Friday 24 June 2011


Exclusive: Toronto police swear off G20 kettling tactic

Toronto Police Service Board facing $45 million suit

By Jayme Poisson, Jennifer Yang and Brendan Kennedy
The Toronto Star

22 June 2011 — Toronto police will never again use the controversial crowd control technique known as kettling, which was employed for the first and last time in the city’s history during last year’s G20 summit.

The decision was revealed to the Star in a police statement Tuesday, June 21, along with the information that two Toronto police superintendents were “responsible” for commanding and controlling G20 policing in the city outside the security fence.

On June 27, 2010, the final day of the G20 summit, some 300 protesters and bystanders were boxed in, or kettled, by riot police at Queen St. and Spadina Ave. for about four hours.

Not long after the enclosure, rain began to fall in torrents as some stood shivering in summer dresses and tank tops. 725 words.
The politics of hatred, the petty joys of a neo-con triumphant
The Toronto Star
22 June 2011 — Free public health nurses — fully funded by the province — still cost too much to please Mayor Rob Ford.

In a move that troubles even some of his supporters, Ford shifted from penny-pinching this week to irrationally rejecting a complimentary health service. As a result, new immigrants to Toronto and the city’s poor will be deprived of two nurses that would have been paid for by the province. That’s bad enough, but it portends far worse.

If Ford can’t accept this program, even when Queen’s Park pays, imagine the mercy he’ll show toward city services that actually cost the municipality money.377 words.

Justice in a gilded age ...
(while somewhere in the darkness, do we hear
Madame Guillotine sharpening her blade anew?)

CNN 'Executive Decision' censors video about Cuban 5

jailed by U.S. for exposing violent terrorists in Florida

Be sure to play video of Dolores Huerta backgrounding the Cuban 5

From the Desk of Elizabeth Hill

22 June 2011, LOS ANGELES California — We were more than a little surprised when a CNN journalist based in Los Angeles contacted SPARC Gallery interested in covering Gerardo Hernandez's exhibit "Humor from my Pen" before its opening on June 4.  We remained skeptical but after several phone calls back and forth an interview was set up.

On June 3 the CNN journalist arrived early to set up her camera and to go over what she would be covering about the background of Gerardo's work and the case of the Cuban 5 in general.

She seemed genuinely interested and did a long interview with the organizers from the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 in both Spanish and English. She also interviewed the Executive Director of SPARC, Debra Padilla. 577 words.

Canadian mining company is suspect in

El Salvador murder of right-to-water activist

'To leave those responsible for these crimes in impunity would give a green light for such violence to continue. We can’t stand by and let that happen.'— Jennifer Moore, MiningWatch Canada.

By Jamie Kneen
Communications & Outreach Coordinator

20 June 2011 EL SALVADOR — Yet another anti-mining activist has been murdered in El Salvador.

Canadian civil society organizations are calling for a full investigation

into the murder of Juan Francisco Durán Ayala, the fourth such death in two years that local organizations believe are linked to the presence of Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining in the department (district) of Cabañas. 771 words.

True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, read
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. 21 (280)
Friday, June 24, 2011

President Obama offered Hope but gave more of the same

Former NATO chief Clark dismayed by regime-change  

ambitions that were outlined by a Pentagon staff officer

Only the bleeding multi-trillion dollar deficit, combined with a wrecked economy, is seemingly reining-in the military-industrial blood lust that sucks away 50 cents out of every American tax dollar.

There is a discernable difference in tenor of the voice and the body language of U.S. president Barack Obama. Gone is the strident confidence of both during the election campaign. Now we have a wide-eyed voice and posture saying, I know I'm lying, but please believe me because I want my second coming in 2012. — 748 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, Contributing Editor

A Social Media Riot made for TV

An on-the-spot report on the spoiled brats who played 

for digital attention — with reader comment below

This wasn't '94. This was weirder, more violent, driven by a lust for digital attention.
16 June 2011 VANCOUVER BC — I was standing next to the firefighters on Georgia Street as they watched the car in front of Vancouver's main post office burn. Someone asked why they weren't stopping the fire and the most senior man there grimaced and replied that they had to wait for the police to give them the go-ahead. The problem was there was no way for the police to get through the thousands of Tweeters, Facebookers and amateur photographers — never mind the yahoos stoking the fire or the hundreds of people surrounding the car and watching it like it was on TV.
Then the car exploded, just like a car in a movie — too much like a car in a movie. Then it exploded again. And again. I called a friend who makes movies. He told me that in order for a car to actually explode it has to be burning for a very long time. This car was burning for a long time — and it was burning kitty corner from the CBC building in full view of all the news shooters. If someone wanted to create a telegenic image for riot footage, they would have had a tough time choosing a better spot to do it and, according to a Facebook post I saw, that was exactly what someone did. "CTV News talked to a friend of the guy who lit the first truck. It was his truck. He planned to burn it if the Canucks lost." 1,207 words plus reader comments.

Cities matter

'Never have municipal issues had such prominence in Parliament'

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
Amidst all the sniping and negative attacks, there was one issue the parties campaigning in the May 2 election agreed on — the federal government has to help cities expand transit and rebuild roads, water systems and public buildings.
Not surprisingly, the parties had different versions of how financial assistance for cities and towns should be shaped. But the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is hoping to translate that wide spread political support into a long term plan that will get their infrastructure brought up to 21stCentury standards, regardless of what party is in power in the future. 764 words.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainability Editor

Vancouver's Gastown get's a new look

From rat-infested slum to gentrification

The line between revitalization and gentrification is blurry and awkward.

'I don’t think you can blame the independent businessman for trying to have a go at it and then affecting change. Did we push anybody out of this space? No. Did we take anything else out of here? No.'

By Matt Chambers
The Dependent Magazine

My interview with Mark Brand is interrupted by yet another phone call, only this time the 35-year old Gastown entrepreneur doesn’t return with an apology, he tells me he has to leave – there’s an emergency at one of his stores.

As we pass the statue of Gassy Jack, he explains that someone is harassing his staff at Sharks and Hammers. We pass a cop parked on Water but Brand pays him no mind.

At the storefront the tension surrounds a tall, skinny young man wearing a torn shirt. He has no shoes on but introduces himself as Dimi, careful to point out that it’s not short for Dimitri. He’s fixated on the name of Brand’s clothing line: Welcome to East Van.

“Are you from East Van?” Dimi demands. Brand replies that he is.

“Is the designer from East Van?” he presses, “I want to meet the designer.”

“The designer’s an East Van artist, but he’s not here right now,” Brand says calmly. At about six feet and 200 pounds, he has little to fear. He’s confident and in control, but not at all hostile. Still, Dimi raises his chin:

“You want to hit me?”

“No, I don’t want to hit you,” Brand assures him. “I just want you to leave.” 2,144 words.
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Art in the Garden 2011

'No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden.' Hugh Johnson

True North Perspective

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

24 June 2011 — One of my special treats in years past has been a day trip to Perth on Father’s Day weekend and a visit to Kiwi Gardens’ “Art in the Garden”. Kiwi Gardens celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. The rolling, ten-acre grounds feature beautiful mature gardens showcasing spectacular perennials, stone walls and winding pathways. Unique pieces of art are strategically placed to complement different areas of the gardens.

Last Sunday was the perfect day to visit this gem that attracts green thumbs from all over the region as well as gardening neophytes. Jacques and I strolled through the different areas, examining garden sculptures, blown glass, outdoor furniture, obelisks and arbours, pottery, bird baths and garden fountains ... even colourful butterfly shelters and birdhouses. The materials used for these original works of art include wood, wrought iron, concrete, stone, resins, glass and steel. 793 words.
Spirit Quest
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

24 May 2011 —Much has been written, spoken, shown, about the Canuck Carnage, or is it Vancouver Violence. I don’t intend to help overkill the subject.
However, In the midst of the broken glass, the burning cars, the rioting rabble, there was an island of tenderness and love.  Two young people embraced. Their picture has gone around the globe. It needs no caption. This language is universal 928 words.

From the Desk of Darren Jerome



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.

Sports (Roman Division)

'I potuit a concertator!'

Roman gladiator's tombstone records fatal foul —

referee blamed for bad call

By Owen Jarus

17 June 2011 — An enigmatic message on a Roman gladiator's 1,800-year-old tombstone has finally been decoded, telling a treacherous tale.

The epitaph and art on the tombstone suggest the gladiator, named Diodorus, lost the battle (and his life) due to a referee's error, according to Michael Carter, a professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada. Carter studies gladiator contests and other spectacles in the eastern part of the Roman Empire.

He examined the stone, which was discovered a century ago in Turkey, trying to determine what the drawing and inscription meant.

"After breaking my opponent Demetrius I did not kill him immediately," reads the epitaph. "Fate and the cunning treachery of the summa rudis killed me."

The summa rudis is a referee, who may have had past experience as a gladiator.692 words.


You can count on the True North Team

While 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 ...

Note from the heart of the empire

Bank robber demands one dollar

hopes for health care in prison

By Katie Moisse

20 June 2011 — A 59-year-old man has been jailed in Gastonia, N.C., on charges of larceny after allegedly robbing an RBC Bank for $1 so he could get health care in prison.

Richard James Verone handed a female teller a note demanding the money and claiming that he had a gun, according to the police report.

He then sat down and waited for police to arrive.

"… I say, 'I'll be sitting right over here, on the chair, waiting for the police,'" Verone told reporters, recalling the June 9 robbery in an interview from Gaston County Jail.276 words.

Money and Markets

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainability Editor

National Energy Board: Captured Regulator?

What happens when watchdog becomes lapdog? Nikiforuk's latest ENERGY & EQUITY inquiry.

17 June 2011 VANCOUVER BC — The Economist magazine once described "regulatory capture" as a simple case of a gamekeeper behaving like a poacher.

Whenever industry captures the power of the state to foster private goals (and it's an occupation older than prostitution), regulators get captured and corruption surely follows.

And that's now a big problem for North America's energy regulators, which, arguably, are the continent's most powerful public servants. Yet their integrity appears to have peaked along with conventional oil and gas in the 1970s, and most are now abusing their powers. In an era of volatile energy prices, it appears that regulators would rather please industry than police it. 1,575 words.

Honduran President denies “Secret Pact” with Venezuela

By Rachael Boothroyd

19 June 2011 CORO Venezuela — Following claims made by U.S. newspaper El Nuevo Herald earlier this week, the Honduran government has denied that it had made a “secret pact” with Venezuela to implement “Socialism of the 21st Century” in the Central American nation.

On Friday, the U.S. daily published an article alleging that an agreement had been made between the current Honduran president, Porfirio Lobo, and Venezuelan business ambassador, Ariel Vargas, during a secret meeting held at the Venezuelan Embassy in Tegucigalpa on the 15 May.

Citing a “diplomatic cable” from Caracas, the article contended that Lobo had privately pledged to call a popular referendum on the formation of a Constituent Assembly, but that he could not do it “openly” for fear of “meeting the same fate” as ousted president Manuel Zelaya. The article also claims that Lobo asked for Chavez’s “patience” while he neutralised opposition to reforms within his own conservative Nationalist party and the Honduran Catholic church. 721 words.

Public electric company managers charged with sabotage

By Kejal Vya
Correo del Orinoco

17 June 2011 CARACAS — Venezuelan authorities Tuesday charged an employee of state-run electricity company Corpoelec with sabotage, saying the act led to a major electricity failure across several states in May.

In a statement, the Attorney General’s office said it charged Luis Alfonzo Pena Nanez for his role in the power outage. The ministry also said it would charge another worker, Hugo Alberto Aguilar Caceres, Friday, June 17.

Under state law, the accused could face four to eight years in prison.

As the oil-rich South American country struggles with widespread power shortages this year, top Venezuelan officials have frequently blamed the problems on sabotage as well as policies implemented by governments before President Hugo Chavez. 331 words.

Chavez’s right turn: State realism vs. international solidarity

Has Chavez made a Hitler-Stalin pact

to secure his 'Bolivarian Socialist' revolution?

By James Petras

14 June 2011 CARACAS —The radical “Bolivarian Socialist” government of Hugo Chavez has arrested a number of Colombian guerrilla leaders and a radical journalist with Swedish citizenship and handed them over to the right-wing regime of President Juan Manuel Santos, earning the Colombian government’s praise and gratitude.  The close on-going collaboration between a leftist President with a regime with a notorious history of human rights violations, torture and disappearance of political prisoners has led to widespread protests among civil liberty advocates, leftists and populists throughout Latin America and Europe, while pleasing the Euro-American imperial establishment.

On April 26, 2011, Venezuelan immigration officials, relying exclusively on information from the Colombian secret police (DAS), arrested a naturalized Swedish citizen and journalist (Joaquin Perez Becerra) of Colombian descent, who had just arrived in the country.  Based on Colombian secret police allegations that the Swedish citizen was a ‘FARC leader’, Perez was extradited to Colombia within 48 hours. Despite the fact that it was in violation of international diplomatic protocols and the Venezuelan constitution, this action had the personal backing of President Chavez.  A month later, the Venezuelan armed forces joined their Colombian counterparts and captured a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Guillermo Torres (with the nom de Guerra Julian Conrado) who is awaiting extradition to Colombia in a Venezuelan prison without access to an attorney. On March 17, Venezuelan Military Intelligence (DIM) detained two alleged guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN), Carlos Tirado and Carlos Perez, and turned them over to the Colombian secret police. 3,666 words.

Health Watch

Abuse of anti-biotics, not cucumbers

are behind European e coli outbreak

It is past time for health authorities to curb the antibiotic misuse that created the resistance of this aberrant E Coli strain

By Maryn McKenna
The Guardian
5 June 2011 — The massive outbreak of E coli O104 in Europe has infected more than 1,800 people and left more than 500 with the potentially deadly complication known as haemolytic-uremic syndrome. It has leapfrogged borders to at least 13 countries and killed about 20 of its victims. As health authorities try to trace the outbreak to a food that can be removed from the market, it has focused international attention on the complex paths that agricultural produce follows in an era of global trade.
One aspect of the epidemic, though, has received little notice: this aberrant strain is resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics. Among all the urgent issues raised by this outbreak, that drug resistance should ring the loudest warning bells – and prompt serious consideration of curbing the vast overuse of antibiotics that has created it.
O104's resistance profile has been briefly mentioned, but as a curiosity that distinguishes the strain rather than as a concern. That is largely because the safest way to treat infections caused by an E coli strain that also produces toxins, as this one does, is to refrain from using antibiotics – since when the drugs kill the bacteria, they cause the toxins to be released and bring on the illness's worst symptoms.949 words.

Yogurt, nuts, lead pack in war on weight gain

22 June 2011 — The quality of the food we eat is more important than how much we eat, according to a new study that examined why people gain weight.

And when it comes to the worst dietary culprits, potato chips, sugary drinks and meat top the list.

The study from Harvard Public Health researchers followed more than 120,000 people for 20 years.
They found the average person gains 3.35 pounds over a four-year period, particularly if they ate regular servings of potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, unprocessed red meats and processed meats. 396 words.

Family genetic research reveals speed of human mutation

Father and mother split six billion bits of info to make you

New genetic study reveals that fewer mutations are made

By Staff Writers

20 June 2011 MONTREAL Canada — A team of researchers have discovered that, on average, thirty mutations are transmitted from each parent to their child, revising previous estimations and revolutionizing the timescale we use to calculate the number of generations separating us from other species.

"Your genome, or genetic code, is made up of six billion pieces of information, called nucleotides," said co-lead author Philip Awadalla of the University of Montreal's Faculty of Medicine and Director of CARTaGENE.

"Three billion come from each parent, and based on indirect evolutionary studies, we had previously estimated that parents would contribute an average of 100-200 mistakes in these pieces of information to their child. Our genetic study, the first of its kind, shows that actually much fewer mistakes - or mutations - are made." 415 words.

Officials would take grunt out of women's tennis

Sharapova set 105-decibel record

Female tennis players who grunt too loudly are putting off their opponents and spoiling the game for the millions of spectators, the head of Wimbledon says.

By Andrew Hough
The Daily Telegraph
22 June 2011, Winbledon — In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ian Ritchie admitted tournament officials were becoming increasingly uneasy about the practice.
As the Championships celebrate its 125th anniversary this year Mr Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC), said fans were also becoming frustrated with loud players who they believe are spoiling the game.
He blamed younger players, whom he said suffered from an “education problem” about the issue. 686 words.

Guest Jon Stewart goes head-to-head with Chris Wallace

Did Chris Wallace really say Fox News isn't Fair and Balanced?

By David Corn
Mother Jones

20 June 2011 NEW YORK NY — News flash: Fox News is not fair and balanced. According to whom? The cable network's star Sunday host, Chris Wallace.

Clips of the on-air duel between Wallace and Comedy Central's Jon Stewart on Fox News Sundayhave been lighting up the Intertubes. In an interview, the Fox anchor repeatedly tried to out-wit the faux anchor and portray him as an ideologue pushing a liberal partisan agenda. But Stewart explained — over and over — that he's a comedian. He noted that his overall agenda is "about absurdity and corruption… It's anti-contrivance." And he rejected Wallace's attempt to portray the rest of the mainstream media (MSM) as a bunch of covert liberal schemers. The MSM's true bias, Stewart insisted, is "toward sensationalism, conflict, and laziness."

Stewart outplayed Wallace throughout the 24-minute-long segment, which has caused much chuckling online. But one interesting exchange has not received much attention: Wallace's admission that Fox is not objective. 447 words.
The Book End

Wolf: The Lives of Jack London

By James L. Haley
Basic Books (2010)

There's a lot more to Jack London than sailors and dogs

He was a pace-setter in Science Fiction for just one example

Children of the Wolf — Hemingway, Mailer, Kerouac, were all cubs of the renegade Jack London.

19 May 2011,

"Why, man," said Cassius, "(Julius Caesar) . . . doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus; and we petty men walk under his huge legs, and peep about to find ourselves dishonourable graves."

Every ambitious male writer in North America in the last century has felt that way about Jack London, and felt himself at best a pathetic imitation of him. If London had been born in 1976, not 1876, he would bestride our world as he did in the decade before World War I.

Jack London knew every side of the American dream, including the nightmare. Growing up illegitimate and poor in 19th-century Oakland, California, he was a teenage tough who worked in various dime-an-hour jobs. Teaching himself to sail, he prospered as an oyster pirate in San Francisco Bay.

At 17 he shipped out as able seaman on a sealing vessel, where he won respect by outfighting a far bigger man. He bummed across the U.S. and got thrown in jail for vagrancy. Barely 21, he went to the Klondike where he found little gold but came back with the experience that launched his writing career. 1.161 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.