All Dead But One
It’s time these Canadian heroes were recognized
By Terrence Rundle West
Special to True North Perspective
8 June 2012 — Quick, identify the Canadian battalion that celebrated its 75th anniversary in May.
If you didn’t guess the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion (Mac-Paps) you’re not alone. Few would.
Their founding date, May 1937, went unheralded and the vets who served with them in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) won’t be celebrating either. Of approximately 1,543 original members, only Jules Paivio is still alive and at 95, he’s too frail to be kicking up his heels.
There was a time when Canadians held the Mac-Paps in high esteem.
In my high school days in the 1950s, a classmate’s father had served with them, leaving me and my chums awestruck. We knew the background — they were Canadian volunteers who’d gone to Spain to fight the fascists.
For me at the time, with one brother dead at Dieppe in 1942, and a second a North Atlantic navy vet, the Mac-Paps were heroes of the highest order.
Hadn’t they taken on Hitler and Mussolini in Spain two full years before WW 11 was declared? Hadn’t they stood up to Franco’s German and Italian equipped fascists with nothing but left-over WW 1 arms? Hadn’t the German Condor Legion tested their Stuka dive bombers and Messerschmitts on them, giving us Guernica in the process? Weren’t 400 of them dead on Spanish soil — as many as in the Korean War that had just ended? (More)
Now lookee here, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton
By Elizabeth Janney
05 June 2012 COLUMBIA Maryland USA —
A man approached a group of girls at the Mall in Columbia and told one he’d love to be her modeling agent. He handed her his business card and said he would sign her that day but needed to take her picture, and he’d left his camera in the car.
They walked to his car, and he pushed her inside.
As he drove away, the girl opened the door and rolled out, a maneuver she’d learned from Denene Yates, founder of Safe House of Hope in Baltimore, which provides support services for victims of human trafficking.
Yates speaks at schools around the area, and about a month ago she spoke at the Bain Center in Columbia to more than 100 about a trade she said was right under their noses.
The girl didn’t want to report the incident, said Yates, but there are still substantial reports of trafficking nonetheless.
“The Department of Justice recognizes [that up to] 293,000 of our own teens” are involved in human trafficking, said Yates. (More)
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
Friday 8 June 2012
Joe McCarthy is alive and well
and living in Canada's Finance Committee
By David McLaren
Special to True North Perspective
David McLaren is an award-winning writer living at Neyaashiinigamiing on Georgian Bay. He has worked in government, in the private sector, with ENGOs (Environmental Non-Government Organizations) and First Nations. Comments on this and other essays are welcome at http://jdavidmclaren.wordpress.com/.
“Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”
With those words Republican Senator Joe McCarthy set off a 10-year witch hunt in the US for just about anyone whose political colour was a redder shade of pink. He was finally censured by the Senate but not before he ruined a lot of lives and dealt a body blow to democracy in the USofA.
Whenever I came across the old news reels of that time, I thanked God I didn’t live in a country that would permit that sort of bigoted, callow, scape-goating attack on its own citizens.
I can’t say that anymore. In the House Finance committee, a week or so ago, MPs were hearing expert testimony on the impact of Bill C-38, the Budget Implementation Bill. Randy Hoback is a member. He’s the Conservative MP from Prince Albert Saskatchewan, which is not far from Tommy Douglas’s old riding.
Hoback attacked the credibility of United Steel Workers economist Erin Weir by demanding, “Have you or have you ever been a member of the NDP party, or are you presently a member of the NDP party?”
Clearly Hoback is not as eloquent as Joe McCarthy was, and so he blunted his own attack. But his demand resounds like a siren.
Was it a question of his own making? Or was it one that the Prime Minister’s Office put in his mouth?
Not that it really matters ... for it begs another, more important question. What are we becoming that a democratically elected Canadian can even ask such a thing, and in such a manner, in the heart of our Parliament.
© David McLaren May 2012
"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.
Or use our new Paypal system! Just click the secure link below —
and if you're paying by credit card, you don't need a PayPal account to make a donation!
Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is www.alexbinkley.com. 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
A Close exception on mental illness
By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
08 June 2012 — A long career in journalism leaves one leery of the usually vain, shallow and self-centred species known as celebrities. They gain undeserved space in newspapers and magazines and far too much attention on radio and television. They make grocery store checkouts loathsome places.
With that caveat, I will make my second exception to my anti-celebrity status — the first being Jean Beliveau, the hockey star who personifies a class act.
Actor Glenn Close made a presentation to the anti-stigma conference in Ottawa put on by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Her remarks were all about living with mental illness and not about herself. She related personal experiences of her family to make her point about the need for society to recognize and deal with mental illness. She called it “the last and most challenging civil rights issue of our time.”
Close’s family has struggled through troubled generations including several suicides. Denial wrapped her family “in decades of incredible foolishness. The stigma of mental illness silenced them.” (More)
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor
The Future of Farming
Building a sustainable food model for cities
By Elecia Chrunik
04 June 2012 VANCOUVER BC —
In the second of our two-part series on sustainable food, in the latest issue of Megaphone
we focus on the journeys our food takes to get to us. From the shorter distance of urban farming projects in Vancouver, to the long and winding road from food manufacturers to food banks, our food comes a long way.
Also in this issue: We take on Vision Vancouver's spin on the homelessness count numbers that show twice the amount of people sleeping outside tonight than did last year. We also hear from Megaphone
vendor Charlize Gordon on the spectre of homelessness that haunts her today, despite living in stable housing. (More)
With the Nazi war machine plundering Europe
becoming a Dollar Boy or Girl was a fair trade
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
08 June 2012 —
It was mid morning, a Sunday in November 1938, as our bus rumbled up the parkway to a castle-like mansion on this last leg of our flight from Nazi terrorism. Our group of women and children had left the night before from London, England where we had arrived by freighter from eastern Europe.
This was the end of the thirties and there were no M 2 fast highways connecting the country. After stopping for breakfast in Carlysle on the English-Scottish border we arrived at our destination to be reunited with our husbands and fathers. They had arrived weeks earlier and were now living at Dollarbeg, “the castle,” a rather posh refugee camp for antifascist Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia.
By the end of November some 200 of the most endangered men had been spirited to Britain out of reach of the Gestapo who were very much interested in meeting them. My father belonged to that group. Now we were about to be reunited. (More)
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life
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.
June 8 2012 — My mother passed away on May 5th after slowly slipping into the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
When I met with her doctor in late March, he confirmed the situation and explained what to expect from then on. After a heart attack last October and a bad fall in February, her health had taken a turn for the worse. On top of a weakened heart and serious cognitive decline, the body’s automatic systems were starting to fail.
One of them, the capacity to swallow had become a serious impairment. She struggled with her meals and started to lose weight. A switch to pureed food seemed to help for a while … but soon, even that didn’t work. (More.)
Beating the Drum
The Techno Junkies
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.
08 June 2012 —
I have been an advocate of meditation for years. I practice different forms of it in my daily life. It has become a way of life for me that I believe has assisted me in managing stress and making better choices in my life.
For many people when they hear the word meditation, they automatically associate it with yoga. They conjure images of having to sit cross-legged while they chant some mantra. A discipline practiced on a daily basis for a specified period of time with the intent to silence the mind.
Yet meditation really isn’t about sitting silently for hours and staring at your navel. It is more than we are being sold in our current consumer-driven society. Meditation is about awareness of your surroundings, thoughts, breathing and emotions. It is about being tuned in, tapped in, and turned on to your inner voice. It is a moment to moment practice. (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.
Quebec: A view from abroad
Secret of joy: Six lessons from Quebec's 'Maple Spring'
By Terrance Heath
6 June 2012 —
As I read more about the student movement in Quebec, known as the "Maple Spring" or the "Casserole Revolution," it brings to mind the final scene
from Possessing the Secret of Joy
, by one of my favorite authors, Alice Walker. In that scene, the main character — Tashi, a minor character from The Color Purple
— discovers a truth. From Wall Street to Wisconsin, and Cairo to Quebec, people the world over are realizing that same truth every day.
Today, that truth is echoed in the chants, protests and placards of protesters in the streets of Montreal. It's the same truth Walker spelled out in huge block letters near the end of her novel: RESISTANCE IS THE SECRET OF JOY.
It started simply enough, as a provincial story familiar enough to resonate around the world. In February, the Quebec government announced a 75% tuition hike
at universities in the mostly French-speaking Canadian province. The tuition hike is due to cuts in education supplements, which Quebec's government says are necessary to tackle its budget deficit. Students responded by boycotting classes, blocking bridges, and holding smaller protests in what quickly became the longest strike in the province's history
Scientists say the one thing you can count on with
the first trip to Mars, is that you won't come back
By Russ Martin
08 June 2012 —
A Dutch company plans to send four people to Mars by 2023.
Mars One, the company behind the initiative, has earned the endorsement of a Nobel prize winning physicist, Gerard ‘t Hooft, who says the plan is possible.
There’s just one catch. The team won’t come back.
Instead, Mars One participants will create settlement on the red planet, where their lives will be recorded as part of a bizarre, lifelong media stunt.
On its website, Mars One explains, “The entire world will be able to watch and help with decisions as the teams of settlers are selected, follow their extensive training and preparation for the mission and of course observe their settling on Mars once arrived.” (More)
Cuban News Agency
07 June 2012 SANTA CLARA Cuba —
More than 38 thousand Cuban medical workers are currently offering their services in 66 nations of the world, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, said Medical Cooperation director Yilian Jimenez in this central Cuban city. (More)
'But that a serious, veteran, investigative journalist, such as Dan Rather, would indulge in the necrophiliac story-telling about the Venezuelan President is truly disappointing.'
By Eva Golinger
Eva Golinger, winner of the International Award for Journalism in Mexico (2009), named “La Novia de Venezuela” by President Hugo Chávez, is an Attorney and Writer from New York, living in Caracas, Venezuela since 2005 and author of several best-selling books, including The Chávez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela.
30 May 2012 —
Since Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was diagnosed with cancer and a malignant tumor was removed from his pelvic region last June, all kinds of rumors, lies and speculations have circulated about his health.
Most of the hype has come from known anti-Chavez media, such as the Miami Herald and several online blogs run by right-wing extremists like Bush’s former Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega, who’s been obsessed with Chavez for years. All cite unnamed sources who claim they have “insider information” about the Venezuelan head of state’s health. It’s been unsurprising that those media outlets, known for their decade-long distortions of Venezuela’s reality, would publish such falsities and morbid tales about President Chavez.
But that a serious, veteran, investigative journalist, such as Dan Rather, would indulge in the necrophiliac story-telling about the Venezuelan President is truly disappointing. (More)
06 June 2012 —
Europe expects to decommission almost 150 of its nuclear power plants by 2030, while the US has granted life extensions to 71 and chosen to close only five, according to a report by experts in energy GlobalData.
The new report* shows that the figure for Europe accounts for nearly 69% of the total global number of expected nuclear power reactor closures by 2030, the largest amount for any region. Baring any changes, the European commercial nuclear decommissioning market value stands at $81,484m.
As of January 2012, France, the UK and Russia have the highest decommissioning market values in Europe, with market values of $21,494m, $18,717m, and $13,446m, respectively. (More)
Why thin women 'Fat Talk'
If you hate hearing a skinny girl fat talk, consider these reasons why she’s doing it before giving her the evil eye
05 January 2012 —
You’re standing in line at the deli when you overhear the girl behind you talking to her friend:
“Ugh, I’m only eating lettuce and peas. I got so fat over Christmas.”
You turn around to find that she’s a tiny little size two bombshell and as you take your delicious turkey and cheese melt, you shoot eye daggers of hatred her way.
Sadly, you’ve seen girls like her before. (You may even have been that girl before.) “I think most women who fat talk are thin or healthy,” says body image researcher and Northwestern University professor, Renee Engeln-Maddox, Ph.D.
But before you cast your wrath on them, take a minute to wonder why they do it. (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. Flynn, Sharing Lies, Flying High, The Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows Ya, One Lift Too Many, The 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 Sauna, a groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.