers are like presents — no peeking.  When you’re done, go to the bottom of the quiz to check the answers and see how you fared.
Happy Holidays! Click here to take the quiz!

Randy Ray, publicist / speaker agent / author
www.randyray.ca  www.triviaguys.com

 (613) 425-3873 - (613) 816-3873 (cell)

O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is one of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

While a leading women's group argued against suffrage

The right-to-vote cause grew with war, legislated in 1918

Women's political status without the vote was vigorously promoted by the National Council of Women of Canada from 1894 to 1918. It promoted a vision of "transcendent citizenship" for women. The ballot was not needed, for citizenship was to be exercised through personal influence and moral suasion, through the election of men with strong moral character, and through raising public-spirited sons.

The National Council position reflected its nation-building program that sought to uphold Canada as a White settler nation. While the woman suffrage movement was important for extending the political rights of White women, it was also authorized through race-based arguments that linked White women's enfranchisement to the need to protect the nation from "racial degeneration."

Women did have a local vote in some provinces, as in Canada West (Ontario) from 1850, where women owning land could vote for school trustees. By 1900 other provinces adopted similar provisions, and in 1916 Manitoba took the lead in extending full woman's suffrage. Simultaneously suffragists gave strong support to the prohibition movement, especially in Ontario and the Western provinces.

The Military Voters Act of 1917 gave the vote to British women who were war widows or had sons or husbands serving overseas. Unionists Prime Minister Borden pledged himself during the 1917 campaign to equal suffrage for women. After his landslide victory, he introduced a bill in 1918 for extending the franchise to women. This passed without division, but did not apply to Quebec provincial and municipal elections. The women of Quebec gained full suffrage in 1940. The first woman elected to Parliament was Agnes Macphail of Ontario in 1921.

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Media Watch

Jesse Ventura:

‘RT’s work has never been more important than now’ 

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist based in Moscow, Russia. His articles have been featured in many publications, including Russia in Global Affairs, The Moscow Times, Russia Insider and Infowars.com. Bridge is the author of the book on corporate power, “Midnight in the American Empire”, which was released in 2013.

13 December 2015

In the center of Moscow for the 10th anniversary celebration for RT, former U.S. governor and aspirant to the U.S. presidency, Jesse Ventura, offered his candid insights into why the world needs RT more than ever.

I began following the political career of Jesse Ventura, a Vietnam War veteran, professional wrestler and political commentator, ever since he sent shockwaves through the gangrene U.S. political system by being elected as Governor of Minnesota in 1999. The most amazing thing about this accomplishment was that Ventura won the election as a political outsider, that is, beyond the two-party Democratic-Republican duopoly as a member of the Reform Party. (More)

Health Watch

Putin says Russia to be key supplier of organic foods

Image: Detail of photo of food bastet, by Jorge Adorno/Reuters, via RT.com

24 December 2015

In his state of the nation speech on December 3 in the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin said, “We can not only feed ourselves, Russia can become an important global supplier of healthy, organic and high-quality food, especially since the global demand for such products is showing a steady growth.”  (More)


Financial world split: Dollar group vs. BRICS group

Most important radical change in more than 50 years

Image: Detail of photo of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomes International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde ahead of their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, September 6, 2015. © Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters, via RT.com

09 December 2015


By imposing new lending rules within the IMF, the U.S. has declared financial war against countries that are not using American dollars in foreign trade and whose currencies are not based on the U.S. dollar, Wall Street analyst Michael Hudson told RT.

The International Monetary Fund [IMF] has decided to change its rules in order to support countries, which are unable to repay their lenders. The new policy will help Ukraine if it fails to repay $3 billion to Russia. Russian officials have condemned the decision as hasty and biased and prepare to go to court.  (More)

Azerbaijan to export electricity to Iran

Image: Detail of photo of electrical transmission tower, via Eurasia Review.
23 December 2015
By Maksim Tsurkov
Eurasia Review

Azerbaijan will start exporting electricity to Iran from 2016, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Economy and Industry told Trend December 22.

The agreement was reached today during the tenth meeting of the Azerbaijani-Iranian Joint Commission on Economic, Trade and Cultural Cooperation.  (More)

22 December 2015

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh says

Hillary's plan for Syria would create even more disasters

"Getting rid of Gaddafi has proven to be a horrible event…and we seem not to have learned enough from it.'

By Amy Goodman
Democracy Now!  For video and text of interview click (More)

Like illegal narcotics in Afghanistan

Nazis thrive under American dominated Ukraine

‘Coming after you’

Ukrainian ultra nationalists stage Nazi torch parade

Image: Screenshot of video by AVOZ Media showing Ukrainian ultra-nationalists in torchlight demonstration.

22 December 2015

On Sunday 20 December members of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov volunteer battalion and their ultra nationalist civilian sympathizers conducted a torch lit procession in the center of the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, held under the slogan “coming after you!”

The gathering, called ‘March Khorobrikh’ (March of the Brave) by its organizers, was arranged to mark the opening of the monument to 10th century Slavic ruler Svyatoslav. For video and story click (More)

U.S. would block democracy as Syria's solution

Image: Detail of photo of US Secretary of State John Kerry by Mandel Ngan/Reuters via Reader Supported News.

20 December 2015
By Robert Parry
Consortium News

The long-cherished neocon dream of “regime change” in Syria is blocking a possible route out of the crisis – a ceasefire followed by elections in which President Assad could compete. The problem is there’s no guarantee that Assad would lose and thus the dream might go unfulfilled, writes Robert Parry.

The solution to the crisis in Syria could be democracy – letting the people of Syria decide who they want as their leaders – but it is the Obama administration and its regional Sunni “allies,” including U.S.-armed militants and jihadists, that don’t want to risk a democratic solution because it might not achieve the long-held goal of “regime change.” (More)

Exclusive: Sarin gas materials shipped via Turkey

and mixed in Syrian ISIS camps – use blamed on Assad

Image: Screenshot from RT.com report showing sarin gas attack in Syria not committed by Syrian government.

See disturbing video at link below

14 December 2015


Islamic State terrorists in Syria received all necessary materials to produce deadly sarin gas via Turkey, Turkish MP Eren Erdem has told RT, insisting there are grounds to believe a cover up has taken place.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) member, Erdem, brought up the issue for public discussion in parliament last week, citing evidence from an abruptly-closed criminal case. He accused Ankara of failing to investigate Turkish supply routes used to provide terrorists with toxic sarin gas ingredients.

“There is data in this indictment. Chemical weapon materials are being brought to Turkey and being put together in Syria in camps of ISIS which was known as Iraqi Al Qaeda during that time," Erdem told RT.

Sarin gas is a military-grade chemical that was used in a notorious attack on Ghouta and several other neighborhoods near the Syrian capital of Damascus in 2013. The attacks were blamed on the Syrian leadership, who in turn agreed to get rid of all chemical weapons stockpiles under a UN-brokered deal amid an imminent threat of US intervention.

Addressing parliamentarians on Thursday, Erdem showed a copy of the criminal case number 2013/120 that was opened by the General Prosecutor's Office in the city of Adana in southern Turkey.

The investigation revealed that a number of Turkish citizens took part in negotiations with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) representatives on the supply of sarin gas. Pointing to evidence cited in the criminal case, he said that wiretapped phone conversations proved that an Al-Qaeda militant, Hayyam Kasap, acquired sarin. (More)

Why the US, France and Britain are destroying Syria

Image: Detail of photo of fighter jet silhouetted against cloudy sky. © Darren Staples / Reuters via RT.com

05 December 2015

By Sam Gerrans
Sam Gerrans is an English writer, translator, support counselor and activist. He also has professional backgrounds in media, strategic communications and technology. He is driven by commitment to ultimate meaning, and focused on authentic approaches to revelation and realpolitik. He is the founder of Quranite.com – where the Qur’an is explored on the basis of reason rather than tradition – and offers both individual language training and personal support and counseling online at SkypeTalking.com.
Since Russia stepped up to the plate, the world is falling over itself to bomb Syria.

The following statement from Reuters summarizes the situation: “Most of the world's powers are now flying combat missions over Iraq and Syria against Islamic State. But any consensus on how to proceed has been thwarted by opposing policies over the 4-year-old civil war in Syria, which has killed 250,000 people, driven 11 million from their homes, left swathes of territory in the hands of jihadist fighters and defied all diplomatic efforts at a solution.”

While it may seem to the outside observer that this catalogue of mayhem is the result of incompetence, to me — on the contrary — it is evidence of things going to plan.

I have never, thus far, seen a war the ruling elite clearly wanted to happen not happen.

Here, as in all other cases, there has been a bit of hand-wringing, some crying, some protests, some moving speeches. But like the morality plays of medieval times, after enjoying the sermon dressed as entertainment, life has inevitably carried on as normal with the barons raping and pillaging and everyone else having to put up with that reality. (More)