Friday 13 January 2012


Rare American political truths, from right to left

Right wing GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is the only campaigner, Republican or Democrat, who is telling the truth to Americans on foreign policy, with the support of military and CIA operatives. (Barack Obama should hang his head in shame.) That's why the mainstream media ignore Ron Paul, or mock him. (They too should hang their heads in shame.) Click on above for an awesome video of the truth, and then  be sure to read Ralph Nader with a backgrounder on the neo-con draft dodgers in Washington who are doing their best to launch a war against Iran. For more hard-hitting honesty, click here.
  Image by the Phantom Photographer, taken near the Glebe duck pond in Ottawa, Canada, on Christmas Day, 2011.  

Those tomatoes on your kitchen countertop were likely

picked by slaves living in camps in today's Florida, USA

Actress Julia Ormond speaks out against slavery

By Mickey Goodman
The Huffington Post

26 December 2011 ATLANTA Georgia — On an unseasonably blustery day in Atlanta, actress Julia Ormond's dark hair is pulled back in a jagged ponytail and she's clutching a loose sweater around her slender frame. She leans forward in her chair at Porsche headquarters and talks about her speech the night before to a group of women associated with Womenetics. Though her appearance is completely un-Hollywood, there's something decidedly magnetic about the beautiful actress who dazzled audiences in Legends of the Fall, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and many more.
Once dubbed "the new Vivian Leigh," she portrays the famous actress in her current film, My Week with Marilyn. It is based on Colin Clark's memoirs, The Prince, The Showgirl and Me about Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier and his real-life wife, Vivien Leigh.
But instead of dishing Hollywood gossip or talking about the new film, her topic was deadly serious — human trafficking — and the organization she founded, the Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking (ASSET) which is on a mission to find solutions. Thanks to Porsche's partnership with Womenetics, Ormond was brought to Atlanta to talk to women executives at the top rung of their corporate ladders, all associated with the organization founded by Elisabeth Marchant to empower women and their companies. — (More)
President Obama bows to Military/Industrial complex
that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against
By Michael Klare
10 January 2012 WASHINGTON — Last week, the president made a rare appearance at the Pentagon to unveil a new strategic plan for U.S. military policy (and so spending) over the next decade.  Let’s leave the specifics to a future TomDispatch post and focus instead on a historical footnote: Obama was evidently the first president to offer remarks from a podium in the Pentagon press room.  He made the point himself -- “I understand this is the first time a president has done this.  It’s a pretty nice room.  (Laughter)” — and it was duly noted in the media.  Yet no one thought to make anything of it, even though it tells us so much about our American world. 

After all, when was the last time the president appeared at a podium at the Environmental Protection Agency to announce a 10-year plan for a “leaner, meaner” approach to the environment, or at the Education Department to outline the next decade of blue-skies thinking (and spending) for giving our children a leg-up in a competitive world?  Or how about at a State Department podium to describe future planning for a more peaceable planet more peaceably attained?  Unfortunately, you can’t remember such moments and neither can America’s reporters, because they just aren’t part of Washington life.  And strangest of all, no one finds this the tiniest bit odd or worth commenting on. (More)

By John Baglow aka Dr.Dawg
Dawg's Blawg

8 January 2012 — The by-now-notorious lockout in London, Ontario by the American corporate giant Caterpillar, and another in Quebec by the UK colossus Rio Tinto, signal a new make-or-break era for organized labour in Canada.

The race to the bottom is picking up speed. Make no mistake: if corporations are permitted to get away with 50% wage cuts when they are making record profits, the ripple effect will be deadly.

Business commentators urge us to take the pessimistic view—nothing can turn aside the irresistible force of capital. Right-wing columnists aver that unions are no longer relevant. 

And the Conservative government, which maliciously intervened in two private sector labour disputes in 2011, is curiously quiet when unions have less immediate clout at the bargaining table. (More)

RCAF Lt. Col. Harold Wright

On Friday, 13 January 2012, we lost RCAF Lt. Col. Harold Wright, a True North Perspective Contributing Editor. Lt. Col. Wright came early to True North Perspective soon after we began publishing in December 2006. He shared with us his wit and wisdom. His sense of humour became known to our readers in his columns From the Court of Judge Harold Wright and Harold Wright, Professor of Punolgy. He was also a serious commentator on military affairs. He was a frequent and generous financial supporter of True North Perspective.

Randy Ray, True North Perspective Publicity Director, had this to say about Lt. Col. Wright.

I lost my old pal Harold Wright on Friday — a great friend and loyal neighbour who lived just up the street on Louisiana Avenue. He passed away in Ottawa. We met many years back when I was marketing one of my first books, and a few years later, at the ripe old age of about 80, Harold wrote, published and marketed his own book Salute to the Air Force Medical Branch, which profiles doctors, nurses and pharmacists that served in the Canadian air force during World War 11. It sold more than 1,000 copies, which is amazing for a self-published book. We did many, many book signings together and often teamed up to make presentations about our books at seniors homes and other venues in the Ottawa area. Great fun!

Rest in peace my dear friend ... I know you are up there starting work on your next book!

RCAF Lt. Col. Harold Wright was 91.

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. 1 (303)
Friday, 13 January 2011
Editor's Notes

There was a time when I respected the leaders of all political parties in Canada, whether I agreed with them or not. John Diefenbaker was one of my favourites although I've never voted Conservative.

Canada has been fortunate in those who've come forward to put themselves in the public spotlight through the generations since confederation.

We've had leaders who deserved respect. Aside from the 19th century, in the 20th, we had Mackenzie King, Lester Pearson, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, Leslie Frost, Joey Smallwood just to name six at random. They were men of substance.

My respect, even fondness, of our political leaders, seriously faltered with Brian Mulroney. As a very minor example, I can recall feeling embarrassed for him and for Canada when, during a meeting in Europe, he tried to show television cameras how important he was by throwing his arm around the shoulders of the German leader at the time. The latter shrugged off our prime minister so abruptly that Mulroney stumbled in his step. (More)

Sing along with Raging Grannies as they take the battle 

By Shannon Lee Manion
True North Perspective Contributing Editor
13 January 2012 — An intensified strategy is planned for the new year by the Raging Grannies, a social justice activist group who deplore what is happening at Loblaws stores. There will be another flash-demo in a week or two but predominently, the Grans are trying to raise awareness of the miserable labour situation at the chain with mainstream media so that at least one of them with the luxury of investigative reporters can pick up the ball and run with it.
The alternate media is picking up the story and there have been several articles in True North Perspective and in the Glebe Report and this week, Esther Matharu, a member of the Raging Grannies, was interviewed by OpenFile. (More)

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

Missing the big picture

Pundits in frenzy over perceived insidious farmer plot

Canada should beware of US shopping list of demands

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

13 January 2011 — Editorialists and business page columnists at the major newspapers have been working themselves into a frenzy recently over that great insidious farmer plot called supply management.

Their free market indignation leads them to hope that either the Canada-Europe free trade talks or negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will force Canada to pull the plug on the dairy and poultry boards. They offer sophomoric arguments to justify their positions. They flay at the boards as if they were the biggest issues in the trade arena. (More)
From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

4 New Ideas for a Bicycle Planet

A school bus pedaled by kids, the world's largest bike-share, and other innovations that are changing how we cycle
Yes! Magazine
Dutch school bus is a bicycle built for ten
11 January 2012 — Some lucky Dutch schoolchildren can now put their seemingly endless energy to good use, by powering their own school bus. Dutch company De Café Racer produced an eco-friendly bicycle-bus that is steered by an adult and ­pedaled by up to 10 children
The bright yellow bus is designed for riders aged 4 to 12, and its stability and high visibility provide a safe, early introduction to cycle commuting in a country where bicycling is a way of life and 95 percent of teenagers bike to school at least some of the time. (More)
Spirit Quest
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

13 January 2011 — Are you happy, yet?
A recently conducted Gallup/Leger poll of 52,000 people the world over has revealed that Canadians are not as happy as Fiji islanders, although that small nation in the South Pacific has recently undergone a constitutional crisis including a coup. Nor are we as badly in the dumps as the people of Romania. This eastern European country still hasn’t quite recovered from the communist times. Typical of Canada we are slab dab in the middle of the happiness quotient, not unhappy but could be happier.
The poll conducted by phone or voice brought some surprises; that the people of Afghanistan are only a fraction unhappier than the citizens of  the United States.  Albertans, in spite of their tar sands, or perhaps because of them, can’t match the people of Saskatchewan who are rolling in potash and laughing all the way to the bank. The residents of New Brunswick take the happiness cake for all of Canada. (More)
Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

May 2012 shine bright!

True North Perspective

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

13 January 2012 — Have you noticed how this past year outdoor Christmas lights mushroomed … or should I say multiplied? I love it because December is always so dark that it makes you want to hibernate, but of course, you can’t because Christmas is coming. There is shopping to be done, food to prepare, serious housecleaning and decorating. My seven year-old grandson helped me put up my outdoor Christmas lights and garlands this year and I made a point to light them often. I wanted light! After young Lea helped with the Christmas tree, most evenings would find me sitting in the living-room enjoying a silent moment. (More.)
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 FrancesSedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

13 January 2012 — Now that the holidays are over we can settle down to new and old challenges.
First of all, my pet peeve of the season, then my Holiday Angel.
I am very upset at the TV ads appealing for funds to help children in third world countries. All the through the holidays these ads appeared, and continue to appear, seemingly numerous times an hour on television. (More)
The Doom and Gloomers

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it may (or not) toll for thee

By Beverly D. Blanchard
True North Perspective

13 January 2011 Throughout history there have always been some people that have been focused on predicting the demise of humanity. As each new century has come upon us there have been many that have spoken of an Armageddon. Yet each time the calendar rolls into a new century or year there is very little that changes. Life continues on in its same form. 

So here we are in 2012 and once again depending on the website, article or television show you have been watching or reading it would appear that humanity is heading toward a downfall. Everyone seems to be offering a different portentous scenario of how our world will change or worst yet, end. (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.

Bradley Manning in court

The American soldier accused of releasing classified information to Wikileaks is issued a recommendation that he face a court martial. He may also be facing life in prison.

By Denver Nicks

The Daily Beast

13 January 2012 —  Bradley Manning’s case moves a step closer to a court martial, the soldier accused of the largest intelligence breach in American history is still struggling to mount a defense.

The officer who presided over the soldier’s pre-trial hearing issued a recommendation Thursday that he face a court martial on all 22 charges brought against him for turning state secrets over to WikiLeaks. Manning’s litany of charges includes theft, fraud, violations of Army information security regulations, and aiding the enemy. If convicted on the latter charge, he could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The officer’s recommendation will now make its way up the chain of command. A final decision on if and when to court martial Manning is expected within weeks. (More)


The Geo-Politics of the Strait of Hormuz 

Could US Navy be defeated by Iran in the Persian Gulf?

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research
8 January 2012 — After years of U.S. threats, Iran is taking steps which suggest that is both willing and capable of closing the Strait of Hormuz. On December 24, 2011 Iran started its Velayat-90 naval drills in and around the Strait of Hormuz and extending from the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman (Oman Sea) to the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. 

Since the conduct of these drills, there has been a growing war of words between Washington and Tehran. Nothing the Obama Administration or the Pentagon have done or said so far, however, has deterred Tehran from continuing its naval drills.

The Geo-Political Nature of the Strait of Hormuz

Besides the fact that it is a vital transit point for global energy resources and a strategic chokepoint, two additional issues should be addressed in regards to the Strait of Hormuz and its relationship to Iran. The first concerns the geography of the Strait of Hormuz. The second pertains to the role of Iran in co-managing the strategic strait in accordance with international law and its sovereign national rights. (More).


On world display in 2014 - 2016, Brazil sets soldiers and police

to clear drug-gang control of slums; now mail will be delivered

By Claire de Oliveira
China Daily
29 December 2011 RIO DE JANEIRO Brazil — Tomazia Ferreira Martins has been living for 40 years at the same house in the hillside Rio shantytown of Rocinha - but as long as drug gangs ruled the neighborhood, she never got mail delivered at home.

Now that the government has flooded the area with police and soldiers and "pacified" her slum, letter carriers are delivering the mail in vans, and will soon deliver to each home.

Soldiers and police, backed by armored vehicles and helicopters, stormed Rocinha and two other shantytowns - known here as "favelas" - in mid-November.

The operation widened the security perimeter around Rio's residential and tourist area as Brazil prepares to host soccer's 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. 819 words.

Journalists pay with their lives as Egyptian army

turns Arab Spring into a quagmire of repression

By Ramesh Jaura 
IDN-InDepth NewsReport

30 December 2011 BERLIN, Germany — If the year 2011 appeared to be a beacon of hope for freedom and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, indications are that 2012 will be marked by rough battles to protect the fruits of valiant revolts across Europe's Mediterranean frontiers.

In fact, the conflict brewing over the Strait of Hormuz bodes ill for peace – the spinal cord of freedom and democracy – in the region and beyond, unless it is prevented from turning violent and gory. 

The curtain on the impending battles was raised on December 29 when the Egyptian security forces raided the offices of civil society and human rights organizations in Cairo. The aim, according to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), was "to intimidate activists and rights advocates, gag their mouths, and freeze their activities in support of human rights and against repression and torture." (More)

jealous girl.jpg

Guess who's not getting a Valentine?


Good News from a hot crossroads 

Six Asian nations take road of peaceful compromise

in a ten-year plan to promote growth, reduce poverty 

By Taro Ichikawa

06 January 2012 TOKYO — Leaders of the six nations that share the Mekong River have agreed on a 10-year plan to boost growth, promote development and reduce poverty in the region comprising Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Viet Nam, and China's Yunnan and Guangxi regions. The decision was taken at the fourth Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Summit in Manila, the Philippines.

In a joint declaration, GMS leaders endorsed a strategic framework for 2012 to 2022 that calls for a range of new measures to strengthen regional cooperation, including more effective resource utilization and more careful balancing of development with environmental concerns. (More)

'The build-up against Venezuela that began during the George W. Bush administration has been rapidly accelerated by Obama'


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Thanks to all of you who have answered our call for financial assistance

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Carl Dow, True North Perspective
Station E, P.O. Box 4814
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The Book End
by Valerie Knowles

"This follow-up to Valerie Knowles' first edition of Capital Lives is a welcome addition to the growing literature concerning Ottawa's more interesting inhabitants.

Its short, lively sketches feature well-known early settlers, such as Braddish Billings (1783-1864), to more modern, but little-known personalities like Isabel Percival (1903-1998), an astute businesswoman who devoted considerable time and effort to a number of worthy local causes.

Along the way, Knowles introduces a fascinating cast of characters with a deft touch that will leave readers looking forward to a third volume." (More.)

The Old Man's Last Sauna
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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