Friday 15 March 2013

Click here for True North Humanist Perspective

New Pope Francis was an accessory to murder and false
imprisonment by the US-backed Argentine dictatorship
 
As Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio he hid political prisoners from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in his holiday home on an island in the River Platt
 
Pope Francis: Simple image, but shadowy past
Only 10% of Argentine catholics attend church
 
Argentine president compares Francis' tone to 'medieval times and the Inquisition'
 
Is Pope Francis a Fraud?
 
After a right-wing coup within the church crushed the reforms of Vatican II, one scholar says the last two popes are illegitimate
 
Obama slip-slides America away from principles of its founding fathers
 
YOU'LL FIND ALL THIS AND MORE BY CLICKING HERE FOR

TrueNorth Humanist Perspective


 
 
Not content with silencing its scientists, Harper Government imposes new 'code of conduct' on Federal Librarians that includes 'duty of loyalty' and a snitch-line
Photo-illustration by Geoffrey Dow. Original photo of Archives Canada Preservation Building by Bruno Schlumberger/Postmedia News
By Margaret Munro
Canada.com/Post Media
 
15 March 2013 —  Federal librarians and archivists who set foot in classrooms, attend conferences or speak up at public meetings on their own time are engaging in “high risk” activities, according to the new code of conduct at Library and Archives Canada.
Given the dangers, the code says the department’s staff must clear such “personal” activities with their managers in advance to ensure there are no conflicts or “other risks to LAC.”
 
The code, which stresses federal employees’ “duty of loyalty” to the “duly elected government,” also spells out how offenders can be reported.
 
“It includes both a muzzle and a snitch line,” says James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, which represents more than 68,000 teachers, librarians, researchers and academics across the country.  (More.)
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Think tank calls on feds to stop growth-killing austerity

Alternative Budget plan tackles Canadians' real concerns

National Office
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
 
CCPA Alternative Federal Budget 201312 MARCH 2013 OTTAWA Canada The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) warns more austerity measures from the federal government could further stall an already stagnant economy.

With the release of its annual Alternative Federal Budget (AFB), the CCPA shows how growth-killing austerity can be replaced by a plan that strengthens the economy, leads to a better quality of life for all Canadians, and eliminates the deficit by 2016.

“Canada has a growth problem, not a deficit problem,” says AFB Coordinator David Macdonald. “Federal government cuts are already affecting our economy and are expected to reduce growth by a third next year. More cuts will only lead to less growth and fewer opportunities for Canadians, something we can ill afford at this time. We need to turn off the austerity auto-pilot and get our economy growing again, particularly for young Canadians.”

The Alternative Federal Budget shows what the federal government could do if it decided to seriously tackle Canadians’ largest social, economic, and environmental concerns. (More)

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By Greg Palast
Vice Magazine
 
08 March 2013In 2005, Reverend Pat Robertson — channelling the frustration of George W Bush's State Department, said, "Hugo Chavez thinks we're trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."
 
Despite Bush providing intelligence, funds and even a note of congratulations to the crew who kidnapped Chavez (we'll get there), Hugo remained in office, re-elected and wildly popular.

But why the Bush regime's hate, hate, HATE of the President of Venezuela?

Reverend Pat wasn't coy about the answer: It's the oil.

"This is a dangerous enemy to our South controlling a huge pool of oil."

A really BIG pool of oil. Indeed, according to Guy Caruso, former chief of oil intelligence for the CIA, Venezuela holds a recoverable reserve of 1.36 trillion barrels — a whole lot more than Saudi Arabia. 

(More)
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Manufacturing Contempt

What if New York Times covered United States like Venezuela?

Keane Bhatt
North American Congress on Latin America

16 February 2013   On Sunday, February 10, The New York Times published a slight, 500-word dispatch on Venezuela from reporter William Neuman titled, “Venezuela, Despite Troubles, Proudly Seizes On a Hat.” The article’s headline, like Neuman’s content, was designed to illustrate that in Venezuela, “political theater of the absurd is commonplace.”

In point of fact, Venezuelans’ lives are already better in many ways. Like countless other journalists, Neuman prefers relating anecdotes, shying away from simply reporting Venezuela’s socioeconomic trends, which are hardly in dispute among economists. Over the past 10 years, since Chávez gained control of the country’s oil revenues, Venezuela’s per capita income has grown by 2.5% a year, its unemployment has been cut in half, and free health care has been expanded to many millions as a human right — little wonder, then, that poverty has declined by 50%, absolute poverty by 70%, and infant mortality by a third.

It would therefore be impossible for Neuman to relate these figures to the Times’s readership while maintaining his misleading claim that Chávez has presided over many years of “stubborn poverty.” So he just excludes them. (More)
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Eva Golinger on the death of Hugo Chavez, Dream Maker

07 March 2013 CARACAS VenezuelaMost of what you read or hear in the mass media about President Hugo Chavez is always negative, his faults exaggerated, his discourse distorted and his achievements ignored. The reality is quite different.

Hugo Chavez was beloved by millions around the world. He changed the course of a continent and led a collective awakening of a people once silenced, once exploited and ignored. Chavez was a grandiose visionary and a maker of dreams.

An honest man from a humble background who lived in a mud hut as a child and sold candies on the streets to make money for his family, Chavez dreamed of building a strong, sovereign nation, independent of foreign influence and dignified on the world scene. He dreamed of improving the lives of his people, of eradicating the misery of poverty and of offering everyone the chance of a better life – the “good life” (el buenvivir), as he called it.

President Chavez made those dreams come true. During his nearly fourteen years of governance, elected to three full six-year terms but only serving two due to his untimely death, Chavez’s policies reduced extreme poverty in Venezuela by more than 75%, from 25% to less than 7% in a decade. Overall poverty was reduced by more than 50%, from 60% in 1998 when Chavez first won office to 27% by 2008. This is not just numbers, this translates into profound changes in the lives of millions of Venezuelans who today eat three meals a day, own their homes and have jobs or access to financial aid.

(More)
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Bradley Manning nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

By Birgitta Jónsdóttir
Member of Parliament, Iceland

01 February 2013 REYKJAVIK Iceland — The entire parliamentary group of The Movement in the Icelandic Parliament, the Pirates parties of the European Union; representatives of the Swedish Pirate Party, the former Secretary of State in Tunisia for Sport and Youth, combined to nominate Private Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Following is the reasoning we sent to the committee explaining why we felt compelled to nominate Private Bradley Manning for this important recognition of an individual effort to have an impact for peace in our world. The lengthy personal statement to the pre-trial hearing February 28 by Bradley Manning in his own words validate that his motives were for the greater good of humankind.

Our letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee Reykjavík, Iceland 1 of February 2013:

Dear Norwegian Nobel Committee,

We have the great honour of nominating Private First Class Bradley Manning for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

Manning is a soldier in the United States army who stands accused of releasing hundreds of thousands of documents to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. The leaked documents pointed to a long history of corruption, war crimes, and a lack of respect for the sovereignty of other democratic nations by the United States government in international dealings. (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. 5 (333)
Friday 15 March 2013
 
Editor's Notes
 

Hugo Chavez, a hero for democracy, dies in Venezuela

A dictatorship collaborator (at best) is named Pope Francis 1

One man leaves a powerful legacy the other is promoted to the pinnacle of a dying religion.
 
Hugo Chavez was taken by cancer 5 March 2013 and left millions in tears who have sworn loyalty to his ambition to expand democracy in Venezuela and throughout Latin America. Meanwhile, Pope Francis 1, is scrambling to cover his tracks as a collaborator with a right-wing dictatorship that murdered tens of thousands while he was part of the ruling clique in Argentina.
 
In the face of accusations, the Vatican has, naturally, jumped to the defense of Pope Francis blaming left wing critics. Well who else to blame, who else would condemn him? It was the left wing who were murdered and otherwise criminally abused. (More)
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By Salim Lamrani
Opera Mundi
venezuelanalysis.com
 
09 March 2013 — President Hugo Chavez, who died on March 5, 2013 of cancer at age 58, marked forever the history of Venezuela and Latin America.

1. Never in the history of Latin America, has a political leader had such incontestable democratic legitimacy. Since coming to power in 1999, there were 16 elections in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez won 15, the last on October 7, 2012. He defeated his rivals with a margin of 10-20 percentage points.

 2. All international bodies, from the European Union to the Organization of American States, to the Union of South American Nations and the Carter Center, were unanimous in recognizing the transparency of the vote counts. (More)

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Beware the lies of March
 
What Shakespeare tells us about Hugo Chavez
 
By David McLaren
 
I come to bury Chavez, not to praise him. Barak Obama says he was authoritarian. And the President is an honourable man. John Graham, former ambassador to Venezuela says he couldn’t manage his own economy. And he is an honourable man. Stephen Harper says he was undemocratic. And he is a Right Honourable man. So are they all, all honourable men.
 
And yet … Hugo Chavez gave people free education while others indenture their citizens. He put in place the most robust electoral system in the south. He narrowed the gap between rich and poor even while the gap grows wider in the north. Poverty, infant mortality, public debt — all cut by half.
 
His will, shall I read you his will? It is simple. To the people of Venezuela he gives them their own country’s resources, and the money earned from their extraction.
 
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar had Marc Antony to rehabilitate his reputation. His Richard III had no one. Shakespeare says the King was a murderer, a usurper, and a twisted tyrant. And Shakespeare was an honourable man.
 
But Tudor generals dumped Richard under a Leicester parking lot and Tudor historians heaped upon the King’s corpse the kind of half-truths that pepper Shakespeare’s play.
 
And yet … Richard reduced poverty and unemployment in the north of England. He opened the courts for the poor to air their grievances. He instituted bail for those accused of crimes.
 
Beware the Ides of March. Beware the lies of March.
 
David McLaren is an award winning writer, living at Neyaashiinigmiing, Ontario. This and other essays can be found at http://jdavidmclaren.wordpress.com/.
 
© David McLaren, 15 March 2013
 
"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
 
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Moscow questions US policy on Syria

Says bias promotes violence, not peace

Russia Herald
12 March 2013 Russia has criticised Washington practice on Syria and accused it of bias in favour of the Syrian oppostion.
On Monday, the US State Department said Washington would keep supporting the Syrian opposition because that was the only possible way to resolve the conflict in the country.
 
Moscow has described the US' biased interpretation of the Geneva Communique as supporting the Syrian opposition.
 
The Russian foreign ministry said Tuesday public statements by the US administration's representatives in support of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces,"point to a one-sided interpretation of the Geneva Communique". (More)

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Wake up America your future is crumbling around you

History proved them right, George W. Bush a liar

yet millions in US still denounce the Dixie Chicks

10 years ago, Dixie Chicks' comments on Iraq war drew denunciations but history has vindicated them
 
By LZ Granderson
CNN.com
 
The Dixie Chicks in concert in 20065 March 2013 — He was waiting for the bus in his Army green ...

Those are the first two lines from one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard, "Traveling Soldier." If you don't know it, I encourage you to look it up -- unless you're one of those folks who still hates the group that made the song popular, in which case, its beauty might be lost on you.

It was 10 years ago this week -- as the country was barreling toward war with Iraq -- that Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, stood in front of a packed house in London and said:

"Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence. And we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." (More)


 
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

Conservative MP Ed Holder prompts joy when

pointing out the obvious on railway legislation

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

15 March 2013One of the ongoing frustrations of reporting from Parliament Hill is watching MPs flounder about when they’re supposed to be scrutinizing key pieces of legislation on our behalf.

While the poor performances are especially acute in this Parliament because of the tight rein the government tries to keep on the standing committees, it’s been a long time since the committee work of MPs has really stood out in the one place where they can shine if they come prepared.

So a recent intervention by London West Conservative MP Ed Holder on legislation to require the railways to be more cooperative with their freight customers was almost a moment of joy. (More)

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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Alberta's tar sands pollution refugees

'Gassed' by oil sands operations, families say they've been forced to evacuate.

By Andrew Nikiforuk
TheTyee.ca
 
2 Mar 2013 — Another Alberta pollution scandal has forced as many as six residents from their homes and poisoned scores of other citizens near the Peace River Oil Sands in the northwest corner of the province.

"It's a desperate situation," said Vivianne Laliberte who moved into her son's place last October after being repeatedly "gassed" from emissions from oil sands operations just 5 kilometres from her 85-year-old farm.

"There are a lot of sick people but they don't have the money to move," Laliberte told The Tyee. Her farm is located 48 kilometres south of Peace River.

Emissions from heavy oil extraction and storage facilities owned by Calgary-based Baytex Energy Corp., a heavy oil producer, forced her and her husband to abandon their property.

"But I don't blame the company," added Laliberte. (More)

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Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Narcissism and its counterparts: past, present, and future

Take heed!

“I don’t care what you think, unless it is about me.” (Kurt Cobain)

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 www.albertevilleneuve.ca.

15 March 2013 —  Narcissism and its counterparts are a plague. They produce pain and suffering for anyone who gets involved. The problem of narcissism, in our present culture of narcissists, needs to be addressed. . . 
 
. . . I married a narcissist. I was a 19 year-old country girl; he was a city-slicker. He suffered from borderline personality disorder and depression but coming from a very closed-in, secretive family, I had no way of recognizing this. I trusted people to be genuine and caring but those with BPD have a pervasive pattern of instability in their interpersonal relationships and self-image which is marked by impulsivity beginning in early adulthood and is present in: (More)
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Spirit Quest

Putting the pieces together

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

15 March 2013I was enraptured as I watched my six year old granddaughter survey the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. Occasionally her long eyelashes gave a little flutter as she recognized a place and a piece that belonged together. I watched her as her long shapely fingers moved the piece into place. Such are the little moments that I shall always cherish.

But as I watched Sophia I thought of the many children like her, but not nearly as fortunate as she. We have read about them in refugee camps in Turkey who have managed to flee the carnage of Syria, or those in the Sudan and other parts of Africa. We have all seen their pictures on the screen and on the pages of our morning papers. I suppose that they are the fortunate ones being cared for by the UN and other agencies that we support with our donations. They are lucky in comparison to those huddling in some makeshift shelter or wandering back alleys and dumpsites searching for scraps to nurture their thin bodies. All around this world there are children like my Sophia but unlike her in their fate and circumstances. (More)

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Parktales

25 charged with trespassing in otherwise peaceful sit-in at

Metro Hall to press need for more shelter for city's homeless

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.

10 March 2013 — As reported in my  last column the homeless crisis in Toronto continues.

On March 7, OCAP, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, had a sit in at Metro Hall in Toronto to declare Metro Hall an emergency homeless shelter.

Lots of media showed up to cover the event.

The demonstration started outside Metro Hall then proceeded peacefully inside and took over the main floor.

People arrived with signs, food and sleeping bags prepared to stay the night.

There was one incident where one burly cop tried to grab a sleeping bag from one of the squatters. Mayhem broke out for a short while until some authority motioned for the cop to stop and allow the sleeping bags. (More)
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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. She is the author of the blog Ancient Wisdom, which will be found at www.beverlyblanchard.blogspot.ca
 
 
By Beverly D. Blanchard
True North Perspective

15 March 2013 — As I walked into my office this morning, I looked out the window to see a large picture of a First Nation man in braids and traditional clothing. In behind him was a horse. The image was plastered on the side of a U-Haul truck. My first thought was how fitting; here I am preparing to write an article on First Nations culture.

Unfortunately, the image on the truck is one that is carried into today. The proud First Nation on a horse in communion with nature.  As I sit down to write this article, I find myself grappling with the concept of culture. What exactly do I say?

I have worked for more than twenty-five years in the community and I have seen the culture change. I have seen the words culture and tradition battered around. I have watched community members fight over who is more traditional. I have seen the word Elder morph into something that does not resemble what it used to mean. I have seen the homogenization of culture. (More)
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By Egbert! and By Jorge!

15 March 2013 — No. These are not their real names.

Egbert is the name I plan to give to my pet elephant that I hope to get as soon as my spare room is fixed up to receive him with grace.

Jorge is a name I’ve pulled out of the sky, so to speak, because it’s the real first name of Pope Francis, who has a shady past, to say the least.

Egbert I’ve given as the name of an actor who lunged at me in anger after he had delivered a one-man show at an Ottawa theatre.

He opened his monologue by saying he would leave it up to the audience to judge his work.

I found his presentation distasteful. Not that he did a bad job of it but because of the subject matter. It was a story of men caught in a terrible trap and their degeneration because of it.

I thought the modestly talented actor could have better spent his creative energy on a story of men in jeopardy who fight hard and eventually win. His was a story of men whose humanity eventually dissolved under the proverbial extreme circumstance.

We see enough degradation and destruction, we don’t need a staged version.

Let the sun shine in. Face it with a grin. Open up your heart and let the sun shine in.

That’s one of my life standards.

Because of this I found the show repugnant. And taking the performer’s prompting for an audience reaction, I resorted to silent and, I thought, subtle body language to register my distaste.

I could have stood up and walked out, but I didn’t want to embarrass my companions. (More)
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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

From the Desk of Dennis Carr

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?”. The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?”Gurpal Gossall, Manchester, UK

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A grad student, a post-doc, and a professor are walking through a city park and they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.

The Genie says, "I usually only grant three wishes, so I'll give each of you just one."

"Me first! Me first!" says the grad student. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat with a gorgeous woman who sunbathes topless." Poof! He's gone.

"Me next! Me next!" says the post-­‐doc. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with a professional hula dancer on one side and a Mai Tai on the other." Poof! He's gone.

"You're next," the Genie says to the professor.

The professor says, "I want those guys back in the lab after lunch."


 

By Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

Mark Kearney of London, Ont. and Randy Ray of Ottawa are the authors of nine books about Canada, with sales of more than 50,000. Their Web site is: www.triviaguys.com They thank Laura Lee, whose book The Name’s Familiar, was an invaluable source in the preparation of this article.

Heading to the sunny south in the next few weeks?

Big Book of Canadian Trivia coverIf yes, you’ll cross paths during your trip and once you reach your destination, with dozens of names connected to everything from food, beer and wine, to clothing, cameras, automobiles and universities.

The names are familiar but did you know there are actual people connected to many of them? People who inspired, conspired, or were just plain unlucky enough to have their names immortalized? 

Read on to learn about some of the everyday folks whose names have been part of our everyday life – and indeed, your travels – for many decades.

… Samuel Adams:  if you’ve ever stopped for a cold one as you’ve wound your way down the eastern seaboard, you’ve likely heard of Samuel Adams, who despite his connections to brewing, achieved far more success after he failed in the beer industry. Adams was the son of a Boston maltster who tried his hand at brewing but turned to politics after learning beer making was not his calling. He quickly rose to prominence in the Massachusetts Assembly in the mid-1700s and helped recruit many people to the Patriot cause. He later rebelled against tea and was one of the men behind the famous Boston Tea Party, and worked for the creation of the Continental Congress before becoming the representative for Massachusetts. Tip one back for Sam Adams! (More)  
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Offending exhibits were removed on a caution by the Prosecutor's Office
 
Russia Herald
 
28 February 2013A director of a luxurious shopping centre in downtown Moscow has been issued a warning by prosecutors for decorating the mall's windows with mannequins that imitate having sex.
 
The Moscow Prosecutor's Office received various complaints from Muscovites that back in December, display windows of the Central Universal Department Store (TsUM), located right across from the Bolshoi Theater, were adorned with dolls and mannequins engaged in various love-making activities.
 
Some Muscovites complained that such decorations insulted their morals and were particularly detrimental to the upbringing of their children.
 
After several inspections, prosecutors warned the director of TsUM against any similarly unorthodox arrangements. The shopping centre's administration has already changed all display window decorations.
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Donnie Snook investigation

Hunt for unknown sexual predator took Toronto police 22 months

In March 2011, Det. Paul Krawczyk began an online hunt that would last 22 months. It would end as one of the worst cases he’s ever investigated, culminating in the arrest of beloved Saint John city Councillor Donnie Snook

By Jennifer Pagliaro
Toronto Star
 
Detective Paul Krawczyk9 March 2013 — Donnie Snook was as close to sainthood as it got in Saint John.
 
Sitting on city council for two consecutive terms, the 41-year-old former Salvation Army officer championed the razing of derelict buildings, helped drive biker gangs out of town and fed warm lunches to children through a Christian youth ministry.
 
“He was the soldier for the marginalized,” said former city councillor Patty Higgins.
 
But that image was shattered this January after a Toronto police officer sitting in a dark, windowless room 1,500 kilometres away spent 22 months tracking an unknown predator online.
Snook is now facing three counts of sexual touching related to one child, whose identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban, dating back to December 2006. He is also charged with one count of making child pornography related to the same child and two counts each of possessing and distributing child pornography between March 2011 and January 2013. (More)
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No-More-Page-3 campaigner on topless models

Lucy-Anne Holmes on her battle with the Sun

First offended by the newspaper's topless models at the age of 11, she wants Rupert Murdoch to remove the feature
 
By Kira Chochrane
The Guardian UK
 
Lucy-Anne Holmes10 March 2013If you don't like it, don't buy it: that's the response which has irritated Lucy-Anne Holmes the most since she started her campaign to end Page 3.
 
It annoys her partly because it's so patronising (as if she'd never thought of that argument), but mainly because of the way it misrepresents the reach of those images. They began to affect her well before she'd ever bought a paper, she says, when she was 11, and her older brother brought the Sun home regularly.
 
He'd sit around talking with friends "about the tits on Page 3", she recalls. "It was the Sam Fox era, and the girls were 16. I just assumed, from that age, that my breasts were there to look at, and that they fell short." (More)
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Science
 
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Clearing forests may transform

local — and global — climate

Researchers are finding that massive deforestation may have a profound, and possibly catastrophic, impact on local weather

By Judith D. Schwartz
Scientificamerican.com
 
04 March 2013In the last 15 years 200,000 hectares of the Mau Forest in western Kenya have been converted to agricultural land. Previously called a “water tower” because it supplied water to the Rift Valley and Lake Victoria, the forest region has dried up; in 2009 the rainy season — from August to November — saw no rain, and since then precipitation has been modest.
 
Whereas hydropower used to provide the bulk of Kenya’s power ongoing droughts have led investors to pull out of hydro projects; power rationing and epic blackouts are common. In a desperate move to halt environmental disaster by reducing population pressure, the Kenyan government evicted tens of thousands of people from the land. (More)
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Why astronomers didn't detect Russian meteor

before it slammed into Earth on 15 February 2013

Russia Herald
 
08 March 2013We didn't receive any warning about the Russian meteor before it hit the Earth because small asteroids are very difficult to spot with telescopes as they only reflect a little sunlight, according to a scientist from the University of Southampton.
 
Dr. Hugh Lewis, a lecturer in aerospace engineering at Southampton University, has analyzed the extraordinary event using the "NEOImpactor" tool, which was developed by researchers from the university and designed to investigate the risks faced by the Earth from asteroid impacts.
 
On the morning of Friday 15 February, an asteroid estimated to be the size of a five-story building entered the atmosphere over the Urals region of Russia and disintegrated. It generated a blast wave that blew out windows and damaged buildings in the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,000 people. (More)
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Health
 
By Tony Carnie
International On Line/SciTech

The report cites recent studies which suggest that babies exposed to unusual levels of male or female hormones while still in the womb could undergo an alteration of their brain structure in some cases, to the extent of changing their sexual orientation permanently.

 
06 March 2013 DURBAN South AfricaThe United Nations has published a disturbing expert report which suggests that hundreds of hormone-disrupting chemicals may be implicated in the increasing rate of sexual deformities, infertility, cancers and other reproductive problems in people and wildlife across the world.

The new scientific report for the World Health Organisation and the UN Environment Programme suggests that a family of more than 800 widely used synthetic chemicals could be linked partly to the rapid increase in childhood asthma, type 2 diabetes, attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder, thyroid disease, autism and even obesity.

It cites recent studies which suggest that babies exposed to unusual levels of male or female hormones while still in the womb could undergo an alteration of their brain structure in some cases, to the extent of changing their sexual orientation permanently. (More)

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The Book End
 
Book Review
 
Speaking ill of the dead:
 
 
Managing Editor
Originally published at Edifice Rex Online
Elisabeth Sladen the autobiography cover plus link to amazon.ca

12 March 2013, OTTAWA — Like many North American of a certain age, my introduction to Doctor Who was haphazard at best. The first episode I remember seeing was Robots of Death, in which Louise Jameson's Leela was the companion, not Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane Smith.

Nevertheless, TV Ontario sooner or later broadcast at least a few of the Sarah Jane serials and the buttoned-down young journalist joined the half-naked savage as my favourites among the Doctor's companions.

So I was very much part of the target audience when Sarah Jane returned to Doctor Who in the (revived) series' second season episode, "School Reunion". That production managed to please both old fans and new, so much so that Sladen's return spawned a spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, a children's program that often managed to be quite a bit better than its big brother.

The Sarah Jane Adventures featured Sladen as its alien-fighting principal, a woman in her seventh decade who was nevertheless forever running down corridors, hopping fences and facing down monsters, even as she played reluctant mentor and den mother to her teenage co-stars. Sarah Jane Smith was so credible as a paragon of courage and intelligence that one longed to believe those traits reflected the performer as much as they did her writers.

Fan of both Sarah Jane Smith's first and third incarnations (even Sladen quite rightly acknowledges the failure of her second, in the early 1980s), I am clearly also part of the target audience for Sladen's memoir. And so it was I impatiently waited for a Canadian release of Sladen's autobiography, completed just a few months before her surprising and terribly untimely death from cancer in 2011.

Sadly, the contents between the frankly dated and cheap-looking covers pretty accurately reflect the contents of the book itself.

Though the autobiography does not stoop to gossip or cheap score-settling, neither does it offer much insight into acting; into what it was like being a feminist icon of sorts; or into Sladen's life. Those hoping for more than some amusing anecdotes about working with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker will find in this book some tasty snacks, but nothing remotely like a full meal.

Click here for the review.

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

Top ten real estate deals in the United States

15 March 2013 — Hot Home News: Zsa Zsa, Budweiser & Abe Lincoln's Son

Also: Dick Clark's rock house reduced from $3,500,000 to $3,250,000, and Bugsy Siegel's house was $49.5 million - sold $19.5 million.

Are you looking for a new feature that everyone will love? Something fresh and new that your competition isn't already doing? Well, we have it for you with suggested script (online media should revise script) and high res photos. This week we have high res photos of Abe Lincoln's son's home, Dick Clark's rock house & the Budweiser Mansion available for your use. Also, high res photos of Bob Hope's $50 Million Volcano Home, and the Beverly Hills estate where John and Jacqueline Kennedy spent part of their honeymoon and movie home in The Godfather.

Free high res photos available at: http://bit.ly/toptenmedia
 
Our goal at TopTenRealEstateDeals is to make real estate exciting. A famous celebrity or historic home for sale? We have it. Spectacular homes, cool beach homes, haunted homes, presidents' homes, athletes' homes? We have it. Significant home sale trends and news articles? We have all that too.

Every week, we produce a Hot Home News feature where we cover five interesting, famous, historic and celebrity homes that are currently for sale. For example, this week we have a look at the Bel Air  home that Zsa Zsa Gabor finally sold after two years on the market. Built in 1955 and designed by Howard Hughes, Zsa Zsa purchased the house in 1974 while she was between husbands four and five. Elvis Presley owned it for a while, and Queen Elizabeth and U.S. presidents have dined and been entertained here. Today it’s a film star in its own right, having appeared in the Oscar winning film, Argo.

In other home news:

Chances are that when you’re adding green food coloring to your beer for the big St. Patrick’s Day bash this weekend, it will be an Anheuser-Busch product. The company operates 13 breweries and has been the largest brewer in the United States since 1957. In 1938, Adolphus Busch III built his 12,533 square foot Manga Reva estate on the Ft. Lauderdale Intracoastal Waterway. Designed by Addison Mizner protege Francis Abreu, it has 6 bedrooms, 11 baths, a 2 bedroom guest house, 60’ lap pool, 130’ dock and 525’ of waterfront. The house even had a bit part in the 1960 film Where the Boys Are that launched the spring break party for generations of college students. Now for sale at $15 million.

A Georgetown coach house where Abe Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert Todd, lived recently sold for $7.6 million. The historic home has had only five owners since it was built in 1799 by wealthy tobacco warehouse owner John Laird. In 1873, Laird sold it to Chief Justice of the D.C. Circuit Court, James Dunlop, who was a law partner of Francis Scott Key. In 1915, Dunlop sold the house to Abe Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert Todd, who lived there until 1926, when it was sold to the granddaughter of J.P. Morgan. The original main home was split off from the coach house and is currently owned by Ben Bradlee, former editor of the Washington Post.

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.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com 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.

Contact:
Terry Walsh
Marketing Coordinator
terry@toptenrealestatedeals.com


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.