Friday 29 June 2012

 

Something special to celebrate on Canada Day

In 1962 they called health care 'A Communist plot

that will undermine the moral fibre of the country'

By Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective

29 August 2012 — In July 1962 I was working the desk at the Canadian head office of United Press International in Montreal. My job was to handle all the copy from bureaus throughout Canada, then put them on the national wire to all UPI media clients in the country, with a feed to headquarters in the United States.

The hottest story that month came out of Saskatchewan where universal health care (what we today know as Medicare) was being introduced by the CCF (NDP) government in the provincial legislature.

The Liberal opposition, the doctors, the media, were climbing the walls. The doctors went on strike. The hysterical claims were bizarre, almost to the point of breathtaking. The silliest allegation, that would be forever burned in my memory, was that universal health care "was a Communist plot that would undermine the moral fibre of the country."

Here following from the Desk of Alex Binkley is a report on that strange time by Ottawa writer Denis Gruending.

50 Anniversary of Medicare in Saskatchewan

(More)


 
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

After Rio, we know. . .

Governments have given up on the planet

The post-summit pledge was an admission of defeat against consumer capitalism. But we can still salvage the natural world

'We have used our unprecedented freedoms – secured at such cost by our forebears – not to agitate for justice, for redistribution, for the defence of our common interests, but to pursue the dopamine hits triggered by the purchase of products we do not need. The world's most inventive minds are deployed not to improve the lot of humankind but to devise ever more effective means of stimulation, to counteract the diminishing satisfactions of consumption. The mutual dependencies of consumer capitalism ensure that we all unwittingly conspire in the trashing of what may be the only living planet. The failure at Rio de Janeiro belongs to us all.'

By George Monbiot
The Guardian
 
25 June 2012 — It is, perhaps, the greatest failure of collective leadership since the first world war. The Earth's living systems are collapsing, and the leaders of some of the most powerful nations – the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia – could not even be bothered to turn up and discuss it. Those who did attend the Earth summit in Rio last week solemnly agreed to keep stoking the destructive fires: sixteen times in their text they pledged to pursue "sustained growth", the primary cause of the biosphere's losses.
 
The efforts of governments are concentrated not on defending the living Earth from destruction, but on defending the machine that is destroying it. Whenever consumer capitalism becomes snarled up by its own contradictions, governments scramble to mend the machine, to ensure – though it consumes the conditions that sustain our lives – that it runs faster than ever before. (More.)
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From the Desk of Elizabeth Hill
 
 
By Jimmy Carter
The New York Times
 
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, is the founder of the Carter Center and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.
 
24 June 2012 — The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights.

Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended.

 
This development began after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions, without dissent from the general public. As a result, our country can no longer speak with moral authority on these critical issues. (More)
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Russia foreign minister says Russia will not oust Syrian

president Assad and says Iran must attend Syria talks

By Jennifer Rankin
The Moscow Times

29 June 12 MOSCOW — Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday rejected claims that Russia would push for Syrian President Bashar Assad to cede power amid escalating violence.

"We are not supporting and will not support any external meddling," Lavrov said at a news conference at the ministry. He denied earlier media reports that Russia was ready to endorse a plan to oust the Syrian leader.

"Assad's fate should be decided by the Syrians themselves," he said.

About 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, according to estimates by the United Nations. Assad admitted earlier this week that the country was at war, after months of blaming so-called foreign-funded extremists.

On Saturday in Geneva, the Action Group for Syria delegation, which includes the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, aims to draw up the principles for a coalition government to replace Assad's regime.

Russia and the United States are both members of the Security Council. (More)

Says US quick to talk with Iran when it needed help for wars

22 June 2012 — Dismissing the US and British objections to Iran's participation in an international conference on Syria, Russia has said it should take part in it.

 
"We are convinced that Iran should participate in that conference," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
 
The US and Britain claim that Iran cannot be invited because "it is misbehaving," he added.
 
"When the Americans had to ensure additional security for their troops in Iraq and Afghanistan they had no problem talking directly to Iran," Lavrov said. (More)
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Democratically elected Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo

ousted by Conservative parties cabal in impeachment railroad

'State Coup' leaders cut from the same rightwing cloth as those who for years supported the dictatorship, with its massacres, tortures, and disappearances
 
By Ewan Robertson
venezuelanalysis.com
 
25 June 2012 — Venezuela has suspended oil shipments and withdrawn its ambassador from Paraguay as part of a regional wave of condemnation against the ouster of leftist Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo last Friday.

“We are absolutely not going to support this state coup, not directly, neither indirectly,” stated Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez yesterday.

Chavez described Lugo’s political impeachment trial, engineered by the majority conservative parties in Paraguay’s congress and senate, as “express, summary, illegal and unconstitutional,” continuing that “they judged him without evidence, and furthermore from night to day...these things always happen when the bourgeoisie and the right govern”. He further drew parallels with the state coup against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in June 2009. (More)

 

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. 22 (324)
Friday 29 June 2012
 
Editor's Notes
 
 
The American lust for world domination has apparently blinded them to what's happening on the ground.
 
They spent more than a billion dollars funding the overthrow of the secular one-party state of Libya and left behind a one-party state of Muslims and their Sharia law, taking the country from the 21st century back eight hundred years.
 
They sent in their NGOs to encourage rebellion against Mubarak and the secular dictatorship and are clearly having to contend with the Brotherhood that proclaims it will govern by  . . . Sharia law.
 
In Syria the CIA is frantically active in aiding and abetting a religious war against the secular government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
 
When they were caught-out supplying small arms to the so-called rebels the CIA was quick with the falsehood that they were just shipping humanitarian supplies to the 'dictator's victims'.
 
Who, us? There's nobody here but us chickens.
 
Yeah sure. Just like we were led to believe that Gadhafi's air force had massacred 6,000 innocent civilians at the Libyan city of Benghazi. It was a lie taken to the United Nations that won license for an undeclared war, complete with carpet bombing. (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.
 
Or use our new Paypal system! Just click the secure link below —
and if you're paying by credit card, you don't need a PayPal account to make a donation!

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

Not a journalism lesson

Policy of secrecy begun under Chretien government taken to extremes by Harper's - and Canadians poorer for it
 
By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
 
29 June 2012 — It’s rather rich for a minister in the Harper cabinet to complain publicly about the way the news media covers a story considering the lengths his government has gone to make it as difficult as possible for reporters to get information.
 
The complaint came in an open letter that Immigration Minister Jason (reply-all) Kenny released about coverage by La Presse of Montreal of the case of a Colombian woman who failed to secure refugee status in Canada.
 
Kenny said it’s the responsibility of journalists to get both sides of a story before publishing a story. Believe me, we try all the time. (More)
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Late to the negotiations, we're set up to lose big
 
By Scott Sinclair
TheTyee.ca
 
26 June 2012 — The Harper government's frantic efforts to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations came to fruition last week, with the announcement that Canada will be admitted to the talks.
 
The TPP is a nine-member, U.S.-led effort to create a "21st century" trade and investment agreement. The U.S. is seeking a tough, far-reaching agreement favouring U.S. commercial interests that China, Japan and other trading rivals will have little choice but to join. China, however, appears to view the TPP as little more than an American plot.
 
While claiming that it made no substantive concessions to get in, the Harper government almost certainly signalled its flexibility on key stumbling blocks such as agricultural supply management and intellectual property rights protection.
 
The high costs to dairy, poultry and egg farmers, our artists and cultural industries, internet freedom and a wide range of other public interests will eventually become all too obvious. (More.)

 

In case you missed it ... and always worth repeating

Winston Churchill

Give us the tools and we'll finish the job

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.
 

Spirit Quest

War on the spirit of books

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

29 June 2012 — Is there a war on against book stores, the independent ones, that is? There have been numerous casualties in my town, Ottawa, that I really regret.
 
Nicholas Hoar, a truly beautiful literature emporium opposite the National Gallery in Ottawa, is one of them.
 
We particularly enjoyed their childrens' section.  I also loved the cat that roamed those premises. Years ago I had occasion to celebrate a wedding in front of their beautiful fireplace.
 
I love book stores, independent sellers that are not part of a chain. The book store that I frequent is a cozy place next to a coffee shop. I enjoy visiting them both, usually in tandem. (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.

29 June 2012 — The children come off the school bus to be immediately counted and sorted by the Community Center monitors. “Madeleine, you’re going to swimming class, Maxwell, you go with David to the homework room”.
 
There’s a brief moment of concerned list checking followed by “Where’s Joseph?”
 
Joseph is quickly spotted already halfway down the block, whereas he should have been channeled through the large doors along with the other children registered in the after school programs.
 
Joseph does not seem too happy about being called back, but he understands where his destiny lies, and without too much resistance he lines up with the rest of the herd. “And you, Felicia, your grand-mother is here to walk home with you.” Felicia throws a triumphal look to her school bus mates. Being picked up by grandmother ranks far above participating in the center’s activities as enjoyable as they may be. I’ve come to understand that it’s a question of status in a complex hierarchy established by first graders early in the school year. (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.

 

Cure worse than the disease department
 
 
By George Dvorsky
io9.com
 
27 June 2012 — Genetically modified crops are often designed to repel hungry insects. By having toxins built into the plant itself, farmers can reduce their use of environmentally unfriendly insecticide sprays. But as any first-year evolutionary biology student can tell you, insects are like the Borg in Star Trek: they quickly adapt. And this is precisely what is happening – but in ways that have startled the researchers themselves.
 
The discovery is a wakeup call to geneticists because it has highlighted the importance of having to closely monitor and counter pest resistance to biotech crops. The development also raises the question of the potential futility of having to change the genetic structure of crops in perpetuity; given that insects are constantly evolving, to what degree will geneticists have to go to ensure crop immunity to pests? And what does that say to the ongoing safety of such crops as far as human consumption is concerned?
 
Case in point are cotton bollworms. To deal with these pests, genetic scientists have developed an insect-killing cotton plant that produces toxins derived from the Bt bacterium (geneticists say that these toxins are harmless to most other creatures, including humans). But the bollworms are developing a resistance. (More.)
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Third Ways
"We are not some paradise, but rather a family of co-operative enterprises struggling to build a different kind of life around a different way of working."
 
By Richard D. Wolff
The Guardian via AlterNet.org
 
24 June 2012 — There is no alternative ("Tina") to capitalism?
 
Really? We are to believe, with Margaret Thatcher, that an economic system with endlessly repeated cycles, costly bailouts for financiers and now austerity for most people is the best human beings can do? Capitalism's recurring tendencies toward extreme and deepening inequalities of income, wealth, and political and cultural power require resignation and acceptance – because there is no alternative?
 
I understand why such a system's leaders would like us to believe in Tina. But why would others?
 
Of course, alternatives exist; they always do. Every society chooses – consciously or not, democratically or not – among alternative ways to organize the production and distribution of the goods and services that make individual and social life possible. (More.)
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Science
 
 
By Nancy Atkinson
UniverseToday.com
 
26 June 2012 — Scientists have determined a giant gas cloud is on a collision course with the black hole in the center of our galaxy, and the two will be close enough by mid-2013 to provide a unique opportunity to observe how a super massive black hole sucks in material, in real time. This will give astronomers more information on how matter behaves near a black hole.
 
“The next few years will be really fantastic and exciting because we are probing new territory,” said Reinhard Genzel, leading a team from the ESO in observations with the Very Large Telescope. “Here this cloud comes in gets disrupted and now it will begin to interact with the hot gas right around the black hole. We have never seen this before.” (More.)
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Annals of (mis)Education

American fundamentalist schools cite

Loch Ness Monster to 'disprove' evolution

 
By Rachel Loxton
Herald Scotland
 
24 June 2012 — It sounds like a plot dreamed up by the creators of Southpark, but it's all true: schoolchildren in Louisiana are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real in a bid by religious educators to disprove Darwin's theory of evolution.
 
Thousands of children in the southern state will receive publicly-funded vouchers for the next school year to attend private schools where Scotland's most famous mythological beast will be taught as a real living creature.
 
These private schools follow a fundamentalist curriculum including the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme to teach controversial religious beliefs aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.
 
One tenet has it that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man then Darwinism is fatally flawed. (More)
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Everyone is happy with the Big Noise in Scotland

as inspired by the El Sistema project of Venezuela

By Stephen Brocklehurest
BBC
 
27 June 2012 — Four years ago only one child on the Raploch estate in Stirling was learning a musical instrument. There are now 450 kids who are not only playing instruments, but are part of an orchestra. And now they are set to take the stage with some of the most famous musicians in the world.

The bell rings for the end of the day and the children from two primary schools stream into the shared area.

But they do not go home. Instead, most have a quick snack before settling down to orchestra practice. (More)

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How and what the rich buy, live-in, and sell
 
Top ten real estate deals in the United States
 
Would you like to live in Lizzie Borden's house? This week's Top 10 homes spotlight at www.toptenrealestatedeals.com/ includes a look at Ms. Borden's stately 1889 Victorian home in Fall River, Massachusetts. It's not the home where her father and step-mother were chopped to pieces. It is the home she called Maplecroft that she bought with her father's inheritance after she was acquitted of his murder. She lived here until she died in 1927. It is now for sale at $650k.

In other home news:

Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, Sussex is a storybook home with two sad endings.  A.A. Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame, was so enchanted by this property that he was inspired to see it through his child’s eyes. However Christopher Robin Milne became bitter toward his father’s stories due to the ribbing he received in school. Instead of being proud of his father’s fame and achievement, he continued living in bitterness toward his family until his death in 1996. It was also the home of Brian Jones, the founder of the Rolling Stones. In the late 1960s, Brian lost his Stones gig, his girl friend and his life when he drowned in the Cotchford Farm swimming pool. This famous home can be your happy ending for $3.1 million.

It was a happy year for Kevin Durant who led the Oklahoma Thunder to the NBA finals. Now he wants to sell his beautiful Mercer Island estate, a leftover from the teams previous life as the Seattle  SuperSonics. Durant bought the home in 2007 but shortly after moving in, the team's owner moved the team to Oklahoma for the 2008–09 season, which almost didn’t give Kevin time to unpack. He is asking $2.799 million.

Also, Jim Carrey is selling his Malibu Beach home with a rooftop hot tub for $13.95 million, George Jones 78-acre Nashville horse farm is going to auction, Bing Crosby's JFK house is available at $3.5 million, Montana's oldest dude ranch and the Maytag home in Iowa are for sale.  

Real estate is never boring at TopTenRealEstateDeals. Check out today's most entertaining and unusual real estate news stories of the week at: www.toptenrealestatedeals.com/real-estate-news-headlines/ where you won't get information about home loan rates or housing starts or stuff like that. Instead, we will bring you news such as the Michigan family who became temporarily famous after they bought Madonna's childhood home, the end of Florida's condo bargains, and America's best and worst housing markets. Also a new reality game from Canada: is it a million dollar mansion or a crack-house?

We also have Top 10 Condo Developer Deals, the Top 10 upcoming home and condo auctions, and regional real estate agents' choices for the best deals in their areas.

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The Book End

Hey Hilary and Obama! Empire building is close to your heart but please recognize the

'Dramatic increase' in child slaves seen in your United States 

Online organizations thwart efforts to end child-sex trafficking

Four ways to aid in the fight to halt the American child slave trade

28 June 2012 — Child trafficking, particularly for sexual exploitation, has increased dramatically in the United States over the past 15 years, and the numbers of victims continue to rise each year.

“The average age keeps getting younger and younger — for girls, it’s now 12,” says activist and novelist Heather Huffman (www.heatherhuffman.net), whose newest book, Devil in Disguise, aims to raise awareness of the problem.

“The rise of the internet is a huge part of the problem, and society has found no effective way to address it.”

In fact, she says, those who profit from the internet seem determined to thwart safeguards. Social media giant Facebook, she notes, is working on technology that would allow it to circumvent federal law by allowing children 13 and younger to become members. And in June, a website that advertises escort services successfully sued to stop Washington state from enforcing its new law requiring publishers to verify the ages of people in sex ads. (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.