Autumn Special 2013 #1

<NEW>

CUPW makes special delivery to Conservative Lisa Raitt

NDP Olivia Chow calls door delivery notice a 'sneak attack'

'Announced the day after the House of Commons adjourned for its winter break'

18 December 2013 MILTON Ontario CanadaThe Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has made a special delivery of more than 12,200 postcards to the riding door of Conservative Lisa Raitt.

Ms. Raitt is Minister of Transport, the department responsible for postal service in Canada.

The postcards, register strong disapproval from throughout the country because Canada Post offices are being closed or downsized.

Donald Lafleur, 4th National Vice-president of CUPW, said "The postcards were signed prior to the corporation's recent announcement that it intends to close more post offices in favour of franchises, make rates unaffordable and be the first postal administration in the world to eliminate door-to-door delivery."

"We have been trying to get a meeting with the Minister for about eight months — since July with Raitt and since March with her predecessor, Steven Fletcher.  Both Ministers told us they were too busy to meet so we decided to accommodate the Minister and fit into her busy schedule." (More)

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<NEW>

'Canada Post plan to cut all door-to-door delivery

is a simplistic and harmful solution to a serious problem'

Decision ignores CUPW campaign for postal banking

11 December 2013 OTTAWA Canada — Dennis Lemelin, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says Canada Post's decision to end door-to-door mail delivery for millions of Canadians and to dramatically increase stamp prices is short-sighted and foolish. (More)

See also

http://truenorthperspective.com/Friday_4_October_2013/CUPW_founding

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<NEW>

 
By Daniel Bruno
 
18 December 2013 (RT) — Unlike most Western pundits, I have spent time in Ukraine, dwelled in Khrushchev's Kiev apartment blocks, journeyed by train to Odessa and seen the city’s port from the steps where Eisenstein filmed.

This is the land of Shevchenko, and the birthplace of Gogol and Prokofiev, Trotsky and Gorbachev. This is where Catherine the Great brought her empire to the Black Sea. Today, 40 percent of Russian Orthodox parishes are in Ukraine.

Vladimir made Christianity the official state religion of Kievan Rus in the year 988. By comparison, Spain was still a Muslim country.

In the 20th century, Ukraine suffered immensely under Stalin's insanity, designed and produced the T-34 tank that helped him defeat Hitler and was crucial to the greatest social engineering experiment in the history of man, a vast laboratory based on the theories of Europe's most influential thinker since Aristotle: Karl Marx. (More)

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< NEW >
 
 
(!?! A 'statutory Communist' !?!)

"Mandela once told me, son, when you're engaged in guerilla warfare, take advantage of any toilet you come across — you never know when you'll come across the next one." — Ronnie Kasrils, ANC military coordinator.

By http://sabotabby.livejournal.com/

05 December 2013 sabotabby.livejournal.com — The world lost a great man today, and while it's not a tragedy as such—living to 95 and seeing your dreams, for the most part, fulfilled is a triumph that deserves more celebration than mourning—even a long-anticipated loss of someone so incredible is still painful. I won't write a long eulogy or reflection; there will be enough of those soon enough, most of which are probably already written. (I mean, he was 95 and very ill; don't tell me that the chattering class didn't have his obituary written for years.)

What I want to write about instead is the importance of memory. Tomorrow morning, I'll find out if my kids even know who Mandela was. I certainly did at their age. I'm part of the shrinking group of people whose memory—political memory, that is—is just long enough to encompass the 80s and the anti-apartheid movement, and it's strange sometimes, and it will be stranger in the next few days.

In my earliest memories, opposition to South African apartheid was radical, subversive, and dangerous. The boycott movement was a grassroots thing; governments didn't get on board until much later. Friends of mine who were active in the movement had their phones tapped—and this was here, in Canada, where they could be little threat to a racist regime on another continent. It wasn't a popular or palatable fight, not here, not in the beginning. And yet. Many of the politicians who, over the next few days, will laud his legacy, did not support the ANC's struggle, and in fact opposed it, as the ANC were deemed uncomfortably communist. (Mandela, of course, was arrested in 1952 under the Suppression of Communism Act and found guilty of "statutory communism," though the sentence was suspended. What a thing to get charged with!) (More)

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< NEW >

Five hard-hitting statements from Mandela

who opposed United States' foreign policies 

As we mourn his death, we must remember that Mandela's crusade for social justice often led him to oppose the United States' policies — and that this struggle against imperialism remains alive today.

By Jodie Gummow

06 June 2013As tributes pour in following the death of anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, it is important that we remember that as part of his ongoing crusade for global justice, Mandela was a passionate activist and longtime critic of many U.S policies and ideology.

More importantly, unlike others, he was willing to stand up and speak out against their implementation and even support their opposition in the face of controversy.

As we commemorate his death, let’s pay tribute to some of Madiba’s more memorable quotes and for telling it like it is.  Such words impacted on American activism and hopefully will serve as a reminder that the struggle must go on. (More)

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< NEW >

12 Mandela quotes not in corporate media obituaries

in unseemly rush to sanitize the man they once vilified

By Common Dreams staff

06 December 2013 — We wanted to share some Nelson Mandela quotes which we don't expect to read in the corporate media's obituaries:

"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens."
 
"If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don't care for human beings." (More)

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Savage brutality by British and Irish authorities

against the Irish working class — then and now

Image: Small cover to book, Lockout 1913 - Austerity 201304 October 2013 OTTAWA CanadaMicheal Mac Donncha, Dublin city councilor, spoke here tonight about the watershed Irish corporate lockout of 1913.

Mr. Donncha is touring Canada on the 100th anniversary of the lockout that was imposed after a strike against dire poverty in Dublin. Infant mortality was as high as Calcutta and Moscow and 40 per cent of deaths in Dublin were in workhouses.

Mr. Donnacha presented a book that is a must read for anyone who would have a serious understanding of Ireland today. The book is titled Lockout 1913 – Austerity 2013, produced by Republican Publications of the Sinn Féin Centenaries Commemoration Committee. It’s available at www.sinnfeinbookshop.com.

Readings were delivered by Shannon Lee Mannion and Kevin Dooley. (More)

 

 
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. 8, No. 14 (342)
Friday 18 October 2013
 
Editor's Notes

Clifton Nicholas of Kanesatake hits the bulls eye

when he declines to take bait offered by the CSIS

and then rejects the bullying character assassination

Youtube image of audio conversation between First Nations Clifton Nicholas and un-named CSIS agent.A First Nation's recent refusal to "have coffee" with an agent of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was an act of courage and wisdom.
 
The CSIS employs many decent people who work such as analysts and translators but like hockey coaches who want dirty work done on the ice, the CSIS hires those with psychopathic personalities who are happy to commit anything from character assassination to systematic psychological torture. 
 
For those recruited by the CSIS who have any kind of conscience and become disturbed by the required dirty work, there is a secret therapy clinic at the University of Ottawa that serves to reinforce CSIS agents on the verge of nervous breakdowns. (More)

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Now Available!

 
  Image: Cover of The Old Man's Last Sauna by Carl Dow  
 

Select your country


 

Some sober second thoughts

Shannon Lee Mannion urges caution in jumping to conclusions

about a cop shooting a teenager in a Toronto streetcar last July

By Shannon Lee Mannion
Contributing Editor
True North Perspective

Video screenshot: Shooting of Sammy YatimThere are details not being discussed about that grievous Saturday in July, on a late-night Toronto Transit Commission street car, when 18-year-old, Sammy Yatim walked to the rear, sat down among a group of teenaged girls and pulled a knife out of his pocket and his penis out of his pants.

What's that, you say, you didn't hear about the penis?

Try Googling Sammy Yatim and penis and it'll be there along with eye-witness accounts of what exactly transpired that had every passenger panicked, screaming in fear and running to the exits for their lives.

Every slow step Sammy Yatim took toward the front of the tram, right arm locked with the knife rigid in his hand and his genitals in his left, was a moment of terror for the driver and his charges. (More)

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Audrey Tobias beats 'PR disaster' census rap

'Goodness gracious,' Toronto peace activist says after judge decides she didn't violate Statistics Act

CBC News

Photo detail: Audrey Tobia via cbc.ca09 October 2013 TORONTO — An 89-year-old peace activist who refused to fill out the census because of its link to a U.S. military contractor is not guilty of violating the Statistics Act, a Toronto judge decided today.

Audrey Tobias, who faced jail time if she had been convicted, argued she didn't file her 2011 census because it is processed using software from Lockheed Martin.

Outside the Old City Hall courthouse after the ruling, the Toronto woman thanked the judge and said her first thought was "goodness gracious" when the ruling came down. (More)

Heartfelt thanks and clarification by Audrey Tobias

A war veteran who condemns Harper's war policies

The following statement was distributed by Audrey Tobias just prior to the session during which Ontario Court of Justice Judge Ramez Khawly made his statement finding Ms Tobias not guilty as charged for failing to fill out and returning the 2011 census form.

I am grateful for the many people who attended my trial and sentencing to support me. I am also thankful to my lawyer, Peter Rosenthal, who took this case pro-bono.

While many have called me a pacifist, I want to make clear that I am not a pacifist. I am a veteran of WW II and participated in training exercises to simulate naval battles for officers. I am however, opposed to the indiscriminate use of weapons that maim and kill civilians — and of course — profoundly convinced that all countries should agree together in the United Nations to abolish nuclear weapons. This is the goal of VANA (Veterans Against Nuclear Arms) of which I became a part at its inception in 1983. I have been committed to peaceful and just solutions of international crises, since the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (More)

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Malala to Obama: 'Drones Fueling Terrorism'

Anger breeds terrorists while innocents killed

By Philip Rucker
The Washington Post

12 October 2013Malala Yousafzai may not have won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday 11 October, but she enjoyed a private Oval Office audience with President Obama and the first family.

Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are "fueling terrorism."

"I thanked President Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees," Yousafzai said in a statement published by the Associated Press. "I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact."
(More)

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Blame Canada: Greedy for oil money

the country is turning into a rogue petrostate

Harper, elected in 2006, is risking his country’s political and ecological security by exploiting what Foreign Policy calls 'the world’s most volatile resource.'
 
By Claire Thompson
grist.org

24 June 2013 — When I recently interviewed Canadian artist Franke James, whose outspoken appeals to her government for climate action landed her on Ottawa’s shit list, I was taken aback to hear her casually refer to her country as a “petrostate.” I knew Canada’s been spending gobs of federal money to promote its tar-sands agenda, but I didn’t realize our mild-mannered northern neighbor was approaching the ranks of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria in its single-minded embrace of oil as the nation’s lifeblood.

An unforgiving article in the latest Foreign Policy magazine lays out how conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been aggressively pursuing development of the Alberta oil sands and remaking the country in the political image of the George W. Bush-era United States: (More)
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O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is the first of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

Struggle to establish the Canadian Union of Postal Workers

transformed working conditions for all federal employees

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective/True North Humanist Perspective

Photo detail: Willie Houle directs striking postal workers, 1965.In 1965, while working for Canadian Press (CP) in Montreal, I interviewed Willie Houle who was the Québec leader of what was to soon become the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). The union was engaging the federal government in a nation-wide illegal strike for union recognition.

Willie Houle told me, during a relaxed back yard interview on a hot summer late afternoon in the shade of his home, about how the formation of what was to become CUPW was developed like an underground organization because union organization of federal government employees was forbidden by law. It was a fascinating story of secret meetings in unusual places that I wrote for CP and which was front-paged or otherwise prominently placed on the inside pages of newspapers throughout the country.

I'll never forget when Willie Houle said that aside from union recognition one of the union's demands was that mail sorters, mostly women, would be allowed to sit on stools while working rather than having to stand on cement floors during their eight-hour shifts.

In 1981, after another strike, CUPW became the first federal civil service union in Canada to win the right to maternity leave for its members.

The union today has approximately 54,000 members and has a long history of militancy originating in 1965 when the union was formed out of the old Canadian Postal Employees Association. CUPW's first major strike was the illegal wildcat strike in 1965 (before public sector workers had the right to strike or even form unions) and is the largest illegal strike in the history of Canada involving government employees. The action succeeded in winning the right to collective bargaining for all public sector employees. Other major industrial actions included a strike in 1968 and a campaign of walkouts in 1970 that resulted in above average wage increases. (More)

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O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is the second of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

Having avoided the grizzly bear, Dennis Carr survived

with twisted ankle, slashed hand, and forgiving spouse

'No pistol-packing Canadian border guards or dour Homeland Security sentries'

By Dennis Carr
Contributing Editor
True North Perspective/True North Humanist Perspective

Photo: Detail of campsite at Blowdown LakeAttentive True North Perspective readers may recall a slight tidbit in September 2011 featuring an excellent family backpacking adventure into Assiniboine and Banff Parks high in the Canadian Rockies. After that successful trek, another backpacking trip was definitely on the agenda for the Carr/Kreda crew so in August 2012 we loaded up the Corolla and pointed it east from Vancouver toward two extraordinary southern British Columbia (BC) parks — Skagit Valley Provincial Park and Stein Valley Wilderness Park.

Skagit Valley is located south of the Fraser River between Hope and the 49th parallel on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains. The Stein Valley Wilderness is located further north, between the Fraser River on the east and the Coast Mountains to the west.  These are two very different parks offering up different eco systems. One is easily accessible and provides basic tent camping and hiking amenities. The other is remote, hard to access and much less accommodating of amateurish behaviour. The common thread linking these two parks, other than their spectacular beauty, is that both exist because concerted citizen environmental activism saved the landscapes from economic exploitation.

Skagit Valley Provincial Park and North Cascades National Park

Skagit Valley Provincial Park is part of a larger protected area that includes North Cascades National Park in Washington State, one of the largest protected areas in the USA. Ten times larger than its Canadian counterpart, this large tract of territory contains the Ross Lake Dam and Reservoir, an important source of hydroelectricity for Seattle. 

In this era of high theatrics associated with crossing the Canada-U.S border, the crossing between Skagit Valley Provincial Park (BC) and North Cascades National Park (Washington State) must be one of the most unusual. There are no pistol-packing Canadian border guards or dour Homeland Security sentries. There's no need to carry a passport or even a driver’s license because no one is there to ask for identification and the purpose of your visit. The dirt road that leads into the Ross Lake campground in BC crosses onto US soil and ends abruptly a few hundred meters into North Cascades Park in an area known as Hozomeen, which is where many people choose to camp. (More)

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Compassion, courage, as unarmed woman talks down

armed would-be assassin at Georgia elementary school

Read the story, see the video by clicking HERE

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At the Obama White House

Transparency Transhmarency

Obama has illegally spied on Americans since 2008

By Lloyd Grove
Washington Bureau
The Daily Beast
 
23 August 2013 — Trying to force The Washington Post to change real quotes was just the latest White House obfuscation. Team Obama has been at it for years, Lloyd Grove reports.

President Obama frequently claims that he’s leading “the most transparent administration in history,” as he asserted last February during a Google Plus “Fireside” Hangout.

But that self-administered pat on the back is belied by The Washington Post’s recent account of how the president’s spin doctors allegedly tried to rewrite quotes from reporter Barton Gellman’s interview with the National Security Agency’s chief compliance officer. The interview was conducted for Gellman’s blockbuster story on the NSA’s persistent unauthorized  surveillance since 2008 of thousands of Americans’ phone calls and emails, and the super-secret agency’s apparent policy of covering up its improper domestic spying. (More)

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The Syrian chemical weapons use canard

By Stephen Lendman
http://www.mathaba.net

21 August 2013 — Throughout months of conflict, Assad faced repeated accusations of chemical weapons use. No evidence whatever suggests it.

Clear evidence suggests otherwise. Wrongful accusations persist. They ring hollow. They lack credibility. It doesn't matter. They repeat with disturbing regularity.

On August 21, The New York Times headlined "Syrian Rebels Accuse Government of Chemical Attack." (More)

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How Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald's

partner in truth helped Snowden spill his secrets

By Peter Maass
mathaba.net
 
13 August 2013 — This past January, Laura Poitras received a curious e-mail from an anonymous stranger requesting her public encryption key. For almost two years, Poitras had been working on a documentary about surveillance, and she occasionally received queries from strangers. She replied to this one and sent her public key — allowing him or her to send an encrypted e-mail that only Poitras could open, with her private key — but she didn’t think much would come of it.

The stranger responded with instructions for creating an even more secure system to protect their exchanges. Promising sensitive information, the stranger told Poitras to select long pass phrases that could withstand a brute-force attack by networked computers. “Assume that your adversary is capable of a trillion guesses per second,” the stranger wrote. (More)

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Kiss not a gay protest, say runners

21 August 2013 MOSCOW Russia (REUTERS) — Two Russian female gold medal-winners at the Moscow World Athletics Championships expressed bewilderment on Tuesday over media claims that their jubilant podium kiss was a symbol of gay defiance against a new Russian law banning homosexual propaganda aimed at children. (More)

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Four cases of US sheltering vicious criminals

reveal Washington's hypocrisy about Snowden

From a CIA agent to a Cuban terrorist

the US shelters those accused of heinous crimes

By Alex Kane
AlterNet.org

14 August 2013 — Russia’s decision early this month to grant National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden temporary asylum in the country has led to a chorus of US officials and media personalities denouncing Vladimir Putin.

“Russia has stabbed us in the back, and each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife,” said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on August 2. “Putin is acting like a schoolyard bully.” David Satter of the conservative publication National Review used the occasion to write that “ Russia, unlike the U.S., has no rule of law.” (More)

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Ready or not … Here we come!

RCMP has a target of six terrorist arrests this year

Accused's lawyer says Leg Bomb Plot involved RCMP sting

Questions mount after Nuttall and Korody's recent court appearance

By Bill Tieleman
TheTyee.ca

13 August 2013 — "I think it's fair to say yes, this involved undercover, Mr. Big type covert operations." — Tom Morino, lawyer for B.C. Legislature bomb-plot-accused John Nuttall.

Did you know that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has a target of six disruptions of "terrorist criminal activities" this fiscal year?

No doubt one of those six disruptions happened when the RCMP arrested John Nuttall and Amanda Korody on charges of plotting to explode pressure-cooker bombs outside the BC Legislature on July 1 during Canada Day celebrations. (More)

"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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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.

From the Desk of Nick Aplin

There can be no life without laughter

Why old men don't get hired

Job interview

Human Resources Manager: What is your greatest weakness?

Old Man: Honesty.

Human Resources Manager: I don't think honesty is a weakness.

Old Man: I don't really give a shit what you think.


 
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

Questions

1.  What was the original name of Canadian Tire Centre, home of the Ottawa Senators?
 
a)    The Corel Centre  b) The Sensplex  c) The Palladium
 
2. In what decade was Canada’s first mobile phone introduced?
 
a) 1940s  b) 1950s  c) 1960s d) 1970s
 
3. True or false?  Canadian Vicki Keith was the first person to swim across all five of the Great Lakes.
 
Answers.

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Science
 
 
19 September 2013 — Facts don’t matter when it comes to politics according to a new scientific study. How many times have you been in a debate and the other person simply won’t acknowledge that they are wrong, despite factual evidence proving otherwise? According to a new study by Dan Kahan, a professor at Yale University, people are more likely to stick with their initial answer when facts prove them wrong. The subjects were initially assessed on their proficiency in Numeracy and their scores were noted. When the data was presented in a political context but the data remained identical, they did worse.
 
Scientifically they have proven that despite being provided with a fact that should change your belief on a subject, your political views distort the truth. Your mind already has an answer established so you are looking for proof that supports it, which is literally working backward in the scientific world. Confirmation bias has been proven to be the reason why smart people on all sides of the political spectrum can somehow manage to fail at providing factual arguments. (More)

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Book Review

Kevin Dooley: The Angira Legacy And The Catalyst

A novel dangerous to start because its hard to put down

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective/True North Humanist Perspective

Image: Cover, The Angira Legacy and The CatalystAs editor, I receive many books for review. Because of time and energy constraints, I reluctantly ask others to review them; reluctantly, because I’d selfishly prefer to read and review them myself.

This is what I had in mind for Kevin Dooley’s novel The Angira Legacy And The Catalyst.

When Mr. Dooley’s latest literary achievement arrived I took it with me to my breakfast table thinking, at least I’ll have a look at it while I’m eating.

A major happy mistake, because then I couldn’t put it down, and a reviewer, unknowingly, somewhere, was denied the privilege of reading and reviewing this masterpiece.

However, still suffering from severe time constraints, I’m reaching to two learned minds who have reviewed the novel, and then to the author with a summary in his own words. (More)

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Hitler’s Killer Women revealed in new history

By Wendy Lower
thedailybeast.com

6 October 2013 — A new book pulls back the veil on the widespread involvement of women in the Third Reich’s most murderous and brutal activities. An exclusive excerpt from Wendy Lower’s Hitler’s Furies.

The history of female killers — Hitler’s Furies — during the Third Reich has been suppressed, overlooked, and under-researched. Given the ideological indoctrination of the young cohort of men and women who came of age in the Third Reich, their mass mobilization in the eastern campaign, and the culture of genocidal violence embedded in Nazi conquest and colonization, I deduced — as a historian, not a prosecutor — that there were plenty of women who killed Jews and other “enemies” of the Reich, more than had been documented during the war or prosecuted afterward. Though the documented cases of direct killing are not numerous, they must be taken very seriously and not dismissed as anomalies. Hitler’s Furies were not marginal sociopaths. They believed that their violent deeds were justified acts of revenge meted out to enemies of the Reich; such deeds were, in their minds, expressions of loyalty. So much for the tender sex. (More)

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Corporate Law

Impact, echoes, of the Wal-Mart Discrimination Case

By Nina Martin,
ProPublica | News Analysis
truthout

29 September 2013 — When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes in June 2011, no one needed a Richter scale to know it was a Big One. In throwing out a mammoth lawsuit by women employees who claimed that they’d been systematically underpaid and underpromoted by the world’s biggest corporation, the ruling upended decades of employment discrimination law and raised serious barriers to future large-scale discrimination cases of every kind. (More)

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How and what the rich buy, live-in, and sell

Top ten real estate deals in the United States

Hot Home News: Historic Ted Koppel, Virginia and New Orleans Homes

This week at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com, we take a look at Ted Koppel's Maryland home that dates back to at least 1765 and may have once been set on fire by a pirate, a 1920's New Orleans home that was transformed from a church and ballet studio, and the Virginia estate of America's best selling female writer of the early 1900s.  

Ted Koppel's Historic Home

A valuable part of history, Cross Manor was originally a King’s Land Grant of 2,000 acres granted to Thomas Cornwallis in 1639. The land grant was bestowed upon Cornwallis by King Charles I as a reward for bringing the first two ships of Catholics to the New World. As with almost all of the original land grants, the land was divided and sold over the years. Cross Manor now rests on 110 acres along the shore of Saint Inigoes Creek in Maryland. Many say the Cross Manor main house may be the oldest in Maryland.

Current owner Ted Koppel writes about Cross Manor in his book Off Camera and says the main house dates back to at least 1765, but believes the original building “was pillaged and set on fire by a pirate named Ingles.” At one time a Civil War military facility stood on the property as well as commercial wharfs along the waterfront.

The manor house consists of 3,032 square feet with four bedrooms and three baths with public rooms opening from a side hallway. Floors are the original wood as is the wall paneling. The home has been completely restored under the historic trusts guidelines. There are also two one-bedroom guest houses and other agricultural buildings on the property of historical value. The grounds have today’s recreational features of swimming pool, lighted tennis courts and pier.

Ted Koppel’s Cross Manor historic Maryland estate, now offered for sale at $3.945 million.

New Orleans Ballet/Church Conversion

According to the owner, some people remember it as a church, Westminster Presbyterian, built in the1920s as a house of worship for a historic congregation started in the 1830s. The house is filled with plaques commemorating the contributions of their followers. The church sold it to the Ballet Hysell in the 1980s, which was led by the legendary Maestro Harvey Hysell. He lived in two apartments and left the main place of worship as a dance studio.

The large dance studio was visited by ballet notables like Mikhail Baryshnikov from the Russian Ballet on their first American tour. The first floor was dedicated to practice rooms, costumes and set designs. On Halloween, Hysell would host a Masquerade Ball and at Christmas would present The Nutcracker. In 1999, the current owners purchased the building and began a major renovation to turn it into a home, including all new electrical, heating/cooling and plumbing systems. They added new structures, relocated the elevator shaft, closed in the front yard and added a living green roof garden - currently New Orleans largest.

This church-turned-ballet-turned home in New Orleans’ Garden District has 13,292 square feet with an open living area and high ceilings. There are six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, which includes three fully equipped one-bedroom apartments that are entered from a different street.

Asking $2.5 million for 1927 Westminster Presbyterian Church converted to single family home.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House

Wright’s 1923 Millard House was his first Usonian residence, which design was intended to be simple enough so owners could build their own. But even after years of concept refinement, the style never was perfected to the point where the average middle class homeowner could construct one alone. This house, referred to as La Miniatura by the Millard family who commissioned the home, with its massive poured concrete and block walls could never have been managed by the average homeowner. Wright’s vision for this home, as with his others, was to have it focus on the land formation of its building site. Usually, he laid his homes horizontally, but with La Miniatura, he designed vertically to take full advantage of the low ravine views that led down to a seasonal creek. Frank’s son, Lloyd Wright, also took a big part in the home by creating the landscape design for the entire property and later designing the guest house.

The interior of the main house has a play of changing light filtering in through the open, patterned block walls and expanses of glass and doors opening out to the tranquil views. The vertical ceiling beams appear to have almost a carved beaded look, which coordinates nicely with Alice Millard’s heavily carved doors. High ceilings, glass doors and signature built-ins accentuate the rooms. The main house has a dining room, den, loft, art studio, basement, guest-maids quarters, two kitchens and large living room. The guest house is also open and airy with both opening out to the courtyard garden and pond.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s first Usonian home, now offered at $5.25 million.

Virginia's Historic Three Hills Estate

Born in 1870, Mary Johnston was a waif of a woman but a giant of an author. To Have and to Hold, her most famous work, was only part of her contribution as she was an activist in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and brought the Civil War to her readers from the soldier’s point of view. One claim to fame was how she ruffled the feathers of General Stonewall Jackson’s widow by portraying his rather fanatical peculiarities as observed by his soldiers in her historical novel, The Long Roll.  As Anna Jackson was the General’s widow for fifty years, her personal image as the wife of an honored general was paramount to her social success. However, when Mary Johnston portrayed the real Stonewall as a religious zealot and hypochondriac with large and awkward feet who constantly sucked on lemons, Anna Jackson went into a frenzy of rebuttal, not necessarily denying the total description. All in all, Mary Johnston was not afraid to voice the results of her research and observations through her writing, but in later years the growing controversy led to diminished sales of her work. In 1912, Johnston built a mansion in Warm Springs, Virginia that she named Three Hills, which she turned into an inn in 1917 to help support her family.

Three Hills Estate is comprised of the manor house, a multi-function activity/conference center and four cottages. The total combined properties consist of 80 rooms with 22 bedrooms, 22 bathrooms, eight kitchens, and nine fireplaces totaling more than 20,000 square feet of space on 27.24 acres. The manor house, designed in Italianate style, is adorned with dentil and crown molding, crystal chandeliers, transom windows and ornate fireplace surrounds. Located in the Allegheny Highlands, views overlook the town of Warm Springs and distant valleys. One of the gardens is an intricate boxwood maze ending with a central fountain. Only four miles away is the internationally known Homestead Resort with its plethora of year round amenities.

The Three Hills estate was erected in 1912 by the famous Virginia novelist Mary Johnston. The royalties from her most successful novel, To Have and to Hold, defrayed the construction costs of Three Hills. Asking $1.4 million.

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  Image: Cover of The Old Man's Last Sauna by Carl Dow  
 

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