Friday 4 May 2012

Ahem … Hilary and Barack, do your homework

'Horrible things are happening in Uganda

but what you don't (seem to) realize is that it happens right here'

46% of 800,000 slaves in United States used for sex services

By Zachary Senn
Teens in the Newsroom
Modesto Bee

26 April 2012 MODESTO California — More than 60 students gathered in a multi-use room at Ripon High School on Friday 24 April to learn about one of the greatest modern-day injustices: human trafficking.

After a short video was played, explaining the issue and presenting several staggering statistics, event coordinator Emily Hobbs began to speak. The Modesto Junior College student originally had planned to "Cover the Night" with the Kony2012 Campaign, but as she felt that interest in the campaign was waning, she thought something closer to home could instill a more effective and lasting passion. "You can hear about (Joseph) Kony, (leader of the guerrilla Lord's Resistance Army) and how horrible things are in Uganda, but what you don't realize is that it happens right here."

Many visitors watched in shock as they were informed by the video that there are as many as 27 million slaves in the world today, and that an estimated 46 percent of the 800,000 slaves in the United States are used for sex services. She shared reports of sex slaves being discovered in Oakland, Hayward and even Modesto. (More)

How did Obama become America's most imperial president?

If Obama is the president of next to nothing on the domestic policy front, he has the powers previously associated with the gods when it comes to war-making abroad

Sometimes to understand where you are, you need to ransack the past. In this case, to grasp just how this country’s first African-American-constitutional-law-professor-liberal Oval Office holder became the most imperial of all recent imperial presidents, it’s necessary to look back to the early years of George W. Bush’s presidency.

By Tom Engelhardt
April 29, 2012 — He has few constraints (except those he’s internalized). No one can stop him or countermand his orders.  He has a bevy of lawyers at his beck and call to explain the “legality” of his actions. And if he cares to, he can send a robot assassin to kill you, whoever you are, no matter where you may be on planet Earth.

He sounds like a typical villain from a James Bond novel. You know, the kind who captures Bond, tells him his fiendish plan for dominating the planet, ties him up for some no less fiendish torture, and then leaves him behind to gum up the works.

As it happens, though, he’s the president of the United State, a nice guy with a charismatic wife and two lovely kids.

How could this be? (More)
Muscovy courage

Ekho Moskvy radio gets away with opposing Putin (so far)

By Paul Starobin
Columbia Journalism Review

Paul Starobin, a former Moscow bureau chief for BusinessWeek, is the author of After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age, a book that has not made the presidential reading list.
May-June 2012 — In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, there is no more persistent reproach to his autocratic rule than the country’s oldest independent radio station, Ekho Moskvy. A ripe case in point came during the run-up to the March election, in which Putin was vying for his third term as president. Just days before the vote, Channel One, the country’s dominant, state-controlled television outlet, aired the sensational tale of a plot to assassinate Putin. The broadcast was met with skepticism along Moscow’s political grapevine; given that the suspects had been arrested weeks before, it smelled like a stunt to rally support for Putin.

It was left to Ekho Moskvy to deliver a public expression of that skepticism, by promptly broadcasting a pungent interview with Dmitri Oreshkin, a political analyst and well-known Putin critic. Team Putin is “trying to mobilize public opinion according to the logic that we are surrounded by enemies and that we have one decisive, effective, and intelligent national leader that they want to destroy,” Oreshkin bluntly declared. The New York Times included the quote, with credit to the station, in its story on the matter. That’s Ekho Moskvy, a thorn in Putin’s side that he has so far been unable, or unwilling, to extract. (More)

True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, please read
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
True North Perspective
Vol. 7, No. 14 (316)
Friday 04 May 2012
Guest Editorial
By Thomas Walkom
National Affairs Columnist
The Toronto Star
04 May 2012 — The revolution comes in on tiptoe. It enters quietly, finds a corner and begins to set about its business.

It aims not to alarm.

So it is with Stephen Harper. A year into his first-ever majority government, Canada’s controversial Conservative prime minister is still operating much as if he commanded only a minority.

True, his style remains aggressive. Harper’s take-no-prisoners attitude toward parliamentary opponents continues unabated.

Thus those who dare question the Conservatives for their role in the so-called robocall affair — in which some voters were deliberately misled about where to cast ballots in last May’s general election — are dismissed as purveyors of “baseless smears.”

On one particularly bizarre day in the Commons, Conservative MPs repeatedly accused the New Democrats of being soft on Hitler. (More)

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
Your support makes it possible for True North to clear the fog of "publicity" and keep you informed on what's really happening in the world today. Please send your donation to:
Carl Dow, True North, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9.

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

Let’s have a real abortion debate

Beware of the anti-abortion creep

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Maybe someday, Parliament will have a real abortion debate.

The latest chinwag on the issue was a one-hour session triggered by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s proposal that MPs study when life begins. He doesn’t accept it’s at birth as the law currently stands.

By his rationale, Parliament would set a date at which a fetus is considered human. If our legislators did that, then abortion opponents would keep trying to push the date further and further back to reduce a woman’s chances of receiving one. It would be a form of anti-abortion creep. (More)
Supporting our troops, Conservative-style
By David Pugliese
PostMedia News
3 May 2012 — The Department of National Defence is cutting the jobs of medical professionals involved in suicide prevention and monitoring post-traumatic stress disorders — despite claims by DND and the Canadian Forces that dealing with such health issues is a priority.
The move comes on the heels of a new report indicating that suicides have increased in the Canadian Forces. At the same time, the issue of suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the military is also under scrutiny at a military police complaints hearing in Ottawa. That hearing is examining how the Canadian Forces dealt with the case of Cpl. Stuart Langridge, an Afghanistan veteran who killed himself.
The unions representing the health workers have been notified that 15 of the 25 jobs in that area will be cut. The workers perform key roles, union officials say.
They have been told that the DND's Deployment Health Section is being shut down, cutting four jobs, including those of suicide prevention specialists. (More.)
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Science verifies that key to more biker commuters

is to provide urban centres with more cycling paths

17 April 2012 — Science has verified something that may appear obvious at first glance: The direct connection between the presence of bike lanes and the number of bike commuters. The more infrastructure exists to encourage biking, the more people bike—and the more society reaps the public health, energy, and lifestyle benefits that come with an increasing share of people-powered transportation.

Beyond the availability of bike friendly-infrastructure, other hypotheses explain why people bike more or less—whether a city is wet or dry, hot or cold, has high gas prices, is densely constructed or sprawling, is populated with young or old people. All of these variables play some role in motivating people to get on two wheels, but until now, we didn’t have a good sense of which was the most important. (More)

Spirit Quest

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

May 04 2012 — Shortly before breakfast on the morning of April 24 the phone rang.  As so often is the case, calls at that hour bring  ominous messages.
“Stella has died this morning,” I heard the voice in the receiver.
That is both bad news and good news. Stella was 97 and bed bound for the past three years. For a woman endowed with a high intelligence  and boundless energy it is good news. The last time I saw her she was anxious “to have it over with.” However, as the memories rolled through my mind I was aware that this was also the end of an age and there is always something sad about a “fin de siecle.” It is not only the termination of a life but a marker en route of the demise of a certain way of living. (More.)
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Happy birthday, Earth!

(please forgive us)

By Geneviève Hone
True North Perspective

Geneviève Hone is a grandmother, family therapist and social worker.  With her husband, Julien Mercure (also a family therapist), she has co-authored three books on couples and family life. Her home on the web is

04 May 2012 — My walk in the park this morning could certainly not be characterized as a brisk and energizing one. Rather than following the path along the river, I am tracing lazy circles around an old tree that is just beginning to blossom. I can describe this tree as majestic, beautiful, superb, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say: “a favorite of mine” because this tree does not belong to me. My own trees, populating 52 acres of forest land, were left behind when we moved to Ottawa four years ago. They now belong to somebody else and I am reduced to living with “borrowed” trees, trees chosen and planted by people I don’t even know. (More.)
Reality Check

Journalists who never applaud make exception for Mulcair

Government secrecy is target at journalists' awards dinner

“Sometimes we have to pay thousands of dollars in fees for simple requests.”
By Joshua Rapp Learn
May 02 2012 — NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair vowed to work alongside journalists to fight against the Harper government’s lack of transparency at The Canadian Association of Journalists conference on Sunday.
“I think we can agree that an informed society is the very bedrock of our democracy,” Mulcair told the conference delegates in his keynote address. “Our democracy works better when you’re able to do your job well.”
Mulcair’s message was well-timed: It was the morning after the CAJ gave the Harper administration its Code of Silence Award to recognize the most secretive government or publically funded agency in the country.
Mulcair says his job isn’t that different from the work of journalists. As leader of the opposition, he has to hold the government accountable, often by using the Access to Information Act. (More.)


Don’t Believe the G-Spot Hype!

To be, or not to be … wherefore art thou, damned spot G

A new study claims to have found the elusive spot in the cadaver of an 83-year-old woman. Sex researcher Debby Herbenick on why it isn’t a breakthrough—and what science actually reveals.

By Debby Herbenick PhD
The Daily Beast
25 April 2012 — When your job involves researching and teaching about sex, as mine at Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute does, there’s nothing strange about getting calls about the G spot.
But over the past week, these messages have taken a more urgent tone. Rather than asking the usual questions — Where is the G spot? What are the best sex positions for G-spot orgasms? — reporters have asked me to comment on a seemingly groundbreaking new study, out today in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, that purports to have “discovered” the infamous source of female sexual pleasure. As in, to have found an actual anatomical structure within a woman’s body.
Such a study would have the potential to be a serious game changer in the field of sex research. Except—in my opinion—it didn’t accomplish that. (More.)
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.

Mainstream media has done its best to sideline Ron Paul

because of his anti-war stance but Paul will make points

By Ralph Z. Hallow
The Washington Times
01 May 2012 — Mitt Romney may be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is quietly racking up some organizational victories that could complicate Mr. Romney’s anticipated coronation at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this summer.
Exploiting party rules, loyalists for the libertarian congressman from Texas in recent days have engineered post-primary organizing coups in states such as Louisiana and Alaska, confirming what party regulars say would be an effort to grab an outsized role in the convention and the party’s platform deliberations. (More)

World Bank: Waiting for the 'other shoe' to drop

By Ernest Corea
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WASHINGTON DC — When will the “other shoe” drop? And how? Will it create a reverberating, equanimity shattering thud? Or will it drop with the muted thump of a toddler’s soft toy falling on a plush rug?

With the election process at the World Bank (the Bank) completed, and Dr. Jim Yong Kim, president of Dartmouth College, confirmed as the institution’s twelfth president, questions like these are now likely to be running through the minds of the Bank’s professional staff. These are the men and women on whose efforts the effectiveness of the Bank depends. (More.)

The Old Man's Last Sauna
(To read the stories just click on the italic titles. Please tell us what you think.)
An eclectic collection of short stories by Carl Dow 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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