Friday 17 June 2011

Blogosphere and social media present startling evidence

Don't blame anarchists and thugs for the riot

The jerks were the nice boys and girls next door

By Gary Mason
The Globe and Mail

17 June 2011 VANCOUVER, BC — While police and politicians continue to lay the blame for this week’s Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver on professional anarchists and hardened thugs with deep-seated criminal tendencies, the blogosphere and social networks such as Facebook have been revealing a much more uncomfortable truth.

Many of those who participated in the riot were not these types of people at all. They were, in many instances, the sons and daughters of good, upstanding citizens who today must still be in shock over what they’ve learned. 817 words.

The price of being a genius

In China they're jumping off rooftops

In America they're organizing a union

By Guy Adams
The Independent (UK)

14 June 2011 LOS ANGELES U.S.A. — What is genius worth? If you're the management of Apple, then the answer is simple: $14 an hour (about R90). That's how much the computer giant pays hardworking staff at their American retail outlets, who are officially known as “geniuses” and who can often be found at an in-store facility known as “the genius bar”.

According to at least one employee, that's not nearly enough, particularly since the spiralling public demand for iPods, iPads, iPhones, and other Jobsian devices recently helped the company to produce quarterly profits of almost $6bn. He says it's time for the “geniuses” to campaign for the salaries they deserve, by joining a trade union. 602 words.

Health Watch

An apple a day could make you sick from pesticides

Onions, corn, watermelon included in the 'Clean 15'

14 June 2011 WEST LAFAYETTE Indiana — The old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away may need an asterisk, in the wake of a new report that says some of the most popular produce contains the highest levels of pesticides.
The seventh annual Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce report from the Environmental Working Group lists what it calls the "Dirty Dozen," the 12 fruits and vegetables found to be most contaminated by pesticides and fungicides. 461 words.
And furthermore, not even sweet potatoes are exempt ...
My Potato Project: The Importance of 'Organic'
A child's experiment turns into a lesson on the toxins in our food supply

Russian general explains Qaddafi's success

Says West doesn't see snake pit with victory

'There were no Libyans among the people who gave TV interviews as rebels. Believe me from experience.'




By Svetlana Smetanina


15 June 2011 MOSCOW — The situation in Libya has been a central topic for the world media for several months. What is happening in this country? Why is Gaddafi still in power? How did he manage to win the confidence of his people? Alexander Rogovoy, a Russian Major-General, senior military adviser to Libya in the mid 2000's, Associate Professor of General Staff of the Military Academy, shared his vision of the situation in Libya in an interview with

"For work you had to communicate with the family of Colonel Gaddafi. Can you tell us about your impression of him?"

"I communicated more with one of the sons of al-Gaddafi. He was an ordinary, normal, fairly intelligent young man who was studying in Russia at the Frunze Academy and the Academy of General Staff. He was very serious about issues he studied. In daily life he was sociable, polite to the elderly, as, probably, required by the rules of the Islamic world.

As for the colonel, the thing that struck me here in Libya was that the country lived its life: portraits of Gaddafi could be hanging, or could be lying on the ground. People could walk on them, but no one was punished for that."

"This country has a fairly high standard of living. How does it manifest?" 1,183 words.

'Humanitarian' Cruise Missile

strikes 10,000-student university in Tripoli

Injuries, extensive damage, but no deaths

By Cynthia McKinney

14 June 2011 TRIPOLI Libya — Since coming to Tripoli to see first hand the consequences of the NATO military operations, it has become clear to me that despite the ongoing silence of the international press on the ground here in Libya, there is clear evidence that civilian targets have been hit and Libyan civilians injured and killed.

This Tuesday morning I was taken from my hotel across the city through its bustling traffic to the Al Fateh University.

On 9 June, Dean Ali Mansur was outside in the parking lot.  The sky was blue like Carolina blue. The clouds were white — no chemtrails in sight. Puffy and white.  Dean Mansur was visibly upset.  It seems that some of the young men at Al Fateh University, Campus B were fighting over girls. He explained to me that Libyans are hot blooded. With a gleam in his eye, he whispered to me that girls are important to young men.  

Yes, that was clearly evident today as I approached the campus of Al Fateh University, Campus B, formerly known as Nasser University. Under the trees, throughout the lawn as we approached the campus gates, I could see young men and women talking to each other, talking on cell phones, walking to and fro, assembled, probably talking about the latest campus news — whatever that might be. Today, on the Al Fateh campus, life was teeming. Student life seemed vibrant. This feel and ambiance of this university was not unlike the hundreds of other universities that I have visited in the US and around the world.
Libyan boys and girls are like ours. My son would easily fit into the life of this university.1,770 words.

True North Perspective publishes in the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical 
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective
Editor's Notes
True North Perspective
Vol. 6, No. 20 (279)
Friday, June 17, 2011

'Humanitarian' Hilary Clinton ignores pleas

from Saudi women for right-to-drive support

Hilary is too busy bombing women in Libya

For weeks now Saudi Arabian women have been campaigning for the right to drive motor vehicles.

They have begged Hilary Clinton for support. But Hilary has ignored them. She is too busy dropping 'humanitarian' bombs on Libyans. As you'll see, by linking to 'Humanitarian' Cruise Missilestrikes 10,000-student university in Tripoli at least one of her 'humanitarian' Cruise Missiles struck the 10,000-student Al Fateh University in Tripoli.

Hilary has no time for Saudi women because her country has full access to Saudi oil. Control of Libyan oil is not yet settled so the rights of Saudi women are of no importance. After all, if you can't drive, take a bus.

In Libya women have the right to drive. Buying their first car is heavily subsidized. They also get a grant of $64,000 when they marry.

Virtually all 'A' students can go to a university of their choosing in a country of their choosing, all at government expense — grants, that is, not crushing loans that they must mortgage ten years or more of their working lives to repay.

Free university education is available to all women within Libya for all A- and B+ students.

Clearly, 'humanitarian' bombing is entirely in order. Just ask Hilary. 450 words.

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainability Editor

Coming to a Shore Near You: Acidified Water

From Baja to BC, it's shown up near the ocean's surface sooner than we thought.

Editor's note: The Tyee is pleased to bring you the second in an occasional series of articles, 'Northwest Ocean Acidification: The Other Cost of Carbon Pollution', produced by the Sightline Institute.
By Jennifer Langston
16 June 2011 — Five years ago, many scientists probably thought they'd never see large pools of corrosive water near the ocean's surface in their lifetimes. Basic chemistry told them that as the oceans absorbed more carbon dioxide pollution from cars and smokestacks and industrial processes, seawater would become more acidic. Eventually, the oceans could become corrosive enough to kill vulnerable forms of sea life like corals and shellfish and plankton.
But scientists believed the effects of this chemical process — called ocean acidification — would be confined to deep offshore ocean waters for some time. Models projected it would take decades before corrosive waters reached the shallow continental shelf off the Pacific Coast, where an abundance of sea life lives.
Until a group of oceanographers started hunting for it.
"What we found, of course, was that it was everywhere we looked," said Richard Feely, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratoryin Seattle, Washington, who was one of the first to recognize the trouble ahead. 1.178 words.

'Zapping food with low doses of radiation could save lives'

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

The death toll in the German E.-coli O104 outbreak has passed 35 and hopefully will end quickly. The culprit was organic bean sprouts from a German farm, not Spanish produce that German officials had been blaming for weeks.

As Canada learned in the deadly Listeria outbreak of 2008, food safety is a complicated business. Deli meat from Maple Leaf Foods, one of the leading practioners of food safety, left 22 people dead and scores more sickened. 583 words.
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Slow down and smell the roses (literally!)

True North Perspective

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

I gave some thought to the things that please me and give me a natural high last weekend and realized it was time to slow down and smell the roses.
So I slowed down and did just that!
Roses are in full bloom so I went around my property and enjoyed the fragrant beauties. I also checked on my garden. It’s up, except for the peas which seem to have forgotten to germinate. 835 words.
Spirit Quest
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

20 May 2011 — They say it’s going to be a hot one. Indeed, we have already experienced the mercury rising above 30 degrees centigrade, and it’s only the beginning of the season. However, we have been reminded, that there have been other torrid times when we were less protected from the weather.
When I was a teenager, and that’s some time ago, I worked during the summer in a large machine shop. Dozens of lathes, milling machines, grinders. generated heat as they worked steel into shape. The plant had no air conditioning and opening windows simply exchanged indoor heat with outdoor heat. 839 words.

From the Desk of Darren Jerome


David House pleads The Fifth

WikiLeaks Grand Jury witness says

he declined to answer queries on Manning

By Michael Riley
Bloomberg News
15 June 2011 WASHINGTON DC — David House, a computer expert and acquaintance of the U.S. Army private accused of leaking classified information to the website WikiLeaks, said he declined to answer most questions in front of a federal grand jury investigating a possible conspiracy in the case.
In comments today following his appearance before the panel in Alexandria, Virginia, House said he provided only his name and address, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self- incrimination.536 words.

Europe braces for serious crop losses and power shortages

Record dry spring could drive up wheat prices, and lack of water may force nuclear reactors to shut down

By Jeremy Lovell
Scientific American

13 June 2011, LONDON — One of the driest spring seasons on record in northern Europe has sucked soils dry and sharply reduced river levels to the point that governments are starting to fear crop losses and France, in particular, is bracing for blackouts as its river-cooled nuclear power plants may be forced to shut down.

French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire warned this week that the warmest and driest spring in half a century could slash wheat yields and might even push up world prices despite the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's predicting a bumper global crop due to greater plantings.979 words.

Always worth repeating

'Give us the tools and we'll finish the job'

— Winston Churchill

Let's say that news throughout human time has been free. Take that time when Ugh Wayne went over to the cave of Mugh Payne with news that the chief of his group had broken a leg while chasing his laughing wife around the fire. That news was given freely and received as such with much knowing smiles and smirks to say nothing of grunts of approval or disapproval. — 688 words.


Everybody loves a sunset

Especially on the west shore of Newfoundland

In 2001 I went to a wedding at Corner Brook, Newfoundland, about the halfway point on the province's west coast. I fell in love with the place and heard my first genuine Newfie joke: People from away say we Newfies speak too fast. But the problem is, they think too slow. Randy and Janis Ray are two more from away who have become addicted to Newfoundland. Their smiles tell all. Randy took this sunset shot from the shore of Rocky Harbour, a community of 1,000, 85 kilometres north of Corner Brook. Rocky Harbour is an old fishing and lumbering village that is now also a thriving tourist centre. Randy says the photo was taken Monday, June 13. The sun sets on the western edge of The Gulf of St. Lawrence. It takes an hour to say goodnight. And is amazing. — Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.

You can count on the True North Team

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 and full-length books

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

It's business as usual from an unusual place

Venezuela’s President Chávez conducts

affairs of state from a hospital bed in Cuba

By Rachael Boothroyd
13 June 2011 CORO Cuba — Following an operation last Friday for a pelvic abscess, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is now reported to be recovering well in a Cuban hospital.
During the final leg of his short tour of Latin America, the Venezuelan leader took ill in Cuba and had to undergo immediate surgery in Havana. 513 words.

China-Venezuela trade, cultural, political relations

grow — 900% over 1999 in diversified trade alone

Avn-Correo del Orinoco International

17 June 2011 — Trade between China and Venezuela has increased by 50 times in the last decade, which has transformed the Asian country into the second largest trade partner of Venezuela, a fact evidenced by the consolidation of bilateral relations.
During the inauguration of the Third Industrial Expo China-Venezuela 2011 in Caracas this Thursday, Venezuela’s Planning and Finance Minister, Jorge Giordani, said that ties between the two countries have been strengthened on the basis of equality, cooperation and fraternity, which has made the expansion of multiple agreements in commercial and productive industries possible. 248 words.

Why the Pentagon Papers of 40 years ago matter now

'While we go on waging unwinnable wars on false premises, the Pentagon papers tell us we must not wait 40 years for the truth'

By Daniel Ellsberg
Reader Supported News

13 June 2011 — The declassification and online release Monday of the full original version of the Pentagon Papers — the 7,000-page top secret Pentagon study of US decision-making in Vietnam 1945-67 — comes 40 years after I gave it to 19 newspapers and to Senator Mike Gravel (minus volumes on negotiations, which I had given only to the Senate foreign relations committee).

Gravel entered what I had given him in the congressional record and later published nearly all of it with Beacon Press. Together with the newspaper coverage and a government printing office (GPO) edition that was heavily redacted but overlapped the Senator Gravel edition, most of the material has been available to the public and scholars since 1971. (The negotiation volumes were declassified some years ago; the Senate, if not the Pentagon, should have released them no later than the end of the war in 1975.)

In other words, today's declassification of the whole study comes 36 to 40 years overdue. Yet, unfortunately, it happens to be peculiarly timely that this study gets attention and goes online just now. That's because we're mired again in wars — especially in Afghanistan — remarkably similar to the 30-year conflict in Vietnam, and we don't have comparable documentation and insider analysis to enlighten us on how we got here and where it's likely to go.

What we need released this month are the Pentagon Papers of Iraq and Afghanistan (and Pakistan, Yemen and Libya). We're not likely to get them; they probably don't yet exist, at least in the useful form of the earlier ones. But the original studies on Vietnam are a surprisingly not-bad substitute, definitely worth learning from. 1,553 words.

Democrats-Republicans file joint lawsuit against

President Obama, saying Libya war violates the law

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

15 June 2011 WASHINGTON, DC  U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and nine colleagues sued the Obama administration today over the president's decision to provide air and intelligence support to NATO's mission in Libya.
The bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Texas Republican Ron Paul and Michigan Democrat John Conyers, wants an injunction to prevent the United States from going to war without consent from Congress.
That includes a prohibition that would keep President Barack Obama from joining military missions led by NATO or the United Nations unless authorized by Congress. 575 words.

Unpublished Diary of Che Guevara launched in Havana

Only this one ain't about motorcycles — it's all about revolution

By Madeleine Sautié Rodrguez

15 June 2010 — The Diario de un combatiente, Sierra Maestra-Santa Clara (1956-1958)written by Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, was launched Tuesday at the Press International Center as part of the celebration for the 83rd anniversary of his birthday.

The book is a war diary accounting the last two years of the armed struggle before the triumph of the Revolution. 250 words.
Researchers monitor brain as it slips into unconsciousness for first time
13 June 2011 — The new imaging method detects the waxing and waning of electrical activity in the brain moments after an anaesthetic injection is administered.
As the patient goes under, different parts of the brain seem to be "talking" to each other, a team told the European Anaesthesiology Congress in Amsterdam.
But they caution that more work is needed to understand what is going on.
The technique could ultimately help doctors pinpoint damage in the brains of people suffering from stroke and head injury. 364 words.

Big drop in solar activity could mean much cooler Earth

Researchers predict much cooler Sun could be in forecast for next 11 years — but global warming will likely mitigate much of the impact

By Michael Cooney

14 June 2011 — Scientists say the Sun, which roils with flares and electromagnetic energy every 11 years or so could go into virtual hibernation after the current cycle of high activity, reducing temperatures on Earth.
As the current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, begins to ramp up toward maximum, scientists from the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory independently found that the Sun's interior, visible surface, and corona indicate that the next 11-year solar sunspot cycle, Cycle 25, will be greatly reduced or may not happen at all.
The groups said a "missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles say that our Sun is heading for a rest period even as it is acting up for the first time in years."732 words.
Book Review: Paying For It, by Chester Brown

You're a dirty whore-monger, Chester Brown

Review by Geoffrey Dow
Managing Editor, True North Perspective
Originally posted to

25 May 2011 — Autobiography is a risky endeavour at the best of times; not only will the memoirist's craft be scrutinized and judged, but so too will his or her character. So it is probably a good thing for Chester Brown that he is one of the best cartoonists of his generation, because he really does have sex with prostitutes.
In fact, his latest book, Paying For It, is all about his decision to give up on romantic love in favour of sex for money.
It has become almost trendy to dabble in the sex-trade. Bookshelves groan beneath mounds of tell-all memoirs and fictions, and even relatively mainstream television has gotten into act, with no less than one-time Doctor Who companion Billie Piper disrobing on a regular business as Belle du Jour. But memoirs and fictions glamorizing the life of johns?
Maybe not so much
It is one thing to admit to taking money for sex; to confess paying for sex, on the other hand, remains quite outside the bounds of polite society. 1,624 words.

The Book End

Before Uncle Tom's Cabin slavery was generally accepted

The woman who started the American Civil War: 1861-1865

By Teresa Cotsirilos

13 June 2011 — When Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin in 1852, the American slave trade was a thriving institution. The courts condoned it and, as Southerners were quick to claim, so did the Constitution and the Bible. Twelve American presidents had been slave owners, and the abolitionist movement was fragmented and marginal.

But Stowe, a seminal figure in American liberalism, had a knack for making radical concepts palatable to the general public, and her novel became one of the first genuine pop culture phenomena in American history. Within 10 years of its publication, the United States devolved into civil war. And as historian David S. Reynolds argues in "Mightier Than the Sword," a new book that explores Stowe's life and the global impact of her work, it was Uncle Tom's Cabin that catalyzed  the conflict. 1,382 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.