Friday 6 May 2011

Bin Laden unarmed during U.S. attack

Obama says bin Laden captured then shot

Killing underlines U.S. policy of assassinating  political opponents

Associated Press

03 May 2011 WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden was unarmed when he was confronted by U.S. commandos at his Pakistani hideout but tried to resist the assault, the White House said Tuesday as new details emerged about the audacious raid that killed the world’s most wanted terrorist.

The White House said it was considering whether to release photos that were taken of bin Laden after he was killed but was concerned that the photos were “gruesome” and could be inflammatory.

Other details that emerged on Tuesday, according to U.S. officials: One of bin Laden’s wives tried to rush the commandos and was shot in the leg.1,511 words.


The Devil likely died happy

'In so many ways Osama died the victor'

By Neil Macdonald
CBC News

Neil Macdonald is the senior Washington correspondent for CBC News, which he joined in 1988 following 12 years in newspapers. Before taking up this post in 2003, Macdonald reported from the Middle East for five years. He won Gemini Awards in 2004 and 2009 for best reportage; the most recent for his reporting on the economic crisis. He speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic.

02 May 2011 WASHINGTON — He’s dead, perhaps learning whether his cruel version of deity was at all accurate, and Americans have erupted in patriotic joy.

But in so many ways, Osama bin Laden died the victor.

Not that he ever came close to establishing some medieval Islamic caliphate; one presumes even he wasn't deluded enough to believe that was truly possible. Nor was instituting Taliban-style Shariah law throughout the Muslim world. Extreme self-denial is never an easy sell, and too many Muslim men love their daughters, to name just two obstacles.

And only a simpleton would believe that stuff about destroying the decadent West. 1,032 words.
  Cartoon by Geoffrey Dow  
  Cartoon by Geoffrey Dow, True North Perspective  

From the Desk of Lauren McKeon

Stepping through the election-night coverage door

'Election process at risk of corruption, devaluating journalist credibility'

The Canadian Journalism Project

What to make of last night's election coverage? We asked Jeff Sallot, former Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail, to weigh in. The sober morning-after message, he says, is clear: Canada better fix its voting laws before the next election to accommodate real-time online communication. If we don't, we risk corrupting the electoral process -- and devaluing journalist credibility.

03 May OTTAWA — Following the early East Coast election results on Twitter last night while TV and radio broadcasts were still blacked out in my time zone was like stepping through a door into another universe that was being run by the Mad Hatter and the cast of Saturday Night Live.

It was bizarre and often funny, but the sober morning-after message is clear: we better damn well fix our voting laws here in Canada before the next election to accommodate this new parallel universe where real-time communication has a global reach. 1.132 words.

Weston: Majority rules — just about everything

By Greg Weston
CBC News

03 May 2011 — Canadians wondering what Stephen Harper will do with a majority government are about to get their answer — namely, just about anything he wants.

The Conservatives will now have the ability to pass whatever legislation they want — their comfortable-majority win gives them complete control over the Commons, and they already dominate the Senate.

Parliamentary committees trying to pry into government spending, secrecy and ethical lapses likely won’t get very far — the Conservatives now have majority control of those, too.

The Prime Minister’s Office already uses cabinet orders to fill the more than 3,500 patronage jobs on federal courts, agencies and boards. 516 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. 16 (275)
Friday, May 6, 2011
Millions throughout the world were both relieved and shocked when they learned that Osoma bin Laden had been captured and assassinated.
Relieved that this much touted monster had finally been captured; shocked that he had been shot and killed while unarmed in front of his wife and children, and without due process of law. 
A trial could have revealed much, perhaps more than the Americans wanted to have revealed. 794 words.
When Michael Ignatieff announced his return to Canada and his intention to run for politics, (2006), he said it was time for Canada to rally the chiefs and Indians to save Canada from the separatists.
I was so shocked by this expression of blind political sense (the Separatist movement was already dead) that I wrote a letter to The Toronto Star warning that Ignatieff could not be the next Pierre Trudeau. Trudeau had strong political sense. Ignatieff was revealing he had none.794 words.
"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
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If it ain't broke ... Report from Poll #90

Cardboard, paper, pencils

In praise of primitive technologies

By Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor, True North Perspective
Originally posted at Edifice Rex Online

5 May 2011 — I am still processing the results of Monday's election and expect to have gathered my thoughts about the results shortly. Meanwhile, I want to talk about the Canadian federal election system itself — that is, how we cast our votes and how our cast votes are counted.
That system is antiquated, labour-intensive, apparently inefficient and uses technologies that, with the exception of a computer-generated print-out of the voters' list, would be completely familiar to a time-traveller from the 19th century.793 words.

An Alex Binkley Classic

The importance of infrastructure

Cities need ongoing help maintaining basic services

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

18 March 2011 —  The federal and provincial governments face a lot of pressure to cut spending and get their financial houses in order.

That could be bad news for municipal governments that have a whopping backlog of sewers, roads and other essential infrastructure to improve and replace. In 2007, a McGill University study estimated there was a $123 billion backlog in municipal infrastructure upgrading and another $153 billion needed in new facilities.  —763 words.

From the Desk of Darren Jerome


From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainability Editor

'Buy a new home, get a new car free'

Builders of new homes see no sign of recovery

By David Streitfeld
The New York Times

22 April 2011 RICHMOND, Ill.  In this distant Chicago suburb, a builder has finally found a way to persuade people to buy a new house: he throws in a car.

Kim Meier’s spring promotion, which includes a $17,000 credit at a nearby General Motorsdealer, has produced seven sales since the beginning of March, a veritable windfall of business for a builder who sold only 20 houses last year. “We needed to do something dramatic,” said Mr. Meier. “The market’s been soft.”

That is one way of putting it. The recessionhurt a lot of industries, but it knocked the residential construction market to the mat and has kept it there, even as the broader economy has started to fitfully recover. 1,074 words.
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

« Once a mother, always a mother »!

You may want to set some rules
True North Perspective
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more:

4 May 2011 — As a young teacher, I remember one of my students and his sister being raised by their grandparents. Both parents had been killed in a car crash.

At parents and teachers’ night, I met with the grandmother. She looked exhausted and overwhelmed. I felt sorry for her. Not only had this grandmother lost her own child but she was left with two young children to raise.

Parenting is a very demanding job, one that requires a lot of energy. Small children require a lot of care and one must be in good physical shape to cope with the daily demands of child rearing. 1,055 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.

Spirit Quest
Mother's Day 1939
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

06 May 2011 — She had time on her hands. It was good to be alone with her thoughts. She walked slowly along the edge of the woods behind the barn taking in all that was so strange but that which now was hers, something she found hard to accept. She felt a sense of ambivalence. She was aware of how far she was from her former home across the sea. With the growing hostility between Britain and Germany the link with her family was like an elastic band almost stretched to the breaking point.  War seemed inevitable and with that, of course, would come a total separation. For how long was anybody’s guess. That Hitler would be vanquished was a certainty.
Her thoughts were often with her mother, her sister, and her brother, and their families. She wished that they too might have emigrated to Canada.  How wonderful it would have been to have them all nearby sharing the hardships as well as the freedoms offered by this new land. Certainly her brother-in-law Max, a man skilled with his hands, would have been far handier on this pioneer farm than her intellectual husband, though he too was learning. 1,163 words

Lessons in living learned from my Mother

By Hazel Johnson
Ottawa Independent Writers
Ottawa Canada

Mother's Day always brings back a flood of memories of my mother and lessons in living that I learned from her.

What I remember most about Mother was her concern about what will people think? It was of utmost importance to her that the image of her family was of the highest standard. So it was always emphasized to us that we should never do anything that might bring dishonour to the family, or to cause people to talk. We scoffed at her archaic standards, Who cares what people think? But in reality we tried not to disappoint her — although sometimes we slipped below her bar. Her husband and family were her passion and her life. She lived and worked only for them. — 1,008 words.

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Always looking forward


From the Desk of Frances Sedgwick, Parkdale Columnist

Suspect arrested in serial Parkdale beatings

By Curtis Rush
Police Reporter
The Toronto Star

03 May 2011 — A 32-year-old Toronto man has been arrested in connection with a series of beatings in Parkdale that started in January.

Ricardo Morrison was charged with two counts of assault with intent to cause bodily harm, the head of the Toronto police homicide squad said Tuesday.

Morrison remains “a person of interest” in the other assaults, said Supt. Mark Saunders, including one that led to the death March 21 of 62-year-old George Wass.

Wass’s death is now being treated as a homicide.

Morrison, who has a family but is not married, is being held in custody.

Saunders said police would not release a photo of him because their investigation is continuing.

The two charges against Morrison relate to beatings on April 2 and 5

Recently, Toronto police Chief Bill Blair urged Parkdale residents not to walk alone at night as neighbours gathered to remember Wass at a candlelight vigil.

About 50, including family and police, attended the vigil outside Parkdale Community Recreation Centre.

“We’re going to catch this guy,” Blair told a town-hall meeting last month.

The attacker would wear a balaclava covering his face and usually pounces from behind late at night, police said.

The attacks started in January. Most of the victims have lived in one of two buildings across the street from each other on Maynard Ave., near King St. W. and Jameson Ave.

Suspect in attacks often complained about neighbours

Parkdale remains a neighbourhood on edge

Kate Allen and Curtis Rush
Staff Reporters

04 May 2011 PARKDALE, Toronto — Ricardo Morrison’s resumé projects the image of a grounded person: “Highly motivated individual who is career-oriented . . . punctual and reliable.”

Those who knew Morrison describe a more turbulent character. His cramped, one-room apartment on Maynard Ave. in Parkdale was so full of junk — papers, luggage, even a barbecue — it must have been difficult to live in, says the building superintendent. The resumé was amid the clutter.

Morrison was constantly complaining about his neighbours. “The guy next door, he’s making noise all night,” begins one voicemail message left last week for the superintendent, who only gave his first name, Robert. Morrison “had some words” with his neighbours, acknowledges a fellow resident. 584 words.

The Glass Teat

Doctor Who or Doctor Doom?

The real problem with Steven Moffat

By Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor, True North Perspective
Originally posted at Edifice Rex Online

1 May 2011 — I fear I'm becoming One of Them, one of those strange and hideous trolls, shuffling about in the dark passageways of fandom, who seem to exist only to tear down that which they claim to love. You know the one: I've watched every episode of New Who and I've hated every bloody one of them!

Well, I'm now one-sixth of the way through Steven Moffat's second series at the helm of this venerable franchise, and I'm coming more and more to resemble that monstrous beast, The Fan Who Hates His (or Her) Fandom.884 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.