Friday 6 July 2012


From the Desk of Frances Sedgwick

'This land was made for you and me'

Woody Guthrie, his father a Klansman, born in Oklahoma

found his moving lyrical roots in The Dust Bowl of the 1930s

Democracy Now!
04 July 2012 — Commemorations are being held across North America this year to mark the 100 anniversary of the birth of one of America’s greatest songwriters, Woody Guthrie. Born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma, Guthrie wrote hundreds of folk songs, including "This Land Is Your Land," "Pastures of Plenty," "Pretty Boy Floyd," "Do Re Mi" and "The Ranger’s Command."
While Guthrie is best remembered as a musician, he also had a deeply political side. At the height of McCarthyism, Guthrie spoke out for labour and civil rights and against fascism. In this one-hour special, you will hear interviews and music from folk singer Pete Seeger, the British musician Billy Bragg, and the historian Will Kaufman, author of the new book, Woody Guthrie, American Radical. (More)

The truth will out

WikiLeaks begins publishing 2.4 million Syria Emails

WikiLeaks said the first files, released on Wednesday, reveal that Italian defence giant Finmeccanica has provided communications equipment to the Syrian regime since the unrest began.

05 July 2012 — WikiLeaks said Thursday it was publishing more than 2.4 million emails from Syrian political figures dating back to 2006 but also covering the period of the crackdown on dissent by Syria's regime.

"Just now... WikiLeaks began publishing the Syria files, more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies dating from August 2006 to March 2012," said Sarah Harrison, spokeswoman for the anti-secrecy website.

The latest disclosures could throw fresh light on the workings of the Syrian regime and its interactions with allies in the run-up to and during the current bloody crackdown. (More)


Some debris from the Japanese nuclear disaster has already

washed up on North America and there's deadly stuff to come

By Prof. Anthony Hall
Global Research
“Our world is faced with a crisis that has never before been envisaged in its whole existence... The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe.” Albert Einstein, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May, 1946
Albert Einstein’s warning and the ominous fate of Fukushima Daiichi
13 June 2012 As the bad news gradually spreads that the debacle at Fukushima nuclear power plant #1 is becoming more perilous rather than less so, the words of Albert Einstein come to mind. Recall that the legendary physicist, Einstein, helped to set in motion the Manhattan Project whose personnel designed and built the first atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. In his letter to US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 Einstein warned that if the United States did not enter and win the race to harness the destructive potential of atomic weaponry, Germany would almost certainly do so.

The Manhattan Project became a primary prototype for the Research and Development (R and D) partnerships linking the US government and for-profit corporations in what  Dwight D. Eisenhower would later describe as “the military-industrial complex.” Einstein himself did not directly participate in this huge initiative aimed at defeating the Axis powers linking Japan with Germany and Italy. One of the twentieth century’s most iconographic thinkers watched from the sidelines as other physicists and technologists applied many of Einstein’s theories to the building of atomic weaponry.

After Japan lay in ruins, not only from the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but also from the massive carpet bombing of Tokyo and several other urban centers, Einstein went public with his fears and anxieties. In famous passages that have been subject to various translations and paraphrasing Einstein observed, “Our world is faced with a crisis that has never before been envisaged in its whole existence... The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe.” (More)


How the corporate media is snookering you on Syria

'We have a journalism crisis equal to a crisis in democracy'

The hijacking of the Arab Spring has been aided by a media that airs propaganda on Syria.

By Russ Baker
United States of America
Russ Baker is editor of and author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years.
28 June 2012 — For those versed in the black arts of propaganda, the hijacking of Arab Spring must be a beauteous thing to behold.
"When almost no media anymore question these barely disguised coups against uncooperative standing governments, we are in very deep trouble. Because if we can’t count on the media to tell us what is going on in far-off places, what may we expect of them closer to home?  We are witnessing a crisis for journalism that is nothing less than a crisis for democracy itself."
First came seemingly spontaneous uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Then some up-and-comer in Washington or London or Paris had a brainstorm, a new twist on a very old idea: if you can’t beat em, join em. Or even better, co-opt them, and use them for your own purposes.

The old way of getting rid of “inconvenient” leaders was so 20th-century — in the case of Saddam Hussein, a monstrous lie followed by a massive bloodletting on both sides. Tahrir Square suggested how to bring down a regime in a manner far less costly and far more palatable to the public: lots of medium-sized and little lies, war through Twitter, war through expendable proxies. Provide financial incentives to key figures to publicly renounce the old leadership, create a steady stream of heart-rending moments and photos and allegations, generate endless “human rights violations” by baiting the government into a military response, then very publicly petition international bodies for redress of humanitarian concerns. (More)

Alternate media celebrated in Venezuela

Corporate media loses credibility; slogan for demo

'They piss on us and the press says it's raining'

By Luis Rivero Donalle
28 June 2012 CARACAS — Today we celebrate the national day of journalists in Venezuela. Because of this day, it’s worth remembering a phrase that was written in the streets of Argentina during the December 2001 crisis: “They piss on us and the press says it’s raining”. This aphorism captions the situation of the social media today.  Readers are reading, listening, or watching the information they receive more and more carefully.
However, the people of Venezuela have gone beyond that. Thanks to legal, technological, technical, and educational support from the government of the president, Hugo Chavez, and because of the determination of citizens after 2000, a national system of community and alternative media started to be born. It’s a system which, even though it has a long way to go, is a symbol of collective organisation and the satisfying of everybody’s right to communicate. (More)
True North Perspective publishes in
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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. 23 (325)
Friday 6 July 2012
Guest Editorial

Warning to Liberals

Beware delusional no-hope leadership candidates

By Bob Hepburn
The Toronto Star

04 July 2012 — Deborah Coyne’s entire life in politics is limited to running once — and losing badly — for the Liberals in the 2006 federal election in Toronto-Danforth riding against NDP leader Jack Layton and to a short-lived bid in 2008 for the Liberal nomination in another Toronto riding.

Yet, somehow, Coyne thinks she’s the best person to lead the Liberals into the next election — and eventually to become Canada’s prime minister.

Her belief in herself is so strong that she has jumped into the Liberal leadership race — despite the stark reality that she has zero chance of winning.

Coyne, a lawyer and author who is best known for being the mother of Pierre Trudeau’s only daughter, Sarah, isn’t the only candidate who is delusional about how they will fare in the leadership contest.

Ever heard of Shane Geschiere? How about David Merner, Jonathan Mousley or David Bertschi? (More)

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-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
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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
We publish a Binkley Report Classic because Mr. Binkley is on a well-earned holiday.

Former MP Chuck Strahl's rail warning is aimed

at his former Tory colleagues and CP shareholders

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

27 April 2012 — He may be out of elected politics, but former cabinet minister Chuck Strahl has delivered a pointed message for Canadian Pacific (CP) shareholders and his former political colleagues.

In a commentary for the Globe and Mail that was picked up by Canadian Press, Strahl warned the contest for management control of CP is losing sight of the carrier’s importance to shippers and the country.

US activist investor Bill Ackman is trying to replace Fred Green, the current CP president and CEO with former CN boss Hunter Harrison. Most of the media coverage of the scrap between Ackman and the CP board of directors has focused on railway’s financial performance in comparison to CN’s under Harrison.

Virtually nothing has been said in the media about what the railway’s customers think of the showdown. Hopefully Strahl’s missive will bring some sorely-needed attention to this aspect. (More)

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Plans for new affordable housing out of the Olympics

may evaporate against growing force of developer greed

By Feargus O'Sullivan
The Atlantic Cities
03 July 2012 LONDON England The afterlife of London’s Olympic Park was partially confirmed last week, when officials agreed to plans for the construction of a new neighborhood on part of its site once this summer's games are over.

Called Chobham Manor, the 960-home neighborhood should be ready by autumn 2013, and will cover the current location of the Olympic basketball court (plus, one imagines, a little bit more of the park). It’s just the beginning of plans to cover London’s Lower Lea Valley area with badly needed new housing – four other neighborhoods providing a total of 6,800 homes are also in the pipeline, and by 2031 (yes, they’re giving themselves plenty of time) the former Olympic site should be a dense checkerboard of housing and parkland.

In an area that currently attracts few professionals with children, the new neighborhood aims to be especially family friendly, with four schools included in the blueprints. The plan so far is to have 35 percent of its housing fixed at affordable rents, making some of it suitable for people already living in this lower income area. (More)


Spirit Quest

A joyful arrival to remember

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

6 July 2012 — On a hot July day the truck from Burkit’s Cartage pulled up to 123 Bristol Avenue in Toronto. The driver and his helper plus my mother and me trundled our meager possessions down the narrow staircase into the back of the truck. Soon after bidding farewell to our landlords we were on our way out of the city. In 1942 that was a lot easier than today. There were no endless suburbs and shopping malls, no traffic congested arteries to pursue.

Mother sat in the cab between the two chain smoking men while I perched on my precious bundle of Canadian Geographical Journals in the back of the truck. There was also the wooden crate that had been constructed in Scotland three years earlier prior to coming to Canada, several suitcases bought in Prague, a few pieces of furniture and some odd articles including a two burner hot plate acquired at the store of the Crippled Civilians in Toronto. Yes, that was the name. (More)

Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Are you the artist of your life?

“Health, wealth, beauty and genius are not created: they are only manifested by the arrangement of your mind- that is, by your concept of yourself, and your concept of yourself is all that you accept and consent to as true.” (Neville)

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

6 July 2012 — It’s been a difficult spring for me! I sometimes had the feeling I had very little control over the happenings of these past few months.

Coping with everything that needed to be done was exhausting and at times, daunting. I’m sure many of you are nodding their head, acknowledging the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed.

So for three days, I slipped away and flew to Toronto to experience the “I Can Do It” seminars organized by Hay House.
I wanted to see and hear Wayne Dyer once more, having first seen him in Toronto, in 2003 and then in Ottawa a few years later. I still carry his autograph in my purse as a special memento just as others carry a special medal of Saint Theresa or Saint Christopher tucked away in their wallet or purse. (More.)

Beating the Drum

Many a slip from slip to slip at Shoppers Drug Mart

Protect yourself by checking prices at the check out

By Beverly Blanchard
True North Perspective
Beverly Blanchard is an Ojibway First Nation from Northern Ontario. She holds a degree in Economics. During the last twenty-two years, she has worked as a consultant to First Nation and Inuit organizations in a variety of disciplines including: homelessness, suicide prevention, violence prevention, childcare, HIV/AIDS, women’s issues, business planning, and economic development. She has also designed and delivered Aboriginal awareness and stress management workshops to Federal government employees. Currently, Ms Blanchard is a life strategy coach, author and energy healer in Ottawa.

6 July 2012 —We are continually told that technology has made our lives better. Things have been made more efficient because of it. With regards to the retail sector, I am beginning to wonder whose definition of efficient they are using.
I don’t know about you but lately I have been continually overcharged on some of my purchases. Last week-end it happened twice in one day at two separate stores. In the first instance, I was charged twice for one item. I believe this is what the retail sector refers to as double scanned. Of course the double scanning required me to make trip back to the store to fix the $22 error.
Now this is not the first time this has happened to me at Shoppers Drug Mart here in Ottawa. I seem to be continually overcharged by this store. I have been given a multitude of reasons when I point out the price is not right. The advertised sale prices have not been inputted into the computer. Someone put the wrong items in the wrong bin. Someone forgot to take the sale prices off the display. (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.



Let women live!

Jenny McCarthy's Playboy cover at 40

Hurts, instead of helping, older women

Aging while female is already a thorny issue in American society — and McCarthy's nude perfection only makes it worse.

By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

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