Friday 22 October 2010


Quote of the week

'It is true that I have an additional responsibility that a guy like Ric McIver doesn’t have; Ric does a great job and has done a great job – it doesn't mean that all Scots are outstanding,” Mr. Nenshi told The Globe. “But, you know, I do a good job and it’s like brown guys are okay. Muslims can do a good job. I do a bad job, and I take people down with me. It is [a lot of pressure], but it’s just our lives.
'It would have been so easy to have an article, just a fun human-interest article in August, about what it’s like fasting through Ramadan while you’re campaigning. What it’s like at a debate not drinking water. I didn’t do that. I didn’t do that because I didn’t think it was a relevant question.' — Redneck cowtown no more: Calgary's mayor-elect talks discusses his election as Canada's first Moslem mayor of a major city. Read the full article at The Globe and Mail, 1,397 words.

'You can get the control back at this point because you can decide how it's going to play out if you co-operate and if you discuss this with me and give me your story, essentially.'

CBC News

21 October 2010 — The confession by Col. Russell Williams was by all accounts expertly coaxed — the work of a whip-smart detective who was unyielding in an interrogation running some 10 hours.

"It was an excellent piece of police work on behalf of [Det. Sgt.] Jim Smyth who conducted this interview — one of the best interviews I've ever seen," Det. Insp. Chris Nicholas told reporters Wednesday. "It's a smart man being outsmarted by a smarter man."

Smyth, an Ontario Provincial Police behavioural specialist, is seen in the interrogation videos at first trying to earn Williams's trust and offering access to a lawyer. He then asks him general questions before getting him to agree to submit a DNA sample and an imprint of his boots.

"They begin circling in and in and in — it was a fascinating thing to watch — I've covered courts and policing, I've never seen anything like this," said CBC reporter Dave Seglins. "This is one for the history books, in terms of a police interrogation."

Eventually, Williams confessed to the murders of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau and Jessica Lloyd and 86 other charges. — Read the full article at CBC News, 723 words.
Looking Forward ...

Why the U.S. has launched a new financial World War and how the rest of the world will fight back

Finance is the new form of warfare, without the expense of military occupations against unwilling foreign hosts
'The reality is that today's financial interregnum - anarchic "free" markets prior to countries hurriedly putting up their own monetary defenses - provides the arbitrage opportunity of the century. This is what bank lobbyists have been pressing for. It has little to do with the welfare of workers.'
By Michael Hudson

12 October 2010 What is to stop U.S. banks and their customers from creating $1 trillion, $10 trillion or even $50 trillion on their computer keyboards to buy up all the bonds and stocks in the world, along with all the land and other assets for sale in the hope of making capital gains and pocketing the arbitrage spreads by debt leveraging at less than 1 per cent interest cost? This is the game that is being played today.

Finance is the new form of warfare - without the expense of a military overhead and an occupation against unwilling hosts. It is a competition in credit creation to buy foreign resources, real estate, public and privatized infrastructure, bonds and corporate stock ownership. Who needs an army when you can obtain the usual objective (monetary wealth and asset appropriation) simply by financial means? All that is required is for central banks to accept dollar credit of depreciating international value in payment for local assets. Victory promises to go to whatever economy's banking system can create the most credit, using an army of computer keyboards to appropriate the world's resources. The key is to persuade foreign central banks to accept this electronic credit. — Read the full article at, 4,662 words.

Our readers write

Excellent explanation of the "plasticity" of the brain in Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclairs' article "I don't believe in miracles..."! A year or two ago, I read and interesting book My Stroke of Insight written by Jill Bolte Taylor, a young Harvard-trained brain scientist who experienced a massive stroke when a blood vessel exploded in the left side of her brain. She was only thirty-seven at the time. In her book, she talks about the plasticity of the brain and how it plays an important role in recovery. At the moment, I am reading How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by Dr. David R. Hamilton who talks about the subject and suggests visualization as a means of healing.

 — Carole Bézaire, Gatineau, Québec

In "Praise and Thanksgiving" your experience as a teacher and a mother shines through. Give yourself credit for handing down good moral values that you can revisit with your children and grandchildren. This year's beautiful Thanksgiving day, with its bright sunshine, was a wonderful time to share happy times, celebrate traditions and such things as well-earned diplomas and merits.

 — Robert Beauchemin, Ottawa, Ont.

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Editor's Notes
True North Perspective
Vol. 5, No. 45 (249)
Friday, October 22, 2010
Alberta reminds Canada of its past and its future

In Calgary, we have met the Other  (and found only ourselves)

On Tuesday, the people of Calgary elected to the mayorship a brown man — the first time a Moslem has been handed the keys to a major Canadian city.

15 years ago next week, the people of Quebec very narrowly opted to hold  their province within the Canadian political experiment; the second time Quebecers voted for Canada in repudiation of their homegrown Indépendatistes.

At first glance, you might not think the two events, separated by a generation in time and half-a-continent in space, have much to do with one another.

What does a narrow defeat for the forces of a defeatest tribal isolationism 15 years ago have to with an apparent victory by the forces of tolerance, progress and pluralism today?

Quite a lot, actually. — Read the full story inside,  1,005 words.

"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:
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor
Spacing Ottawa
Dennis Carr, True North Perspective's Sustainable Development Editor, was involved in the design/development and early construction stages of the 248-unit Beaver Barracks project of the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) at Catherine and Metcalfe in downtown Ottawa. Mr. Carr says, "Although I was mandated by CCOC to lead the development and construction of the project, it's conception and realization was very much a result of active consultation with CCOC staff, membership, and with the community." Mr. Carr moved to Vancouver in August 2009 where he is employed as Assistant Director of Social Infrastructure, Social Development. For more information, please visit
1 October 2010 — The Beaver Barracks project at Catherine and Metcalfe is nearing completion and its developer, the non-profit Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, is starting to spread the word about the features the newly developed site is offering the community. Sylvie Trottier is the "Green Animator" in their communications department and she has been guest blogging on various Ottawa urbanist sites talking about the project.

We asked her to submit something to Spacing Ottawa concentrating on the sustainability features of the new Beaver Barracks.  She sent us the following:

Taxes, transportation, poverty, the environment – with the municipal election looming, discussions over what kinds of policies, and priorities, would make Ottawa a better city are raging. A new poll from Ecology Ottawa and the EnviroCentre shows that almost 80 per cent of residents believe the city should implement a more aggressive energy efficiency program for its buildings and services and operate them with a higher percentage of green electricity or fuels. Clearly, having more green buildings is important to Ottawans. And when one realizes that building emissions are actually responsible for the largest proportion by far of greenhouse gas emissions in Ottawa (58% compared to 39% from transportation)[1], not to mention the potential money saved from wasted energy costs, looking at ways of improving building efficiency simply makes sense. — Read the full article at, 1,117 words.
Rail report riles shippers
By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

22 October 2010 — Business news stories rarely get much notice but the rocky relationship between the two main freight railways and their largest customers has set the stage for a tough balancing act for the Harper government.

Much of the shipper community has waited patiently for the last few years hopeful longstanding grievances about rail transportation might finally be acted on.

The Rail Service Review Panel, established by the Conservatives to buy time in solving the acrimonious dispute, issued an interim report in October and gave both sides a month to comment on its recommendations before it prepares a final report for the government. — Read the full story inside, 552 worlds.
Report from Harper's Canada

Workers paid cash, get no benefits, for back-breaking labour

CBC News

21 October 2010 — Some Montreal temp agencies that cater to immigrants are paying less than minimum wage for backbreaking work and don't pay benefits or apply the standard deductions required by law, according to a Radio-Canada investigation.

Investigative program Enquête hired two Hispanic journalists to impersonate recently arrived immigrants looking for work at meatpacking plants.

The two journalists – Colombian Martin Movilla and Chilean Jesus Javia Mendez – wore hidden cameras when they applied to temporary agencies that specialize in placing immigrants who don't speak English or French. Both men were assigned to Montreal chicken factories, where they worked alongside regular staff.

Read the full article at CBC News, 725 words.
Bail conditions violate free-speech rights: CAJ Ottawa

Canadian Association of Journalists

The CAJ is Canada's largest professional organization for journalists from all media, representing about 800 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary roles are to provide high-quality professional development for members and public-interest advocacy.

18 October 2010 — The Canadian Association of Journalists is adding its voice to the chorus of those saying an Ontario Justice of the Peace's bail conditions go too far. 

The bail conditions set by Justice of the Peace Interpol Chandhoke on Alex Hundert, an alleged ringleader of G20 protests in June, include a ban on taking part in, organizing or attending any public event where political views are expressed.

Included in the bail conditionsis also a ban on speaking to the media while Hundert is out on bail awaiting the continuation of his court hearings on three charges of conspiracy. — Read the full article inside, 209 words.
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor
Worried that European restrictions will spread,
Tories and petro firms lobbying hard to prevent it
By Geoff Dembicki
20 October 2010 — High-ranking Canadian officials and several of the world's largest oil companies are fighting attempts by the European Union to deal with climate change. They're lobbying heavily against a fuel standard provision proposed last year, which they fear will restrict energy imports from Alberta's oil sands, a high emitter of greenhouse gases.

This informal coalition scored a major victory earlier this March, and is now doing all it can to defend it.

What makes the lobbying push unique is that very little Albertan fuel actually gets sold in Europe. And yet European officials are getting the regular hard sell from oil sands firms and their friends in Canada's government.

"It is not because we are protecting a customer base [in Europe]," Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner said, "but because we respect the fact that decisions in Europe find their way into other policies around the world." —  Read the full article at,1,368 words.



Whatever happened to ...

Lakshmi Sundaram ?


Readers have been asking, whatever happened to our rising-star columnist  Lakshmi Sundaram?

Lakshmi, performed strangely during the record-breaking heatwave in Canada's capital, Ottawa.

Like one determined to beard the lion in its den she went 500 kilometres south to Georgia south of the even more sweltering U.S. capital, Washington.

On the way back she was distracted to Montreal where she took shelter and became as busy as the proverbial all-get-out.

Meanwhile both columnists assure me that they'll be back at their keyboards in November. Looking forward.  — Carl Dow.

Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Be among the special 2 percent: dare to start a parade!

True North Perspective
Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more:
22 October 2010 — Last week, I headed for La Maison du Citoyen in the Hull sector of Gatineau with my friend Lucie who shares a lot of common interests with me. Jean-Marc Chaput would be speaking that evening.
Celebrating forty years of motivational seminars and presentations, Jean-Marc Chaput doesn’t look eighty and still has the energy and wit of a young “buck”. He is famous for driving his messages across with humour. I laughed so hard, I had to wipe my eyes several times. But his messages are clear and right on target.
They will make you think, re-evaluate, question… they will motivate you, transform your way of looking at things… — Read the full story inside, 1,043  words.
Annals of Education ...

Kids can get keen for learning!

By Dr. Edmond Dixon
Special to True North Perspective
Dr. Edmond J. Dixon is a former teacher and principal with 28 years experience in Ontario education.  His research is focused on giving teachers practical tools for helping struggling students in the classroom. He is the author of Keen For Learning: Why Some Kids Don’t Succeed in the Classroom – and What We Can Do About It. More information is at

"Let's Face it; I'm stupid. You know it, I know it, and my parents know it."

School has been back for more than a month and seats in classrooms across Ontario are full. We’re into the nitty gritty of the learning season.

Sadly, a quarter of those seats will be empty before those students graduate because 20% to 25% of students will drop out. It happens every year and has remained surprisingly consistent for many years.

As a result, the future of these students will be radically different from those who stay in school. Statistically, dropouts will have more trouble entering and staying in the work force, they’ll earn less, have higher rates of imprisonment and drug use and even have shorter life spans than their more educated peers. — Read the full article inside, 856 words.
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Ten ingredients for a healthy local food economy

By Colleen Kimmett
18 October 2010 — Meeru Dhalwala calls it the "Rock and Revolution blue jean mentality."

On a guerilla market research mission to a big name grocery store, she noticed that women wearing the expensive denim brand were choosing the cheapest options when it came to their food choices.

She shared this anecdote at a Food and Beers series event Thursday night to illustrate what pollsters, retailers and farmers already know: that, no matter the income bracket, the majority of people make price -- not place of origin -- the deciding factor when it comes to buying food. And here in North America, we're used to getting it cheap.

Dhalwala, cookbook author and co-owner of Vij's restaurant, was one of four local food experts who took part in the panel discussion at the Museum of Vancouver. The question put to them: How do we cook up a recipe for local, sustainable food success? — Read the full article at, 2,422 words.
Spirit Quest
From darkness into light ... Come, creator spirit

In the miracle at the San Jose mine

we find a reflection of the miracle of life itself

By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan

True North Perspective

22 October 2010 — THE SPIRIT was palpable, more than any words can describe, indeed more than the pictures of the media can convey. THE SPIRIT, what I attempt to write about weekly, was borne witness to in the human and technological drama at the mine head and deep below the barrens of northern Chile.

Like people around the world my spouse and I sat mesmerized before the screen long after our bedtime to witness as the miners, once presumed dead, became very much alive. We both were near tears as the reunited families embraced: “ For this my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost but is found.” as the words of Jesus’ parable have it.

Some will argue in favour of the “human spirit” its power for survival, to be undounted by masses of rock. Nor am I  against this view. However, I opt for a Spirit that is more than human but embodies the human, the cosmic  and dare I say The Divine. — Read the full article inside, 787 words.

From the Desk of Alex Binkley, Contributing Editor

Sullying a proud record: the disgrace at Veterans Affairs

'Officials must learn that there are limits to playing their “cover your ass” games'
By J.L. Granatstein
Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute
Originally published in The Globe and Mail

Historian J.L. Granatstein is a Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a proud record. Founded in 1944 to care for and re-integrate into civil society the more than one million men and women who served in the Canadian armed forces in the Second World War, DVA was an ornament of government. The Veterans Charter, the package of programmes created by the Mackenzie King government, gave the department all the funding it needed to care for the wounded in body and mind in superb hospitals. There was money to send vets to university, or for training, to give them farms, or to set up businesses and to put cash in their hands, and a new suit on their backs. DVA was a terrific success and, while there were inevitable complaints, the department still cares well for Canada’s world war vets, and it does fine work on remembrance and military heritage. — Read the full article inside, 1,662 words.
By Steven Staples

20 October 2010 — Last week, the opposition Liberals stepped up the challenge to the government on the proposed $16 billion program to replace Canada's fleet of CF-18 fighter-bombers with 65 U.S.-built F-35 stealth fighters.

This could be setting the stage for a showdown between the two parties, suggesting it could become a major issue in the next election.

Liberal MPs Marc Garneau and Dominic LeBlanc set out the following questions on the F-35 deal:

1. What are the defence priorities and the domestic and foreign mission requirements that our new fighter jets must be able to support?

2. What are the roles, capabilities and operational performance requirements that any new fighter must be able to meet in order to support these future domestic and international priorities and missions?

3. What evidence does the government have to demonstrate that their deal gets the right equipment for our air force while achieving the lowest cost and best value for taxpayer dollars?

These are all important questions, but the first is probably the most fundamental when approaching any major defence purchase. Without a clear understanding of the roles that equipment needs to fulfill, there is no way to assess the cost or ancillary matters such as the value of the industrial benefits. — Read the full article at, 1,159 words.

Sarah Polley Inducted Into Canada's Walk of Fame

Farley Mowatt and Nelly Furtado among the honorees

By Rick Mele
17 October 2010 — It's hard to put a definitive label on actress-turned-filmmaker Sarah Polley; at various stages of her career she's been a child star, indie darling, political activist, genre movie leading lady, and Oscar-nominated writer/director. This intentionally-eclectic body of work has endeared her to fans around the world, but now Polley's been officially stamped with a label that's about to be laid in cement: she is one of the most famous Canadians. Ever.

The 31-year-old actress was honored with a star on Canada's Walk of Fame on Saturday, an annual event created to celebrate Canadian achievement, now in its thirteenth year. Unlike its American counterpart in Hollywood, the award isn't restricted to the entertainment industry. It acknowledges excellence in a variety of fields, including science and innovation, as well as sports and the arts.

Joining Polley and the 124 existing inductees this year were singers Nelly Furtado and Blood, Sweat & Tears frontman David Clayton-Thomas, 'Will & Grace' star Eric McCormack, author Farley Mowat, Olympic medalist Clara Hughes, and late magician Doug Hennings

. — Read the full article at, 839 words.
The Book End
The Crimson Time

By Patricia K. McCarthy

22 October 2010, OTTAWA, Special to True North Perspective The Crimson Time is a tale of consumption to gross excess, a “vampire crawl” if you will; a pub crawl in the company of vampires, with a treasure hunt to drive the plot on its lurching, sodden way.

Magdalene, our luscious heroine returns, now a vampire full-blown. Bask in her immortal radiance as we share a few tumblers of dark rum with Auntie, listen as baby Finn farts (loudly; blame the vegetables) and watch as husband Samuel makes a total ass of himself. — Read the full article inside, 220 words.

By Ron Shore
Special to True North Perspective
Ron Shore, president of Telesave Communications in Vancouver, lost 17 friends and relatives to cancer in a four-year period, including his sister-in-law who died from breast cancer soon after giving birth. As the founder of the Hunt For The Cause Foundation, he recently launched The World’s Greatest Treasure Hunt: Quest for the Golden Eagle to raise money for cancer research. He can be reached at 1-866-766-7467 or
22 October 2010 Over the past year about one third of Canadian charities noticed a drop in contributions from individuals. Imagine Canada reported in August more charities are stressed, a growing number indicating their existence is at risk.

Undoubtedly, some of this donor fatigue stems from the long grinding out of the economic downturn. But that’s the easy explanation. Part of this malaise also stems from the failure of charities to introduce novel or attractive options for potential donors.

As a society Canadians are primed to respond quickly and with compassion when confronted with the needs of others. For the Winnipeg flood, the Haiti earthquake and the South Pacific tsunami, the giving was immediate and at remarkable levels.

Yet for many charities, there is predictability about annual appeals. — Read the full story inside, 724 words.


In case you missed it ... and 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.

(Corporate) welfare starts at home — and reaches half-way 'round the world

U.S. military aid package pays full cost of F35 Joint Strike Fighter planes purchased by Israel

By Nora Barrows-Friedman

20 October 2010 — Israel has recently sealed a deal to purchase 20 brand-new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets made by US defense and aerospace corporation Lockheed Martin in a contract that, at $2.75 billion, is one of the largest arms purchases ever made by the state. The entire contract is paid for by an ongoing US military aid package under the auspices of the US government's Foreign Military Sales program.

Israel had originally attempted to purchase 75 jets, a plan that was discussed in meetings between Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Shani, US Pentagon officials and Lockheed Martin representatives in September 2008.

According to an August 16 report in Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz,  the deal stalled when the Israeli Air Force (IAF) demanded that Israeli-made systems be installed "for specialties such as electronic warfare and communications." The IAF also wanted to modify the jet's capacity to carry Israeli-made missiles. Lockheed declined, saying that the deal was a "closed package." — Read the full article at, 1,319 words.

Jobs, jobs, jobs?

Saudi arms sale saves U.S. helicopter industry

Attention has been focused on the F15s and Iran, but close to 50 light helicopters are 'ideal for crowd control'

By Mark Thompson

21 October 2010 — The Pentagon has just sent Congress Saudi Arabia's latest shopping list, topped with 84 F-15 jet fighters and 190 helicopters, as predicted here last month. It's always funny how some quantities are round -- 200,000 20mm cartridges, 300 AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, 1,000 2,000-pound GBU-31B V3 Joint Direct Attack Munitions -- and some are not: 193 F-110-GE-129 Improved Performance Engines, 338 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems, 462 AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles. Defense folks suggest the need for accountability of bullets and bombs -- and how they are packed on pallets -- is to blame for so many zeroes in the kinetic column.

A top official at the State Department explained Wednesday why the Saudis need such military hardware -- "counter-terrorism" was the first reason cited -- and said the U.S. has no concerns entering into an arms sale likely to stretch for decades into the future with an autocratic, oil-rich regime: — Read the full article at, 829 words.
Money and Markets

On both sides of the Atlantic, financial 'experts' prove they haven't learned a thing

In Britain, cutting jobs to fight the Great Recession

By Paul Krugman
The New York Times
21 October 2010 — In the spring of 2010, fiscal austerity became fashionable. I use the term advisedly: the sudden consensus among Very Serious People that everyone must balance budgets now now now wasn’t based on any kind of careful analysis. It was more like a fad, something everyone professed to believe because that was what the in-crowd was saying.
And it’s a fad that has been fading lately, as evidence has accumulated that the lessons of the past remain relevant, that trying to balance budgets in the face of high unemployment and falling inflation is still a really bad idea. Most notably, the confidence fairy has been exposed as a myth. There have been widespread claims that deficit-cutting actually reduces unemployment because it reassures consumers and businesses; but multiple studies of historical record, including one by the International Monetary Fund, have shown that this claim has no basis in reality
No widespread fad ever passes, however, without leaving some fashion victims in its wake. In this case, the victims are the people of Britain, who have the misfortune to be ruled by a government that took office at the height of the austerity fad and won’t admit that it was wrong. . Read the full article at The New York Times, 819 words.

In America, burning down the houses to fight the housing crisis

By Michael Moore
21 October 2010 — So how do the Wall Street boys feel after destroying the world economy while pocketing billions, and then getting bailed out by everyone else in America? I'm sure they're filled with remorse and desperately trying to make it up to us. Right?

"The first thing that needs to happen, I think, is to get these people out of their homes," a man wearing a bespoke blue-striped shirt, a Hermés tie patterned with elephants and Ferragamo loafers said recently. "Correct! I'll explain," the veteran member of a bank restructuring and advisory team said...

"The question to me is not do you foreclose or do you not foreclose. The question is when and with what philosophy you foreclose," the man on the bank restructuring team said. "If you want to reduce the amount of leveraged homeowners you have, you need to ultimately kick them out of their homes." A colleague walked up: His recommendation was to burn houses. "It would lower the supply." Read the full article at, 819 words.



From the Desk of Carl Hall, Technology Editor

Old cell phones may lay down and die, but “Recycle My Cell” reminds you they needn't become garbage

By Ian Hardy

We are coming to the end of Waste Reduction Week. In the spirit of conservation, the CWTA (Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association) along with “Recycle My Cell” have launched the “Recycle My Cell Challenge”.
The actual contest goes until November 30th but they have thrown together a quick video to remind you that you should recycle your cell at one of their drop of locations. The video itself is a bit of a stretch but gets the message across… you’re just not going to throw your dog an old Nokia.
Visit the Recycle My Cell website to learn more.
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Got another computer problem? Never fear! Doctor Carl is here!

If you have any problems with accessing True North Perspective or problems with your computer, send an email to Carl Hall, He will be more than happy to assist you.

Health Watch

Double-jeopardy: Combined hormone therapy nearly doubles breast cancer death risk for menopausal women

'Combined hormone therapy both increased the risk of breast cancer and interfered with breast cancer detection'

Agence France-Press
20 October 2010, WASHINGTONMenopausal women taking combined hormone therapy have an elevated risk of being diagnosed with a more advanced stage of breast cancer and dying from it, according to a new US study.

Researchers conducted a new analysis of a landmark, federally funded clinical trial known as the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), which was halted in 2002 after data suggested women who took a combination of estrogen and progestin hormones faced a higher risk of breast cancer.

The study, published in this week's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, also found that women who previously used hormone therapy and discontinued it after the WHI was terminated still faced a slightly higher breast cancer mortality rate than women not taking hormones.

— Read the full article at, 561 words.

Getting what we (don't) pay for
By Amanda Kloer
14 October 2010 — Ever wonder how Walmart can afford to sell a pair of jeans for eight bucks? It's because workers at the factory in Bangladesh where the jeans are made earn a measly one-and-a-half cents for each pair they sew. To make matters worse, Walmart has been lobbying against a government-supported wage increase, which would bump the workers up to 35 cents an hour.
It's time Walmart stopped exploiting the workers who make the clothes they sell. The 2500 workers at the Anowara Apparels factory in Bangladesh spend all day sewing jeans, primarily for the Faded Glory brand of clothes sold at Walmart.
They are 90% young women, some with families to support and others trying to simply scrape a living together. The women make between 11 and 17 cents an hour sewing jeans, and they're expected to produce at least ten pairs an hour. —Read the full article at, 452 words.
Third Ways

Honduran Resistance Movement Shows Signs of Progress

By Bill Quigley and Laura Raymond

22 October 2010 On October 21, the democratic resistance in Honduras will celebrate Artists in Resistance Day. This event contrasts directly with the day's official recognition of Honduras Armed Forces day. The resistance, which is working for a truly democratic Honduras, renamed the day and created an alternative celebration because of a brutal police attack last month on musicians and others that left one dead and scores injured.

On September 15, 2010, a nonviolent march and musical concert in Honduras was attacked by police and security forces. Incredibly, the police involved in the attack made it a point to destroy the musicians' instruments.

The musicians who were attacked called for today to be renamed Artists in Resistance Day. To mark the occasion, the collective Artists in Resistance and the National Front of Youth in Resistance (FNJR by its Spanish acronym) organized concerts for the night of October 21 in San Pedro Sula and in Tegucigalpa. Read the full article inside, 1,415 words.
Reality Check: A reply to The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger

Corporate greed trapped the miners. The public sector rescued them

By William K. Black

15 October 2010 — One of our family sayings is: “you can’t compete with self-parody. Daniel Henninger is the most recent proof of this saying. He authored a column on October 14, 2010 entitled “Capitalism Saved the Miners.” Mr. Henninger is an editorial writer/editor for the Wall Street Journal. His essay, of course, was designed to attack President Obama. Mr. Henninger wrote that the rescue of the Chilean miners reflected badly on President Obama’s criticism of Republican candidates’ views about markets:

“The basic idea is that if we put our blind faith in the market and we let corporations do whatever they want and we leave everybody else to fend for themselves, then America somehow automatically is going to grow and prosper.”

Henninger’s responded to this quotation from the President:

“Uh, yeah. That’s a caricature of the basic idea, but basically that’s right. Ask the miners.

If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What … meant the difference between life and death for those men?

Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit.

Longer answer: The Center Rock drill [was] developed by a small company in it for the money, for profit. That’s why they innovated down-the-hole hammer drilling. If they make money, they can do more innovation.

This profit = innovation dynamic was everywhere at that Chilean mine.

Well, not really. Let’s begin with why the miners needed to be saved. They needed to be saved because the private mine they worked for appears to have been a “control fraud.” — Read the full article at, 964 words.

Why journalism needs a saviour: Fortune's Andy Serwer 

“It’s definitely not the money. I just love the life.”  

Fortune Magazine's Managing Editor says journalism needs a Steve Jobs

By Dana Lacey
19 October 2010 — Warren Buffett used to boast two facts: Newspapers will always be around and the whole world will drink Coca Cola. Now, with the onslaught of vitamin-enhanced, diet-friendly, fruit-enriched sugar waters, at least one of those facts is no longer true.

“Our business is not being destroyed, it’s being recreated,” said Andy Serwer, managing editor of Fortune magazine. “There’s never been more demand for news -- and especially business news -- than there is today.” The world is in the midst of a complicated economic recession that journalists are expected to navigate and make sense of. The financial tipping point was June 2007, when “Bear Stearns’ hedge fund first blew up.” Then followed a series of unfortunate events -- the collapse of Wall Street hedge funds, structured finance and the housing market, to name a few -- that led the world into an all-reaching recession that will affect us for a long time. This economic crisis is typical in some ways, Serwer said, “There was too much leverage and complicated financial products and lots of villains,” but it’s atypical in that this meltdown “came from the financial system and made the economy tank. Normally it’s the other way around. Last time that happened, it was the Great Depression. And that’s scary.”

— Read the full article at, 977 words.
U.A.E. adheres to 'strict policy' not to tolerate family violence ... so long as it doesn't leave any marks
The Associated Press
20 October 2010 — A senior Emirati judicial official stressed Wednesday the U.A.E. does not condone domestic abuse even though the country's highest court ruled a man can physically "discipline" his wife and young children if he leaves no marks.

The official's statement was strong without contradicting the court — highlighting tensions in the Gulf state between interpretations of traditional Islamic law and the country's desire to forge a modern society that is home to far more foreigners than locals.

"Our courts adhere to [a] strict policy not to tolerate any degree of family violence, whether verbal or physical," Humaid al-Muhairi, director of the Justice Ministry's judicial inspection department, said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM.

Muhairi's comments follow a report this week that the Federal Supreme Court found a man guilty of beating his wife and daughter while noting that Islamic codes allow for "discipline" if it leaves no marks.

— Read the full article at CBC News, 594 words.


Discovery suggests now-frigid continent was once even warmer than previously thought

By Clara Moskowitz

19 October 2010 — An ancient turtle's fossils, dating from roughly 45 million years ago,  were recently discovered in Antarctica.

The bones, only two fragments from a turtle's carapace, or shell, were unearthed in the La Meseta Formation on Antarctica's Seymour Island by an expedition of the Antarctic Institute of Argentina.

While the researchers can't pin down exactly which species the turtle, or turtles – the fragments may not come from one individual – belonged to, the bones are not from any species that was already known to live in the region during this prehistoric era, which is known as the Eocene Epoch. — Read the full article at, 301 words.
By Stephen C. Webster
16 October 2010 — About one in eight humans do not have access to clean drinking water, according to the World Health Organization. That's approximately 884 million people.

The repercussion of this reality are a daily reality in developing nations: an estimated 1.4 million children perish each year due to diarrhea brought on by water-born bacteria. In spite of breathtaking advances in human technology, over 97 percent of the world's water is still undrinkable.

And while salty or impure water can be cleaned through existing water desalination technologies, the facilities needed are massive and consume vast amounts of energy. It's costly, too: purifying sea water can cost "over $1,000 per acre-foot," according to the US Geological Survey. Even worse, of the roughly 12,500 desalination plants operating as of 2002, their combined total output was equal to less than 1 percent of humanity's daily water consumption.

All of these factors combine to effectively place clean water out of reach for most of the world's poor.

— Read the article at, 419 words.
Aftermath of Gulf oil spill 'like a concusion'

Scientists believe 650 million litre spill further eroded an already damaged body of water

The Associated Press

19 October 2010 — Six months after the rig explosion that led to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, damage to the Gulf of Mexico can be measured more in increments than extinctions, say scientists polled by The Associated Press.

In an informal survey, 35 researchers who study the Gulf lowered their rating of its ecological health by several points, compared to their assessment before the BP well gushed millions of gallons of oil. But the drop in grade wasn't dramatic. On a scale of 0 to 100, the overall average grade for the oiled Gulf was 65 — down from 71 before the spill.

This reflects scientists' views that the spilled 172 million gallons of oil further eroded what was already a beleaguered body of water — tainted for years by farm runoff from the Mississippi River, overfishing, and oil from smaller spills and natural seepage.

The spill wasn't the near-death blow initially feared. Nor is it the glancing strike that some relieved experts and officials said it was in midsummer.

— Read the full article at, words.
What's in a name? Of lies, damned lies and clueless attack ads
I would point Rep. Gardner to a site on the 'internet' to research his claims a little better: If Rep. Gardner can't figure out how this whole voting system works, how can he be trusted to actually read bills?
By John Byrne

21 October 2010 — A lot of strange things happen in politics every day, as a regular reader of Raw Story can readily confirm.

But it's not every day that a candidate launches an ad that can't even identify their own opponent.

A Denver TV station announced it had stopped running an ad yesterday after discovering that the ad included a blatantly false statement -- an accusation so false, in fact, that it turned out the candidate launching the ad had mis-identified his own opponent.Read the full article at, 390 words.
Science of mind
By Christian Rudder
12 October 2010 — Gay issues have been in the news a lot lately, from the debate over same-sex marriage in Congress to a sickening rash of gay-bashing here in New York City. We see a lot of emotion out there, instead of information, and we wanted to provide some data-based context on sexuality so that people might make better choices about what they say, think, and do.

We run a massive dating site and therefore have unparalleled insight into sex and relationships. Here's what we've found, in numbers and charts.

First of all, gay sexuality is not a threat.

Gay people are not sexually interested in straights.

The subtext to a lot of homophobic thinking is the idea that gays will try to get straight people into bed at the first opportunity, or that gays are looking to "convert" straights. Freud called this concept schwanzangst; the U.S. Army calls it Don't Ask Don't Tell.

We combed through over 4 million match searches, and found virtually no evidence of it: — Read the article at, 1,371 words.


Why are the effects of marijuana so unpredictable?

By Jonah Lehrer

11 October 2010 — Alcohol is mostly predictable. When we drink a beer (or three), we usually have a pretty good sense of what it’s going to feel like. We can anticipate the buzz, the slackening of self-control, the impaired motor movements and the increased mind-wandering. In part, this is because alcohol is a tightly regulated psychoactive drug, and the alcohol content is clearly printed on every bottle. We also sense alcohol directly, so that the potency of a hard liquor tastes different than that of weak light beer. When we drink, we generally know how drunk we are going to be.

But not all drugs are so predictable. Consider marijuana, which can trigger dramatically different symptoms depending on the strain and context. It’s long been known that different strains of the drug contain various amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient. When people talk about the effects of the drug – such as giddiness, the munchies, and a sudden desire to watch The Big Lebowski – they’re typically referring to the effects of THC. (Interestingly, the same chemical can also make us paranoid. More on that later.) — Read the article at Wired, 1,473 words.
From the Desk of Mike (the Hammer) Garvin
British experiment shows that turning out the lights doesn't always bring darkness

In case you missed it ...

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. Flynn, Sharing Lies, Flying High, The Richest Bitch in the Country or Ginny I Hardly Knows Ya, One Lift Too Many, The 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 Sauna, a groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.