Friday 4 March 2011


Tuesday, March 8, 2011, is International Women's Day Centennial

What do women want!?

Freud couldn't figure it out even though the call was loud and clear 

Give us bread; but give us roses!

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective

Sigmund Freud went to his grave muttering that he had failed in one of his life-long quests — to understand women.

Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, died in 1939 convinced that infantile sexuality and the Oedipus complex were the prime causes of female hysteria and other neurotic problems. Some say the problem with Freud was that he couldn't see beyond the end of his . . . (That's enough! This is a family publication! — Managing Editor).

It's too bad Freud didn't pay more attention to what women had to say beyond his couch. For example, on January 12, 1912, 27 years before his death, thousands of women in Lawrence, Massachusetts, made it very clear to all who would listen, just exactly what women want. 520 words.

Washington's campaign of fake news

If you like James Bond, John le Carré and just plain and simple Spy vs Spy you'll be intrigued by the following story of a Cuban counterspy who hoodwinked the U.S. spooks in Havana and now reveals the multimillion dollar espionage war against Cuba.

'(Anti Castro) Radio Marti does not confirm anything. The point is to denigrate Cuba for whatever reason.'

'In all media campaigns against Cuba, the scripts always come from abroad. They are broadly built on lies, false stories of arrests, incidents that have never existed but are fabricated.'

'With absolute certainty the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) and Reporters sans frontières (RSF).  These are two organizations that round the clock, seven days a week, are ready to promote any disparagement campaign against our country.'

In case you don't know, Washington does not recognize Cuba and therefore does not have an embassy in Havana. Instead it operates what is called a U.S. Interest Section. — 4,086 words.

Democracy be damned it's all about oil

Tor Star pundit says Libyan oil 

not democracy, fuelling the West

National Affairs Columnist
The Toronto Star

Published on Wed Mar 02 2011

Why does Stephen Harper seem more engaged in Libya’s would-be revolution than he was in Egypt’s? The answer is simple. Oil.

This also explains, incidentally, the curious nature of Ottawa’s economic sanctions against the Libyan regime of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Canadian firms — most notably Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin and Calgary-based Suncor Energy — are not permitted to engage in financial transactions with the Libyan government. But they are allowed to continue operating commercially in Libya.

Given that both deal only with the oil-rich regime (Lavalin is building pipelines, a prison and an airport; Suncor has government concessions to drill for oil) it’s not at clear what these so-called sanctions mean in practice.

Nor is it clear that Ontario automaker Chrysler, which is backed in part by money from the Gadhafi regime’s Libyan Investment Authority, has to do anything differently. — 580 words.

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. 8 (266)
Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm not now, nor have I ever been, the crying kind. However, I am human and can be moved to tears.

What causes me to well up, are observations and stories of people fighting and winning against that which at first seem like impossible odds.

This issue of True North Perspective, in honour of the centennial anniversary of International Women's Day, focuses on females, as young as 14, who have stood up and said in effect, I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore. And won.417 words.
Our readers write
True North Perspective 'builds a feeling of community'
The more I read True North Perspective, the more I love it, it is great reading, and even the short stories are so refreshing! Some are funny and make me smile, some touch my soul, and make me sad, yet, that is what the world is all about, but those lovely short stories one cannot find in our daily newspapers that are so full of war and politics. They often leave me sad. However, not so with True North Perspective. You cover all the issues but leave me feeling good. I hope all those interesting stories from your readers will always be available to me. I find that True North Perspective builds a feeling of community in our society, one in which I too can air my views. BRAVO CARL!!! Keep it coming. I forward it to my friends, and they too wish to receive it on a regular basis as well. I will forward you their email addresses. — Yohanna Loon, Ottawa, Ontario
(Thank you Yohanna Loon. Those who want to receive True North Perspective regularly need only click on the following link and do what comes naturally: — Carl Dow, Editor.)
Re: Art and Nature by Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair
I read your article "Art and Nature" Alberte, about the sculpture exhibition "Nature into Sculpture" at the Canadian Museum of Nature that ran until February 13. I enjoyed reading your article very much as it was both entertaining and informative. Maybe you could write about Yohanna's paintings, one day! They are beautiful! I would also enjoy reading about other artists in True North Perspective. Barbara Rabatin, Ottawa, Ontario
Re Why Do I Write? by Alberte Villaneuve-Sinclair
As a writing coach and publishing consultant, I'm always fascinated to hear how an author found his or her "voice." Alberte's description of finding self-expression as a child is typical of writers, but her finding the theme to The Neglected Garden in an abusive relationship is what brings authenticity to the book. She may never know how many others she helped by telling her courageous story. — Barbara Florio Graham,
Alberte, I just finished reading your article "Why do I write?" and it stirred my soul. It is open and honest and that I much appreciated it! If a writer can't be honest, maybe he shouldn't write. A difficult and challenging life will produce one of two reactions: either you dwell on the past, unhappy and dissatisfied or you grab the bull by the horns and deal with it as best you can, changing the course of your life in the process. It brings maturity and growth and encourages self-love and pride. Not selfishness, but true love for one self. Only then can we love mankind and accept it as it is, knowing we cannot change everything, but we can certainly change ourselves. To become a loving, caring person should be the ultimate goal... I am happy to have you as my friend! — Yohanna Loonen, Ottawa, Ontario
Dear Alberte
You have just made another person happy because I shared your articles with a friend and she loved and appreciated each one. She says you are talented and your articles are extremely interesting. I agree! Keep it up and continue to amaze us! — Juliette Vinette, Ottawa, Ont.

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From Desk of
RCAF Lt. Col. (Ret'd) Harold Wright, True North Perspective Contributing Editor

Canadian Muslim says he stands on guard for Canada

By Mahfooz Kanwar
The Calgary Herald

Mahfooz Kanwar, PhD, is a Sociologist and an Instructor Emeritus at Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta. He is a first generation Canadian whose parents immigrated from Pakistan. He is also a Muslim, but is a Canadian first.

30 March 2009 — Canada's Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is getting flak from the usual suspects, but he deserves praise instead. 

Recently, Kenney said that while at a meeting in Toronto, members of Canada's Pakistani community called on him to make Punjabi one of Canada 's official languages. It makes me angry that such an idea would enter the minds of my fellow and former countrymen, let alone express them to a Minister of the Crown.   

A few months ago, I was dismayed to learn that Erik Millett, the principal of Belleisle School in Springfield, New Brunswick, limited playing our national anthem because the families of a couple of his students objected to it.    

As a social scientist, I oppose this kind of political correctness, lack of assimilation of new immigrants to mainstream Canada, hyphenated-Canadian identity, and the lack of patriotism in our great nation.  Increasingly, Canadians feel restricted in doing things the Canadian way lest we offend minorities. We cannot even say Merry Christmas without fear of causing offence. It is amazing that 77 per cent of the Canadian majority are scared of offending 23 per cent of minorities. We have become so timid that the majority cannot assert its own freedom of expression. We cannot publicly question certain foreign social customs, traditions and values that do not fit into the Canadian ethos of equality. — 1,074 words.
Same old song?

The Senate doesn't have to be dumping ground for political hacks,

but latest reform proposal misses the mark

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

4 March 2011 — It was hardly a surprise that election funding charges against a couple of Conservative senators would lead to renewed calls to abolish the Upper House.
Abolition isn’t a new proposal and ignores both the Constitutional flap that would be created by trying to shutter the other place, as MPs call it, and the good work that many senators have performed.  — 643 words.

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
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that Tories broke campaign finance rules

'Harper Government' intends to appeal

CBC News

1 March 2011 — The Federal Appeal Court has ruled against the Conservatives in the so-called "in and out" financing case, in which cash was transferred between local Tory riding associations and the national party during the 2006 election.

Elections Canada says the Conservative Party of Canada violated campaign financing rules by moving $1.3 million in and out of 67 ridings to pay for national ads. The manoeuvres allowed the party to exceed the campaign spending limits and allowed candidates to claim rebates on expenses that weren't actually incurred, the agency said.409 words.


‘Government of Canada’ now ‘Harper Government’

By Bruce Cheadle
The Canadian Press
3 March 2011 — It’s official: Stephen Harper rules.
And lest anyone forgets, a directive went out to public servants late last year that “Government of Canada” in federal communications should be replaced by “Harper Government.”
Public servants from four different line departments told The Canadian Press the instruction came from “the Centre” — meaning the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office that serves the Prime Minister.
None would speak on the record for fear of retribution. It’s a well-grounded concern given the treatment of a senior government scientist who was fired in 2006 after rebelling against a directive to use “Canada’s new government” in government communications.
Staffer takes fall over document outlining campaign to target ethnic voters
CBC News
3 March 2011 — Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is being called on to resign by the NDP after his office sent out a letter to Conservative MPs asking for fundraising help to mount an ad campaign aimed at bolstering support among ethnic communities.
  Click to view full letter.

According to documents obtained by the NDP Thursday and released to the media, the Conservatives have hatched a media strategy that would specifically target South Asian and Chinese communities in the Greater Toronto Area.

The advertising plan is branded "Breaking Through: Building the Conservative Brand" and details were sent along with a letter on Kenney's letterhead seeking funds to support it. The materials ended up in the hands of NDP MP Linda Duncan but were more likely intended for Conservative MP John Duncan.678 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainability Editor

U.S. backs off, Canada turns to China

to exploit the highly polluting tar sands

U.S. environment correspondent

14 February 2011 — Canada, faced with growing political pressure over the extraction of oil from its highly polluting tar sands, has begun courting China and other Asian countries to exploit the resource.

The move comes as American firms are turning away from tar sands because of its heavy carbon footprint and damage to the landscape.

Whole Foods, the high-end organic grocery chain, and retailer Bed Bath & Beyond last week both signed up to a campaign by ForestEthics to stop US firms using oil from Canadian tar sands. The Pentagon is also scaling down its use of tar sands oil to meet a 2007 law requiring the US government to source fuels with lower greenhouse gas emissions. — 732 words.

Executive gender gap remains, Catalyst report says

Canadian companies making slow progress in promoting women

CBC News

3 March 2011 — Growth in the number of women who advance to the executive ranks at Canada's largest companies has slowed to a crawl in the past two years, a major study has found.
Female advocacy group Catalyst released a report Thursday that tracks, among other things, the gender breakdown of employees at 468 member companies of the Financial Post 500. The group has published the annual report since 1998.
"At Catalyst, we believe that what gets measured gets done," said Deborah Gillis, a senior vice-president with the group.487 words.
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Arts Night, an evening to remember

“Art can never be understood, but, can only be seen as a kind of magic, the most profound and mysterious of all human activities.”
True North Perspective
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more
4 March 2011 — Arts Night at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa was a real treat. Attendees are true fans of the arts and it shows. The monthly event always starts with an open invitation where members can offer a five-minute presentation in any art form. We first enjoyed a lovely mini concert of flute and piano played by Sam Clemann and Elisabeth Morrison at the piano, then, a reading from Joycelyn Loeffelholz who has been the driving force behind these popular art get-togethers.
As you may recall from last week’s announcement, the visual artist was sculptor, Angela Verlaeckt Clark, the musical artist, Lori Lynn Penny, and I was the guest artist for the literary offering which I shared with you in last week’s column. What really impressed the three of us from the beginning was the special connection we felt almost instantly.814  words.

Spirit Quest

Spirit of the 'dignity revolution' spreading far and wide

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

4 March 2011 — A Dignity Revolution is what Carla Seaquist  calls the revolution in Egypt, in her excellent article in the Huffington Post, The Dignity Revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia and — America (Feb. 10).
“This is a bedrock theme,” she writes, “the master chord echoing in the revolutions unfolding in Egypt and Tunisia in these historic weeks.”
Libya can now be added to this movement to capture “Dignity” for a people who have been deprived of that quality, who have been ruled by demagogs, kept subjugated by ruthless police while the rulers amassed fortunes which they stashed away off shore in numbered accounts.764 words.

The women who influenced my life

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.

4 March 2011 — As International Women's Day approaches I cannot help but reflect on the women I have known, read about and the women I cherish today.

How these women have had an  influence on my life.

I know we have  some way to go to get full equality but had it not been for courageous women of the past we would be much further behind.542 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.

From the Desk of Darren Jerome, Ottawa, Canada

Lying is okay, just ask George W. Bush

Telling the truth gets you the death penalty

The bizarre legal machinations against Bradley Manning, an honest soldier

03 March 2011 NEW YORKBradley Manning, the US soldier who has spent 10 months in solitary confinement on suspicion of having transmitted a huge trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks, now faces a possible death penalty.

The intelligence specialist, who is being held in the maximum security jail on Quantico marine base in Virginia, has been handed 22 additional military charges as part of his court martial process. — 589 words.

March art theme of Naked Naked Naked

By Shannon Lee Mannion

O4 March 2011 OTTAWA — Using the theme Naked Naked Naked, artists responded to a call for submissions to the Patrick John Mills Gallery to participate in the group show that started March 3.

A stunning array of art and an eclectic guest list made for a fabulous vernissage on Thursday, March 3, 2011, as artists and patrons, alike, rubbed shoulders with performers who entranced the audience with some old-fashioned burlesque and some performance art. 317 words.
Looking forward ...

How the petroleum age will end

Think gas prices are high now? This is only the begining (of the end)

By Michael Klare
3 March 2011 — Whatever the outcome of the protests, uprisings, and rebellions now sweeping the Middle East, one thing is guaranteed: the world of oil will be permanently transformed.

Consider everything that’s now happening as just the first tremor of an oilquake that will shake our world to its core.
For a century stretching back to the discovery of oil in southwestern Persia before World War I, Western powers have repeatedly intervened in the Middle East to ensure the survival of authoritarian governments devoted to producing petroleum.  Without such interventions, the expansion of Western economies after World War II and the current affluence of industrialized societies would be inconceivable.
Here, however, is the news that should be on the front pages of newspapers everywhere:  That old oil order is dying, and with its demise we will see the end of cheap and readily accessible petroleum -- forever.2,996 words.

diplomatic cover for CIA contractor

Raymond Davis being held for murder 

of two Pakistani intelligence operatives

20 February 2011
By David Lindorff

Talk about getting caught in a Big Lie.

So desperate has been the US effort to get the US government killer Raymond Davis sprung from police custody in Lahore, Pakistan following his execution-style slaughter of two Pakistani intelligence operatives in broad daylight in a crowded commercial area, that the government trotted out President Obama to declare that Pakistan was violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations by holding "our diplomat," whom he insisted had only been defending himself, and should in any case be entitled to absolute immunity.

Now both the Guardian newspaper in the UK over the weekend, and the Associated Press today are reporting that sources in both the Pakistani and American governments are confirming that Davis works for the CIA. The AP is even reporting that he is a "CIA security contractor," which is something less and a little more amorphous than a CIA employee, and that means he has no claim on diplomatic immunity whatever, and that raises the added question of who he actually is and who he actually works for. But more on that later. 1,466 words.

from Stalingrad on the Volga to Berlin

While John Wayne twice pulled Republican strings to escape the draft

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective

While Hollywood Actor John Wayne* cowardly and successfully dodged the draft when the United States entered World War 11 more than one million Soviet women, most of them teenagers, rose up from the factories, farms, and schools to take on the invading Germans in direct combat in the air and on the ground.

On June 21, 1941, it was a confident Hitler who hurled his armed forces of 3,750,000 men against the Soviet Union. Why should he not have been confident? Without firing a shot he had snapped up Sudetenland in 1938 while a betrayed Czechoslovakia looked on in shock, he easily flattened Poland in 1939, and then conquered France while kicking the British out of Europe in action time-spans that could be counted in weeks. His military machine was at peak strength. All that stood between him and the breadbasket of the Ukraine and the oil fields of central Asia were a mélange of subhuman Slavs.

American military experts

According two American retired colonels, David M. Glantz, who saw action in Vietnam, and Lt. Colonel Jonathon M. House, whose active duty included command positions in Korea, and who both taught university level military history, the war Hitler started on his Eastern Front saw a staggering 40 million military casualties alone. It cost the Red Army 10 million to stop Hitler, another 10 million to throw the Nazi war machine back, and a final nine million to take Berlin. (Read When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler.)

Kazimiera Jean Cottam, a retired member of Ottawa Independent Writers, has written a series of books that reveal the human face of the young Soviet women who volunteered by the tens of thousands for frontline action against the Nazi invaders. Prompted by love of country that transcended the politics of Stalinism many of them made the ultimate sacrifice in direct combat with the Germans on the ground and in the air. — 2.079 words.

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We handle fiction and memoirs and full-length books

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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

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Always looking forward

Health Watch

Stay cool, Cat, chances are you'll lose weight

Home temperature, sleep loss, tied to obesity

International On Line News

25 February 2011 NEW YORK — Cooler homes and a better night's sleep might help rein in the current obesity epidemic, according to an Italian study.

When researchers led by Simona Bo at the University of Turin in Italy followed more than a thousand middle-aged adults over six years, they found that sleep habits were related to the risk of obesity — with the odds of their becoming obese declining by 30 percent for each hour of sleep people typically got. — 445 words.
Once the source much of the world's spam, China now ranks behind Spain
By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
26 February 2011 — t's been a few years coming, but it looks like China may finally be getting a handle on its spam problem.

Once the largest source of the world's spam, China has been gradually fading off the list of the world's top spam-producers. Right now Cisco Systems' IronPort group ranks it at number 18 in terms of spam-producing countries. That's a big drop from two years ago, when it consistently ranked in the top five.

China is home to more than 420 million Internet users, according to the International Telecommunications Union, and many of them are connecting via hacked computers. Back in 2009, those hacked systems had been pumping out spam at a pretty good clip. In January of that year, China was ranked the number three spam-producing country in the world, according to data compiled by security vendor Sophos.

But by the end of 2009, spam from China started to drop off significantly, according to Chet Wisniewski, a Sophos researcher.642 words.
Annals of education
Woman with arms full was someone he knew
By Gwen Albers
Tidewater News
26 February 2011, COURTLAND, VA — A Southampton Middle School student was suspended Thursday for opening an exterior door for a visitor.

“Students are not allowed to open the doors, and if anyone does, they will be suspended,” said Dr. Wayne K. Smith, executive director of administration and personnel.

A districtwide policy prohibiting students and staff from opening doors to the outside was recently adopted after a $10,800 security system was installed at the middle school, Southampton High School, Southampton Technical Career Center and Nottoway, Meherrin and Capron elementary schools. Riverdale Elementary had a similar system installed when it was built three years ago. —  359 words.

Alternate worlds
Why Sun didn't buy Apple in 1996, the real beginnings of cloud computing and why Linux should never have come into existence
By Chris Preimesberger
25 February 2011, SANTA CLARA, California — Would there be iPhones, iPads and iPods on the market today if Sun Microsystems had been able to close a deal to buy out Apple in the mid-1990s?

No, says former Sun CEO Scott McNealy. "If we had bought Apple, there wouldn't have been iPods or iPads ... I'd have screwed that up," McNealy conceded in a talk Feb. 24 with another former Sun top executive, ex-President Ed Zander, at a Churchill Club dinner at the Santa Clara Convention Center.1,203 words.

By Jesse Emspak
International Business Times
2 March 2011 — Among the new solar systems discovered by the Kepler spacecraft are planets that share orbits, one with resonances that keep the planets from scattering away or falling into the parent star, and one with worlds so tightly packed that the closest orbits its star in a single day.
The Kepler Space Telescope observes stars to see if they show a planetary body transiting in front of them. Thus far it has discovered more than 1,200 planets and candidates. It has found the first evidence of a rocky body, and seen the first multi-planet systems.
A recent look at the data has found one system that could have two planets in the same orbit. A second system has a group of planets in resonance, and the third has planets that all orbit their star in less than a week.  — 805 words.

Tombs could shed light on Inca origins

International Online News

25 February 201 LIMA Peru — The discovery of nine tombs in Peru from the prehispanic Wari civilisation could shed new light into the origins of the the mighty Inca empire, the Peruvian government said on Thursday.

The finding in the southern Cusco region suggests the Wari, who flourished in the Peruvian Andes between 700 and 1200 AD, may have controlled areas where the Inca empire later flourished, said Juan Ossio, Peru's minister of culture. — 277 words.

Women achieve safer level of grass roots organizing

in wake of left wing electoral victory in El Salvador

By Dahr Jamail
Inter Press Service

23 February 2011 CIUDAD ROMERO, El Salvador — Women are playing a leading role in a powerful social movement addressing natural resource protection, adaptation to climate change, and corporate accountability in this coastal village in El Salvador.

Cristina Reyes is currently in her second term as president of the local community council in Ciudad Romero, located in the department (province) of Usulután, on the Pacific Ocean.

Her work bringing electricity, potable water, roads and services for women to her area helped get her elected as head of the community council.

Her life before this — and the lives of many others living in this area — reads more like an epic story of adventure, survival, and resistance.

Reyes and her family had to flee their home village during the political violence that preceded the 1980-1992 civil war that claimed some 75,000 lives.

After living in the jungle and caves with her sister while fleeing the U.S.-backed counterinsurgency forces, Reyes finally sought refuge in neighbouring Honduras.

"But in 1980 we had to return to El Salvador because the Honduran military were conducting a campaign of repression against civil society that was just like what the military in El Salvador were doing," Reyes told IPS at her home in Ciudad Romero. "Back in El Salvador, however, the military here was still doing the same thing." — 1,137 words.

Petite 24-year-old commercial artist founded 1600 k route

through Nazi-occupied Europe for escaping allied military

'When war was declared I knew what needed to be done. There was no hesitation. We could not stop what we had to do although we knew the cost. Even if it was at the expense of our lives, we had to fight until the last breath.'

18 October 2007  Neither the British nor the German Gestapo who finally captured and tortured her could believe the petite 24-year-old commercial artist was founder and leader of the 1,600 km (1,000 mile) escape route that ferried hundreds of allied airmen and soldiers out of Nazi-occupied Europe.

Known to all simply as "Dédée", Andrée de Jongh began her resistance work as soon as the Germans advanced into Belgium in May 1940. At the time she was a 24-year-old commercial artist and Belgian Red Cross volunteer, but she gave up her work in order to nurse wounded soldiers; once they were able to walk, she found them safe houses and recruited her friends to help.

As those soldiers and airmen evading capture were soon spread throughout Belgium, she had to find a means of returning them to Britain. With the help of her father, she set up a trail of safe houses along which she could move the men, from Brussels through Paris and on to the western Pyrenees, where loyal Basques gave her great support. — 1,114 words.

Accused of being 'Red' for treating trekkers' blistered feet

she went nursing on Republican side in Spanish civil war

The Telegraph UK

Penny Feiwel, who died on January 6 aged 101, volunteered to go to Spain and work for the Republicans in front line hospitals shortly after the outbreak of civil war in 1936.

15 February 2011— Penny Phelps, as she then was, was working as a nurse in Hertfordshire, and her decision to volunteer was taken, as she explained later, for humanitarian rather than political reasons: "Nursing in Spain had been mainly the province of nuns, and most were with Franco, leaving the Republicans short of nurses."

Though she did not know a word of Spanish and had never travelled abroad, she left for Spain in January 1937. Within days of her arrival she was posted to an American-built Mobile Army Surgical Hospital unit outside Madrid where she found herself struggling to keep up with overwhelming numbers of casualties from the front, three miles away: "I was anaesthetising the wounded with ether or chloroform, then I'd hand the face mask to an orderly while I scrubbed up to assist the surgeon." — 882 words.

'Victims of abuse, confinement, rape'

Arab uprising ignores domestic slaves

By Simba Russeau
Inter Press Service

1 March 2011 BEIRUT — The uprisings sweeping the Arab world have been provoked by long injustice, low income, police brutality, and lack of social security. While the world looks at this, the suffering of up to three million maids across the Arab world remains wrapped in silence.

Victims of abuse, confinement and rape, migrant domestic workers are often invisible because they suffer in places that remain hidden to the public eye, mostly private homes. — 637 words.

Our biggest problem is gender violence

By Kanya D'Almeida
Inter Press Service

24 February 2011 UNITED NATIONS — Nearly three-quarters of activists and grassroots organisers working globally to safeguard women's rights are convinced that ending violence against women must be the top priority of the newly formed U.N. Women, according to a report launched Wednesday by Oxfam and VSO UK at the annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York City.

Unveiling the findings of the new "Blueprint for U.N. Women" at the U.N. Church Center a day ahead of the official launch of U.N. Women, representatives of Oxfam and VSO UK outlined the views and efforts, documented in the report, of some 100 civil society organisations working in over 75 countries on human rights, gender equality and social justice.

Oxfam and VSO UK jointly commissioned the survey, which formed the basis for the Blueprint, last year. Its findings give solid proof to the claim that has long been made by advocacy and grassroots organisations worldwide – that the U.N. and governments are largely failing women in the developing world.

In 2011, more than 70 percent of people living below the poverty line are women, 60 percent of people living with HIV in sub-Sahara Africa are women and girls, one in five girls will experience rape or severe sexual assault in her lifetime, and over three million girls annually are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C).— 985 words.

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First Egypt, next Venezuela?

While rightwing spin doctors speculate that Venezuela may be next in popular uprisings, President Hugo Chavez reminds them that Venezuela already has had its uprising dating back to 1989 but the rightwing chose not to notice. Since then it has had more than a dozen national elections all verified as free and fair by international observers that resulted in majority support of the Bolivarian Revolution.

By Kiraz Janicke and Frederico Fuentes
Green Left Weekly

27 February 2011 CARACAS Venezuela — As the wave of popular uprisings has spread across the Arab world, a flurry of articles have appeared suggesting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could be the next “dictator” to be overthrown.

Such arguments follow a pattern in the corporate media of slandering the Chavez government and the revolutionary process it leads.

They aim to conceal the real threat that haunts imperialism: that the Arab world may follow the example of Venezuela and other countries in Latin America — and break away from Western hegemony.

Particularly cynical were the comments by British foreign secretary William Hague, who falsely alleged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had fled to Venezuela on February 21. This triggered a spate of headlines tying Venezuela and Libya together — despite the fact the allegation was untrue

A February 2 editorial by the Miami Herald claimed: “With dictators toppling like dominoes across the Middle East, Venezuela’s president-for-life, Hugo Chavez, is signaling worry about his own despotic rule.” — 1,501 words.
What's an idea worth?
By Victoria Strauss
Writers Beware Blogs
28 February 2011 — If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that I'm fascinated by the bizarre things that happen at the outer fringes of the publishing universe.

Well, here's one: on eBay, someone is attempting to auction off his or her story idea. Starting bid? $3,000,000. Alternatively, you can buy it outright for $10,000,000.

No, I did not accidentally attach any extra zeroes.485 words.


In case you missed it ...
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.