Friday 5 August 2011

 

Heroines in the media's closet

Lesbian couple saved 40 teens from Danish terrorist 

So why have we heard hardly anything about them?

By Roz Kaveney
The Guardian (UK)
 
3 August 2011 — In lots of ways, it is the ideal human interest story. It is the story of heroism in the face of the unthinkable. Yet we did not get to hear about it until a week later, and it is worth asking why.

Two campers on the other side of the lake from the island of Utøya, where the Norwegian massacre happened, heard gunfire and screams while they were eating their supper. Without thought for their personal safety, they took their boat and crossed towards the firing. Bullets hit the boat, but they pulled the fleeing youngsters from the water and crossed back and forth repeatedly. It was not a very big boat, so it took four trips to save 40 teenagers who may otherwise have been shot, or drowned trying to escape. Without them, the massacre could have been considerably more bloody even than it was. So why have we hardly heard about them?

In the first place, Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen are women. — 517 words.
_______

Health Watch

Can a Heat Wave Make You Insane?

It depends on how hot it is and how mentally stable you are

By Madeleine Johnson
Slate Magazine
 
03 August 2011 — Summer brings out the worst in people; some days it feels like if the temperature rises one more degree everyone will snap. A seasonal uptick in violent crime may be due to discomfort and irritability, but can the weather actually drive you crazy?
 
It depends on how hot it is, and whether you're mentally stable to begin with. Intense heat increases the risk of dehydration, and even mild dehydration can affect the brain. A study published this summer tested two dozen college-age men and found that a loss of 1 percent body mass via exercise-induced sweating (replaceable with three glasses of water) decreased their cognitive performance and increased levels of anxiety. 417 words.
______

Cuban president Raül Castro confirms right of Cubans

to both religious belief and Communist Party membership

Believing in God doesn't make you a second class citizen ' … all Cubans, without exception, are equal before the law'

President Castro was speaking at a meeting of the 7th Ordinary Session of the 7th Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power (Parliament)

02 August 2011 HAVANA Cuba — I am now going to refer to a painful incident caused by errors in the implementation of cadre policy and attitudes toward religion, which prompted the unjust replacement of a compañera in a position in which she was working and achieving good results.

Upon approaching this issue publicly my objective is to repair this injustice and, in passing, to offer an eloquent example of the damage inflicted on persons and the Revolution itself by obsolete concepts, also against the law, still rooted in the mentality of more than a few leaders at all levels.

The abovementioned compañera, whose identity, workplace and even province I shall not reveal, not for the sake of useless secrecy, but out of respect for her privacy… 1,352 words.
______

Venezuela's Chavez establishes insular

maritime territory off its Caribbean coast

venezuelanalysis.com

05 August 2011CARACAS Venezuela — On Wednesday, August 3, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that he will use his existing legislative authority to create the Insular Territory of Miranda off the country's northern Caribbean coast, a maritime territorial zone that includes Los Roques, La Orchila and the Archipelago Las Aves.

“This is our ocean and we must exercise, concretely, in practice and in law, full sovereignty over the territorial sea as well as economic sovereignty over the Exclusive Economic Zone which is among world’s largest,” Chavez said.

“Some people believe that those are autonomous territories. Wealthy sectors and the oligarchy do not event think that it belongs to Venezuela.”

Chavez also announced that the creation of a second insular territory is being evaluated, which would be composed by the triangle of islands that includes La Tortuga, La Blanquilla and the Archipelago Los Testigos. 675 words.
Facing the falls ...
In the dog days of summer, the bow of the tourist Good Ship Paul nuzzles the Rideau Falls while its flag salutes (and enjoys) the spray of fresh water in the sun as it pours into the Ottawa River. Rideau is the French word for "Curtain" and the falls were so named by explorer Samuel de Champlain about 500 years ago as he passed on his way north with his flotilla of canoes. This image was captured by True North Perspecctive's Phantom Photographer while on the Ottawa River at the mouth of the Rideau River in Ottawa this week.
 
 
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
 
Guest Editorial
 
True North Perspective
Vol. 6, No. 27 (286)
Friday, August 05, 2011

Chair of Torstar says Sun Media rejection

of Press Council is a 'sad time for newspapering'

Chair of the Board of Directors
Torstar Corp and a former publisher
Of The Toronto Star

25 July 2011 — Publishing a newspaper is not only a privilege, it also carries responsibilities.

While the right to a free press is guaranteed in our Charter of Rights, this should never be considered, in my view, a licence to do whatever a publisher or editor wants.

Of course, there are laws of libel, hate and sedition that put legal constraints on what can be said and written. But it is those grayer areas of mistakes, bad taste or bias that are much more prevalent and potentially more harmful to individual citizens. 622 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.
 
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!
 
 

Shipbuilding competition will get political yet

With $35 billion on the hook, Harper can't avoid regional headaches

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
 
5 August 2011 — The awarding of any large procurement contract is a pasture riddled with cow paddies for any government.
 
So the Harper government is trying to walk around the field in selecting the winners in its $35 billion shipbuilding sweepstakes by placing the final decision in the hands of a committee of senior government officials.
 
It almost worked, until the last minute rescue of the Davie Yards near Quebec City ensured the final decision expected late this year will have all the political headaches Harper et al want to sidestep. 680 words.
_______
 
 
By Prithi Yelaja
CBC News
4 August 2011 — Given Canada's long experience with multiculturalism, the anti-immigrant message underlying the Norway massacre seems less of a threat here, though the rise in hate crimes and negative political rhetoric in this country are ominous warning signs, experts say.
 
There’s no reason for Canadians to be smugly confident, says Barbara Perry, associate dean of the faculty of social science and humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
 
"It's almost a reaction to multiculturalism rather than acceptance of multiculturalism,” she said in an interview from the Oshawa, Ont., university. “Everyone doesn't welcome it. It's not universally loved, this notion of being open to all comers."1,867 words.
_______
 
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Contributing Editor, Vancouver

Russian President says U.S. had role in Georgian conflict

By Ellen Barry
The New York Times

05 August 2011, MOSCOW —  In an interview Friday that was timed to the third anniversary of Russia ’s war with Georgia, Russian President Dmitri A. Medvedev said top United States officials played a key role in events that touched off the war, and offered a withering assessment of a recent Senate resolution on Georgia’s behalf, which he said reflected “the personal tastes of certain elderly members of the Senate.”
 
They were the toughest remarks Mr. Medvedev has directed toward the United States in months, heightening the impression that the rapprochement between the two countries — the so-called reset — is beginning to unravel. 778 words.
______

From the Desk of Anita Chan, Contributing Editor, Australia                 

Against a background of high-profile strikes in China's

auto industry the country has no law dealing with strikes

20 July 2011 — Even though strikes frequently occur across China, the country actually has no law regulating labour strikes. There is no law permitting strikes, but at the same time there is no law banning them. After the high-profile strike wave in the automotive sector last year, a small number of public comments were published in China, online and in the print media, discussing the question of whether or not there should be legislation about workers’ right to strike.
 
In this issue of CLNT we provide translations of two articles which argue in favour of introducing a law on strikes in China, but we will argue that legislating on strikes at this juncture in Chinese labour history will actually disadvantage Chinese workers. We are aware this goes against the tide of calling on China to pass the sacrosanct law on strikes, but our assessment of the situation is that this demand should be left to the Chinese workers themselves. 1,832 words.
______

Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

“An inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.” – Walter Bagehot
True North Perspective

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

5 August 2011 — City living was not for me. I’m a country girl and will always be! I lived in Ottawa’s Vanier area for three years when I was first married and I was miserable. We lived in a basement apartment not very far from Montfort hospital. I never got used to ambulance sirens, firetrucks, police cars and the late night traffic on Montreal Road, especially in the summertime when the windows were open. I couldn’t see the sunsets, only parked cars or people’s legs.
 
So, when my first husband and I built our house in Carlsbad Springs’ countryside, I was like a bird whose cage door had swung open. I planted a garden, flowers, lilacs and two beautiful maple trees. I hung a birdfeeder in the backyard and befriended the chickadees. Groundhogs were a pest but that was part of living in the country. Right?1,113 words.
_______

Spirit Quest

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

5 August 2011 — “4 F” was the designation for someone who proved unfit for battle. My pacifist inclinations would probably make me wish, that upon conscription, I might be so classed and thus avoid the “killing fields.”
 
However, 4 F sums up for me four negative character types: Fanatics, Fundamentalists, Fraudsters and the Fearfilled.
 
Whenever I hear of fanaticism I have visions of what I experienced as a child in my brief exposure to Hitler’s regime. His ideologues were past masters of the power and art of persuasion and indoctrination. Goebbles, the Reich’s  Minister of Propaganda, had that psychology down cold.  I still marvel at their ability to stage theatrics of Wagnerian proportions.  Also they had institutions that  dealt with dissidents. 1,014 words.
_______

From the Desk of Darren Jerome

 

 

 

 

Report from Obama's America

The Pentagon's secret wars, in 120 countries

By Nick Turse
TomDispatch

3 August 2011 — Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission.  Now, say that 70 times and you’re done... for the day.  Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries.  This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has never been revealed, until now.

After a U.S. Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden’s chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the American military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight.  It was atypical.  While it’s well known that U.S. Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it’s increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.2,418 words.
_______

Cuban supreme court ratifies 15-year count

against American citizen Alan Philip Gross

Agregado Prensa

05 August 2011 HAVANA, Cuba — In a definitive resolution issued today (Friday 05 August) the Cuban Supreme Court upheld the sentence of 15 years given to U.S. citizen Alan Philip Gross, disallowing the appeal filed by the defendant and his lawyer against Havana´s Provincial Court's ruling. 235 words.
 

'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.


IMF says Iran’s oil revenues to approach $100b in 2011 

TehranTimes

O5 August 2011 TEHRAN Iran — The International Monetary Fund says that the total oil revenues of the member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will surpass one trillion dollars in 2011 and Iran will earn about $100 billion of that sum. 301 words.
______

Annals of (mis)Education

6 lies your teachers told you about the human body

(Turns out you don't lose most of your body heat through your head)

By Karl Smallwood and Eddie Rodrigue
Cracked.com

11 July 2011 — When we reach the age of two, we start to have a few questions about our bodies. At first they're simple. 'Will that toy fit into the wet hole in the middle of my face?' But as we mature, the questions become more complex and too numerous for any reasonable human being to answer. It's no coincidence that around this time, your parents ship you off to school where someone is paid to give you answers.

Unfortunately, many of the answers you get there are lies that seem specifically designed to make the world around you seem boring. Because how else are they going to get you to stop asking so many damn questions? For instance, you probably still believe ...2,682 words.
_______

India's 'Slutwalk' takes women's safety onto the public agenda

The Associated Press

31 July 2011 — There were no short skirts, fishnet stockings or lingerie on display that were the staple of other global "Slut Walk" marches as hundreds gathered in India's capital on Sunday to protest sexual violence against women.
 
The event in New Delhi condemned the notion widely held in this traditional society that a woman's appearance can explain or excuse rape and sexual harassment. In India, public sexual taunting or even groping of women — locally known as "Eve teasing" — is common.
 
While millions of women in India now work outside their homes as the economy continues to grow at a fast clip, the country is still largely conservative. Perhaps keeping that in mind, most marchers wore jeans and T-shirts or salwar-kameezes, the Indian tunic paired with loose pants.551 words.
_______

Science

 
5 August 2011 — A $1.1bn (£0.7bn) unmanned Nasa space mission has launched from Florida on a journey to the planet Jupiter.

The Juno spacecraft will cruise beyond Mars to put itself in orbit around the gas giant in 2016.

 
"Today, with the launch of the Juno spacecraft, Nasa began a journey to yet another new frontier," said the agency's administrator Charles Bolden.
"The future of exploration includes cutting-edge science like this to help us better understand our Solar System and an ever-increasing array of challenging destinations."549 words.
_______

The Glass Teat

Torchwood's fourth episode is no miracle

Managing Editor, True North Perspective
Originally published at Edifice Rex Online

An unabashed (if often critical) fan of all things Doctor Who, Geoffrey Dow is writing about Torchwood: Miracle Day each week. Click here to for an overview and links to all the postings.

1 August 2011 — The answer to the question, What happens in Escape to L.A.? is, "Not very much and what does happen is too stupid for words."

As there is no sense of reality in Torchwood: Miracle Day, so there is no sense of urgency. The only ticking clock is that of the viewer's rapidly-dwindling patience.

Once can only imagine that two years ago, the four hours to which we've been subjected so far would have been, to much better effect, condensed into the first 30 minutes or so of Russell T Davies flawed but taut, emotionally-moving and thoroughly gripping Children of Earth.782 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 County 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 Sauna, a groundbreaking love story. All stories may also be found in the True North Perspective Archives.


"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!
 
 

Canada's blind spot

Harper government tough on criminals, what about spies?

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
 
29 July 2011 — The Harper government makes lots of noise about building more p
"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!
 
 

Canada's blind spot

Harper government tough on criminals, what about spies?

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
 
29 July 2011 — The Harper government makes lots of noise about building more prisons 
"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!
 
 

Canada's blind spot

Harper government tough on criminals, what about spies?

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
 
29 July 2011 — The Harper government makes lots of noise about building more prisons 
"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!
 
 

Canada's blind spot

Harper government tough on criminals, what about spies?

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
 
29 July 2011 — The Harper gover
"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!
 
 

Canada's blind spot

Harper government tough on criminals, what about spies?

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective
 
29 July 2011 — The Harper gover
Reality Check

War and the real Tragedy of the Commons

'In the early 1980's, the Center for Disarmament estimated that global military operations used more aluminum, copper, nickel and platinum than the entire Third World did for development'
By H. Patricia Hynes
Truthout
Reality Check

War and the real Tragedy of the Commons

'In the early 1980's, the Center for Disarmament estimated that global military operations used more aluminum, copper, nickel and platinum than the entire Third World did for development'
By H. Patricia Hynes
Truthout
Reality Check

War and the real Tragedy of the Commons

'In the early 1980's, the Center for Disarmament estimated that global military operations used more aluminum, copper, nickel and platinum than the entire Third World did for development'
By H. Patricia Hynes
Truthout
Money and Markets

When economies collide!

Shaking the three pillars of McWorld

The U.S., Europe and even China ignore the rocks ready to gouge the hulls of their economic ships. What happens if they all crash at once?

Money and Markets

When economies collide!

Shaking the three pillars of McWorld

The U.S., Europe and even China ignore the rocks ready to gouge the hulls of their economic ships. What happens if they all crash at once?

Add new comment