Friday October 14 2011


Hope springs autumnal

Occupy Toronto a copy-cat protest

or the start of a people's revolution?

By Jayme Poisson
Toronto Star
14 October 2011 — Put aside political leanings and patience for eclectic protesters clogging city streets and blowing into vuvuzelas— if just for a moment.

There is something happening. And Saturday morning, it’s coming to Canada.

Earlier this year, public squares in Egypt and Tunisia erupted. In Tel Aviv, they built and slept in tent cities. In India, one man’s hunger strike inspired hundreds of thousands of anti-corruption protesters to claim the streets. (Above, Toronto, Canada, rally signals approval.) Demonstrations in Greece have paralyzed the country.

Then, this July, Vancouver advocacy magazine Adbusters called on 20,000 “redeemers, rebels and radicals” to take over lower Manhattan and occupy Wall Street. Hacktivist collective “Anonymous” answered the call by video. A group by the name General Assembly began holding meetings, rallying around an anti-corporate, anti-greed, anti-big bank cause.  — 1,846 words.

      Autumn's Truth, Autumn's Beauty  
Every year, the arrival of fall heralds one of nature's most magnificent transformations. And while many will witness the green leaves of summer foliage transition into a vibrant spectrum of colors before falling from their trees, few will stop to ask why these color changes occur in the first place. The answer to this question is one we don't yet fully understand, but the basic principles behind the changing of the leaves are actually pretty straightforward. So, where do autumn colors come from? — Full story at, 578 words. (Photograph taken in Quebec's Laurentian Mountains by The Phantom Photographer.)

Occupy Wall Street showdown: Triumph and tense clashes

'The image of those cops suddenly erupting into aggressive action with their clubs out in the midst of a peaceful protest will stay with me for a long time.'

14 October 2011 NEW YORK — “It’s 7 o’clock. Do you know where your cleaners are?”
That was the jubilant cry from Occupy Wall Street protestors to the cops surrounding Zuccotti Park early Friday as the deadline for an announced “clean-up” came and went.
Within a half hour much of the crowd, which numbered in the thousands in the park and surrounding areas, had dispersed – some apparently to march down Broadway in celebration of what looked like a victory over Mayor Bloomberg and Brookfield Properties, which owns the park.
Peace reigned as exhausted protestors collapsed onto makeshift pallets, ignoring the “No lying down in the park” order issued last night by Mayor Bloomberg. 543 words.

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Republicans/Democrats taught Egyptians to use social media

Lessons funded by U.S. now used in shadow of Wall Street 

By Steve Fraser

13 October 2011 — Last weekend, in Washington Square Park in downtown Manhattan at a giant mill-in, teach-in, whatever-in-extension of Occupy Wall Street’s camp-out in Zuccotti Park, there was a moment to remember.

Under what can only be called a summer sun, a contingent from the Egyptian Association for Change, USA, came marching in, their “Support Occupy Wall Street” banners held high (in Arabic and English), chanting about Cairo’s Tahrir Square (where some of them had previously camped out).  The energy level of the crowd rose to buzz-level and cheers broke out. 

By the way, the Egyptians weren’t the only ones there.  As reporter Andy Kroll points out, from the beginning there were Greeks, Spaniards, Japanese, and others involved in Occupy Wall Street, all representing a new era of global activism.  And better yet, the growing American movement isn’t denying these foreign influences; it’s hailing them, it’s cheered by them! 744 words.
By Mike Larson
Weiss Research

Hope isn’t a viable investment strategy. But it’s so thick on Wall Street right now, you could cut it with a knife!

I’m talking about ...

Hope that when they meet 10 days from now, European leaders will get things right on their 136th bailout attempt (or whatever the count is now) ...

Hope that the U.S. economy isn’t slipping back into recession, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, plus ...

Hope that 3rd quarter corporate earnings won’t be as bad as feared ... that the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd won’t upset the apple cart ... and that Congress’ “Super Committee” can somehow figure out how to cut the deficit without starting another budget war.

But in the real world where I live, I see new signs of imminent turmoil — especially from Europe: 854 words.

13 October 2011 WASHINGTON — Warren Buffett is bringing his fight to raise taxes on the super-wealthy to Congress' deficit-reduction supercommittee.

In an exchange of letters between the billionaire investor and a Republican congressman that Buffett sent the committee this week, Buffett is offering to release his federal tax returns -- with a condition.

"If you could get other ultra rich Americans to publish their returns along with mine, that would be very useful to the tax dialogue and intelligent reform," Buffett wrote.

The letters, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, were among several sent in recent days to the special bipartisan panel created this summer to find ways to reduce the mushrooming national debt by at least $1.2 trillion over the coming decade. 815 words.
"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
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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. 6, No. 33 (292)
Friday, 14 October, 2011
Editors Notes

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!

Led astray by Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, (before he won the prize), the youth of the world, supported in growing numbers by those of all ages, are now taking their destiny into their own hands.

World wide, those weary of war and mounting economic crises, turned an eager ear to he who came on like a messiah and roared with him, Yes We Can!

And when he took the helm in Washington he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. And the world waited.

And waited. 

Waited with growing dismay and impatience as their messiah failed them. The best he could do was produce a water-thin health bill against the sound of war rising in accelerando. Faced with the economic mess of George W. Bush he fell into the Bush game and the fulfillment of a disturbed adolescent's dream of world conquest. 388 words.

True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, please read

Reflections on True North Perspective

Editor and Publisher Carl Dow in conversation


25 September 2011 — Carl Dow, the editor and publisher of the weekly news site True North Perspective, which "is dedicated to filling in the gaps to help round out the news knowledge of Canadians," discusses the project by way of standards in journalism, the situation in Libya, Stephen Harper and Quebec politics with podcaster Mark A.

Carl is also President of the Ottawa Independent Writers and introduces some of his short-stories and novels.

Our readers write

This blog, concerning the Tar sands protest, has made several, very wise points.

I was on the Hill during this protest, and, I appreciate that the focus remains, not only upon that day's events, but also on the awful fact of global warming. It is painful to feel powerless to do much to effect changes needed.

Thank you, 'True North Perspective', for your positive actions!

Nancy Lauder, Ottawa

How to rid Canada of poverty

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

14 October 2011 OTTAWA — Canada Without Poverty (CWP) has set out a simple action plan for governments to help low income Canadians without derailing plans for balanced budgets and economic recovery.

In a recent presentation to the Commons finance committee, it said the federal government should “set targets and timelines for poverty reduction and elimination and study all fiscal mechanisms, federal as well as intergovernmental, available to help reach these targets.

“We envision poverty eradication being reached through collaboration among governments, businesses and civil society,” Executive Director Rob Rainer told the MPs. “Policies, legislation and programs will exist to ensure sufficient income, employment and social supports for everyone. Canada will have built a strong social foundation, such that everyone can pursue opportunities for achievement and fulfillment, embrace the responsibilities of citizenship and community opportunities, and live with a sense of dignity.”827 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Marine protection in the Arctic cannot wait

Global economics, not declining sea ice, is driving ships to the Arctic Ocean. Only international regulation will protect the region, says Lawson Brigham.

Lawson Brigham is distinguished professor of geography and Arctic policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and former chair of the Arctic Council's Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment.

By Lawson Brigham
12 October 2011 — Most people know that profound change is happening in the Arctic Ocean. Most people would say that this is because the sea ice there is in retreat. But most people would be wrong.
Changes in ice cover are only part of a story that is, in fact, driven largely by economics and geopolitics. Despite the headlines, policy-makers, planners and regulators need to look beyond the disappearing ice and understand the economic drivers to grasp the urgent need for maritime regulations to address the booming development of the region.857 words.

I killed the Group of 7 is theme of Ottawa art show

By Shannon Lee Mannion
Contributing Editor
True North Perspective

Thursday, 6 October 2011 saw art by 17 contemporary artists displayed at Patrick John Mills Gallery, 286 Hinchey Ave., in Hintonburg, Ottawa. The theme is I Killed the Group of Seven and it runs until October 29, 2011.

In a call-for-art paragraph describing what sort of art he was looking for, gallery owner/curator Patrick John Mills wrote: Artists who are bored with safe, traditional landscapes, tired of happy flower paintings, and same old colourful commericial crap art...Artists who push art in a new direction: fresh ideas, cutting edge, think-outside-the-box, non-conformist...will be showing their art in this show. 267 words.

Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Why do I write?

True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

I pondered the question again this week as I prepared for the first Salon du livre de Lefaivre, near Alfred, Ontario. When did an interest in writing appear? I honestly think we are bestowed certain gifts at birth. And at a very young age, I was extremely curious and loved words.
Once I learned to read in Grade One, books became treasure islands where other worlds manifested themselves and I could travel freely there. Considering I was schooled in a one-room country school where there was only one teacher for eight grades, a school day offered lots of time to indulge my passion. And so it was, that at the age of twelve, after reading Anne Frank’s diary, I truly started writing.1,207 words.

Spirit Quest

When does life begin? How long does it last?

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

14 October 2011 — Is there life after death, and is there life before birth or conception? Haunting questions that Susanna Kearsley ponders in her novel Mariana (1994). 
Although I enjoyed reading her story, which is well written, without her literary skill her tale of a previous life that keeps intruding into the present could seem banal, certainly far fetched and too dependent on convenient coincidences.
Protagonist Julia Beckett, an attractive artist, (why not?) is periodically drawn back into the 1700s, a time after the restoration of the monarchy, still resisted by vestiges of Cromwells’ Puritans. The setting of the story, an old manor house in the English countryside, is ideal for this paranormal drama that she unfolds. The love story embodied in this dual environment ends in a surprise twist revealed in the last two pages. Her group peruse a local pub owned by one of them, a dashing redhead, would you believe it? 798 words.


Frances thrown for a loop on visit to a Dollar Store

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.

On my way home from the swimming pool this morning I stopped off at the Dollar Store to get a few things.
As I was turning down one isle, I noticed on the end of the isle these packages labled — Just for Her!
My head quickly turned around — sounded familiar I did a double take — sure enough there they were, packages of condoms. 358 words.
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.

If it walks like a duck ...

By Gareth Porter
InterPress Service
14 October 2011, WASHINGTON While the administration of Barack Obama vows to hold the Iranian government "accountable" for the alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, the legal document describing evidence in the case provides multiple indications that it was mainly the result of an FBI "sting" operation.

On May 24, when Arbabsiar first met with the DEA informant he thought was part of a Mexican drug cartel, it was not to hire a hit squad to kill the ambassador. Rather, there is reason to believe that the main purpose was to arrange a deal to sell large amounts of opium from Afghanistan.  — 1,281 words.

Annals of Military Intelligence (follow-up)
Computer network administrators learned of problem through press
By Noa Shachtman
11 October 2011 — Officials at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada knew for two weeks about a virus infecting the drone “cockpits” there. But they kept the information about the infection to themselves — leaving the unit that’s supposed to serve as the Air Force’s cybersecurity specialists in the dark. The network defenders at the 24th Air Force learned of the virus by reading about it in Danger Room.

The virus, which records the keystrokes of remote pilots as their drones fly over places like Afghanistan, is now receiving attention at the highest levels; the four-star general who oversees the Air Force’s networks was briefed on the infection this morning. But for weeks, it stayed (you will pardon the expression) below the radar: a local problem that local network administrators were determined to fix on their own.

“It was not highlighted to us,” says a source involved with Air Force network operations. “When your article came out, it was like, ‘What is this?’”672 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 Ugh Wayne 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.

Report from Obama's America

Use of child soldiers no barrier to military aid

For the second year in a row, U.S. President Barack Obama has waived a Congressionally-mandated ban on military aid for four countries that use child soldiers

By Jim Lobe
6 October 2011 — For the second year in a row, U.S. President Barack Obama has waived a Congressionally-mandated ban on military aid for four countries that use child soldiers.

The four countries that will continue to receive military assistance despite the use of child soldiers in their armed forces include Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Yemen and the newly independent nation of South Sudan, according to a memo released by the White House late Tuesday.

All four, which are slated to receive a total of more than 200 million dollars in military aid in 2012, were given waivers by the administration last year, as well.

The latest decision was denounced by Human Rights Watch (HRW) which said it showed "a lack of leadership and a disregard for U.S. law".1,000 words.


U.S. celebrities ask Obama to return Rene Gonzalez to Cuba

11 October 2011 HAVANA Cuba — As part of the Actors and Artists United for the Freedom of the Cuban Five campaign, a group of US celebrities sent recently a letter to President Barack Obama asking for Rene Gonzalez's immediate and safe return to his wife and family in Cuba.  202 words.
By Nil Nikandrov
14 October 2011 CARACAS Venezuela — U.S. media reports about Chavez's health problems altogether read as a message persistently sent by Washington that the epoch of Chavez is over. Last summer, former U.S. envoy to the Organization of American States (OAS) Roger Noriega published a paper titled “U.S. Must Prepare for a World Without Hugo Chavez” with the claims that “the cancer-ridden Chavez” has lost his grip on Venezuela, the country's current regime is doomed, and the struggle over the post-Chavez Venezuela is already raging. Noriega therefore urges the Venezuelan opposition to be more assertive in compiling a program for Venezuela's transition period “from dictatorship to democracy”.
Venezuela's present-day opposition bracketed within Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (Coalition for Democratic Unity, MUD) hopes that the electorate was given enough time to forget about the bloc's predecessor - the Democratic Coordination which in 2001-2004, under the supervision of the CIA, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Department of State, made several attempts on Chavez' life and regularly instigated coups in Venezuela. The extremist and terrorist past, however, cannot be erased from the Venezuelan national memory no matter how the MUD leaders pledge allegiance to democracy these days. At the moment the opposition has to be hyperactive considering that the elections in Venezuela are slated for October 7, 2012. 1,270 words.
Health sciences

Fear the cantaloupe

Are foodborne illness outbreaks on the rise?

By Brian Palmer
Slate Magazine

28 September 2011 — A listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes has killed 13 people and sickened 72. It's the second cantaloupe-related incident this year, as the benign-looking orange melon was responsible for an outbreak of Salmonella panama that began in February.

The CDC has also reported foodborne illness outbreaks this year from papayas, alfalfa sprout, bologna, hazelnuts, and turkey.

Are foodborne illness outbreaks becoming more common? 580 words.


Quadriplegic controls robot hand with his mind

"This is something big, but I'm not done yet. I want to hug my daughter."

By David Templeton
Pittsburg Post-Gazette
10 October 2011 — When it happened, emotions flashed like lightning.

The nearby robotic hand that Tim Hemmes was controlling with his mind touched his girlfriend Katie Schaffer's outstretched hand.

One small touch for Mr. Hemmes; one giant reach for people with disabilities.

Tears of joy flowing in an Oakland laboratory that day continued later when Mr. Hemmes toasted his and University of Pittsburgh researchers' success at a local restaurant with two daiquiris.

A simple act for most people proved to be a major advance in two decades of research that has proven to be the stuff of science fiction.1,406 words.


You can count on the True North Team

While publishers are cutting back and that includes in-house editors
Outside editors of the True North Team are rescuing writers from oblivion.
We handle fiction and  memoirs, manuscript editing to ghost writing
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

or Carl Dow at 613-233-6225

Always looking forward ...

Third Ways

Banking: the public option

Looking at the German model

By Ellen Brown
14 October 2011 — Publicly owned banks were instrumental in funding Germany's "economic miracle" after the devastation of World War II. Although the German public banks have been targeted in the last decade for takedown by their private competitors, the model remains a viable alternative to the private profiteering being protested on Wall Street today.
One of the demands voiced by protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement is for a "public option" in banking.
We don't hear much about a public banking option in the United States, but a number of countries already have a resilient public banking sector. A May 2010 article in The Economist noted that the strong and stable publicly owned banks of India, China and Brazil helped those countries weather the banking crisis afflicting most of the world in the last few years.2,114 words.
The Glass Teat - The sonic lipstick's last hurrah (2 of 3)

Painful truth at the heart of

a children's television program

Managing Editor, True North Perspective
Originally published at Edifice Rex Online

October 12, 2011, OTTAWA — There is but a single story left to tell before The Sarah Jane Adventures is done.

Following hard on the heels of last week's solid series opener, the program has hit one out of the proverbial ball-park.

The Curse of Clyde Langer was an emotionally involving and sometimes very creepy story that only faltered — maybe, a little — in a slightly too-easy resolution.

To add to the episodes' multiple pleasures, The Curse offered strong characterizations, a hefty dose of good humour and even a little unexpected romance. As usual, some spoilers ahead but no snark whatsoever.650 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.

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