December 2014

Canadian woman blew the whistle that led to a $9 billion fine

for JP Morgan Chase on a 'massive criminal securities fraud'

Image: Chase whistle-blower Alayne Fleischmann, photo by Andrew Querner.

A shocking report that details how Washington colludes with Wall

Street in criminal activity that continues to rob the public of billions

Alayne Fleischmann was raised in Terrace, British Columbia, Canada. After leaving Canada, she attended Cornell Law School and then began working on Wall Street. Prior to entering the financial sector she had worked in human rights. But, once working in securities law, she discovered she had a passion for it. She felt that, in those days, it was a "very respectable" field, and that there was "nothing shady about" it.

By Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone

06 November 2014 Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep her from talking

She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn't take it anymore.

"It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street," she says. "I thought, 'I can't sit by any longer.'"

‘Occupy made it possible’
Fleischmann to Max Keiser

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She's had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing. (More)


Meanwhile, back in Canada ...

Our 'competent economic managers', the Harper Government,

Gave away $50 million tax-payer-funded Ebola vaccine

For a measly $205,000 (after sitting on it for a decade)

By Thomas Walkom
The Toronto Star

Image: MATHILDE MISSIONEIRO / AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO25 November 1014 — The strange case of Canada’s Ebola vaccine became even stranger Monday.

That’s when the pharmaceutical multinational Merck announced it will pay $50 millionfor commercial rights to manufacture and develop the vaccine, invented at the federal government’s National Microbiological Laboratory in Winnipeg.

That a drug giant would shell out $50 million is not in itself peculiar. At a time when the rich world is close to panicking over Ebola, there are only two experimental vaccines aimed at the virus. Canada’s VSV-EBOV is one of them.

Europe and America have belatedly come to realize that Ebola is not just an African disease.

What is odd, however, is that the money goes not to the Canadian publicly owned entity that developed the vaccine but to a small U.S. middleman that appears to have done little. (More.)

'Not my Average 14-hour day'

A personal account of the Toronto elections complete with

a beer-drinking Doug Ford supporter and his sudden absence

By Nigel Aplin
Special to True North Perspctive

Image: Photo of Doug Ford and others against image of For for Mayor signage.“Nigel, there’s a guy just outside the door drinking beer and he has a Ford For Mayor sign with him,” reported one of my ten staff at the Wallace Emerson Community Centre on Dufferin Street, south of Dupont in the north part of Ward 18. It was municipal election day — 27 October 2014 — a few minutes before the polls opened.

There were about 50 voters waiting in line along a hallway outside the gym — some patiently and others less so. I was the Managing Deputy Returning Officer (MDRO — the person in charge of the poll) and everything was ultimately my responsibility. I looked up and could see the man with an open beer in his hand, sitting on a chair plastered with Ford signage. Every voter waiting in the line could clearly see him through the hallway window. (More)


Jian Gomeshi: One coin, two sides

Young Winnipeg woman, a fan of BDSM since she was 19,

says she enjoyed consensual rough sex sessions with Ghomeshi

By Jessica Botelho-Urbanski
The Winniipeg Free Press
12 November 2014 WINNIPEG — After finishing her shift on the evening of Sunday 26 October, she unlocked her phone and was deluged with messages.
"Hey, were you raped?" one text message from an acquaintance read.
"What? Who writes that?" she thought, dumbfounded.
And then, the Winnipeg woman began to piece together what had exploded on social media while she was serving tables all night — and what it meant to her and her private life. (More)
Image: Photo of Jian Gomeshi. Chris Young/AP
By Kathryn Borel
The Guardian
2 December 2014 — I used to work as a radio producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. A few months into my job in 2007, I let out a big yawn at a staff meeting and my host told me “I want to hate fuck you, to wake you up.” I was 27 years old. I made sure never to yawn in front of him again.
After that, there were the uninvited back massages at my desk to which it was clear I couldn’t say no, during which my host’s hands would slide down just a little too close to the tops of my breasts. A year into my time on the job, he grabbed my rear end and claimed he couldn’t control himself because of my skirt. Occasionally my host would stand in the doorway of his office when no one was around and slowly undo his shirt by two or three buttons while staring at me, grinning. (More.)

Facts reveal that Canada Post and Conservatives are wrong

Post Office profits deny justification for cut in home delivery

26 November 2014 OTTAWACanada Post is reporting yet another profit in its third quarter and expects to end the year with a surplus. The union representing postal workers says the profits show that Canada Post can stay successful without eliminating home delivery. (More)


Don't let Canada Post end door to door delivery

Please sign the petition and save our postal service

Image: Photo of person struggling through snowstorm using walker.

By Susan Dixon

I wonder, has anyone at Canada Post ever tried to to push a stroller or a wheelchair or a walker through the snow? I don't think they realize the impact of ending door-to-door mail delivery when it comes to the parents of young children, to the disabled, and to the elderly, especially in winter.  

Millions of Canadians were surprised and angry to learn they may have to travel kilometers to get their mail. I am the mother of two young boys. My youngest has cerebral palsy and uses a walker or wheelchair to get around. For me, Canada Post’s decision would mean having to bundle them up and struggle through the snow with a wheelchair just to get our mail.  And I am just one of thousands of Canadians who must already overcome mobility challenges on a daily basis. (Click here to sign the petition!)

This petition will be delivered to:

President and CEO, Canada Post, Deepak Chopra
Senior VP, Delivery and Customer Experience, Canada Post, Douglas Jones
VP, Customer Relations, Canada Post, Stephen Edmondson
VP, Communications and Public Affairs, Canada Post, Jo-Anne Polak
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Government of Canada, Lisa Rai

The Old Man's Last Sauna
by Carl Dow
'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: Link to BumblePuppy Press Amazon store

Click here for True North Humanist Perspective

While Americans weren't looking, intellectually stunted

politicians brought them closer to all-out war with Russia


Lame duck out of the Silk Road caravan

Neo-cons lead once proud Washington down to the swamp of oblivion


The Book Case

The truth on female desire: Base, Animalistic and Ravenous
A new book on women's sexuality turns everything we think we know on its head.


How many Muslim countries

has the U.S. bombed or occupied since 1980?


Putin demonized for thwarting

neocon plan for global domination


The bullying of Hungary

The country that dared to disobey the US and EU


The human face of the young men and women who ready

themselves for the next Kiev attack on their democracy

'They shell our cathedrals. They destroyed a convent near the airport. They shot a priest dead in Konstantinovka last May. So the Orthodox believers are here for a reason'


TrueNorth Humanist Perspective

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. 10, No. 01 (353)
December 1 2014

Editor's Notes

Sex on The Hill, Lies, the birth of True North Perspective

and Harper's hit-and-run Putin stunt for the prairie vote

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

Nude Liberals and being a poor sport

When I returned to Ottawa in 1986 I rented a room for a couple of months on Powell Avenue in The Glebe. My landlady worked on The Hill as a secretary (I think they call them Administrative Assistants today) with the New Democratic Party caucus. She paid for her home by renting rooms to New Democrat Members of Parliament. After several conversations I asked her what she was doing with the New Democrats? You sound like a Liberal. She frowned and said:

"When I first started working I got hired as a secretary with the Liberals. After a few weeks, a secretary for one of the Liberal MPs came to my desk on a Friday afternoon and invited me to a house party after work. I felt honoured and was delighted. I said I had to do some urgent shopping and would come after that. She gave me the address on a street in what was then called Eastview, and is now called Vanier. (More)


Letters to the Editor

'Many bravos' for True North Perspective

I am greatly impressed with True North Perspective, many bravos. I'm not in a position to contribute right now, but you are on my mind. I have forwarded the link to several friends.
Keep on truckin,
Toby Brooks
Ottawa, ON


Reader with high praise for Geneviève Hone's wisdom

finally breaks through with direct Letter to the Editor

I very much have enjoyed Geneviève Hone's articles for many years and I have tried several times to respond in your response box but every single time something goes awry. Most recently I have written five different comments on five different occasions and each one of them failed to go through. I have NO idea what the problem is because each time, it is a different one. First it was the name of the Home page, then it was the Comment box, then it was maybe the mechanics of submitting. Each time the entire page with everything on it would simply disappear!

I fully appreciate her work and said something along the lines of how Geneviève managed to focus on the real and underpinning issues in this article as she always does!  She attempted to help the woman who was asking for her help (please click HERE to read Geneviève Hone's column - Editor) to see that the two things that were 'stumping' her from writing to the child of the recently deceased father and actually putting pen to paper and writing to him, were 1) the false idea that she did not know the father well enough to write about him and 2) she feared she could not write. Geneviève managed, as usual, to free this woman by encouraging her to see that the process of actually doing both of these things (realizing that no one fully knows another; and, she has already written many things) is the cure. The process itself is healing.

Thanks for publishing Geneviève's works. I do think that she has so much to give in the area of family values and counseling.

All the best,
Erin Malloy Hanley
Ottawa ON
(As we have explained, True North Perspective is grossly underfunded and understaffed. To mix metsphors we are as busy as a one-armed jugglar barefoot on a hot tin roof. With sincere thanks for your patience, we ask all readers, until further notice, to address all further communications to <> As we get time we'll solve the Comments problem. Meanwhile you'll be sure to get published.
Looking forward – Carl Dow, Editor.)


Op Ed

Save the corporations…I mean children

'Tony Blair 'transformed' lives of kids by killing them'

'Save the Children’s award to Tony Blair may have stepped over the line and provoked outrage, but this problem has been cruising quietly just under the surface for a long time, as big charities have moved so far into lockstep with government and corporate interests as to become virtually indistinguishable from them. You can’t challenge the establishment when you are part of it.'

By Dr. Roslyn Fuller

Currently a Research Associate at the INSYTE Group, Dr. Roslyn Fuller has previously lectured at Trinity College and the National University of Ireland. She tweets at @roslynfuller

Image: Former Minister of the United Kingdom and Global Legacy Award Honoree Tony Blair (AFP Photo/Stephen Lovekin)28 November 2014 When Save the Children chose to bestow the Global Legacy Award on Tony Blair, the charity inadvertently revealed the dark underbelly of NGO activity.

When Tony Blair received the Global Legacy Award last week from Save the Children, an organization dedicated to “transforming children’s lives,” it seemed like a bad joke to many people. This, after all, was a man who had been willing to use fabricated evidence to launch an illegal war against Iraq during his time as Britain’s Prime Minister, a conflict that irrevocably “transformed” the lives of thousands of children by killing them. These days Blair is advising the new military regime in Egypt and doing a sideline in Saudi oil kickbacks. We don’t hear too much about children in either of those countries, but I’m willing to bet that living under military or aristocratic dictatorship isn’t too good for the little mites, especially when, as is the case with Saudi Arabia, child marriage is nothing unusual. (More)


 Op Ed

Why Canada's jobs future is sinking like a stone

Our business elites got all they wanted. Still they fail to invest, innovate and compete.

By Murray Dobbin

Image: Cartoon by Greg Perry.01 December 2014 Canada's economy is increasingly at the mercy of a risk-averse, inept corporate elite addicted to government tax breaks. They are enabled by an ideologically addled government that is incompetent.

It is a deadly combination -- a dumb and dumber team dragging us backwards at a time when the world is hoping there won't be another economic collapse.

Recent media reports reinforce what we have known for decades about the Canadian corporate elite. One highlighted Canada's dismal performance when it comes to research and development, the other our pathetic efforts at broadening our markets for exports. More and more evidence piles up that we are de-industrializing -- reminding me of the Star Trek episode where the whole crew starts devolving. Captain Picard is destined to become a pygmy marmoset. I wonder what the end point for Canada might be? (More)



Iran and Stephen Harper’s need for foreign enemies: Walkom

For a tired government seeking re-election, foreign threats don’t have to be real to be useful

By Thomas Walkom
National Affairs
The Toronto Star

03 December 2014 When Canada closed its embassy in Iran two years ago, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government cited safety fears.

“The Iranian regime has shown a blatant disregard for the Vienna Convention and its guarantees of protection for diplomatic personnel,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said then.
Coming less than a year after a mob set fire to Britain’s embassy in Tehran, this explanation made some sense. Iran is also the country that famously allowed students to hold U.S. diplomats hostage in 1979.

But news this week casts serious doubt on Canada’s official rationale. An internal foreign affairs report aired on CBC reveals that nine months before the embassy shutdown, Canadian diplomats in Tehran weren’t much concerned about rioting mobs. (More)


Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is 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

A mature approach to labour relations

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Image: Cover of Humanity's Saving Grace, a novel by Alex Binkley. Click to purchase at

01 December 2014The agreement by the Seaway Management Corp and Unifor, which represents the waterway’s 460 employees, to have an arbitrator settle contentious issues in a new labour contract may be a breakthrough in labour relations in Canada.
It’s one matter for a company or union to lock out employees or go on strike when the only parties likely to suffer from the action are the company and the workers. It’s their economic issues that are a stake. The disruption to the public is fairly minimal and consumers can shop from other stores or get services or products from alternate suppliers. It’s a completely different matter when, for example, the Seaway shuts down hurting farmers and other bulk commodity shippers that really have no choice but to use the waterway. Or when the railways or ports are closed because of a labour dispute. The economic fallout is spread across the country and naturally leads to calls for government intervention to limit the economic damage. (More)
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Dramatic arrest of Kinder Morgan protesters

met with defiance and pride in RCMP rapid sweep

"I am really proud of each and every one of the people who stood up....Civil disobedience is the last straw in our political system, when we're facing unjust laws" — Dr. Lynne Quarmby

By Mychaylo Prystupa
Vancouver Observer

Image: Brigette DePape, a Vancouver-based activist, is among more than 14 protesters against Kinder Morgan getting arrested on Burnaby Mountain on Thursday. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.20 November 2014 Thursday (November 20) was the most dramatic day in a months-long battle between citizens and Texas-based Kinder Morgan over the company's controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

In a rapid sweep, RCMP arrested as many as two dozen Kinder Morgan protesters on Burnaby Mountain, stirring strong emotions among opponents to the Edmonton-to-Burnaby pipeline.

The arrests were for “civil contempt” of a court order permitting the company's pipeline survey work.  The first wave of arrests took protesters by surprise around 8:30 a.m. (More)


Ann Craft's fracking nightmare

A top lawyer's startling counsel

Albertan's son, seeking legal help, records an insider's blunt advice on how petro giants and regulators fend off lawsuits

By Andrew Nikiforuk
05 December 2014 In fall 2013 Brent O'Neil*, a veteran global oil and gas driller, went in search of a lawyer to help his mother, realtor Ann Craft.

For the last two years she's been embroiled with a fight with the province's regulators over two separate incidents as exclusively reported by The Tyee yesterday.

In 2012, a seismic-like event lifted up the deck of his mother's mobile home in central Alberta. It damaged her property and even changed the topography of her land.

Both O'Neil and Craft suspect that the shallow gas drilling and fracking program for four nearby coal seam wells by Houston-based Quicksilver Resources at the time probably accounted for the seismic event. Quicksilver denies any role.

Then things got worse. Months later, a trucking company delivered a batch of contaminated water containing sour crude oil to Craft's cistern. Craft showered in the toxic water and has suffered ill health and repeated trips to doctors ever since. (More)


By Geneviève Hone

Where There Is A Family

There's always advice from Granny Witch

On an unhurried Christmas

'It's never too late to have a happy childhood'

December 2014

Hone, small image.

Image: Detail of drawing, Decembre 2014, by Julien Mercure.Dear Granny Witch

Your name came up at our family meeting two days ago. I very much would have wished you to be there in person to help us talk in a civilized manner.  

We were discussing what to do for Christmas. We are a blended family. I believe that is the current word to describe our situation. My husband and I were single parents, with one child each. We met, fell in love, married and within a semi-reasonable amount of time, had two more children. Generally, we all get along with one another, but things get complicated around Christmas because of an abundance of grandparents. Too many grandparents shouldn’t be a problem as such, but visiting them around Christmas has become a hassle. It’s mainly grandmas we are talking about here because in all our families, there remains only one grandfather, the others having passed away. All our grandmas are loving and loved. They have not at all been problematic old ladies who require high maintenance. Recently, however, one grandma has developed mobility problems, one is struggling to control high blood pressure, one has memory lapses that aren’t funny any longer and one is all over the place trying to find the man who will be elected to serve as her fourth husband. We honour all our grandmas, but I’m beginning to question if we really need to visit them all, right in the darkest days of winter. We live in Winnipeg, Granny Witch. Winnipeg, Canada.

It turns out that the older children want to spend time with their friends during the vacation while the younger children wish to travel to Disneyworld with all the grandmas and the one grandfather. My husband and I feel slightly guilty, but we are secretly dreaming of a Christmas vacation where we could stay put and actively and deliberately do nothing. But with four children under the age of 12, we well know that doing “nothing” is the ultimate impossible dream! (More)


Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Beware! Take care! Prevent slips, trips and falls

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

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-SinclairImage: Detail of photo of man slipping on ice.1 December 2014 — We’ve had our first blast of winter in November and we all know that our Canadian winters are long and harsh. Navigating in snowy, slushy and/or icy conditions can spell serious injury and long-standing misery. Everyone has fallen at one time or another but the risks of fractures are higher as we age. A broken hip, for example, can mean the beginning of the end for a fragile individual.

Slips and falls can occur anywhere so we really have to be aware of our body and our environment. I remember, two years ago, dropping in at the St. Laurent Shopping Center to do some Christmas shopping. I was on a mission with limited time left to make my purchases. I walked quickly past the Laura Secord store and found my feet suddenly flying forward as if on a snowboard. I fell to the floor. A kind gentleman came over and helped me up while asking if I was hurt. I looked at him with a puzzled look as he added: “You took that fall like a pro!” I was dazed, “What happened?” We both looked back and saw a streak of melted ice cream where I had lost my footing. He told me this was not the first time he had seen this and promptly went over to advise a clerk there was melted ice cream on the floor. (More)


Spirit Quest

On Waiting

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

1 December 2014 “Life is on a wire. Everything else is waiting.” Nik Wallenda, the dare devil tight rope walker who had crossed the Niagara gorge on a wire, quoted his grandfather, Karl, who had been less lucky than he. Karl died in a fall in Puerto Rico in 1978 at age 73. On Sunday evening, November 2, Nik proceeded out on a wire stretched high over the Chicago River between three skyscrapers, this time without any safety harness or net. The broadcasters of the event had instituted a 10 second time delay to spare viewers from having to witness a tragic end to the space walk.

“Everything else is waiting,” so repeated Nik. Waiting is not always a pleasant experience but it is one that each of us have been subject to in our lifetime. (More)


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.

ParkTales Image, small

Image: Photo-illustration of Bangladeshi sweatshop fire behind backdrop of young girl wearing a Disney Princess costume.01 December 2014 — Tonight as I was watching television and the ads came on, a little girl was pictured at Toys R Us. She magically twirled around and turned into a little princess in a beautiful blue dress.

My mind immediately flashed back to that terrible fire in a sweatshop factory in Bangladesh. A  place where some of these clothes were made, perhaps that little blue dress. To where the children will not be enjoying a magical transformation  in one of these  dresses that their parents made working for slave wages in sweatshops. Many of whom perished in that fire.

Then came the news. People fleeing their countries as bombs fall on innocent civilians – women and children, little girls just like that little girl in the Toys R Us  ad.

Across the screen under the news “donate unwrapped toys so every child will have a gift.” (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.

WikiLeaks publishes secret draft chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Treaty negotiated in secret between 12 nations 'would trample over individual rights and free expression', says Julian Assange

Image: Demonstrators protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the May Day rally in Tokyo, Japan. Photograph: EPA/Kimimasa Mayama 13 November 2013 — WikiLeaks has released the draft text of a chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a multilateral free-trade treaty currently being negotiated in secret by 12 Pacific Rim nations.
The full agreement covers a number of areas, but the chapter published by WikiLeaks focuses on intellectual property rights, an area of law which has effects in areas as diverse as pharmaceuticals and civil liberties.
Negotiations for the TPP have included representatives from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, and Brunei, but have been conducted behind closed doors. Even members of the US Congress were only allowed to view selected portions of the documents under supervision. (More.)

There can be no life without laughter

Talk about wishful thinking . . .

Under new powers outlined by British Prime Minister David Cameron, British jihadis who have traveled abroad to fight will not be allowed to return unless they agree to strict controls. —


Chinese Citizens Gather In Beijing Square

To Watch U.S. National Debt Clock Strike $18 Trillion —


Band Dreams Of One Day Becoming

Popular Enough To Alienate Early Fans —


Sometimes it's hard to tell if conservatives are serious or funny

Here's something found in a Dating Republican singles fishing ad

— You think Hilary wrote, It Takes A Village because that's how many it took to satisfy Bill?


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:

Big Book of Canadian Trivia cover


1. True or false. During treaty negotiations between Britain and the United States at the end of the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the British give up Quebec as a gesture of goodwill.

2.  In what city in 1951 was Canada’s first colour television used?
a) Toronto  b) Ottawa  c)  Edmonton  d)  Montreal

3.  When Armand Bombardier invented the snowmobile, he gave it a name, but a typographical error changed the name to Ski-Doo.  What was the original name he wanted?

a)  Ski-Dome   b) Ski-Dog   c)  Ski-Door   d) Skiing Doo

Randy Ray, publicist / speaker agent / author

 (613) 425-3873 - (613) 816-3873 (c)

O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is one of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

From the Desk of Frances Sedgwick

as found in Montreal the Days that are No More, by Edgar A. Collard

'If ever I were murdered it would be

by some wretch who would shoot me from behind'

Thomas D’Arcy McGee

On Sunday, September 8, 1867 Thomas D’Arcy McGee said to his wife: “Tell the grocer tomorrow, to come and take every drop of wine and liquor out of the cellar. I have made up my mind to have nothing more to do with it.”

The cellar where that wine and liquor were stored was in the Montmorenci  Terrace — a row of gray limestone town houses at the southeast corner of St. Catherine Street and Drummond in Montreal. That house had been a gift to McGee from the constituents of the Montreal riding he represented in Parliament and from friends and well-wishers in many other parts of the country. They had made the house a distinctive gift by having shamrocks carved in rows in the stone windowsills. Those shamrocks could still be seen, above the lower, added shop fronts, until the house was ruined by fire in the 1900s.

D’Arcy McGee’s teetotal resolution was variously regarded among his friends and enemies. Many, in both camps, were amused and cynical. They thought they knew D’Arcy McGee. His good intentions would never last; self-indulgence had seemed part of his nature, the recurring pattern of his life. It was late in the day to reform. (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:
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Media Watch 

When Henry Kissinger makes sense it's clear that

the American public is faced with an information crisis

When Henry Kissinger starts to sound like the voice of reason, it says a lot about how crazy the New York Times and the rest of the Main Stream Media (MSM) have become

By Robert Parry
Consortium News
Image: Photo of unindicted war criminal Henry Kissinger. (AP)13 November 2014 The American public is faced with an information crisis as the New York Times and other mainstream U.S. media (MSM) outlets have become little more than propaganda organs on behalf of the neoconservative agenda and particularly the rush into a new Cold War with Russia – so much so that even ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has broken ranks.
MSM articles consistently reek of bias – and in some cases make little sense. For instance, Times correspondent David M. Herszenhorn, one of the leading propagandists, wrote an alarmist story on Wednesday about a new Russian “invasion” of Ukraine but curiously he had the alleged Russian tank column heading east toward the Ukrainian city of Donetsk which would be back toward Russia, not westward into Ukraine.
The reality is that there has been widespread alarm among eastern Ukrainians that the Kiev regime was using the relative lull in the fighting to resupply and reposition its forces for a new offensive like the one that killed thousands over the summer. Though human rights organizations have criticized Kiev for indiscriminate shelling of cities and unleashing brutal militia forces on the population, the Times and other mainstream U.S. newspapers have either ignored or downplayed such facts. (More)

U.S. homeless teenagers exchange sex for a place to sleep

2.5 million homeless American children in 2013 set record


Image: Detail of homeless girl, by Lucy Nicholson (Reuters).17 November 2014 In the United States, one child in every 30 - or 2.5 million children - was homeless in 2013, marking an all-time high, according to a new comprehensive report that blames the country’s high poverty rate and lack of affordable housing, among other causes.

The report, 'America’s Youngest Outcasts,' released by the National Center on Family Homelessness was prepared using the “most recent federal data that comprehensively counts homeless children, using more than 30 variables from over a dozen established data sets.”

The 2.5 million figure is based on the US Department of Education’s count of 1.3 million homeless children in public schools, and estimates of homeless preschool children left out of DOE data. (More)



Digital Journal

Image: Photo of older man by Marcus Hondro.7 November 20114 A study out of Denmark seems to have found something good can come out of a high-fat diet. The study was conducted while looking at the effects of a high-fat diet on Cockayne syndrome, a premature aging disease.

The hope is such a diet can not only help children with Cockayne syndrome, who more often die of old age related symptoms somewhere between 10 and 12, but also help others. That is what the study found could happen.

“Our study suggests that a high-fat diet can postpone aging processes," lead author of the study, Professor Vilhelm Bohr of the Center for Healthy Aging at the Univ. of Copenhagen, said in a press release. "A diet high in fat also seems to postpone the aging of the brain. The findings therefore potentially imply that patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease in the long term may benefit from the new knowledge." (More.)


Slow and steady doesn’t win the weight-loss race

Don't be too hard on yourself, obesity is largely genetic

Globe and Mail

Image: Detail of photo of woman standing on scale.2 November 2014 — In a trial of weight-loss approaches, the rate at which people dropped excess pounds was not linked to their success in keeping the weight off over the following three years.

Researchers say the small study shows current guidelines advising slow and steady weight loss should be revised, and the focus should be instead on improving methods for helping people maintain their weight over the long term. (More.)


To tea or to coffee is no longer the question

Studies say they are both good for your health

Some surprising facts about coffee and tea will make you happy

By Larry Schwartz

Image: Photo of cup of coffee and tea. Shutterstock.06 November 2014 Black, green, white and oolong teas are made from camellia sinensis tea leaves (as opposed to herbal tea, which is not technically tea, and is generally not caffeinated), and contain substances known as flavonoids, which many studies have linked to healthful benefits. Chinese emperor Shennong wrote about the benefits of tea as far back as 2737 BCE. A United Kingdom nutritional study linked tea consumption to lesser instances of heart disease and some cancers.

Another study on both tea and coffee published in a medical journal came to similar results regarding heart disease. Other ingredients in tea, known as catechins, were linked in an Australian study to stronger bones and lower incidents of osteoporosis. These same catechins are linked to better muscle endurance. A 2004 study in Taiwan, which appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that those who drank four to 20 ounces of tea for at least a year had a 46% lower chance of developing high blood pressure. An NIH study linked tea drinking with a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease. The NIH also has indicated that tea may be helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. (More)


Science finds natural sleep is a two-stage affair

and that sex is always better after the first stage

By Lynn Stuart

10 November 2014 I’ve always been at odds with sleep. Starting around adolescence, morning became a special form of hell. Long school commutes meant rising in 6am darkness, then huddling miserably near the bathroom heating vent as I struggled to wrest myself from near-paralysis. The sight of eggs turned my not-yet-wakened stomach, so I scuttled off without breakfast. In fourth grade, my mother noticed that instead of playing outside after school with the other kids, I lay zonked in front of the TV, dozing until dinner. “Lethargy of unknown cause,” pronounced the doctor.

High school trigonometry commenced at 7:50am. I flunked, stupefied with sleepiness. Only when college allowed me to schedule courses in the afternoon did the joy of learning return. My decision to opt for grad school was partly traceable to a horror of returning to the treadmill of too little sleep and exhaustion, which a 9-to-5 job would surely bring.

In my late 20s, I began to wake up often for a couple of hours in the middle of the night – a phenomenon  linked to female hormonal shifts. I’ve met these vigils with dread, obsessed with lost sleep and the next day’s dysfunction. Beside my bed I stashed an arsenal of weapons against insomnia: lavender sachets, sleep CDs, and even a stuffed sheep that makes muffled ocean noises. I collected drugstore remedies -- valerian, melatonin, Nytol -- which caused me "rebound insomnia" the moment I stop taking them. (More)


Science — From the Desk of Bob Kay, Contributing Editor

UW study shows direct brain interface between humans

Terra Daily

Image: Photo of transcranial cap placed on person's head. Photo by Mary Levin, University of Washington.6 November 2014, SEATTLE WA. — Sometimes, words just complicate things. What if our brains could communicate directly with each other, bypassing the need for language? University of Washington researchers have successfully replicated a direct brain-to-brain connection between pairs of people as part of a scientific study following the team's initial demonstration a year ago.
In the newly published study, which involved six people, researchers were able to transmit the signals from one person's brain over the Internet and use these signals to control the hand motions of another person within a split second of sending that signal. (More.)

NASA finds ‘monster’ black hole in tiny galaxy

Image: Black hole surrounded by stars. Image via NASA.19 September 2014 — The M60-UCD1, discovered by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 2013, is one of the smallest known galaxies. But now the space agency has discovered that the dwarf galaxy is harboring a “monster” black hole.

The diameter of M60-UCD1 is about 300 light years – just 1/500th of our galaxy’s width. However, it is packed with 140 million stars, which also makes it one of the densest galaxies.

For comparison, NASA explains, the nighttime sky we see from Earth’s surface shows 4,000 stars. If we lived inside the newly-discovered M60-UCD1, our nighttime sky would be covered with at least one million stars “visible to the naked eye.”

But what really surprised astronomers is the supermassive black hole they found inside M60-UCD1. (More)


German foreign minister Steinmeier

speaks out against Ukraine joining NATO


Image: Photo of German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. (AFP Photo / Odd Andersen)23 November 2014 — Germany's FM, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has said he is against Ukraine joining NATO. In an interview with Der Spiegel, he said he considers “that it is possible for NATO to have a partnership with Ukraine, but not membership.”

He also added that he does not believe it is realistic for Ukraine to join the European Union in the foreseeable future, as the economic and political modernization of Ukraine is a “project for a few generations.”

He also urged Kiev to introduce reforms to fight corruption and mismanagement of the economy, saying they had to start immediately and that there was no time to lose. (More)



Brazil, Uruguay move away from U.S. dollar in trade


Image: Detail of photo of  bundles of US $100 bills by Reuters/Andrew RC Marshall.03 December 2014 Brazil and Uruguay have switched to settling bilateral trade with local currency to stimulate turnover, bypassing the US dollar.

Payments in the Brazilian real and Uruguayan peso started on Monday (01 December). The agreement was signed on November 2 by the head of Brazilian Central Bank Alexandro Tombini and his Uruguayan counterpart Alberto Grana. Both countries believe such a move would strengthen trade across Latin America.

"The agreement was the result of long negotiations between the countries belonging to Mercosur [the common market of South American countries - Ed.], as well as the global strategies of BRICS," RIA quotes Carlos Francisco Teixeira da Silva, Professor of International Relations at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Silva says the measure is a "step forward" in Latin American monetary independence, and "the best opportunity for the countries of South America to get rid of the old mechanisms of economic regulations dictated by the United States." (More)


EU sanctions relief for Russia’s top banks, oil companies

05 December 12014 The European Union has amended sanctions against Russia’s biggest lenders like Sberbank and VTB on long-term financing, and eased some sanctions on the oil industry.

The EU says Russia’s biggest lenders - Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank and Rosselkhozbank - will now be allowed access to long–term financing should the solvency of their European subsidiaries be at risk.

The announcement released Friday refers to “loans that have a specific and documented objective to provide emergency funding to meet solvency and liquidity criteria for legal persons established in the Union, whose proprietary rights are owned for more than 50 percent by any entity referred to in Annex III [Russian banks – Ed.].” (More)