Friday 20 July 2012

 

‘Storm Of Damascus’: Reality Or Show?

By Andrei Ontikov
Eurasia Review

20 July 2012 — Russia and China have vetoed the West’s draft of the UN Security Council’s resolution on Syria providing for tough sanctions against the authorities in Damascus, in case they do not fulfill a number of demands. Russia’s permanent representative in the UN Vitaly Churkin has cleared up the Moscow position: "It was a singularly one-sided draft. Threats of pressure and sanctions were exclusively addressed to the Syrian government. This does not reflect the actual situation in the country".

And the reality is that it is not the Syrian government that should be deterred, but the implacable opposition. Its detachments have openly announced the beginning of the "Volcano in Damascus – earthquake in Syria" plan implementation. In accordance to this plan, the rebels, by their own words, have flung about 30 thousand fighters on the capital of the country.

However, many observers, both in the region and abroad, consider this number to be tens of times overstated, and at issue is some kind of a propaganda operation. Russian orientalist Leonid Isaev comments:

"Until now the Syrian rebels could not establish a long-time control over a single city. If they manage to fulfill their plans, and Damascus surrenders, then, of course, the situation will change overnight. However, in point of fact, the current offensive is a gesture of despair. The Syrian army is still strong, and the rebel forces are not being replenished. Except money and weapons, there is no other help from the West so far. (More)


Tecumseh showed General Brock how to take Detroit

but now is largely ignored in celebrations of 1812 war

Tecumseh, the great Shawnee War Chief of the 1812 War is vilified in the US and honoured (sort of) in Canada. But in Canada’s centenary celebrations of the War of 1812, Tecumseh is largely being ignored.

By David McLaren
Special to True North Perspective
David McLaren is an award-winning writer living at Neyaashiinigamiing on Georgian Bay. He has worked in government, in the private sector, with ENGOs (Environmental Non-Government Organizations) and First Nations. Comments on this and other essays are welcome at http://jdavidmclaren.wordpress.com/.
(Major General Brock, the story goes, ripped off his jacket on entering Fort Detroit and gave it to Tecumseh in gratitude for his help and his gallantry. Tecumseh never put it on, but gave it away and persisted in wearing buckskin.)
 
“Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Narragansett, the Mochican, the Pocanet, and other powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarice and oppression of the white man … Sleep not longer, O Choctaws and Chickasaws … Will not the bones of our dead be ploughed up, and their graves turned into ploughed fields?”
 
Although he fought on the side of the British in the War of 1812, it’s clear that Tecumseh, the Shawnee War Chief, had no love for any white man and respect for only a few. Major General Isaac Brock was one of the few. “This is a man,” said Tecumseh on meeting Brock for the first time.

Brock reciprocated: “A more sagacious and gallant Warrior does not, I believe, exist. He was the admiration of every one who conversed with him.” He must have meant it, for he knew very well that Tecumseh wasn’t there because he loved the British. He was there because, by the thread of an alliance with Britain, dangled his last hope of forging an independent Native Nation in the heartland of North America. (More)

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'He may be a terrorist, but he's our terrorist'

America's own Pet Terrorist group gets very special treatment

The Huffington Post publishes, and then deletes, a post by an MeK spokesman. What does this tell us about Terrorism?

This piece originally appeared in Salon

15 July 2012 On July 11, The Huffington Post published a post by Hossein Abedini, who was identified in the byline as a “Member of Parliament in exile of Iranian Resistance.” His extended HuffPost bio says that he “belongs to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran” (NCRI). The NCRI is the political arm of the Mujahideen-e Khalq, (MeK), the Iranian dissident group (and longtime Saddam ally) that has been formally designated  by the U.S. State Department since 1997 as a Terrorist organization, yet has been paying large sums of money to a bipartisan cast of former U.S. officials to advocate on its behalf (the in-hiding President of the NCRI, Massoud Rajavi, is, along with his wife Maryam Rajavi, MeK’s leader). Abedini, the HuffPost poster, has been identified as an MeK spokesman in news reports, and has identified himself the same way when, for instance, writing letters to NBC News objecting to negative reports about the group.

As usual for a MeK event, Abedini was able to tout more than a dozen former high-level U.S. political officials from both parties who spoke to the rally, many of whom (if not all) have been repeatedly paid large sums of money for their MeK speeches. According to Abedini, this latest rally included many of the usual MeK shills: former GOP New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, former Democratic New Mexico Governor and U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson, former GOP U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, former GOP Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Democratic State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, and several retired U.S. Generals. (More - Lots more and all worth reading)
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British insist on playing Olympic volleyball in their bikinis

We're fed up with obsession about our skimpy outfits, say scantily-clad GB girls

  • International Volleyball Federation changed dress code to allow players to wear shorts
  • But Brits say they will stick with bikinis unless it rains as they are 'perfect for the sport'
By Katherine Faulkner
Dailymail

19 July 2012 LONDON England — Female beach volleyball players yesterday vowed that they would keep wearing their bikinis – despite admitting it was ‘upsetting’ that the sport was known only for skimpy outfits. Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin, who form part of Britain’s first ever Olympic beach volleyball team, said bikinis were still the best kit for the sport, despite rule changes that would allow them to cover up if they wished. (More)

 
True North Perspective publishes in
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Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
© Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
 
True North Perspective
Vol. 7, No. 25 (327)
Friday 20 July 2012
 
Guest Editorial
 
 
Posted by David McKie Ideas
The Canadian Journalism Project
 
In the first of a two-part series, Nick Fillmore argues that freedom of expression is threatened because of the way corporate media cater to powerful neoliberals and that small-l liberal ideas that champion the public interest are missing.

"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
               --  A.J. Liebling, American press critic 1904-1963
 
12 October 2012 — The economy of the Western world is in a shambles. However, it seems that mainstream Canadian journalists are forbidden from writing about the root of the problem – our current version of capitalism – or suggesting that the capitalist system needs a major overhaul.

How is it possible that the real nitty-gritty behind the most important issue facing millions of people is pretty much taboo in the popular media? What has happened to our right to have access to fair and balanced journalism?

Denying the public access to vital information has a strong negative impact on the democratic process in Canada, just as it does in any country in the world.

Unfortunately, nearly all of Canada’s mainstream political and economic journalists are forbidden from focusing on the fundamental flaws in our system.

Instead, corporate media owners make sure that these journalists adhere to the screwball-but-powerful ideology that is responsible for many of our problems: neoliberalism.Under neoliberalism, capitalism has nearly unrestricted control over our society. (More)

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
 
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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

VIA Rail is a model for government-delivered services

Hard work wins in reality of 21st Century travel

Here’s some recognition of that accomplishment
 
By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
 
20 July 2012 — VIA Rail recently announced it would be reducing frequency of some of its passenger trains because they weren’t being fully used or were duplicating service offered by GO Transit in Southwestern Ontario.
 
At the same time, VIA said during its 2012 annual meeting in Winnipeg that it’s costing the federal treasury less while offering better service to travelers.
 
The federal government had invested nearly $1 billion in VIA to upgrade its locomotives, coaches, stations and expand track capacity. VIA intends to put this investment to good work in the coming years.. (More)
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Environmental activists 'being killed at rate of one a week'

Death toll of campaigners involved in protection of forests, rivers and land has almost doubled in three years
 
By Jonathan Watts
 
19 June 2012 RIO DE JANEIRO Brazil — The struggle for the world's remaining natural resources is becoming more murderous, according to a new report that reveals that environmental activists were killed at the rate of one a week in 2011.

The death toll of campaigners, community leaders and journalists involved in the protection of forests, rivers and land has risen dramatically in the past three years, said Global Witness.

Brazil – the host of the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development – has the worst record for danger in a decade that has seen the deaths of more than 365 defenders, said the briefing, which was released on the eve of the high-level segment of the Earth Summit. (More)

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By Michael Geist
TheTyee.ca
 
17 July 2012 — Copyright cases only reach the Supreme Court of Canada once every few years, ensuring that each case is carefully parsed and analyzed. Last week, the court issued rulings on five copyright cases in a single day, an unprecedented tally that will keep copyright experts busy for many months to come.
 
While the initial coverage unsurprisingly focused on the specific outcomes for the litigants, including wins for Apple (no fees for song previews on services such as iTunes), the entertainment software industry (no additional payment for music included in downloaded video games), and the education community (copying materials for instructional purposes may qualify as fair dealing), the bigger story are three broad principles that lie at the heart of the court's decisions. (More.)
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Spirit Quest

The Good Reverend provides his version

of the Great Flood and Noah's Ark then and now

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

20 July 2012 — They stretched in what seemed like an unending line, after all it consisted of representatives of every creature under the sun — a pair of each. They waited patiently to clear security and board Noah’s Ark.

In 1846 Edward Hicks, an American folk artist, painted the scene that the Irish archbishop, James Ussher (1581 - 1656) had dated at 2348 BC some 2000 years after God created the world and all that is therein.

 
Things had gone very badly right from the start, the first couple raiding the apple orchard and Cain disAbling his brother, etc. A housecleaning was in order. What better way than a thorough rinse of all creation. However, the best and the brightest were to be preserved to procreate a better world, a place of peace and harmony where the lion and the lamb might lie down together and hopefully all have enough to eat. (More)
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Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Finding balance

Taking care of yourself as you take care of business and everything else

Finding balance in your life is often compared to balancing a wheel on your car. Assigning weight (activity) to strategic areas of your life will help you balance your wheel so that it spins smoothly and gets you to destination: your ultimate goal. Determining what you value is critical to how you live your life each day.

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.

20 July 2012 — Mid-July has come and gone and I’m still scrambling for time. It seems that there is always something more to do than you expected… a special request, another appointment, yet another piece of equipment that needs repair or replacement, another housecleaning or gardening job, spring cleaning that spills over into summer …
 
I remember twelve years ago, how wonderful it felt to finally retire. I looked forward to lots of leisure time to do the things I had put off for so long… taking an art and photography class, going to movies and cultural events more often, taking a walk almost every day, finally reading that pile of books that had accumulated, traveling to new destinations… That idyllic dream lasted about two years. All of a sudden, life became stressful and I had to shift into high gear again. My husband was diagnosed with cancer and died ten months later after a courageous battle against lung cancer. My cozy retiree life evaporated as I buried our mutual dreams with his ashes. (More.)
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Beating the Drum Classic

Give beauty a chance

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.  
 
By Beverly D. Blanchard
True North Perspective

27 January 2012 — One the clients I coach accused me of being a Pollyanna.  It is a common label I get.  My client was talking about how bad things are in the world. How there is more poverty; more violence and more rude people in this world. How the economy is in the dumpster and the whole world is getting worse. I allowed her to rant for awhile and then I did the unthinkable.

I suggested that she change her focus. Look for the beauty in the world.  Try to look at what is right in this world and not what she perceives to be wrong. Spend a day seeing everyone and everything she passes as part of the same source energy. Since modern science has proven there is only one source of energy, why not look for the beauty in that energy. 

My suggestion met with anger as she replied, “You are too Pollyanna. I see reality.  What I see is real and I am telling it like it is. How can you look for what’s good?” (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.