Friday 30 March 2012


Columnist Frances Sedgwick scoops the national media

with photo-story of a fire that stopped VIA train service

By Frances Sedgwick
On VIA Brockville and Kingston
30 March 2012, On VIA Rail, between Brockville and Kingston — On my way home by Via Rail from Ottawa, Tuesday, March 27, I was witness to a spectacular fire along the Via Rail Route.
In the middle of nowhere, it seemed, but as I discovered later, just east of Kingston, the train came to a complete stop.
After a few minutes an employee came down the isle explaining that there was a fire on the side of the train tracks and that there were police and fire officials present. He said the fire hoses were across the train tracks so we would have to stop here for awhile. (More)

Federal budget drags Canada into age of austerity

'This may be a 2012 budget but it’s got the 1930s written all over it'

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

29 March 2012 OTTAWA — All Canadians, except the rich, will pay the price for a federal budget that will result in significant job losses, weaker environmental protection, and unnecessary cuts to cherished public services, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The CCPA says once the government’s three rounds of spending cuts are fully implemented, they will have resulted in a total of over 70,000 full-time job cuts (35,000 in the public sector and 37,000 in the private sector) and could raise the unemployment rate to 7.8%.

“This may be a 2012 budget but it’s got the 1930s written all over it,” says CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald. “Federal austerity, combined with provincial austerity budgets, will create a fiscal drag on Canada’s economy. (More)

By Stephen Lendman
29 March 2012 — On March 25, The New York Times headlined, "US and Turkey to Step Up 'Nonlethal' Aid to Rebels in Turkey."

Other US allies were urged to do the same. But insisting no weapons will be sent just attempts to smokescreen the heavy Western and Israeli weapons delivered through porous borders for months.

They include powerful explosives, small arms, submachine guns, machine guns, sniper rifles, rocket and anti-tank grenade launchers, among others. They've been used to kill civilians and security forces, as well as to destroy government facilities.

Russia repeatedly denounces Washington's one-sided support while claiming peaceful resolution intentions. Obama says aiding Assad's opposition furthers transitioning to a "legitimate government."

In other words, he wants independent Syria replaced by a client state that America controls. Then on to the next target for the same purpose — Iran. (More)
The US is a growing slave market with 17,000 new slaves a year
'According to Free the Slaves, at least 17,000 slaves are trafficked into the US each year. Of course, that doesn’t include people already in the country. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says that at least 100,000 U.S. citizen children are victims of sex trafficking annually.'
By Kirsten Powers
The Daily Beast
24 March 2012 — Slavery is more prevalent than ever, and many victims are hidden in plain sight in the United States. It's time to fight for more funding to combat trafficking — and to get educated.

Sunday, March 25, marks the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. A day to remember and honour the fearless heroes who resisted slavery and fought for their own freedom and that of others.

If only that work was done. Today an estimated 27 million human beings still live as slaves throughout the world. These are people who are forced to work without pay under threat of violence and are unable to walk away. The majority of slaves are found in Asian and African countries, but many live right in this country, perhaps in your own neighborhood. They are hidden in plain sight. (More)

US right wing attack on reproductive rights would

reduce American women to 19th century slave breeders

'. . .  talking about slavery as the TV news followed the debate over whether the State of Virginia should force a woman to spread her legs and endure a plastic wand shoved into her vagina.' 

JoAnn Wypijewski
The Nation
21 March 2012 — If there is an upside to the right’s latest, seemingly loony and certainly grotesque multi-front assault on women, it is the clarion it sounds to humanists to take the high ground and ditch the anodyne talk of “a woman’s right to choose” for the weightier, fundamental assertion of “a woman’s right to be.”
That requires that we look to history and the Constitution. I found myself doing that a few weeks back, sitting in the DC living room of Pamela Bridgewater, talking about slavery as the TV news followed the debate over whether the State of Virginia should force a woman to spread her legs and endure a plastic wand shoved into her vagina. Pamela has a lot of titles that, properly, ought to compel me to refer to her now as Professor Bridgewater—legal scholar, teacher at American University, reproductive rights activist, sex radical—but she is my friend and sister, and we were two women sitting around talking, so I shall alternate between the familiar and the formal. (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. 09 (311)
Friday 30 March 2012

Editor's Notes

Welcome donations continue during hiatus

I'm happy to report that during our hiatus, (two weeks planned and a third week caused by severe technical problems that we've obviously managed to overcome), donations continued to flow in — not in large amounts and not large in total, but every penny counts and each penny we received represents good will by our readers.

Most encouraging.

I want to thank, most sincerely, all those who have taken the trouble to donate. I will do my best to send you a personal note of gratitude.

We really can't do this without you. And to emphasize the point I hereby repeat my appeal to mail your donations to Carl Dow, True North, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5HB.

Meanwhile, we bring back True North Perspective and its unique coverage of local, national, and international events, along with our brilliant columnists and their special attention to everything from Parliament Hill to children and flowers in the garden. (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.

Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is 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 Times Two


Feds, Air Canada caught in Aveos turbulence

Harper MPs use majority to hide committee conclusions from parliament

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

30 March 2012 — The Harper government and Air Canada are scrambling to deal with opposition and union charges that the airline has broken federal law by shipping aircraft maintenance out of Canada.

The question they should answer is why the bankruptcy at Aveos that shuttered aircraft maintenance operations in Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg caught the government and airline apparently by surprise? (More)
The Binkley Report


An obscure decision that’s good for everyone

'It's the Members of Parliament who are supposed to run the place'

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

23 March 2012 OTTAWA Canada — Commons Speaker, Andrew Scheer, who seemed to favour the Conservative government in disputes with the opposition parties, has come to the right conclusion on a crucial matter for all Canadians.

Manitoba NDP MP Pat Martin had protested his privileges as an elected representative were interfered with by security officials during the March 2 visit to Parliament Hill by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (More)
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Avoiding the next Arctic oil disaster

Exxon's Valdez disaster had ruinous and enduring impacts. We could be close to catastrophe again
By Fran Hunt
29 March 2012 — Twenty-three years ago, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and spilled more than 11 million gallons of oil into the pristine waters and rich fishing grounds of Alaska's Prince William Sound. Contaminating 1,500 miles of Alaskan shoreline, it was the largest oil spill ever in U.S. waters until the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Exxon and BP disasters had ruinous and enduring impacts, even though the industry had assured us that such incidents could be prevented. This should give pause to the Obama administration, which recently approved an oil-spill response plan for Shell's proposal to drill in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea. That approval puts Shell one step closer to drilling in the pristine Arctic waters of the Polar Bear Seas. (More)
From the Desk of Boris Kay, Contributing Editor, Montreal
Belgistan? Sharia showdown with a Nazi face
looms in Brussels, Belgium -
We run this video, not in the spirit of Islamaphobia, but with historic memory of the Nazis who shouted down democracy in 1930s Germany.
There is no question but that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are hard-working, law-abiding citizens who simply want to live in peace toward a better world for their children.
But most people are not born fighters. They shrink with fear from loud, violent-prone elements. And the latter feed on that fear. And grow stronger because of it.
We run this video as a declaration that democracy is precious and that we'll defend it against all who would challenge it.
Please click on the link to experience a Nazi face in the name of Mohamed. 
Spirit Quest

Economics must be science of fulfilling the necessaries of life

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

30 March 2012 — As a clergyman I am expected to be a connoisseur of pies. Undoubtedly my spouse takes the cake, well pie, when it comes to baking. Unfortunately she doesn’t bake anymore inasmuch as the products of her skill are anathema to her diet. I do recall that that her crust  melted in my mouth. Thus whenever I walk past a bakery I salivate profusely as memory evokes her piemanship.

This enthusiasm does not carry over to pie charts, those illustrations of how money and other resources are divided. Go to any gas pump and you will see posted how the inflated price of the litre is divided between the government and other entities, e.g. the producer. (More)
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life 

Connecting girls, inspiring futures:

Dear Granddaughters

(This article is dedicated to grand-daughters everywhere)

True North Perspective

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

23 March 2012 — We have witnessed progress beyond our wildest dreams. In our younger days, life was full of rules and limitations. The dating period was short. Engagements were short. Then you got married and stayed married!
You were expected to become a good cook and housekeeper, a supportive wife, happy to indulge her husband in everyday life as well as in bed. You were expected to be a devoted mother and be involved in community and school functions. Unfortunately, the fairytale “till death do us part” failed some of us.
For various reasons, many found themselves having to start over on their own, balancing a lifestyle that included a fulltime job, keeping house and raising kids on their own. This constant juggling of responsibilities left very little time for soul searching. We did what needed to be done and hoped for the best. But this gave us a distinct advantage over the previous generation of women: Empowerment! — (Read more.)

Health Watch

Early exposure to germs has lasting benefits

Findings help to explain how microbes programme a developing immune system

By Helen Thompson

22 March 2012 — Exposure to germs in childhood is thought to help strengthen the immune system and protect children from developing allergies and asthma, but the pathways by which this occurs have been unclear. Now, researchers have identified a mechanism in mice that may explain the role of exposure to microbes in the development of asthma and ulcerative colitis, a common form of inflammatory bowel disease.
In a study published online today in Science, the researchers show that in mice, exposure to microbes in early life can reduce the body’s inventory of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, which help to fight infection but can also turn on the body, causing a range of disorders such as asthma or inflammatory bowel disease. (Read more.)
By David McLaren
Special to True North Perspective

David McLaren is an award-winning writer living at Neyaashiinigamiing on Georgian Bay. He has worked in government, in the private sector, with ENGOs (Environmental Non-Government Organizations) and First Nations. Comments on this and other essays are welcome at

11 February 2012 — On a hot August afternoon, a few years before the Revolution, Winston sat in his cubicle on the fifth floor of the Department trying to connect the dots. Connecting dots was not his job. That was the job of the Prime Leader’s Office. And now the PLO had just sent around a directive stating that all communications concerning the current debt crisis in the USand Europe must refer to the hard work this government had done to pare away its own debt. The memo had not actually said “the US and Europe”. It said, “the North Atlantic countries”, a term the PLO liked because it included Iceland andGreenland. The office wag had already dubbed the PLO’s phrase “Oceania”.

Winston’s problem was his own memo sent a short hour ago to O’Brien, his section head. It acknowledged the role the previous government had played a decade ago in reducing the country’s debt and eliminating its deficit. Obviously it couldn’t be the achievement of both this government and the previous one. Especially since the current government had already overspent its revenues digging out of the last recession and had, in the election just passed, promised to buy new jets and bigger jails. (More)
The Theatre
Housebound apocalypse less than the sum of its parts
By Geoffrey Dow, Managing Editor
True North Perspective
Originally published at Edifice Rex Online

23 March 2012 —Let's get the obvious out of the way: Ronnie Burkett is a master craftsman and any Ronnie Burkett play will be a visual feast and a virtuoso performance of old-fashioned puppetry.

Penny Plain is no exception. The play's marionettes are beautiful objects and Burkett — the solo performer, literally pulling the strings — gives voice as well as life to his singular creations.

In Ronnie Burkett's hands, each marionette is a living performer, working in willing collaboration with the audience. But does Penny Plain's script do justice to the wonders of its production?

The short answer is, Not quite. (Read more.)
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.

The below is definitely a dated story but it is so rich in insight and information that I've decided to run it on its own merit. I'm sure you'll find it most enlightening. — Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher.

China and the US are like a married couple 

sharing the same bed but having different dreams

'But the reality is that divorce is not an option'

10 February 2012 BEIJING (China Daily) When Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping meets US President Barack Obama in the White House on Feb 14, Valentine's Day, the date may just be appropriate.

Ties between the two nations have over the years changed from one of hostility and no-contact, before former US president Richard Nixon's historic trip to China 40 years ago, to one that is now more intertwined and interdependent.

But at the same time, thorny issues do exist in this mature and complex relationship, especially after China's rapid rise and the relative decline of US in recent years. However, both sides have demonstrated a strong willingness to work together to expand common interests and minimize differences. (More)
Third Ways
3-D printing and distributed green energy generation promise a change in manufacturing as revolutionary as the internet's change in information creation and distribution
By Jeremy Rifkin
Reader Supported News
30 March 2012 — The great economic revolutions in history occur when new communication technologies converge with new energy systems. New energy revolutions make possible more expansive and integrated trade. Accompanying communication revolutions manage the new complex commercial activities made possible by the new energy flows.
Today, Internet technology and renewable energies are beginning to merge to create a new infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) that will change the way power is distributed in the 21st century. In the coming era, hundreds of millions of people will produce their own renewable energy in their homes, offices, and factories and share green electricity with each other in an "Energy Internet" just like we now generate and share information online. The creation of a renewable energy regime, loaded by buildings, partially stored in the form of hydrogen, distributed via a green electricity Internet, and connected to plug-in, zero-emission transport, opens the door to a Third Industrial Revolution. (Read more.)


Vancouver new technology transmits outdoor-indoor ads

to users when smartphone tapped on any attached tags

Gauge Mobile Solutions of Vancouver has created Scanvee, a new technology that transmits coupons, maps, videos, ticket sales and other online promotions straight to a user’s smartphone when they tap on a tag attached to outdoor or indoor ads found on bus shelters and in restaurant and bar washrooms.
The technology was unveiled in early March in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and several other Canadian centres. The launch was a joint project of Gauge Mobile Solutions and media companies Astral Outdoor and Newad, both of Montreal. (More)

Privacy? It is to laugh!
19 March 2012 — Samsung’s 2012 top-of-the-line plasmas and LED HDTVs offer new features never before available within a television including a built-in, internally wired HD camera, twin microphones, face tracking and speech recognition.
While these features give you unprecedented control over an HDTV, the devices themselves, more similar than ever to a personal computer, may allow hackers or even Samsung to see and hear you and your family, and collect extremely personal data. (Read more.)
By Paul Magno
The Boxing Tribune

28 March 2012 — In boxing, the entire system is built to benefit the money men and power brokers. The fighters exist as interchangeable office furniture in the fistic Feng Shui.
In terms of money, things are definitely better for the fighters in this day and age, but it matters little if the overall business structure remains the same.
Boxers, despite doing all the heavy lifting, taking all the risks, and suffering all the physical repercussions for their efforts, are still paid as though receiving an allowance from daddy. They are doled out chunks of money, here and there, just to keep them happy and solvent enough to support whatever lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to. (More)

Washington urged to stop meddling in Tibet

'China will defend legitimate rights of people'

By Cui Haipel
China Daily
29 March 2012 BEIJING — China on Wednesday (28 March) urged the United States to stop meddling in China's internal affairs through the Tibet issue.
"We are resolutely opposed to it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing, stressing that China is committed to protecting its people's legitimate rights and guaranteeing their freedom of religion.
Some members of the US Congress called black "white" so that they could use the Tibet issue as an excuse to interfere with our internal affairs, he said. (More)
By Robert T. Gonzalez
30 March 2012 — We've all heard that bee populations are dwindling. Far less clear, however, is what's actually causing the slump. Now, two studies have provided some of the most compelling evidence to date that a popular class of insecticides may be contributing strongly to the collapse.
Scientists call the mysterious wasting-away of the the world's bee populations "colony collapse disorder." Researchers have come up with numerous hypotheses to explain the collapse, including parasites, viruses, and — yes — insecticides, but quantifying the impact of these and other suspects has proven to be an onerous task. (Read 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.



Add new comment