Friday 01 July 2011

 

Royal family takes a budget hit

Will lose 10 per cent over four years

Must prove that they provide 'value for money'

New rules to make the Royal family cheaper and more transparent will leave the monarchy shorn of its dignity, it has been claimed.

Political Correspondent
The Telegraph

30 June 2011 LONDON — Under new legislation announced on Thursday, the Queen’s finances will be subjected to the same detailed audit and examination by MPs as Whitehall departments to ensure they provide “value for money”.

The Government also said that a new funding system for the Royal household would see the Queen’s annual budget cut by almost 10 per cent over the next four years.

The law will also be changed so that if the Duke of Cambridge’s heir is female, she will be entitled to the income from the Duchy of Cornwall, currently held by the Prince of Wales and previously reserved for male heirs.

Announcing the new Royal financial rules, George Osborne, the Chancellor, told MPs that the monarch’s budget would rise and fall in line with the wider economy. 628 words.
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President Barack Obama's Military Mantra

'If you want to take the temperature of the present crisis, you can do it through Obama’s words. The less they ring true, the more discordant they seem in the face of reality, the more he fawns and repeats his various mantras, the more uncomfortable he makes you feel, the more you have the urge to look away, the deeper the crisis. What will he say when the Great American Unravelling truly begins?'

The Militarized Surrealism of Barack Obama 


Clear signs of the Great American Unravelling

30 June 2011

Tom Engelhardt, co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The End of Victory Culture, runs the Nation Institute's TomDispatch.com. His latest book iThe American Way of War: How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s (Haymarket Books).

It’s already gone, having barely outlasted its moment — just long enough for the media to suggest that no one thought it added up to much.

Okay, it was a little more than the military wanted, something less than Joe Biden would have liked, not enough for the growing crew of anti-war congressional types, but way too much for John McCain, Lindsey Graham, & Co.

I’m talking about the 13 minutes of “remarks” on “the way forward in Afghanistan” that President Obama delivered in the East Room of the White House two Wednesday nights ago.  

Tell me you weren’t holding your breath wondering whether the 33,000 surge troops he ordered into Afghanistan as 2009 ended would be removed in a 12-month, 14-month, or 18-month span.  Tell me you weren’t gripped with anxiety about whether 3,000, 5,000, 10,000, or 15,000 American soldiers would come out this year (leaving either 95,000, 93,000, 88,000, or 83,000 behind)?

You weren’t?  Well, if so, you were in good company.

Billed as the beginning of the end of the Afghan War, it should have been big and it couldn’t have been smaller.  The patented Obama words were meant to soar, starting with a George W. Bush-style invocation of 9/11 and ending with the usual copious blessings upon this country and our military.  But on the evidence, they couldn’t have fallen flatter.  I doubt I was alone in thinking that it was like seeing Ronald Reagan on an unimaginably bad day in an ad captioned “It’s never going to be morning again in America.”

Idolator President

If you clicked Obama off that night or let the event slide instantly into your mental trash can, I don’t blame you.  Still, the president’s Afghan remarks shouldn’t be sent down the memory hole quite so quickly.

For one thing, while the mainstream media's pundits and talking heads are always raring to discuss his policy remarks, the words that frame them are generally — and yet the discomfort of the moment can’t be separated from them.  So start with this: whether by inclination, political calculation, or some mix of the two, our president has become a rhetorical idolator.

These days he can barely open his mouth without also bowing down before the U.S. military in ways that once would have struck Americans as embarrassing, if not incomprehensible.  In addition, he regularly prostrates himself before this country’s special mission to the world and never ceases to emphasize that the United States is indeed an exception among nations.  Finally, in a way once alien to American presidents, he invokes God’s blessing upon the military and the country as regularly as you brush your teeth.

Think of these as the triumvirate without which no Obama foreign-policy moment would be complete: greatest military, greatest nation, our God.  And in this he follows directly, if awkwardly, in Bush's footsteps. 2.490 words.
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La Nada put the boots to El Nino and La Nina

Turning the jet stream-on-steroids loose to ravage us with

polar/hot air, blizzards, monsoon rains and killer tornadoes

By Dauna Coulter

27 June 2011 HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Record snowfall, killer tornadoes, devastating floods: There's no doubt about it. Since Dec. 2010, the weather in the USA and Canada has been positively wild. But why?

Some recent news reports have attributed the phenomenon to an extreme "La Nina," a band of cold water stretching across the Pacific Ocean with global repercussions for climate and weather. But NASA climatologist Bill Patzert names a different suspect: "La Nada." 556 words.
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Al-Qaeda and the Libyan 'Rebellion'

Monarchists, Islamic extremists, opportunists

dominate so-called 'civilian rebels' in Libya

By John Rosenthal
National Review Online

23 June 2011 PARIS France — A new report from two French think tanks concludes that jihadists have played a predominant role in the eastern-Libyan rebellion against the rule of Moammar Qaddafi, and that “true democrats” represent only a minority in the rebellion. The report also calls into question the justifications given for Western military intervention in Libya, arguing that they are largely based on media exaggerations and “outright disinformation.”

The sponsors of the report are the Paris-based International Center for Research and Study on Terrorism and Aide to Victims of Terrorism (CIRET-AVT) and the French Center for Research on Intelligence (CF2R). The organizations sent a six-member expert mission to Libya to evaluate the situation and consult with representatives on both sides of the conflict. From March 31 to April 6, the mission visited the Libyan capital of Tripoli and the region of Tripolitania; from April 19 to April 25, it visited the rebel capital of Benghazi and the surrounding Cyrenaica region in eastern Libya.

The report identifies four factions among the members of the eastern Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC). Apart from a minority of “true democrats,” the other three factions comprise partisans of a restoration of the monarchy that was overthrown by Qaddafi in 1969, Islamic extremists seeking the establishment of an Islamic state, and former fixtures of the Qaddafi regime who defected to the rebels for opportunistic or other reasons. 1,599 words.
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Drums of war beat in Washington with calls

to brand Venezuela government as terrorist

False accusations by rabid Republican would lay groundwork for another 'humanitarian' adventure

By Eva Golinger
Postcards from the Revolution

27 June 2011 WASHINGTON DC — During a hearing today on the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives of the United States on “sanctioned activities in Venezuela,” Congressional Democrats and Republicans asked the Obama administration to take more aggressive actions against the government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The head of the Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs for the Western Hemisphere, Connie Mack, Republican of Florida, branded the Venezuelan government “terrorist”, saying “it is time to act to contain the dangerous influence of Hugo Chavez and his relations with Iran”.

Mack is known for his rabid anti-Chavez stance. However, the Republican congressman has weight in the legislature because of his high office in the Foreign Relations Committee. His efforts, along with the head of the Foreign Relations Committee, Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, managed to convince the White House to impose sanctions against Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) last May 24. Mack has said that his only mission this year is “go for Hugo Chavez.” 972 words.
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True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
 
If you think it's too radical, please read
 
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Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective
 
Editor's Notes
 
True North Perspective
Vol. 6, No. 22 (281)
Friday, July 01, 2011
 

O Canada, The True North Strong and Free

Harper has feet stuck in the 19th century with back to the 21st

Collective bargaining is right won with blood, sweat, and tears

Stephen Harper is a righteous man. He really believes he has a Covenant with God that puts him above civil law. The back to work legislation that he forced through parliament, Sunday, June 26, against the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is merely the first example of his intention to rule Canada by what he believes is his Divine Right.

He wins support from the timid and the jealous who find solace in a strong leader even as did those millions, unable to cope with the uncertainties of life, who found comfort in the mad dictators of the 20thcentury. 405 words.

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
 
Your support makes it possible for True North to clear the fog of "publicity" and keep you informed on what's really happening in the world today. Please send your donation to:
 
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainability Editor

Across Europe, irking drivers is urban policy

By Elisabeth Rosenthal 
The New York Times

26 June 2011 ZURICH — While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

Cities including Vienna to Munich and Copenhagen have closed vast swaths of streets to car traffic. Barcelona and Paris have had car lanes eroded by popular bike-sharing programs. Drivers in London and Stockholm pay hefty congestion charges just for entering the heart of the city. And over the past two years, dozens of German cities have joined a national network of “environmental zones”where only cars with low carbon dioxide emissions may enter. 1,261 words.
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From the Desk of Alex Binkley, True North Perspective
 
 
By Benjamin Gillies
Troy Media
28 June 2011 WINNIPEG Manitoba Transportation, for example, is one obvious area where choosing a public option over a private one could result in substantial household savings. The average car costs its owner between $9,000 and $11,000 per year, all expenses considered. Recent high gas prices alone mean families must spend an additional $950 in fuel annually. If a well-funded, clean, and reliable public transit system were available, citizens could purchase a $75 monthly bus pass instead of having to shell out hundreds of dollars on gas, parking, insurance, and wear and tear incurred simply getting to and from work every day. Households might even be able to get rid of their second (or third!) car, generating further savings.866 words.
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Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

O! Canada! Let our pride show!

Ordinary citizens made this country what it is

 
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.

1 July 2011 — Canadians across the land will celebrate Canada’s 144th birthday this weekend. And although the hype will be around Prince William and Kate’s first overseas visit as a married couple and their Royal Tour showcasing our country’s magnificence, I choose to celebrate Canada and its colourful past along with the present, remembering the ordinary Canadians who forged our country as well today’s citizens.

Last Sunday, Jacques and I visited the Cumberland Museum. I was raised in Cumberland and wanted to show him where I hail from. It turned out to be their special senior day, complete with strawberry social and live entertainment. We started out with a tractor-driven wagon ride that took us around the premises to where the Ottawa Valley Live Steamers and Model Engineers run a model train powered by steam and diesel. A young oriental couple and their child were heading out there. Apparently, their son loves to ride on the train.554 words.

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Spirit Quest

'When I came to Canada there were three cities: one French

one English, and one Ukrainian — the most important one'

Winnipeg was where the Eaton's Catalogue was mailed

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

It being Canada Day I feel I should write something about what became my home and native land.

Canada was discovered by Leif the unLucky long ago, but he didn’t stay. The motel at l’Anse aux Medeau was ill equipped for people wearing horns on their heads. Giovanmi Caboto (1450 - 1499) was an Italian, known as John Cabot by the English for whom he worked, and also in our Canadian history books. He came again and again and claimed this country for the British crown.

I discovered Canada in 1939 on my 10th birthday. On that day I was shown a map of North America with a huge land mass sitting atop of the USA. On the east it was bounded by an ocean, on the west it was bordered by mountains, on the south were the Niagara Falls and on the north was, well, nothing.

I discovered that this land had two seasons: winter, and I experienced snowstorms in early May and late August, and the season of Flies, mostly mosquitoes, blood thirsty little buzzards on relentless attack for my European hemoglobin. I soon discovered a third season, the In-between Season. It was quite useless for anything, too wet to farm, and you better have your harvest in before it came again.

The Canada I came to know had three cities: Montreal, which was French, Toronto, which was English, and Winnipeg, which was Ukrainian. The latter was very important inasmuch as it was the address of the mail order department of the T Eaton Company. The Winnipeg Man was Mr. Eaton, the most important man in Canada who twice a year sent us a thick and glossy magazine with description and pictures of everything from the latest in horse harnesses to ladies unmentionables. It thus was a very important learning manual for teenage boys. 1,035 words.
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From the Desk of Darren Jerome

 
 

Five WikiLeaks revelations expose the rapidly growing

corporatism dominating American diplomacy abroad

One of WikiLeaks' greatest achievements has been to expose the exorbitant amount of influence that multinational corporations have over Washington's diplomacy.

By Rania Khalek
AlterNet.org

21 June 2011 WASHINGTON DC — One of the most significant scourges paralyzing our democracy is the merger of corporate power with elected and appointed government officials at the highest levels of office. Influence has a steep price-tag in American politics where politicians are bought and paid for with ever increasing campaign contributions from big business, essentially drowning out any and all voices advocating on behalf of the public interest. 

Millions of dollars in campaign funding flooding Washington's halls of power combined with tens of thousands of high-paid corporate lobbyists and a never-ending revolving door that allows corporate executives to shuffle between the public and private sectors has blurred the line between government agencies and private corporations.  

This corporate dominance over government affairs helps to explain why we are plagued by a health-care system that lines the pockets of industry executives to the detriment of the sick; a war industry that causes insurmountable death and destruction to enrich weapons-makers and defense contractors; and a financial sector that violates the working class and poor to dole out billions of dollars in bonuses to Wall Street CEO's. 2,363 words.


Always worth repeating

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

— Winston Churchill

Let's say that news throughout human time has been free. Take that time when Ugh Wayne went over to the cave of Mugh Payne with news that the chief of his group had broken a leg while chasing his laughing wife around the fire. That news was given freely and received as such with much knowing smiles and smirks to say nothing of grunts of approval or disapproval. — 688 words.

Wikileaks: U.S. embassy in Venezuela spends

an extra $10 million to finance anti-Chavez groups

By Eva Golinger
Postcards from the Revolution

30 June 2011 CARACAS Venezuela — The latest Wikileaks releases include cables sent from the US Embassy in Caracas to the State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Council, and other US entities, indicating requests for additional US government funding for opposition groups in Venezuela.

The cables corroborate documents previously obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that evidence ongoing US funding to support anti-Chavez groups and political parties in Venezuela actively working to destabilize and overthrow the South American government.



One document dated March 2009, authored by Charge D’Affaires John Caulfield, reveals $10 million in funding via the US Embassy in Caracas to state and municipal opposition governments, as well as several NGOs, youth groups and political campaigns to counter the Chavez government. Curiously, in the confidential cable, Caulfield requests an additional $3 million (on top of an already-approved $7 million) due to a “change” in Venezuela’s “political map”. 964 words.
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Looking (WAY) back

 
World's oldest temple suggests urge to worship sparked civilization
 
By Charles C. Mann
NationalGeographic.com
 
June 2011 — Every now and then the dawn of civilization is reenacted on a remote hilltop in southern Turkey.

The reenactors are busloads of tourists—usually Turkish, sometimes European. The buses (white, air-conditioned, equipped with televisions) blunder over the winding, indifferently paved road to the ridge and dock like dreadnoughts before a stone portal. Visitors flood out, fumbling with water bottles and MP3 players. Guides call out instructions and explanations. Paying no attention, the visitors straggle up the hill. When they reach the top, their mouths flop open with amazement, making a line of perfect cartoon O's.

Before them are dozens of massive stone pillars arranged into a set of rings, one mashed up against the next. Known as Göbekli Tepe (pronounced Guh-behk-LEE TEH-peh), the site is vaguely reminiscent of Stonehenge, except that Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture—the first structure human beings put together that was bigger and more complicated than a hut. When these pillars were erected, so far as we know, nothing of comparable scale existed in the world. —  4,233 words.
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Science
 
 
 
By Jacob Aron
NewScientist.com
 
23 June 2011 — Want to learn a musical instrument, but can't find the time to practise? A device now under development can take control of your hand and teach you how to play a tune. No spirits of dead musicians are involved.
 
PossessedHand, being developed jointly by the University of Tokyo, Japan, and Sony Computer Science Laboratories, also in Tokyo, electrically stimulates the muscles in the forearm that move your fingers.
 
A belt worn around that part of the subject's arm contains 28 electrode pads, which flex the joints between the three bones of each finger and the two bones of the thumb, and provide two wrist movements. Users were able to sense the movement of their hands that this produced, even with their eyes closed. "The user's fingers are controlled without the user's mind," explains Emi Tamaki of the University of Tokyo, who led the research.554 words.
 
   

You can count on the True North Team

While publishers are cutting back and that includes in-house editors

Outside editors of the True North Team are rescuing writers from oblivion.

We handle fiction and memoirs and full-length books

Manuscript editing to ghost writing

Everything to put the best face on your work to publishers and the reading public

For a free consultation please don't hesitate to contact

carl.dow@truenorthperspective.com

or Carl Dow at 613-233-6225

Always looking forward ...

Note from the heart of the empire

The Economist says Half of the world's refugees from American wars of choice
 
By Sarah Bufkin
ThinkProgress.org
 
24 June 2011 — America’s wars are forcing Afghans and Iraqis to flee their homes in greater numbers.
 
According to a recent U.N. High Commission for Refugees study, nearly one half of the world’s refugees are from Afghanistan and Iraq, 3.05 million and 1.68 million, respectively.
 
But neither the United States nor much of the developed world bears the burden of the 10.55 million refugees under the UNHCR’s purview globally.
 
Instead, Pakistan, Iran, and Syria serve as the top host countries.
 
The Economist has charted the numbers. (See chart at right.)
 

 

You can't cut it closer

We hear all kinds of things about Thailand. Good and bad. But when it comes to precise efficiency you can't beat what these women have managed to do in coping with a regular train run. Seeing is believing.

 
   
 
Talk about dense living! At the Maeklong vegetable market the vendors lay out their wares so close to the train tracks that when the train comes through, it's literally passing on top of some of the produce. Everyone puts up their awnings and steps aside, and then once the train has passed they go back to normal. It's awesome until you think about eating those vegetables. Let's just imagine that the train's underbelly is coated with delicious rosemary.
 

Being Frank: Inside the newsroom firings, the mag's decision to write about it, and what's next

By Lauren McKeon
The Canadian Journalism Project

28 June 2011 — Halifax-based Frank Magazinefired the majority of its newsroom last week, and then wrote about it in the current issue -- with typical Franksauciness, of course. Associate J-Source editor Lauren McKeonreports on the story behind the decision to print, why the newsroom was gutted, and where Frank goes from here.

It’s all about the nature of Frank.

Last week, while in production, the infamously irreverent Halifax-based magazine sacked three of its staff; one resigned in protest. Most magazines would keep mum, or leave it to the media to cover. Not so, Frank. Instead, the one remaining full-time editorial member, Andrew Douglas, penned a column (and then some) about the shake-up in this week’s issue, no. 614. He’s also the man who handed out the pink slips.

“We had no choice [to write about the staff changes], we’re Frank Magazine,” says Douglas, who is the magazine’s managing editor. “We can’t just pretend it never happened. We’d be flushing all our credibility down the toilet if we just said nope, dum-de-dum, everything is all right here.” He pauses: “Not that everything isn’t all right, uh, but you know we’re Frank Magazine, we had to take a look at it.”

Surely, he has a point:  Since its founding in 1987, the magazine has dedicated much of its own coverage to media gossip; it would be hard-pressed to plead “no comment” when it becomes the centre of its own juicy story. “It isn’t surprising to me that when we part company with a couple of people that the media is talking to us about it,” says Douglas. “And I think some of it was maybe gleefully reported, like ‘a-ha, the tables have turned, it’s time for Frank Magazine to comment on this.’ And that’s fine, you know, that’s fine.” 1,550 words.
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From the desk of Bob Kay, Contributing Editor, Montreal

New technology could make Israel

a major producer of oil, natural gas

By Lawrence Solomon
Financial Poat

12 June 2011 — In the first 25 years after Israel’s founding in 1948, it was repeatedly attacked by the large armies of its Arab neighbours.

Each time, Israel prevailed on the battlefield, only to have its victories rolled back by Western powers who feared losing access to Arab oilfields

The fear was and is legitimate – Arab nations have often threatened to use their “oil weapon” against countries that support Israel and twice made good their threat through crippling OPEC oil embargoes.

But that fear, which shackles Israel to this day, may soon end. The old energy order in the Middle East is crumbling with Iran and Syria having left the Western fold and others, including Saudi Arabia, the largest of them all, in danger of doing so.
 
Simultaneously, a new energy order is emerging to give the West some spine. In this new order, Israel is a major player. 1.207 words.
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China frees Chad from energy dependence

by providing a new oil refinery opened June 29    

Energy-Daily.com

29 June 20ll NDJAMENA, Chad (AFP)  Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno on Wednesday proclaimed his country's energy independence as he inaugurated production at an oil refinery which he described a "gift from China".

Chad, a land-locked country, is in central North Africa on the southern border of Libya.

"You have your energy independence. You don't have to go elsewhere to get your oil products. You will even supplythe sub-region," he said.

"This jewel is a gift from China to which we owe gratitude," the president said.

"This is a win-win partnership. Through this cooperation it's another image of China which is emerging in Africa in general, and particularly in Chad," he added. 202 words.
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Canada’s underground economy tops $30-billion

By Tavia Grant
The Globe and Mail

28 June 2011 — How does one measure the size of Canada's underground economy — things like undeclared tips, under-the-table construction work or informal child care?

Statistics Canada has given it a go. The agency pegs the country's underground economy at up to $36-billion as of 2008.

That's almost double what it was back in 1992. But the country's nominal gross domestic product grew even faster in that time. So the underground economy shrank to the equivalent of 2.2 per cent of GDP in 2008 from 2.7 per cent in 1992. 352 words.
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Health Watch

Youth binge-drinking linked to brain damage

CTV.ca News

27 June 2011 — Binge drinking among young adults can lead to possible damage in brains that are still in the developmental stages, a new study has found.

While drinking heavily is often considered a rite of passage for those heading out of their teens and into their 20s, high-resolution brain scans suggest that youth who party hard may suffer from long-term effects.

The study found that heavy drinking, defined as four drinks for females and five drinks for males in a single session, is linked to cortical-thinning of the pre-frontal cortex.

The pre-frontal cortex is the section of the brain that handles attention, decision-making, emotions and controlling impulsive behavior. Planning has also been connected to that part of the brain. 487 words.
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Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich

War fever subsides in Washington

By Andrew Bacevich
tomdispatch.com

28 June 2011 — Imagine yourself in a typical "Twilight Zone" episode.  You’ve been tossing and turning in delirium for some time and now, to your astonishment, you wake up to find yourself in an almost unrecognizable world.

Your country, the former “sole superpower” on planet Earth, is in domestic gridlock, a financial hole, and can’t win a war anywhere anytime.  The United States is looking strangely like what a past American president once called “a pitiful, helpless giant.” The Democratic peace president is presiding over numerous wars and sending American planes and pilotless drones off to bomb and missile countries you didn’t even know existed, and yet when he speaks to the world, when he tells other countries and other leaders what they “must” do, no one seems to be listening.

Befuddlingly enough, a number of the politicians who were war hawks not so long ago are now demanding that funding for American wars be cut off or that American troops be brought home at a faster pace; some are even suggesting that the Pentagon budget should be cut.  The ranks of the miniscule antiwar camp in Washington have swelled remarkably and with an array of unexpected faces. The usual political alliances seem to be cracking open.  And above all, though you can see that America’s wars are likely to grind on haplessly for years, it’s also increasingly evident that once familiar political ground is shifting uneasily, and that something is happening here, even if you don’t know what it is. (Do you, Mr. Jones?) 1,808 words.
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after surgery for an abscess and minor tumor

Fidel Castro reprimands Hugo Chavez for not looking after his health

Hostile media had Chavez dead and buried behind an alleged wall of secrecy but there was no secrecy, they just wouldn't listen to honest reports. Here following Eva Golinger brings us up to date.

By Eva Golinger
Postcards from the Revolution

01 July 2011 CARACAS Venezuela — Much hype has been made about the state of President Hugo Chavez’s health. International media have perpetuated numerous unfounded rumors claiming the Venezuelan head of state is in critical condition, has cancer, is in a coma or even passed away. These media outlets, which range from notoriously reactionary anti-Chavez press such as El Pais (Spain), Fox News and the Miami Herald (and its Spanish version, El Nuevo Herald) to the somewhat more respectable BBC, NPR, CNN, New York Times and Washington Post, have all circulated these wild myths and stories about President Chavez’s condition, without presenting any evidence to substantiate their allegations.



Apparently, making things up about a sitting president, who happens to have a very public, controversial image, is good for ratings. Social networks online have exacerbated the issue even more, engaging in what could only be considered a frenzied orgy of ficticious stories about the Venezuelan President’s health. Some tweeters have “killed” Chavez several times already, while others have invented every possible ailment known to humanity and claimed he has it. 1,306 words.

 

 
The Old Man's Last Sauna
 
A collection of short stories by Carl Dow

An eclectic collection of short stories that will stir your sense of humour, warm your heart, outrage your sense of justice, and chill your extra sensory faculties in the spirit of Stephen King. The final short story, the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Sauna is a ground-breaking love story.

The series begins with Deo Volente (God Willing). Followed by The Quintessence of Mr. FlynnSharing LiesFlying HighThe Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows YaOne Lift Too ManyThe Model A Ford, the out-of-body chiller, Room For One Only and O Ernie! ... What Have They Done To You! The series closes with the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Saunaa groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.


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