Friday December 2 2011

 

Woman calls on media to expose slavery in Kansas

Children as young as five are forced into prostitution

By Diana Goodwin

blogcritics.org

 

28 November 2011 — I have always been proud to be an Oklahoman. There is so much about this state that I love. I love how our food is influenced from so many different places. I love that there are communities where everyone knows each other while at the same time there are cities of over 500,000. I love that football rules the fall. Like I said, there is a lot about this state that I love.

 

Unfortunately I recently discovered something about my state that made me sick. Oklahoma is one of the highest “trade routes” for human trafficking. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. It is forcing someone to work for you against their will, including jobs such as prostitution. 965 words.

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US spends millions to topple Syria's president

By all logic this constitutes an illegal act of war

(This piece about TIME magazine's disinformation is about four months old but we offer it because it's always useful to know from where and how we came to understand what's happening now. Please see Editor's Notes.)

Land Destroyer Report

11 August 2011 BANGKOK Thailand — Claiming to be written in Hama, Syria, TIME's latest article "Exclusive: A Visit to Hama, the Rebel Syrian City that Refused to Die" attempts to reestablish the US State Department's sagging narrative regarding unrest they themselves funded, organized, and are now openly promoting, this time, (allegedly) directly on the ground at the epicenter of the unrest. TIME's report runs immediately into convenient obstacles preventing them from accessing anything remotely resembling evidence and instead, defers once again to eye witness accounts by admitted members of the opposition. 

TIME first describes two of Hama's hospitals guarded by the Syrian army which our intrepid reporter is unable to approach. Acknowledging the impossibility of verifying opposition claims, TIME decides to air them anyway stating, "by some accounts, security forces were killing wounded protesters in the hospitals," echoing the now verified lies used to initiate war with Libya. TIME continues making a mockery out of journalism by citing "residents" who "speak of being unable to reach bodies in the streets, of snipers targeting people in their homes, of house-to-house searches, mass indiscriminate detentions, looting and even rape." Of course, despite TIME allegedly being on the ground in Hama, they are unable to provide a single shred of evidence to confirm any of these claims. 

TIME continues with a tale of an anonymous man who brings them a bag of spent anti-aircraft shells which TIME solemnly reminds readers are "not supposed to be used on civilians," despite providing no proof that they were. TIME describes residents as supposedly not angry with Syrian troops despite just claiming they had pillaged and raped their city, but are instead resolved to only bring down Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad. 1,124 words.

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What I experienced across Canada shows me Occupy is just a beginning, says 'Stop Harper' page who got kicked out of Parliament.
 
Brigette DePape is writing dispatches for The Tyee on direct action movements she is visiting in her year after being fired as a Parliamentary page for holding up a sign saying Stop Harper during the throne speech in June. Delivering notes to Senators is not the only job DePape has had. She also interned with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), cleaned up garbage from the Seine river, and wrote and performed plays for Fringe Festivals in Canada.

It is not surprising that cities built to maintain the status quo are trying to evict Occupiers -- they feel threatened by an empowered and awakened mass. But as a new friend and seasoned activist, Derrick O'Keefe, explains, you cannot evict an idea whose time has come. Whether or not the physical encampments remain, a force has been unleashed that goes beyond the tent cities.

I dreamed about some kind of peaceful uprising in Canada when I took action in the Senate. A few months later, it began to happen! Occupations spread across major cities in Canada and it has been exhilarating to partake. It is interesting to think about the political climate in the wake of Harper's election compared to now. With Occupy, there has been a major shift in mood in Canada, from one of inertia and defeat, to one of vibrancy and hope. 1,111 words.
 

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'Harper Government' lies

Despite months of denials, Industry Canada delays,

Documents reveal plan to 'Harperize' government message

The Canadian Press
 
29 November 2011 — Federal public servants were trying to understand the wholesale "harperization" of Government of Canada communications six months before a spokesman for the prime minister emphatically denied any change in policy or practice.

New documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act directly contradict published claims by Stephen Harper's chief spokesman that bureaucrats have not been directed to replace the words Government of Canada with "Harper Government" in departmental news releases and backgrounders.  — 979 words.

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Emails contradict MacKay's claims about chopper flight

By Steven Chase and Oliver Moore
The Globe and Mail
 
2 December 2011, OTTAWA and HALIFAX — Defence Minister Peter MacKay asked for a helicopter airlift from a Newfoundland fishing vacation in order to catch a plane to Ontario, e-mails show – a request that contradicts his earlier explanation that he’d tasked the chopper to participate in a search-and-rescue demonstration.

Records released by the Department of National Defence show that three days before the controversial 2010 flight, Mr. MacKay’s office requested a helicopter on the grounds he had a last-minute need to “unexpectedly” head to London, Ont.995 words.

 
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. 6, No. 40 (300)
Friday, 2 December, 2011
 
Editor's Notes
 
 
 
Washington spent more than one billion dollars to buy the overthrow and murder of Libyan dictator Gadhafi. As yet uncounted millions more have been spent on the poetically named Arab Spring. The current active target is Syria.
 
With the talent of psychopathic personalities the military/industrial complex cabal that includes the Clintons and their newest recruit Barack Obama, prattle on about democratic and humanitarian purpose. Even as they deliver this loquacious nonsense to a shrinking audience that is shrinking in gullibility they leave behind a string of states ruled by those whose philosophical feet are buried in the cement of the middle ages. 353 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:
 
Carl Dow, True North, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9.
 
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Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst. 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

Is this religious belief at its best?

Now would be a good time to get to know your MP

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

2 December 2011 — There’s an intriguing sidebar to the Parliamentary report Not to be Forgotten about caring for vulnerable Canadians.

The three co-chairs of the all-party committee that prepared the 191-page report are real Christians. They don’t come with the in-your-face preachy annoyance of so many evangelicals and fundamentalists.

They are the walk-the-talk of your religion kind. Many of the 55 MPs who participated in the committee’s deliberations would fall in that camp as well.

Now you didn’t read about this in the mainstream media. The person who connected the dots is author and Parliamentary Press Gallery colleague Lloyd Mackey, who writes an Ottawa Watch column for Christian newspapers. 502 words.
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Militaristic, intolerant, anti-intellectual and anti-democratic, the 'Harper Government' strives to make permanent a dramatic shift in Canada's political culture
 
By Lawrence Martin
IPolitics.ca
 
2 December 2011 — If someone had predicted a few years ago that Canada would fall into the embrace of right-wing nationalism, they would have been sent off to the nearest home for the mentally encumbered.

To look now however is to see the dramatic degree to which the political culture is being reshaped. Patriotism pivots on pride in a resurrected military and morality-based missions. Pride in country is now linked to our refurbished armed forces and what Harper sees as moral crusades. National security, law and order, tighter immigration standards and bumper-sticker sports populism are among the features of a new right-wing nationalism. It is an accelerating trend and many Canadians worry that Harper, the anti-Trudeau, is taking it too far.1,241 words.

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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor
 
By Kaid Benfield
The Atlantic Cities

I was impressed by an editorial a few days ago in the Raleigh News & Observer, suggesting that North Carolina’s capital city might do well to encourage entrepreneurs to locate start-up businesses in downtown Raleigh.

Writing in The New York Times, Louise A. Mozingo of UC-Berkeley says that the "pastoral capitalism" of suburban office parks and campuses has become an outmoded model.

To meet the needs of a "post-peak-oil future," Mozingo urges that we shift from funding sprawl-inducing highway expansion to maintenance of existing infrastructure; retrofit existing office sprawl with better transit, civic space, and pedestrian connections to nearby residential areas; and future office location in downtowns and civic centers. 964 words.
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Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Mirror, mirror, on the wall ...

What goes on between a woman and her mirror is nobody else’s business
 
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.

2 December 2011 — I’ve always admired advice columnists: they dare answer complex, often painful questions, in a most direct manner.
 
No pussyfooting, they tell it as they see it.
 
So today, I am morphing into an advice columnist and, directly out of my overheated imagination, here are two letters that relate directly to the subject of the day which is women’s relationships with their mirrors..1,409 words.
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Spirit Quest
 
 
'Repentance can also be good for business'
 
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

2 December 2011 — You have seen it. A cartoon of a hairy old man with a fanatic look in his eye, brandishing a sign with these words. Funny. However, when the International Energy Association (IEA) proclaims much the same, albeit in different words, it isn’t nearly so funny.
 
The IEA is an autonomous agency linked with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). On November 9 it published its report World Energy Outlook ahead of the  United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Durban, South Africa, as you read this essay.
 
The IEA is not known to be a radical alarmist organization. However it does not mince words as it calls for international  “repentance.” It states quite bluntly that the world is headed for irreversible climate change by 2017. 1,133 words.
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ParkTales 

 
By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective

Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

2 December 2011 — Today on my way to my morning swim at the community centre on Brock Ave, I passed by the neighhourhood where Henri lives. It brought back memories of last winter when I first met Henri. I thought to myself I must look up Henri and see what he is up to.
 
I first met Henri when I was looking after a  house for a friend who was in the hospital. As an old friend of the family I would  go and check the mail and make sure everything was okay. This happened to be in the middle of last winter so I had to check the furnace as well as the mail. One wintery day, I heard a noise on the front porch. I always left the front door open for fresh air and for a fast escape in case of need. Being alone in this vacant house made me nervous. Startled, I went to investigate. 776 words.

 
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.

 
Agence France-Presse/Reader Supported News
 
 
 
By Kim Zetter
Wired
 
28 November 2011 — The civilian lawyer for Bradley Manning, the Army private who allegedly leaked tens of thousands of classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks is attempting to get evidence from the government to defend Manning in his upcoming pre-trial hearing on Dec. 16, but says the government is stonewalling him.  — 1,257 words.
28 November 2011 — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange blasted the mainstream media, Washington, banks and the Internet itself as he addressed journalists in Hong Kong on Monday via videolink from house arrest in England.
 
Fresh from accepting a top award for journalism from the prestigious Walkley Foundation in his native Australia on Sunday, Assange spoke to the News World Summit in Hong Kong before keeping a regular appointment with the police.

He defended his right to call himself a journalist and said WikiLeaks' next "battle" would be to ensure that the Internet does not turn into a vast surveillance tool for governments and corporations.

"Of course I'm a goddamn journalist," he responded with affected frustration when a moderator of the conference asked if he was a member of the profession.  — 418 words.

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Cuba News Agency
 
1 December 2011, HAVANA, Cuba — In a forum of the National Press Club of the U.S. capital, the director of the Cuba Program of International Politics Center, Wayne Smith, said including the island in the list is an atrocity that must be corrected.

According to reports by the multinational TV network Telesur, Smith, who is a former executive of the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, said Washington’s stance hinders the development of a tolerance policy and mutual respect among nations.195 words.


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 Ugh Wayne 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.

Report from Obama's America

Locking up profits

Wonder why 1 American in 100 is in prison? Follow the money!

By James Tidgeway
Al Jazeera

28 November 2011 — With 1 in 100 American adults behind bars, falling crime rates and a cash-strapped economy, the United States would seem ripe for the kinds of national reforms that might keep people out of prison. Recent polls have shown that even our law-and-order-minded citizenry would rather see penalties eased for certain criminals than pay more money to keep them locked up.
 
What is it that's keeping some 2.3 million people in prisons and jails across the United States, and thousands more in immigrant detention centres?
 
According to Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration, a report released this month by the American Civil Liberties Union, "Today, for-profit companies are responsible for approximately 6 per cent of state prisoners, 16 per cent of federal prisoners".  —  1,486 words.
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Health Watch

 
By Kerry Sheridan
Agence France-Presse
 
26 November 2011 — People who ate canned soup for five days straight saw their urinary levels of the chemical bisphenol A spike 1,200 percent compared to those who ate fresh soup, US researchers said on Tuesday.

The randomized study, described as "one of the first to quantify BPA levels in humans after ingestion of canned foods," was done by Harvard University researchers and appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association's November 23 issue.

"This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use."567 words.

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Science

 
Far from acting as a 'gateway drug', researchers find pot is more commonly used as a substitute for alcohol
 
By Stephen C. Webster
Raw Story
 
30 November 2011 — States that have passed initiatives to legalize medical marijuana have also seen a decline in traffic fatalities, according to a new study out this week by the Institute for the Study of Labor.

Opponents of medical marijuana often focus on the social detriment to making America’s most valuable cash crop available to those approved by doctors, arguing that medical marijuana legalization makes it easier for teens to buy pot and that they’ll soon move to more dangerous drugs. They also suggest that legalization would increase the number of vehicle accidents — and that very argument was one of the main reasons why California voters did not approve full legalization in 2010.

But far from marijuana acting as a “gateway” to more dangerous drugs, as authorities often claim, researchers found that it’s more commonly used as a substitute for alcohol, which is often more harmful and inebriating than marijuana.481 words.

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All dogs originated in one tiny part of East Asia

By Alasdair Wilkins
io9.com

27 November 2011 — If man evolved in Africa, where did man's best friend come from? Scientists thought the first dogs came from the Middle East, but a new study of dog genetics suggests they actually come from one small region of modern China.

Previous archaeological and genetic evidence had pointed to dog domestication happening in the Middle East somewhere between 30,000 and 9,000 years ago, but Dr. Peter Savolainen from Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology thinks his team has found strong proof that that isn't the case. Instead, he points to the part of East Asia south of the Yangtze River as where the ancestors of all living dogs were first domesticated. Even if dogs were domesticated elsewhere, it would seem all other lines went extinct.368 words..

   

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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, manuscript editing to ghost writing
 
Everything to put the best face on your work to publishers and the reading public
 
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Always looking forward ...

Money and Markets

Venezuela brings its gold home

Correo del Orinoco International
 
2 December 2011 — Last weekend Venezuelans welcomed home the first shipment of international gold reserves being returned to the country by the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
 
The arrival to Caracas of some US $300 million worth of gold comes just three months after the Venezuelan President announced plans to repatriate the vast majority of the country’s gold sent to Europe and North America by previous governments.

Repatriating the country’s gold reserves is part of Chavez administration efforts to provide economic stability to Venezuela as well as consolidate the drive towards economic integration in both Latin America and the Global South.1,096 words.

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Annals of Education

Report card on Canadian schools reveals boys are struggling

By Kate Hammer
The Globe and Mail
 
28 November 2011 — Canada’s report card on schools will be handed out to the provinces Monday, revealing mixed marks for Quebec and growing struggles in science and reading for boys across the country.

Ontario and Alberta lead the new results in reading and science, while Manitoba and the Yukon ranked at the bottom in all subjects, well below the Canadian average.

Meanwhile, reading scores for Quebec students plummeted – the drop was so dramatic that it dragged the Canadian average down overall, despite gains in most other provinces.

The results, taken from a random sampling of 32,000 students in 2010, also show that boys, who have lagged behind their female classmates on literacy tests for decades, are now also behind in reading and, for the first time, science. Math scores between the sexes were tied.  — 687 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.

 

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