Friday 15 February 2013

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Venezuela donates free heating oil

to some 100k needy US households

By Brett Wilkins
Digital Journal
09 February 2013 BALTIMORE — For the eighth straight year, Venezuela's state oil company is donating free heating oil to hundreds of thousands of needy Americans.

The CITGO-Venezuela Heating Oil Program has helped more than 1.7 million Americans in 25 states and the District of Columbia keep warm since it was launched back in 2005. The program is a partnership between the Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), its subsidiary CITGO and Citizens Energy Corporation, a nonprofit organization founded by former US Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II that provides discounted and free home heating services and supplies to needy households in the United States and abroad. It has been supported from the beginning by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. (More)


Secret Pentagon study: Defense shield against 'Iran' missiles

(that's making the Russians nervous) seen as seriously flawed

US congressional investigators say multibillion dollar missile defense system planned for Europe faces problems that can be overcome, but fixes could stir diplomatic tension with Russia.

By The Associated Press 
10 February 2013 — Secret U.S. Defense Department studies cast doubt on whether a multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe will ever be able to protect the U.S. from Iranian missiles as intended, congressional investigators say.

Military officials say they believe the problems can be overcome and are moving forward with plans. But proposed fixes could be difficult. One possibility has already been ruled out as technically unfeasible. Another, relocating missile interceptors planned for Poland and possibly Romania to ships on the North Sea, could be diplomatically explosive.

The studies are the latest to highlight serious problems for a plan that has been criticized on several fronts. Republicans claim it was hastily drawn up in an attempt to appease Russia, which had opposed an earlier system. But Russia is also critical of the plan, which it believes is really intended to counter its missiles. A series of governmental and scientific reports has cast doubt on whether it would ever work as planned. (More)


in Washington-inspired censorship scam

US media agreed to cover up the location of a CIA drone base

By Peter Hart
Fair TV

08 February 2013 —Each week, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) takes on the media's biggest blunders. This week on FAIR TV we take a look at the the "informal arrangement" between several media outlets — including the New York Times and the Washington Post — to not report news about a CIA drone base.

We also talk about the curious standard for "confirming" news from Israeli government officials, and we take a look at the 60 Minutes softball interview with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (Please see video at right or click here to find the original.)

Monty Python stars to reunite for new comedy film

6 February 2013 MailOnline The original stars of cult comedy Monty Python gather to reunite once more for a new movie.
The cast are teaming up again for the film Absolutely Anything, with Terry Jones to direct the project.
John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin are all said to be voicing characters of a group of aliens in the film who grant wishes to humans for laughs.

Although fellow original member Eric Idle is yet to confirm whether he will be part of the reunion.

But it seems unlikely as he's previously rubbished ideas of a reformation when the Pythons appeared in A Liar's Autobiography, another animated movie about late Python Graham Chapman's life story. (More)


'Throughout his tenure, Obama has governed lawlessly for the monied interests that own him. He`s waged no-holds-barred war on humanity.'
By Stephen Lendman
Writer and political analyst Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
07 February 2013 — Strategy includes homeland tyranny, fear-mongering, saber rattling, hot wars, proxy ones, drone ones, domestic political ones, geopolitical ones, financial ones, anti-populist ones, sanctions, subversion, sabotage, targeted assassinations, mass murder, cyberwar, and more.
In May 2009, Obama prioritized cybersecurity. He called cyber-threats "one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation."

"America's economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on cybersecurity."

He ordered a top-to-bottom review. A Cyberspace Policy Review report followed. He waged cyberwar on Iran. He did so cooperatively with Israel.

In spring 2010, Iranian intelligence discovered Stuxnet malware contamination. The computer virus infected its Bushehr nuclear facility. At the time, operations were halted indefinitely.

Israel was blamed. Washington was involved. Had the facility gone online infected, Iran's entire electrical power grid could have been shut down.

A more destructive virus called Flame malware is known. Internet security experts say it's 20 times more harmful than Stuxnet. Iran's military-industrial complex is targeted. So is its nuclear program. Maximum disruption is planned.

Obama supports draconian cybersecurity bills. Passage threatens constitutional freedoms. (More)


State department has refused comment

U.S. backed chemical weapon attack plot to frame Syria

4 February 2013 — A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a scheme 'approved by Washington' is outlined explaining that Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons.

Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.

According to, the December 25 email was sent from Britam's Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip Doughty.

It reads: 'Phil... We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.

'We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.

'They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.

'Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?

'Kind regards, David.'

The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resumés and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News. (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. 8, No. 3 (331)
Friday 15 February 2013
Editor's Notes

I cut my teeth on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I remember, at the age of five, running noisily into the living room in play with my sisters and my father lovingly waving me to silence. He was sitting on a chair, ear bent to the floor model radio. I stopped to listen to learn what was so important to Daddy. It was the BBC news from London coming through on CBC radio.

The only radio station on the dial that entered our home was tuned to CBC. This wasn't censorship; it was because the station carried more substance in everything from news to entertainment, to sports. It wasn't until I was about 12-years-old that I realized that there were other stations in range. It was not that we were informationally deprived, there were books, magazines, newspapers aplenty — it was just that we were always tuned to CBC.

I developed a sense of loyalty to CBC, radio, and then television. I suppose it may be likened to the kind of proverbial loyalty one has for the home team.

So it was with a sense of betrayal that I responded to the watering down of CBC national television news. To me it began in the 1970s and it's been heading south with increasing speed ever since. (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.
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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

Senate reform again, eh!

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

15 February 2013 — Once again, the actions of a couple of Senators have short-sighted pundits and opposition MPs alike calling for the abolition of the Upper House.

The courts will decide the fate of Patrick Brazeau while Mike Duffy will have to answer to his colleagues sooner or later.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has decided to shunt the issue onto a siding with a reference to his so–called Senate reform legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada. That should give him many months of avoiding the issue and then it will be too close to the next election to do anything.

Perhaps, most puzzling, through this latest flap is that no senator has bothered to mount a defense of the institution! (More)

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

World population growth Infographic

Just how much is the world's population expected to grow over the next 40 years? Here's a look at how the massive population growth over the past 60 years has impacted the world we live in and what to expect as the world population continues to grow. (More)
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

The Real McCoy or a clone! What’s your preference?

'To this retired teacher with a 32-year career, Dalton McGuinty is a hero'

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

15 February 2013 — I woke up from a nightmare this morning! I was in a classroom where there were way too many students. I was teaching a math lesson and the blackboard was so old the chalk wouldn’t write.

Similar dreams pop up once in a while when I have to deal with an unpleasant situation or when events get my dander up.

So what’s happening? Never mind, the personal stuff will be resolved in due time. I have been following what’s happening in our provincial arena. Dalton McGuinty has stepped down. People have criticized him for all kinds of things (deficit, cost overruns, E-Health and ORNGE and now, public board teachers and certain unions turning against him).

To this retired teacher with a 32-year career, Dalton McGuinty is a hero. I remember all too well the mess Mike Harris left behind in the education system. He cut back services, imposed new programs with absolutely no back-up material. Our school libraries became ghosts of their former glory. We lost valuable specialists and yes, many people left the profession. This is where my old teaching nightmares come from! I remember long, unpaid weekend hours of building material to teach the new curriculum. “Putting the cart before the horse”… that’s exactly what Harris did! (More)

Spirit Quest

Schooling or learning, that is the challenge

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

15 February 2013 — I  didn’t much like school but I was a timid boy who wanted very much to please, especially my parents and teachers.

I should have become a teacher, like my son Stephen, inasmuch as I am a veteran of many schools, all of them very different. I have been a pupil in an all-boys class in a German language school; the prep school of a prestigious private school in Scotland; a one room public school in rural Saskatchewan whose 20 year old teacher, probably the best teacher I ever had, presided over 45 children, 8 grades, and no indoor toilet. I attended an experimental school in Toronto where there were no desks. There were tables for four that competed with all the other table groups in the room. Then there was the village school in rural Ontario where each room consisted of two grades and one teacher. And finally I completed my schooling prior to university in a high school with more than a thousand students where I felt totally lost socially and academically, where the sole object of Grade 13 was to prepare for the final examinations. I am sure you will agree that I have some valuable pedagogical insights to share. (More)

Remembering Paul Robeson during Black History Month

In 1998 City of Toronto declared April 9 Paul Robeson Day

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.

15 February 2013 — I would like to dedicate ParkTales this week to the memory of  Paul Robeson in the hope that it will rekindle memories for those who knew of Paul Robeson and educate others who have not had knowledge of him.  

My husband, Paul Pauk, started The Paul Robeson Commemorative Committee in Toronto in 1995.  Husband Paul wanted to ensure that Paul Robeson would not be forgotten in Canada. The Commemorative Committee was successful. On the 100 Anniversary of Paul Robeson's birth in 1998, the City of Toronto declared April 9 Paul Robeson Day. Through the years the Committee organized many events to keep alive the achievements of this great humanitarian.

Meanwhile, at Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, the entire R row was dedicated to Paul Robeson. (More)

Beating the Drum

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.

Status, Non-Status and Treaty ... Oh My!

By Beverly D. Blanchard
True North Perspective

15 February 2013 — The First Nation population contains a variety of sub-grouping and not all groupings are treated the same by government programming. The largest of grouping is commonly referred to as Status First Nations. These are individuals who are registered under the Indian Act of Canada and are entitled to certain rights and benefits.

As a status First Nation, I am registered with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) and I am member of the Batchewana band.  I have the right to live on the reserve, vote for chief and council and share in any band monies. Under the Indian Act I am entitled to certain benefits. Some of the health benefits include dental care, eyeglasses, and prescription drugs. This part of the program is administered by Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB). In some instances my healthcare providers are required to obtain FNIHB approval prior to performing any procedures.

My reserve is allocated dollars for each member on the band list. Through these funds they are to provide services to the membership that includes education, housing and other social, economic and cultural programs.

People have the assumption that every post secondary First Nation student has their education paid for in full. The amount of funding a student receives is dependent upon how much money is in the reserve’s education budget. It is also dependent upon how many students apply to the education department for funding. In some instances the funding is not equally distributed and can be at the discretion of the Education Director. (More)

Cross Town with Carl Dow

Isolated in central Ottawa, Canada's capital

15 February 2013 — When late season Hurricane Sandy promised to wreak proverbial havoc in October I braced myself as one who would have a front seat on the blow. I was delighted with anticipation.

Here I am in my brand new digs overlooking a street brimming with life and the even busier Queensway just up a short bank.
Safe and secure in my front-row seat I could watch Sandy do her (or was she a he?) worst.
By long habit I'm a night worker, usually going to sleep about 0500 or, as the time of the rising sun falls as the season changes, at the first hint of rose on the eastern horizon. I hate sunrises but love sunsets.
Now, this night, with Sandy rushing in, I could work safely behind my large picture windows and enjoy the thrill that Sandy promised. (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.

There can be no life without laughter

Humour is like that: one person's laugh is another person's groan. And a good thing too. If we all reacted the same way we would die (figuratively speaking of course) from laughter or misery. Here's another collection from the Desk of Dennis Carr. Some of them will be new, some of them old, but even so, at least worth a smile.

LONDON, England (CNN) — In an experiment conducted in Great Britain, people around the world were invited to judge jokes on an Internet site as well as contribute their own.

Dr. Richard Wiseman's LaughLab research resulted in a ranking of jokes from many countries.

Here are some of the top laughs by country.

Top joke in the United Kingdom

A woman gets onto a bus with her baby.

The bus driver says, "That's the ugliest baby that I've ever seen. Ugh!"

The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her, "The driver just insulted me!"

The man says, "You go right up there and tell him off. Go ahead, I'll hold your monkey for you."

Top joke in the United States

A man and a friend are playing golf one day at their local golf course. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes and bows in prayer.

His friend says, "Wow, that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You truly are a kind man."

The man then replies, "Yeah, well, we were married 35 years."

Top joke in Canada

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 Celsius.

The Russians used a pencil.

Top joke in Australia

This woman rushes to see her doctor, looking very much worried and all strung out. She rattles off, "Doctor, take a look at me. When I woke up this morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw my hair all wiry and frazzled up, my skin was all wrinkled and pasty, my eyes were bloodshot and bugging out, and I had this corpse-like look on my face! What's wrong with me, Doctor?"

The doctor looks her over for a couple of minutes, then calmly says, "Well, I can tell you that there ain't nothing wrong with your eyesight ..."

Top joke in Belgium

Why do ducks have webbed feet? To stamp out fires.

Why do elephants have flat feet? To stamp out burning ducks.

Top joke in Germany

A general noticed one of his soldiers behaving oddly. The soldier would pick up any piece of paper he found, frown and say, "That's not it" and put it down again.

This went on for some time, until the general arranged to have the soldier psychologically tested. The psychologist concluded that the soldier was deranged, and wrote out his discharge from the army.

The soldier picked it up, smiled and said, "That's it."

The Senate housing scandal might not have gained such attention had it not ensnared the loud, partisan, former journalist so well known in Ottawa.
By Tim Harper
National Affairs Columnist
The Toronto Star
11 February 2013 OTTAWA — Of the 58 party loyalists, fundraisers, failed candidates and single-issue advocates Stephen Harper has appointed to the Senate, none has had a bigger target on his back than Mike Duffy.
To Ottawa-based journalists, Duffy betrayed the tribe, insulting those of us who believe our job is to try to hold our elected representatives to account, not to turn on a dime once a patronage plum is dangled.
To MPs from opposition parties, he is a bombastic partisan apologist for the prime minister, making his early mark in the Senate with a crude reference to the then-premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams, in bed with Robert Ghiz, the Liberal premier of Prince Edward Island.
Ghiz told his local newspaper in Charlottetown that if Duffy wanted to be a senator from the island, he should start acting like one. He has since drawn Ghiz’s wrath by advocating a maritime union without bothering to ask anyone in the island’s elected government. (More)
Eurasia Review

5 February 2013 — Despite the risks of an international conflict with Iran, China has increased its Persian Gulf oil imports in the past year.

Although China’s crude oil shipments from Iran dropped 21 percent from 2011 levels, supplies from Persian Gulf countries rose 3.5 percent to over 2.6 million barrels per day, General Administration of Customs data showed.

Total oil imports of 5.4 million barrels per day accounted for 56 percent of China’s consumption in 2012, according to calculations based on Reuters estimates. (More.)
Health Watch

Man who drank eight litres of cola a day

loses all his teeth – and he’s still only 25

• William Kennewell has had a full set of dentures fitted to replace his teeth
• The Australian drank six to eight litres of cola each day
• His addiction to the sugary drink even left him with blood poisoning

By Steve Nolan
5 February 2013 A fizzy drink addict who sank a staggering eight litres of cola a day has lost all his teeth - and he's only in his twenties.
Australian hotel hospitality worker William Kennewell ignored repeated warnings from dentists that his fondness for soft drinks would rot his teeth and has now been left with a full set of dentures at the age of 25.
Mr Kennewell's addiction to the sugary drink even left him with blood poisoning. (More)
British firm develops colourful, transparent solar cells
that will add just 10% to glass buildings' cost
By Adam Vaughan
The Guardian UK
12 February 2013 — A solar power company capable of "printing" colourful glass that can generate electricity from the sun's energy announced a £2m funding boost on Tuesday.
Oxford Photovoltaics, a spin-off from the University of Oxford, said the investment from clean-tech investors MTI Partners will help its solar glass, which can be dyed almost any colour, take a step closer to the commercial market.
"What we say here is rather than attach [solar] photovoltaics to the building, why not make the building the photovoltaics?" Kevin Arthur, the company's founder and CEO, told the Guardian. "If you decide to build a building out of glass, then you've already decided to pay for the glass. If you add this, you're adding a very small extra cost. [The solar cell treatment] costs no more than 10% of the cost of the facade." (More.)
By an Inter Press Service Correspondent
6 February 2013, HAVANA — Among millions of people flocking to the polls in Cuba to vote in general elections was the unexpected figure of former president Fidel Castro, making a surprise public appearance in what was interpreted as a reaffirmation of his support for the government of his brother, President Raúl Castro.

Former president Fidel Castro voting in Cuba on Sunday Feb. 3. Credit: Marcelino Vázquez Hernández/AIN
“Nothing is fortuitous: Fidel is (showing) his support for updating the economic model and the transformations that derive from it,” an analyst who asked not to be identified told IPS. Castro cast his ballot and talked to Cuban media Sunday at his polling station in the municipality of Plaza de la Revolución (Revolution Square) in the capital, Havana.

The former president said, “It is our duty to update the Cuban socialist model, modernise it, but without committing errors.” He also spoke about the health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez who is convalescing in Havana from a cancer operation, saying he receives daily information about Chávez’s health and adding that he is “much better”. (More)


Decorated CIA veteran John Kiriakou says US now

a Police State and Obama consciously allows torture

By Russia Today
Global Research
02 February 2013 Ten years ago, the idea of the US government spying on its citizens, intercepting their emails or killing them with drones was unthinkable. But now it’s business as usual, says John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent and torture whistleblower.

Kiriakou is now awaiting a summons to start a prison sentence. One of the first to confirm the existence of Washington’s waterboarding program, he was sentenced last week to two-and-a-half years in jail for revealing the name of an undercover agent. But even if he had another chance, he would have done the same thing again, Kiriakou told RT. (More)


CBC’s Peter Mansbridge coulda bin a contender

Veteran anchor has presided over long, slow decline of CBC TV news

By Rick Salutin
The Toronto Star
08 February 2013 — This would normally be a column I’d write at the time of Peter Mansbridge’s retirement as CBC-TV’s national news anchor, but I don’t see any point in waiting since he’s pretty much retired on-air. Not that he lacks energy, it’s the mission he signed up for that’s been abandoned. In that sense, it’s also the epitaph of an institution: CBC-TV news.
The gold standard for anchors was the US’s Walter Cronkite. He was ready to stand up against the state and the flow and was solid as the bronze statue of the American revolutionary minuteman who stood “by the rude bridge that spanned the flood/ His flag to April’s breeze unfurled.” He had rhetoric and a voice to accompany it: “All things are as they were then except — You Are There.”
When president Lyndon Johnson heard Cronkite turn against the Vietnam War, he said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the country.” Compared to Cronkite, Mansbridge isn’t an icon, he’s a barometer.
He’s happily gone with the flow — and the pressure. CBC has become numero uno for crime stories, weather coverage (today’s snow), product launches, celebrities and awards gossip. None of this is new, or news, and CBC itself doesn’t contest the point.
The penny story was another example but the one that probably propelled me into this anchor obit was their infinite overkill on the new BlackBerry. (To give CBC radio its due, Carol Off did an item about that on As It Happens.) Also, to be clear, the Z10 drowned in pseudo-journalism everywhere.
That’s my point: why have a public broadcaster if it duplicates everybody else’s obsessions? Nor do I want to romanticize the old CBC news. It was pompous and often misleading. But at least it distorted stories I cared about. Now for vital (in my view) topics, I go straight to CP24. And CTV is a veritable oasis. (More)
The Lone Ranger was not so lone

A committee-generated protagonist with family values

The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold [DVD]

Screenplay : Herb Meadow
MPAA Rating : NR
Year of Release : 1956

Stars : Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger), Jay Silverheels (Tonto), Lyle Bettger (Reece Kilgore), Bonita Granville (Welcome Kilgore), Perry Lopez (Pete Ramirez), Bob Wilke (Cassidy), John Pickard (Sheriff Kimberley), Michael Ansara (Angry Horse), Frank DeKova (Chief Red Hawk)


13 February 2013 — Probably the single most famous cowboy in all of American Western lore, The Lone Ranger was not born in the fevered mind of a pulp writer or borrowed from the pages of literature. Rather, he was created in committee meetings at a small, struggling independent radio station in Detroit, Michigan,

in 1933. WXYZ, an independent station owned by John H. King and George W. Trendle, was in dire need of a program to boost its flagging ratings and compete with the network stations. The Lone Ranger turned out to be their salvation.

The Lone Ranger was created as a wholesome, uncomplicated hero who rode the range on his trusty steed Silver, encountering a new adventure each week as he fought to right wrongs throughout the ever-expanding Western frontier. The vast majority of the early writing was done by a freelancer named Fran Striker, who at one point was writing 156 Lone Ranger radio scripts a year in addition to a daily cartoon strip and a dozen novels.

However, unlike Tarzan, who can be traced wholly through the mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs, or Sherlock Holmes, who was created solely by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Lone Ranger was a product of teamwork at WXYZ, with bits and pieces of his mythology and lore added by people whose names have unfortunately been lost in the shuffle of history.

The Lone Ranger rode the range on radio, in newspapers and books, then on television, and on the silver screen in The Lost City of Gold.

Hi-O! Silver! Awaaay!

The Book End

Book Review

Atheism and the Case Against Christ

Reviewed by Davis Carr

15 February 2013 — In Atheism and the Case Against Christ, Matthew S. McCormick, offers a detailed, step-by-step analysis of the historical evidence of Christian miracles, specifically the life, but most importantly, the death and alleged resurrection, of Jesus Christ. His book pivots around one central question: do believers “have adequate grounds to justify their believing that Jesus was a divine being who performed supernatural acts?” (15) The answer is, of course, a resounding “no.”

McCormick argues that there is no more evidence to support these claims than other supernatural events — including alchemy and witches  — events that science has thoroughly refuted, and that therefore, we cannot accept. McCormick attacks Christianity on the grounds that there is no logical or rational basis for the belief in Jesus Christ’s existence. This is a problem because of the influence Christianity has on the daily lives of Americans. McCormick writes, (More)

From the Desk of Tamara Hansen

Anita’s Revolution

A fascinating, heart-warming novelization of how more than one million Cuban illiterates were taught to read and write in less than a year so that they could take part in the liberation of their country from dictator Batista and his thugs. When the call went out, more than one hundred thousand youth volunteered. This novel pays tribute to their enthusiasm and success.

Victoria, Canada, Author Shirley Langer recounts her inspiration for Anita’s Revolution                                              

Imagine you are the leader of a small, poor Caribbean country. You want to make a lot of changes, especially broad social changes. The country needs to educate the uneducated, provide public health to all, make workplace and land reforms and generally improve the standard of living — especially for the peasants who have been ignored by society and successive governments for hundreds of years.

But how can such big changes be achieved when a million adults, almost a quarter of the population of the country, are completely illiterate. This is the situation that Cuba faced when the revolutionary government, led by Fidel Castro, took over in 1959. Teaching those illiterate people to read and write, so they could participate in the changes, and the benefits from them, was fundamental, but how to do it?

Fidel Castro announced before the United Nations in 1960 that Cuba would be “a territory free from illiteracy” by the end of 1961. How Cuba achieved that goal is what Anita’s Revolution is about. Cuba called upon its young people to volunteer to become teachers, and more than 100,000 of them answered the call. It was to be the adventure of their lives! Supplied with two army-style uniforms, boots, a beret, a hammock, a wool blanket and a Coleman-style lantern, the brigadistas — members of the literacy brigades — spread out over the island to live, work alongside, and teach those forgotten people how to read and write.
The character “Anita” wants to volunteer, but first she must overcome her parent’s objections. It’s not a job for kids, they say. Counter-revolutionaries are causing havoc everywhere. It’s way too dangerous!  Anita gets to become one of those 100,000 brigadistas, and it is through her adventures, experiences and challenges that we come to understand how the collective effort of those teenagers changed the future of a million people and the island nation called Cuba.
Anita’s Revolution is a tribute to the potential and spirit of youth. (More)


Health Canada approves first

homeopathic oral mosquito repellent

Bug Off! New natural and effective product keeps mosquitoes at bay

Can a tiny pill ward off mosquitoes and other nasty bugs?  Calgary’s Erin Bosch thinks so.

The Calgary-based homeopathic researcher has developed Mozi-Q, a pill that eliminates the need to douse skin with harmful DEET to repel pesky bugs. The all-natural product was recently approved by Health Canada, making it Canada’s first oral bug repellent.

While doing research, Bosch found a study from the 1960s that proved that a combination of homeopathic remedies would help keep mosquitoes, ticks and other blood-sucking insects at bay. She tried it with her patients and when they kept coming back for more, it was time to formulate the product so it could be shared with the rest of the world and Canada. (More)

How and what the rich buy, live-in, and sell

Top ten real estate deals in the United States

Hot Home News: Elvis Presley, F. Scott Fitzgerald's French Villa & U.S. Most Expensive Home is in Texas

This week's Top 10 homes spotlight at includes a look at the just sold Beverly Hills home that Elvis and Priscilla bought for $400,000 when they were first married in 1967. It is the house where Elvis continued to live after their divorce in 1972, and where Lisa Marie lived for some of her early years. The buyer is Hard Rock Cafe co-founder Peter Morton who paid almost $10 million, and who may now demolish the house.

In other home news:

Two F. Scott Fitzgerald homes have just gone on the market. Fitzgerald lived in both the United States and France. Cap d’Antibes was Fitzgerald's location of choice and he spent much of his time in a romantic and ever so stunning 19th Century villa overlooking the sea and the harbor from its terraces. Villa Picolette, the home that inspired Tender is the Night, is now for sale at $35.5 million. And the Maryland home where Fitzgerald returned to publish Tender is the Night went on the market at $450,000, and sold in less than a week.

America's new most expensive home is $135 million, and is in Texas. The Crespi Estate in Dallas consists of the main house, a guest mansion, pool house, vegetable and rose gardens, a spring fed creek and pond, lawns, woods and tennis court on 25 acres. The seller is Thomas Hicks, former owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars.

Also, a brief look at the new and separate big money Florida mansions of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren. The homes are 10 miles apart on the Atlantic Ocean. With rumors of a reconciliation running rampant, we wonder which house they would sell?

Real estate is never boring at TopTenRealEstateDeals. Check out today's most entertaining and unusual real estate news stories of the week. News such as weird celebrity homes, haunted homes you can actually buy, and dirty real estate tricks. also features Top 10 Condo Developer Deals, Top 10 upcoming home and condo auctions, and regional real estate agents' choices for the best deals in their areas.

Terry Walsh
Marketing Coordinator

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.