Friday 18 May 2012

 

From the Desk of Frances Sedgwick

James Laxer is regularly asked to comment on current national and global issues by the Canadian media and frequently writes columns in major newspapers and periodicals. Here following in True North Perspective is a thoughtful analysis that brings us up to date on Canadian politics. At 5,337 words it's a valuable document worth printing and reading more than once. Laxer provides understanding of the transformation of the New Democratic Party and holds out both warning and hope for Canada's future.

The NDP: The road travelled from 2006 and 2012

By James Laxer
rabble.ca

11 May 2012 — On election night in January 2006, Jack Layton declared that Canadians had "voted out of hope for change" and expressed the conviction that the NDP caucus, 29 MPs as compared with 19 in 2004, would help place working people and seniors "at the front of the line" where they belong.

Layton has been proved stunningly, embarrassingly wrong, however. The Harper minority government has turned out to be more insistently, stubbornly right-wing than anyone predicted. (More)


Mainstream media continues its policy of lying by omission

Click here for video proof of thousands meeting Ron Paul

Veterans condemn no media coverage for Ron Paul's mega crowds

By Jacque Fresco
Veterans Today
Military & Foreign Affairs Journal

08 May 2012 — Did you honestly think the Ron Paul revolution would be televised? Here’s a check on reality as to who is really the No. 1 presidential nominee for 2012.

While the supposed front runner, Romney, barely gets over 100 people to a rally, Gingrich and Santorum after talking to empty rooms of 30 people, one man has been pulling in the masses. That man is Ron Paul. Ron Paul is the only one in polls who can and would beat Obama, the NWO puppet.
 
His message of individual liberty and freedom to all is growing a worldwide following.
 
People are taking heed to the liberty movement as Ron Paul and others expose the criminality of our governments and institutions that have enslaved us for so long.
 
He has the No. 1 support from not only the troops who no longer wish to be at war, he also has the support of the youth. The intellectual revolution has begun…
 
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Hey Hilary and Obama! Another note from the Land of the Free

'They think we are animals, treat us like slaves'

How America's police-state controls black people

Racism in America's police force linked to cops' role as keepers of status quo in unequal society.

By Nicholas Powers
AlterNet.org
 
11 May 2012 “Get out of the fucking car,” he yelled. I dashed to my apartment window, looked down and saw a cop aiming his gun at a car. Slowly, hands trembling above his head, a black man stepped out and kneeled on the road. Is he going to kill him? I wondered. If he so much as twitches the cop will blast his brains out.
 
As the afternoon mist thickened into rain, I saw the officer blinking droplets from his eyes. His face was a knot of rage and fear. Thankfully the young man being arrested didn’t twitch as he was handcuffed. After they left and my panic ebbed, I knew it wouldn't be long until someone somewhere was blown into oblivion by the police.
 
It wasn’t a knee-jerk anti-authority reaction but a heavy feeling based on history. Months later I read of the NYPD killing 18-year-old Ramarley Graham and 68-year-old Vietnam veteran Kenneth Chamberlain. They join Duane Brown, Sean Bell, Timothy Stansbury, Patrick Dorismond, Michael Stewart and others on the growing roster of black men killed by the police.

Once the smoking guns cool and the body is buried, mainstream media repeat the same words, “accident” or “tragic.” But we, who are black or Latino or politicized, hear the slurs and threats shouted in the background. (More)

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Hezbollah urges Syrian opposition to talk with Assad regime

but Israel and Washington want, and are financing, civil war

 

17 April 2012 — Lebanon's Hezbollah leader, Sayyid Nasrallah, says he has urged the Syrian opposition to engage in dialogue with Assad's regime but that they have refused.

Nasrallah confimed this in his first interview in six years, on the world premiere of Julian Assange's Third World Tomorrow, a television talk show on Russia Today.

Nasrallah said he's convinced that Israel and the United States are determined that a civil war is what is needed for a Syrian regime change.

Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah told Assange that Hezbollah supports Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as Syria supported resistance in Lebanon and “hasn't backed down in the face of Israeli and American pressure.”

Nasrallah, a freedom fighter to millions, though a terrorist to the US, Israel, Canada, and the Netherlands, says Assad’s regime “served the Palestinian cause very well.”

This is why Hezbollah supported the so-called Arab Spring in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and elsewhere, but when it came to Syria, Hezbollah urged the opposition to engage in dialog with President Bashar al-Assad.

“This is the first time I say this – We contacted […] the opposition to encourage them and to facilitate the process of dialogue with the regime. But they rejected dialogue,” he revealed. “Right from the beginning we have had a regime that is willing to undergo reforms and prepared for dialogue. On the other side you have an opposition which is not prepared for dialogue and it is not prepared to accept reforms. All it wants is to bring down the regime. This is a problem.” (More)
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South American countries deepen military integration

Release reports revealing each country's military spending

By Ewan Robertson
venezuelanalysis.com
 
11 May 2012 MERIDA, VenezuelaDefence ministers from Union of South American Nations (Unasur) member states met yesterday for the release of a report detailing each country’s military spending. Ministers and diplomats from the twelve-nation regional bloc also pledged further military integration, proposing the creation of a Citizen Security Council.
 
The report, released by the Centre of Strategic Defence Studies (CEED), reveals the defence spending of each member country in the period 2006 – 2010.

The CEED supports the work of the South American Defence Council, a Unasur body which encourages cooperation in regional security matters, transparency in military spending, and provides assistance in peace missions and natural disasters. (More)

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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. 7, No. 16 (318)
Friday18 May 2012
 
Editor's Notes
 

On Tuesday 22 May the Ontario Standing Committee on Social Policy will meet at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel for a public hearing on bullying. The specific topic will be provincial anti-bullying laws. Twenty-nine delegations are signed up to speak in 15-minute intervals.

Numerous religious groups have signed up, as well as many individuals.

The topic of bullying has been getting more and more attention in recent years as compared with the past.

I never laid a hand in anger on any of my children, so it was with considerable surprise that my eldest son saw me dispose of a young giant in two blows during an encounter near the corner of Spadina Avenue and College Street in Toronto.

"Dad!" he declared, "Where did you learn to fight like that!"

"The French kids in Lower Town Ottawa and the Orange Irish back on the farm."

In the past one was scorned as a coward, or a squealer, if one sought help from bullies. The mark of coming of age was standing toe-to-toe and slugging it out as in Tom Brown's School Days. (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.
 
Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is www.alexbinkley.com. Readers will be aware that his columns in True North Perspective have foreseen political and economic developments in Canada. This week in ...
 
The Binkley Report

A Who’s Who of Mental Illness

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

18 May 2012 — Since the release in 2006 of the Senate report Out of the Shadows at Last (click here for PDF version) mental illness has gained a lot of long overdue attention. Well known Canadians have risked the stigma traditionally attached to any suggestion of a mental illness to talk openly about their condition.

With the milestone reached by the recent release of the Mental Health Commission of Canada report Changing Directions, Changing Lives and its strategies and 109 recommendations for tackling the issue, it’s time to look back at some of the well known figures who bared their souls with personal accounts about mental illness.

And remember some of those who were overwhelmed by it.

The engaging smile of Olympic medalist Clara Hughes has reached out to us as part of Bell’s Lets Talk program to encourage people with mental illness to speak about it and for the rest of us to listen and learn. (More)
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Paul Watson, anti-whaling campaigner, held in Germany

over a 2002 Costa Rican charge of attempted murder

By Shiv Malik
guardian.co.uk
 
14 May 2012 — A veteran anti-whaling campaigner has been arrested in Germany on charges relating to an incident in 2002 when the boat he was piloting attempted to stop poachers illegally killing sharks.

The environmental activist organisation Sea Shepherd said Paul Watson had been detained at Frankfurt airport to answer a Costa Rican extradition warrant for "violating ships traffic".

The incident took place in Guatemalan waters a decade ago when Watson's boat, the Farley Mowat, encountered an illegal shark-finning operation run by a Costa Rican ship, the Varadero. Crew on the Varadero accused Watson of attempting to ram their boat and Watson was charged by Costa Rican authorities with attempted murder. (More)

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Spirit Quest

'We are all both victims and bearers of guilt'

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

18 May 2012 — Although the sun was shining there was a cool wind blowing up Barrington Street in Halifax. Off in the distance I saw the flashing lights of the police cruiser as it escorted a long line of people processing to St. Matthew's United Church.

This wasn’t a parade, no bands or cheers, only the sound of shoes pounding the pavement. There were a few flags, the Nova Scotia ensign, a beautiful rainbow banner symbolic of the Gay Lesbian Transgendered people, the Queers as they often call themselves.

 
There were some signs calling attention to the purpose of this walk: a memorial of the tragic death of Raymond Taavel. (More)
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Bits and Bites of Everyday Life
 
 
By Geneviève Hone
True North Perspective

Geneviève Hone is a grandmother, family therapist and social worker.  With her husband, Julien Mercure (also a family therapist), she has co-authored three books on couples and family life. Her home on the web is www.hone-mercure.com/index_hone_en.php.

18 May 2012 — You’ve no doubt heard about writer’s block, perhaps even suffered from this condition. Many people have. I remember enduring a terrible episode of writer’s block as a seven year old child, sitting at my desk, trying to pen a thank you note to a great aunt who had sent me a book for Christmas.

I hadn’t enjoyed the book, an illustrated story of Creation, with badly drawn pictures of animals and trees that hid the most interesting body parts of Adam and Eve. And I didn’t even recall ever meeting this great aunt.

I had used delaying techniques for months, hoping that my mother would forget about the whole thing. But my mother had excellent long term memory and late in June, she still could remember the preceding Christmas. That day, she had been quite firm about my duty to be polite and say thank you “even if you don’t like the book, Geneviève”, firm to the point of saying: “Stay in your room until you’ve done it.” I immediately came down with a severe case of writer’s block. Zero inspiration, zero motivation, zero everything. Condemned by society to let a beautiful Saturday afternoon go to waste, angry and resentful, I was most definitely in a major funk! (More.)
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Good news on mob rule!

Frances leads a shoutdown of a homophobe on a loudspeaker

Passersby join Frances to drown him out and make him leave

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.

18 May  2012 — I was so mad today as I took a break from attending to my husband who is in the emergency ward at Mount Sinai Hospital, I nearly ended up being a patient myself.
 
Taking a break while my husband was sleeping I went down to the Eaton Centre.
 
The northern tip of the Eaton Centre is Yonge and Dundas and Dundas Square. A popular place for events, activity and for people to congregate, talk and voice their opinions.
 
Across from Dundas Square I encountered several interesting spectacles. A women dressed in old Victorian garments and makeup bowing to passersby in a doll like fashion. I smiled as people stopped to take pictures with her.
 
Then I heard a voice over a loudspeaker denouncing homosexuals. As I got closer his ranting reminded me of the mad preacher in the U.S. I saw on TV saying, among other slanderous slurs that homosexuals will rot in hell.
 
Enraged I walked over and started yelling at him to stop promoting hatred. He kept on over a loudspeaker.  (More)
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Wal-Mart's cheap stuff is hugely costly - right where it matters most
 
By Stacy Mitchell
Grist.org

11 November 2011 — My friend Tony’s closet is as good a place as any to begin an investigation of Walmart’s environmental impact. Tony has a pair of Levi’s that date back to high school more than 20 years ago. They still fit him and they’re still in rotation. The fabric has a smooth patina that hints at its age, but, compared to another pair of Levi’s he bought only a couple of years ago, this pair actually looks far less worn. The denim is sturdier, the seams more substantial, the rivets bigger.
 
Tony’s old pair of Levi’s may well have been made in the U.S, and they likely cost more than his new pair. The new ones were manufactured abroad — Levi’s closed its last U.S. factory in 2003 — and, though Tony didn’t buy them at Walmart, their shoddy construction can be blamed at least in part on the giant retailer and the way it’s reshaping manufacturing around the world. (More.)
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Beating the Drum

Offensive to Whom?

By Beverly Blanchard
True North Perspective
 
Beverly Blanchard is an Ojibway First Nation from Northern Ontario.  She holds a degree in Economics. During the last twenty-two years, she has worked as a consultant to First Nation and Inuit organizations in a variety of disciplines including: homelessness, suicide prevention, violence prevention, childcare, HIV/AIDS, women’s issues, business planning, and economic development. She has also designed and delivered Aboriginal awareness and stress management workshops to Federal government employees. Currently, Ms Blanchard is a life strategy coach, author and energy healer in Ottawa.

It would appear from the headlines that manufactured fear is in the driver’s seat in our world. By manufactured fear, I mean false evidence appearing real. Yes people use fear in a variety of ways to avoid decisions or to silence free speech.

What will the neighbours think? Better not do or say that because someone might be offended. The offensive is usually based on an irrational fear.

Peruse the online news sites and everyday there are numerous examples of how our society uses this irrational form of fear to create irrational rules or abdicate their responsibility to deal with a situation.

A few weeks ago a student in Nova Scotia was suspended for wearing a t-shirt that said, ‘life is wasted without Jesus’.  Apparently the Nova Scotia school board felt that this type of t-shirt could be offensive to another student or teacher.  As a possible correction, the student was advised to put the word ‘my’ at the start of the sentence. (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.

Health Watch

Comparing price per calorie versus by weight or portion sizes leads to different conclusions

The Associated Press via CBC.ca

18 May 2012 — Is it really more expensive to eat healthy? A U.S. Agriculture Department study found that most fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods cost less than foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
 
That counters a common perception among some consumers that it's cheaper to eat junk food than a nutritionally balanced meal.
 
The U.S. government says it all depends on how you measure the price. If you compare the price per calorie — as some previous researchers have done — then higher-calorie pastries and processed snacks might seem like a bargain compared with fruits and vegetables.
 
But comparing the cost of foods by weight or portion size shows that grains, vegetables, fruit and dairy foods are less expensive than most meats or foods high in saturated fat, added sugars or salt. (More.)
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Sports

Boxing grudge-fight in Brazil July 7

as contenders already trade verbal blows

Xinhua-ANI News

14 May 2012 RIO DE JANEIRO Brazil — Brazil's UFC world middleweight champion Anderson Silva has responded to provocation by his opponent Chael Sonnen by labelling the American a "frustrated man who has never won anything".

The pair will fight for the world title in Las Vegas on July 7, almost two years after Sonnen's fifth-round loss to the Brazilian in their only previous meeting.

"I feel sorry for him. He is a frustrated man," Silva told TV Globo on Sunday night. "He has never won anything in his life. The fight is going to be something else."

During a press conference to promote the event in Rio last month, the American said Silva's championship belt was "a fake" and belittled his humble upbringing in Brazil.

Silva, who has not lost a bout since January 2006, said his family had taken offence at Sonnen's remarks.
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Contributing Editor

Hockey fans throwing weird crap on the ice

A city-by-city breakdown of who throws what

By John Metcalfe
The Atlantic Cities
 
12 May 2012 — The Phoenix Coyotes got an unexpected addition to their roster last Friday while battling the Nashville Predators: Somebody chucked a slimy, whiskered catfish onto the ice. A smiling puck-girl had to cart it off in her bare hands before play could resume.

Turns out this kind of thing is fairly common in the world of hockey fandom. While Nashville shows its team pride with volleys of aquatic craniates, other cities celebrate their franchises with slabs of beef, dead octopi, or rubber phalluses. So you know what to pack for your next hockey game, here's a quick guide to who throws what: (More)

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Science
 
 
Forget your cellphone camera — welcome to the world of Glass!
 
By Annalee Newitz
io9.org
 
10 May 2012 — A few weeks after Google announced the completion of their paradigm-warping technology Google Glass, this picture appeared in the G+ account of Google VP Sebastian Thrun. It was taken while he was playing with his son and wearing his Glass technology — basically, a pair of "smart" glasses that can give you a virtual overlay on the real world, sort of like you're wearing your Android device in your eyeballs. Glass can take pictures too. And suddenly, when people saw what these pictures would look like, the idea of Glass caught fire. Thrun's picture was shared by thousands of people, including Google founder Sergey Brin.
 
This first-person perspective image captures a kid's smiling face, which isn't remarkable — until you consider that it could never have been taken by somebody holding a camera at the same time. Before this, the public hadn't really been sure what it would mean to wear a Glass device, other than getting a lot of ads trickling down the periphery of your vision. With Glass, you can record everything you see. Literally. (More.)
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From the Desk of Carl Hall

George W. Bush Convicted of War Crimes

'The trial was based on the principles set out in the Nuremburg Charter, to which the US is subject. The commission has sent all documents and transcripts to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.'
 
By Reno Berkeley
hondurasweekly.com

15 May 2012  — Former President George W. Bush is now an international war criminal. Just last week he and several members of his administration were convicted of war crimes -- the first conviction of its kind ever.

Bush, former V.P. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were all convicted in abenstia by a Malaysian tribunal in Kuala Lumpur. Granted, this isn't a powerful country who held this trial, and the conviction won't do much, and it's mostly symbolic... but it will send a clear message to the United States that it is not above international law. The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission convicted the eight men after a five-day hearing where witnesses testified regarding torture techniques used on prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. (More)
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War Criminal George W. Bush Wanted In Canada

Canada in breach of Convention against Torture by failing to prosecute Bush
 
By Lawyers against the War
Global Research
 
16 May 2012 — Lawyers against the War (LAW) filed a report with the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) alleging that Canada repeatedly violated the Convention against Torture by allowing George W. Bush to enter Canada and then failing to arrest and prosecute him for torture. LAW states that Canada has also violated Convention obligations by failing to educate those in charge of law enforcement including police, civil servants and elected officials, about Canada's duty to prosecute torture suspects—wherever and against whomever the torture occurred—when either the victim is a citizen or the suspect is in Canada. On May 21-22, CAT will review Canada ’s compliance with Convention obligations to prevent and punish torture, for the first time since 2005. (More)
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13 naughtiest bits from masseur lawsuit against John Travolta

'Travolta performed sexual favours with males to win acting roles'

John Travolta is being sued by a masseur for alleged sexual assault. From what was ‘bouncing’ to personal-grooming descriptions, Anna Klassen pored through the lawsuit to find the 13 most salacious passages.

By Anna Klassen
The Daily Beast
 
07 May 2012 — John Travolta is being sued in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by a masseur, named only as John Doe, who accuses the star of sexual assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is seeking $2 million in damages. According to the lawsuit, Travolta saw the masseur's ad online and scheduled an appointment for $200 an hour, and then tried to have sex with him during the massage, in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Jan. 16.
 
Travolta has denied the claim and says he wasn't even in California on the date of the alleged assault. “This lawsuit is complete fiction and fabrication,” his representatives said in a statement. “None of the events claimed in the suit ever occurred.” Sorting through the legal rhetoric, Anna Klassen compiled the naughtiest bits of the suit filed against the Old Dogs star. (More)
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Money and Markets

Gerald Calente Report

Financial markets panic, Euro riots rage

While the USA obsesses over gay marriage

16 May 2012 KINGSTON NY — World stocks register double digit losses as worries grow that Greece may exit the single currency union. The escalating eurozone debt crisis and deepening economic slowdown in China are crashing commodity prices. After promising it would not bail out anymore banks, depression ravaged Spain is bailing out Bankia, it’s fourth largest lender. Day after day, week after week, massive citizen protests erupt in depression/recession ravaged cities across Europe.

On the geopolitical front, America expands its military involvement and drone strikes in Yemen. The civil war in Syria rages as “rebels” terrorize Damascus, killing scores and wounding hundreds. Rhetoric between China and the Philippines heats up over the tense territorial standoff in the South China Sea. Afghan troops kill more US/NATO troops. War in the Sudan, Iran/Israel nuclear standoff, more bombs blasting Baghdad … Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, all in turmoil. (More)
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In the midst of the American housing crisis

Some inside info on what the rich are paying

Babe's Place
This week's Top 10 homes spotlight at www.toptenrealestatedeals.com/ includes a look at the New England home that once belonged to Babe Ruth. The legendary Yankee who made major league baseball the #1 sport in America and set a number of both hitting and pitching records lived at a place he called Home Plate Farm between 1922 and 1926. The home has undergone major renovations and updates since the Babe lived there but much of the original home remains including the burns in the floor where he smoked cigars and flicked his ashes on the floor. It is now for sale at $1.65 million.

In other home news:

Playboy Mansion
You can now own an elegant slice of Chicago history with a vintage condo in the original Playboy Mansion. Hugh Hefner bought the mansion on Chicago's Northside in 1959 and divided his time between the Chicago mansion and the Los Angeles Playboy Mansion until 1974 when he moved his entire entourage to California. The building is classic brick and limestone constructed in 1899 with 70 rooms for a prominent Chicago surgeon.  The building was converted to condos in 1993. The unit on sale includes 3,250 square feet, a 13’ marble foyer, marble baths and herringbone patterned wood floors. Small pets (defined as cats and dogs, no mention of bunnies) are welcome. The asking price is $2.3 million. (More)


 
The Old Man's Last Sauna
 
(To read the stories just click on the italic titles. Please tell us what you think.)
 
An eclectic collection of short stories by Carl Dow that will stir your sense of humour, warm your heart, outrage your sense of justice, and chill your extra sensory faculties in the spirit of Stephen King. The final short story, the collection's namesake, The Old Man's Last Sauna is a ground-breaking love story. The series begins with Deo Volente (God Willing). Followed by The Quintessence of Mr. 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.
 

The pair will fight for the world title in Las Vegas on July 7, almost two years after Sonnen's fifth-round loss to the Brazilian in their only previous meeting.

"I feel sorry for him. He is a frustrated man," Silva told TV Globo on Sunday night. "He has never won anything in his life. The fight is going to be something else."

During a press conference to promote the event in Rio last month, the American said Silva's championship belt was "a fake" and belittled his humble upbringing in Brazil.

Silva, who has not lost a bout since January 2006, said his family had taken offence at Sonnen's remarks.

The pair will fight for the world title in Las Vegas on July 7, almost two years after Sonnen's fifth-round loss to the Brazilian in their only previous meeting.

"I feel sorry for him. He is a frustrated man," Silva told TV Globo on Sunday night. "He has never won anything in his life. The fight is going to be something else."

During a press conference to promote the event in Rio last month, the American said Silva's championship belt was "a fake" and belittled his humble upbringing in Brazil.

Silva, who has not lost a bout since January 2006, said his family had taken offence at Sonnen's remarks.

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