July 2014

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Maliki refused to play puppet so Washington-financed IS 

is used to divide and conquer Iraq and take control of oil

By Eric Draitser
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder of StopImperialism.com.
15 August 2015 The ousting of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is part of a broader US plan for Iraq and the Middle East as a whole.

Against the backdrop of the war against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Washington has managed to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. Not only has the US removed a political leader who had proven to be problematic due to his opposition to US military presence in Iraq, as well as his staunch support for Syria and President Assad, they have also created the conditions for the dismemberment of the Iraqi state. (More)


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After their Ukraine propaganda binge UK media

inching back to 'mea culpa' moment on Russia

By Bryan MacDonald

Bryan MacDonald is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He wrote for Irish Independent and Daily Mail. He has also frequently appeared on RTE and Newstalk in Ireland as well as RT.

11 August 2014 (RT) — One of the more intriguing and appealing features of Catholicism is confession. This basically means that, in the eyes of Rome, any error or crime, no matter how profound, can be exorcised once a believer receives absolution from a priest.

The media has something similar, except it’s known as ‘mea culpa’ culture. Essentially, it allows them to print and broadcast any amount of utter codswallop and then later hold their hands up and admit: “We got it wrong.” A good example of this phenomenon is the case of The New York Times and Saddam Hussein’s non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.”

From around the summer of 2002 to the same time in 2003, the Big Apples’ paper-of-record gave the impression that the late Iraqi leader possessed a frightening arsenal of the stuff. Indeed, readers could have deduced that he had micro chemical weapons in his pockets, such was the torrent of disinformation. Of course, it later transpired that he didn’t have any WMD, anywhere, micro or otherwise. He also had nothing to do with the September 2001 attacks on New York despite the fact that 70 percent of Americans were so fooled by their media's mendacity that they believed he did.

This was, obviously, extremely dangerous nonsense because the NYT is perceived as a trusted organ of truth and its whoppers greatly assisted President George W Bush’s efforts to lead the USA to war on a completely false pretext. Sadly, the repercussions of that conflict are being felt again today as the unfortunate country slides into a horrible civil war, and President Obama dithers in the way only he can.

In July 2004, the NYT published a groveling apology and later parted ways with the reporter responsible. This was bit late for Saddam, who was by then in the custody of Iraq's new rulers, and also for the hundreds of thousands who suffered violent deaths in the illegal war.

Russia has been suffering from similar vilification and falsity in much of the Western mainstream press since the US and EU ignited a needless civil war in Ukraine. I’ve already covered in a previous dispatch how the UK media managed to charge, try and sentence President Putin within hours of the appalling MH17 disaster - “Putin’s missile” as the internationally little-known court of ‘The Sun’ in London adjudicated. Never mind that there was no evidence. In fact, nearly a month on and there’s still not a shred of proof connecting the rebels to the tragedy - much less the Kremlin. But don’t hold your breath waiting for a UK paper to lead with “Obama’s missile” splash when reporting on atrocities in Gaza - despite the fact that we know the USA arms Israel. (More)


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In the midst of Western propaganda hysteria

Russian military pose 10 questions about the MH17 crash

22 July 2014 MOSCCOWRussia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash — and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and the US over the circumstances of the tragedy.

Military officials — Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov and Chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev — posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday.

Question 1. Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor?

“Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk but then it deviated from the route to the north,” said Kartopolov. (More)


Right wing Kiev military unleash air and artillery attacks 

that devastate unarmed residential districts in east Ukraine

02 July 2014 (rt.com) Eyewitnesses in the Cossack settlement of Luganskaya have accused government forces of carrying out two airstrikes on densely-populated residential areas. (More)


‘Tony Blair has finally gone mad’

London mayor ridicules ex-PM over Iraq

Lashing out at the former Prime Minister, leading Conservative Party politician and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wrote for The Telegraph on Sunday that “I have come to the conclusion that Tony Blair has finally gone mad.”

Image: Combo photo shows British former prime minister Tony Blair (left) and London Mayor Boris Johnson. (AFP Photo / John Stillwell / Leon Neal).

16 June 2014 LONDON England (rt.com)Tony Blair’s essay on how the Middle East should blame its own religious dynamics for its troubles — instead of Western attempts at intervention — has seen London Mayor Boris Johnson launch a scathing attack on the “unhinged” former PM.

Johnson’s strong condemnation is a reaction to the arguments made in the former British Prime Minister’s piece entitled 'Iraq, Syria and the Middle East,' where claims range from placing blame on the Shiite government in Iraq to the inherent religious dynamics within the Middle East region, even to Syria for allowing the recent attack on Mosul to take place from within its borders, as well as Shiite fighters from Iran – all to explain why militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) are making such progress these days. (More)


Wikileaks cables confirm new Ukrainian President

has been working for the US government since 2006

US stool-pigeon Poroshenko named his own (high) price

The U.S. government knew Poroshenko was dirty, but he was influential, and arguably their most dependable mole. "Poroshenko was tainted by credible corruption allegations, but wielded significant influence within Our Ukraine; Poroshenko's price had to be paid."

SCG News

Image: Photo of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.19 June 2014 — There's not much point in staging a coup if you don't influence who is placed in power in the aftermath. Of course in order for a puppet government to be effective, they can't be perceived as such. You wouldn't want the natives to get restless would you?

The evidence that the U.S. was behind the toppling of the Ukrainian government early this year is so overwhelming at this point that the subject really isn't up for debate, however initially it was unclear how the election of Petro Poroshenko fit in. The ecstatic response by Washington when he was declared the winner, and their unbending support in spite of his ongoing military assault against civilians in the east, made it clear that he was the chosen one, but the paper trail wasn't immediately obvious.

As it turns out, the evidence that Poroshenko is in the pocket of the U.S. State Department has been available all this time, you just had to know where to find it. In a classified diplomatic cable from 2006 released by Wikileaks.org, U.S. officials refer to Poroshenko as "Our Ukraine (OU) insider Petro Poroshenko". (More)

Ukrainian National Guard with stylized Nazi swastikas

shell Slavyansk civilians despite truce declaration

(Warning: video above contains graphic and disturbing images.

Click here for more on the full story.)


Russia Foreign Minister says Washington

is promoting violent conflict in Ukraine

Image: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (AFP Photo/Olga Maltseva)28 June 2014 (rt.com) — If peace in Ukraine depended on Russia and most European countries, the chances for achieving it would be higher, the Russian Foreign Minister believes. However, he is sure the US is pushing the Ukrainian leadership towards confrontation.

“We also have partners across the ocean – our American colleagues – who, according to a lot of evidence, still favor pushing the Ukrainian leadership towards the path of confrontation,” Lavrov told Rossiya 1 channel's news show "Sergey Brilev's News on Saturday". (More)



‘Blair should be lecturing on Iraq from

the dock at the International Criminal Court’

John Wight is a writer and commentator specializing in geopolitics, UK domestic politics, culture and sport.

Image: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)20 June 2014 — ​It has been heartening to witness the backlash against former British Prime Minister Tony Blair over his attempt to deny any responsibility for the chaos and carnage that has engulfed northern and eastern Iraq in recent days.

While thousands of ISIS Sunni extremists are engaged in a determined attempt to reach Baghdad, leaving a trail of carnage in the process, Tony Blair remains resolute in claiming that there is no connection between this and the hell in which Iraq has been plunged, even more than a decade since the 2003 onset of the war which he and former US President George W Bush unleashed. As someone averred among the avalanche of Tweets sent excoriating the former prime minister over his recent denials, this is about as serious as claiming there is no connection between him having sex with his wife and the existence of his children. (More)

The Old Man's Last Sauna
by Carl Dow
'Life is scary, frustrating and sometimes funny. All of these themes are explored in Carl Dow’s collection of short stories, told with the pristine elegance that we haven’t seen since the likes of Stephen Leacock or even Pierre Berton.'
— Award-winning author Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Image: Link to BumblePuppy Press Amazon store

Click here for True North Humanist Perspective

New >

Israel's dissenting voices get lost in the war echo chamber


New >

Will France's Mistral assault warships make Russia a naval threat?


Lift the veil on the seductive femme fatale, Iraq

and what do you find . . ? that same old Siren: Oil


Plato’s Tree

The winter of 2013 in Athens was not the coldest on record. . . . But it was cold enough for people to burn things. The city was swept clean of bits and pieces of scrap cardboard and wood, and now the elderly were breaking up their furniture. In November, the government had jacked up the tax on heating oil 450%.


Chaos theory: ISIS and Western foreign policy


TrueNorth Humanist Perspective

Obama bites the hand that feeds him

Attacks his servile media for not being servile enough

By David Nakamura
Arab News
29 June 2014Move over, Republicans. President Barack Obama has a new bogeyman: The media. (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. 9, No. 7 (349)
July 1 2014

Editor's Notes

Obama takes the final turn of the political loser

He attacks his servile media for not filling his cup

Image: True North Perspective Editor and Publisher Carl Dow. Photo by the Phantom Phographer.

The American Press Corps since 2001 has been the most servile group in the otherwise best traditions of journalism. Has the worm turned? Has the media been finally struck dumb by the lies they have been forced to parrot?

Or have they been simply silenced by the embarrassment of real competition by rt. cable TV and its companion rt.com, and the social media, to which all growing millions of readers and viewers are turning to escape the lies, distortions, and omissions in the traditional, increasingly narrow, corporate-owned media.

During a late June 2014 tour of Minnesota President Obama mocked the media and in effect mocked the millions of desperate Americans who have and who are slipping out of the so-called American Dream into the quicksand of spreading economic collapse. (More)


Op Ed

Wynne’s Win: Ontario’s Great Divide

By David McLaren

David McLaren is an award-winning writer. He has worked in government and the private sector, with NGOs and First Nations in Ontario. He is currently writing from Neyaashiinigamiing on the shore of Georgian Bay and can be reached at david.mclaren@utoronto.ca. View all posts by David McLaren →

Image: Detail of photo of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne 13 June 2014 — No one should be happy about the Liberal majority. Well, maybe Kathleen Wynne — she owned up to the gas plant scandals and she ran a terrific campaign. This is, more than anyone else’s, Wynne’s win.

Elections have a way of showing us what we don’t see (or don’t want to see) before the vote.

When Ms Wynne comes down from cloud 9, she will realize that she is Premier of a Province severely divided. The rural-urban split is real and sharper than ever, with the PCs taking the farm belt across the middle of the Province and the Liberals the cities and the 905. (More)
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

Economists are speaking out

and turning economics on its head

'Blind faith in the power of the market will only worsen the situation'

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Image: Cover of Humanity's Saving Grace, a novel by Alex Binkley. Click to purchase at Amazon.ca

01 July 2014 — French economist Thomas Piketty has not only authored a book that’s turning economics on its head, he’s also induced other economists to speak out.

To borrow a succinct description of Capital in the 21st Century, Piketty argues that the current capitalist system isn’t working because it’s stacked in favour of the wealthiest and it will become even more unbalanced without changes. The Occupy Movement was right although its arguments lacked the detailed logic that Piketty brings to the issue. Pope Francis has made similar sounding arguments.

Now Mark Carney, former Bank of Canada governor and the current Governor of the Bank of England, hardly a wide-eyed radical, made the news, although not many business pages, for speaking against “unchecked market fundamentalism. Just like any revolution eats its children,” he told the Conference for Inclusive Capitalism, “unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself. All ideologies are prone to extremes. Capitalism loses its sense of moderation when the belief in the power of the market enters the realm of faith.” (More)


From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Science provides three reasons why

climate change is real and that humans are causing it

Paleoclimatology can answer the question of anthropogenic climate change by using fossils to show links between global temperatures and CO2 levels

By David Waltham
Image: Photograph of gas flare by Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images25 June 2014 Dire warnings of imminent human-induced climate disaster are constantly in the news but predictions of the end of the world have been made throughout history and have never yet come true. Even in the brief period of recorded history, natural climate change has always been with us – whether it is the volcanically induced crop failures that helped precipitate the French revolution or the medieval warm period that allowed Vikings to colonise Greenland. So how can we trust that the computer models scientists use to make predictions are reliable?

There is sometimes reluctance to take experts' words for anything and so we would like to be shown the evidence. Unfortunately, that is difficult when the details are buried under hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code which implement mathematical algorithms of mind-numbing complexity. There is, however, one branch of science that can reliably give an answer that is easy to understand and hard not to believe. (More)


By Geneviève Hone

Where There Is A Family

There's always advice from Granny Witch

Hone, small image.

Image: Detail of drawing, Forgiven, by Julien Mercure.Dear Granny Witch,





Granny Witch is on holiday with an eye on bringing her wit and wisdom back to her avid readers when True North Perspective returns Friday 03 October 2014.


Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

Are you old enough to remember this Doris Day song?

“Que sera sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be.”

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair
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.

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-Sinclair

Image: Photo of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne celebrating victory on June 12 2014.01 July 2014 — How very true and in today’s society, no one is truly certain of what tomorrow will bring. It used to be that you married for life, for good and for bad, till death do us part. When you entered a profession, you were most likely to stick to it till you retired. I was a teacher throughout my career. I had imagined my marriage would have that same lasting quality. But I was wrong about that one! I became a widow at age thirty. I wanted three children. I was most fortunate to have one. I had to reinvent my life at an early age.
You never know what fortune awaits as you manoeuver around the next bend. Yes, you may have a feeling something is about to unfold but you are never sure. Just think of constables Doug Larche, Dave Ross and Fabrice Gevaudan… They couldn’t have predicted they would be gunned down when they responded to that fateful 911 call warning of a heavily-armed man dressed in camouflage in Moncton. What was on the killer’s mind? We still don’t know but we know that the RCMP officers set out to protect the residents in that residential area. They never gave it a second thought. (More)

Winston Churchill learned his 'Iron Curtain' line

from Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels

The current corporate control over the media

threatens to turn us into Goebbels' herd of pigs

“Let me control the media and I will turn any nation into a herd of pigs” – Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels turned words into a weapon of mass destruction. Dangerous lies spread by the Nazi regime led to brutal murders and cruelty that continue to shake minds. Join RT to examine some myths of the Goebbels propaganda that shaped the contours of the human catastrophe of WWII and infect minds today. (Click HERE for VIDEO)


The sound of music has the power to motivate

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

01 July 2014There is one regret, well at least one, that I have in my life and that is that I never became proficient in playing a musical instrument. I had a hopeful beginning when at six years of age I began taking piano lessons from a wonderful blind teacher. It amazed me that, although he could not see my fingers on the keys, he was always aware when I did not use the correct fingering.

Mother and her sister were the musicians in the family. My aunt played the piano in an orchestra while mother much later in life and on another continent played the piano and at times the organ in our little church.

I loved music and was exposed to opera and concerts in our wonderful opera house in Aussig, now Usti nad labem in what was then Czechoslovakia. That exposure was dramatically terminated when in the fall of 1938 we were forced to flee our homeland from the invading German army. For a number of years we were deprived of the sound of music while living in a remote area of Saskatchewan without even a radio.

I recall the day that mother and I left the farm. In town before boarding our train for the east we had lunch with friends. They turned on the radio and we only briefly heard the beginning of the broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera. Mother gasped and then broke into tears. Unfortunately we had to leave for the station to catch our train. (More)


Parkdale tenants fight greedy off shore landlords
' . . . fighting mad . . . and . . . fighting back!'
By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective

ParkTales Image, small

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.

As more apartment buildings in Parkdale  are taken over by off shore landlords, charging high rents for slum conditions, the tenants are fighting mad and fighting back.

Parkdale Organise

Image: Photo of demonstration by Parkdale Organize, taken by Frances Segwick.Parkdale Organise (email via: parkdaleorganize@gmail.com) is helping tenants form tenant committees to work together with other buildings to fight back against slum conditions, no repairs, unjustified rent increases, lack of superintendents, no rent receipts.

It was great to hear tenants at a recent demo confront the Property Manager of  Akeliu buildings in Parkdale. The angry demonstrators spared no words in expressing their frustration about the living conditions they have to endure Akeliu buildings.

Click HERE for an excellent cbc.ca radio interview by Guest Host Susan Bonner.

Click below for Parkdale Organise’s report of the June 10 demonstration against the Swedish company, Akeliu.

This is Parkdale


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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.

Deal among 50 countries would help prevent added regulation
of financial services, website says
CBC News
Image: Photo of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London: his website has released what it calls a secret draft agreement among 50 countries to limit regulation of financial services. (Associated Press)19 June 2014 — WikiLeaks has published what it calls "the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex," apparently covering 50 countries and most of the world's trade in services.
"The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multinationals — mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt — into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers," the website says in a statement.
The draft deal is seen as a way to prevent more regulation of financial services, despite calls for tighter regulatory measures that followed the 2007-08 world financial crisis. That market meltdown set the world's biggest banks up against critics who said governments needed to rein them in. (More.)

There can be no life without laughter

Now . . . about that light bulb

Q: How many engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Hell, you need 250 just to lobby for the research grant.


Q: How many lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Four: one to climb the ladder, one to hold the ladder, one to shake the ladder and one to sue the ladder company.
Science discovers why laughter is good medicine
The following report is from The Week magazine: "Laughter is good for your health. Now scientists know why. Researchers at the University of Maryland found that when 20 healthy volunteers smiled and guffawed while watching the comedy, Kingpin, their blood flow increased by 22 percent, about the same increase caused by aerobic exercise. But when volunteers watched tension-filled scenes from Saving Private Ryan, their blood flow decreased 35 percent.
"The researchers say that laughing apparently causes the endothelium, the tissue that lines blood vessels, to expand, which increases blood flow. Laughter may also improve arterial health by reducing mental stress, which constricts vessels and cuts blood flow. A healthy lifestyle — researcher Michael Miller tells New Scientist — would include 30 minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of hearty laughter each day."
...the liberty of the Press is called the Palladium of Freedom, which means, in these days, the liberty of being deceived, swindled, and humbugged by the Press and paying hugely for the deception. - "Mark Twain, 1870"


By Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

Mark Kearney of London, Ont. and Randy Ray of Ottawa are the authors of nine books about Canada, with best-seller sales of more than 50,000. Their Web site is: www.triviaguys.com

Big Book of Canadian Trivia cover


1.  Unscramble these letters to form a Canadian word meaning bog.
2.  Hurricane Hazel caused great damage to southern Ontario in 1954, but what province was hit in 1971 by Hurricane Beth?
a) Ontario   b) PEI  c)  Nova Scotia  d) Quebec
3. True or false: owls can’t move their eyes side to side.



Randy Ray, publicist / speaker agent / author
www.randyray.ca  www.triviaguys.com

 (613) 425-3873 - (613) 816-3873 (c)

O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is one of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

A Life Travelled . . .


By Carl Dow

Because we're human, our appreciation of others is generally subjective. Therefore there are as many Lena Wilson Endicotts as there are people who knew her.

There is her husband, Stephen, who knew her best in ways that we know, and in ways that we’ll never know.

There are daughters Marion, Lorraine, Irene, and Valerie, by order of appearance, who knew her as Mum and each in their own separate and mutual ways.

There are her grandchildren who knew her as GrammaLena.

And then a tribe of relatives by blood and by marriage who each have their own understanding of Lena.

And of course her many friends in and out of her social and creative worlds (from horseback riding, to painting, drawing, and writing), who all have their special Lenas.

I want to speak briefly here about my Lena, who I first met about 50 years ago as a young mother of first Marion, and then Lorraine.

Lena was always kind to me, but I always sensed a fierce reserve that I concluded represented lines that would be dangerous to cross.

Evidence of that was a stain on her kitchen ceiling that was a result of a breakfast hurled upward when a guest, not me, had crossed that line.

I can remember visits, which were always pleasant. Some memories are vivid such as when I was sitting in the living room when two-year-old Lorraine would appear.

“Cool Cat!” I would call out at the serious, intense face. Lorraine would smile large, run to me with open arms, and sit comfortably on my lap while I talked with her parents.

I got into the habit of staying at “Steve and Lena’s” whenever I was in Toronto. During longer stays I offered to pay but was refused.

One time I was at the old dial phone at the bottom of the stairs leading to the second floor. Lena called to me from the kitchen doorway. What are you doing? Well, I said with an embarrassed shrug, I figure I’ve overstayed my welcome so I thought I’d farm myself out.

Put the phone down she said in a quiet voice that would brook no challenge. When you’re in Toronto, you stay here.

And so I did.

One time, during a verbal exchange, I said to Lena, You scare me.

Good, she said. You need to be scared of something.

I always admired Lena’s artwork — drawings and paintings, and her writing. I have seven of her paintings in my house on Melgund Avenue in Ottawa, Canada. If my home has a designation other than its address number, it is known as the Lena Wilson Endicott Melgund Gallery.

One of them I appropriated even though she had said that it wasn’t finished. It is a woman in a suit of armour sitting on a horse with a lance. To me it represented Lena and her four daughters, Marion, Lorraine, Irene, and Valerie. A delightful combination of fierce tough-tender.

As far as I was concerned, the painting could not be improved. It was perfect.

Lena had major writing talent. About as good as it gets. I urged her to send her short stories to magazine editors but she couldn’t overcome her reservation.

The last time I saw Lena was Tuesday 05 June 2012. I had arrived from Ottawa Saturday 02 June with long-time mutual friend, Nick Aplin. Lena insisted that I sit in the chair of honour — her chair.

Because of a years-long struggle with hip-joint operations and an attack of arthritis that had paralyzed my hands I had not been able to travel. So we had a lot of ground to cover. It was a joyful reunion.

On Monday we had supper that included the company of decades-long friend Frances Sedgwick. Another heart-warming experience filled with shared and unique memories.

When my manners failed me and, in my enthusiasm, I spoke while Frances was still speaking, Lena would slap my wrist and tell me to be quiet and wait my turn.

The next morning, as I was leaving, Lena was sitting in her chair in the living room. Before picking up my bags I walked to her and leaned down.

She said, “What? Do you want to kiss me?”

“Yes.” I bent down and lightly kissed her high on her right cheek.

It was the first time I had kissed her. It was the last time I would see her.

The next thing I knew, Lena was dead.

How I grieve the passing of my good and loyal friend.


Wednesday 11 July 2012

Lena Wilson Endicott died suddenly Tuesday July 3 2012

Carl Dow
Editor and Publisher
True North Perspective
True North Humanist Perspective


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-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
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Media Watch 

‘UK media show weakness for sensationalism

and propaganda in wake of MH17 tragedy’

By Bryan MacDonald
Bryan MacDonald is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He wrote for Irish Independent and Daily Mail. He has also frequently appeared on RTE and Newstalk in Ireland as well as RT.
18 July 2014 (RT) — There are no words in the English lexicon which can properly summarize the horrors of events yesterday in Eastern Ukraine. Like all right-thinking people around the world I am aghast and I currently have a nauseating tightness in my stomach as I pen this.

Since Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur came down in fragments on the blood-soaked soil of Ukraine, media, both old and new, has been caught in a torrent of claim and counter-claim on an unprecedented scale. Retired journalists with decades of experience say they have never seen anything quite like the propaganda and misinformation which has spewed in the last 24 hours. (More)


Image: Steven Harper Just Trust Me banner.

Don't know the difference between

a State Broadcaster and a Public Broadcaster?

Don't worry. Steven Harper does

By Ian Morrison
Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
Image: Photo of CBC President Hubert Lacroix.26 June 2014Something remarkable, but sadly expected, took place today.
During a stormy meeting with CBC’s employees who pressed him to take on the Harper government about its neglect of public broadcasting, Hubert Lacroix, CBC’s President – appointed by Harper seven years ago – blurted out that the government is CBC’s ‘shareholder’.
Of course, that is false. CBC belongs to all of us - all 35,427,524 Canadians. That’s what distinguishes a ‘public’ broadcaster from a ‘state’ broadcaster in democratic countries.
We have known for some time that Lacroix is Harper’s man at the CBC and that he, along with three-quarters of CBC’s Harper-appointed Board of Directors have been financial supporters of the Conservative Party.
But now Lacroix has come right out and said it. He works for the government! (More.)

Writing In The 21st Century

A Conversation with Steven Pinker


Image: Photo of Steven Pinker, via edge.org.09 June 2014 Psychologist Steven Pinker's 1994 book The Language Instinct discussed all aspects of language in a unified, Darwinian framework, and in his next book, How The Mind Works he did the same for the rest of the mind, explaining "what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and ponder the mysteries of life".

He has written four more consequential books: Words and Rules (1999), The Blank Slate (2002), The Stuff of Thought (2007), and The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011). The evolution in his thinking, and the expansion of his range, the depth of his vision, are evident in his contributions on many important issues on these pages over the years: "A Biological Understanding of Human Nature", "The Science of Gender and Science", "A Preface to Dangerous Ideas", "Language and Human Nature", "A History of Violence", "The False Allure of Group Selection", "Napoleon Chagnon: Blood Is Their Argument", and "Science Is Not Your Enemy". In addition to his many honors, he is the Edge Question Laureate, having suggested three of Edge's Annual Questions: "What Is Your Dangerous Idea?"; What Is Your Favorite Deep, Elegant, Or Beautiful Explanation?"; and "What Scientific Concept Would Improve Everybody's Cognitive Toolkit?". He is a consummate third culture intellectual.

In the conversation below, Pinker begins by stating his belief that "science can inform all aspects of life, particularly psychology, my own favorite science. Psychology looks in one direction to biology, to neuroscience, to genetics, to evolution. And it looks in another direction to the rest of intellectual and cultural life—because what are the arts but products of the human mind which resonate with our aesthetic and emotional faculties? What are social issues but ways in which humans try to coordinate their behavior and come to working arrangements that benefit everyone? There's no aspect of life that cannot be illuminated by a better understanding of the mind from scientific psychology. And for me the most recent example is the process of writing itself."...

—John Brockman

Writing in the 21st century (More)


Sunlight shines green on British media as

Independent titles slash losses by almost a third

Evgeny Lebedev’s publishing company boosted by digital and cut-price i, as Evening Standard’s free strategy also pays off

By Mark Sweney
Image: Detail of cover of issue of London Evening Standard, featuring Dolly Parton.30 June 2014The Independent, Independent on Sunday and 20p stablemate i slashed losses to less than £12m last year – and are on track to fall below £5m this year.

It is also good news for stablemate the London Evening Standard, which saw profits soar from £82,000 to almost £2m year on year in 2013, as the shift to a free strategy four years ago has paid off.

Evgeny Lebedev’s Independent Print Ltd, the publisher of the titles, is expected to report an operating loss of £12.3m in the 12 months to September 2013.

This is a massive improvement on the £17.5m operating loss reported in 2012 - and the £22m black hole just two years ago. (More)

06 July 2014 (rt.com)A crowd of around 50 masked men with stones and flares has attacked and vandalized the office of Kiev's Vesti newspaper. The paper’s security guard was beaten as the mob shattered the windows and filled the building with tear gas.

A large group of unidentified people wearing masks attacked the newspaper office on Saturday morning, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has confirmed. The investigators classified the incident as an “act of hooliganism.” (More)


It places walking-distance cities hundreds of km apart and has Auckland New

Zealand in Australia. Primary journalism says, At least get the location right.


How Walmart threatens organic food

Much of organic food found in supermarkets is now being grown

overseas, and it's largely a mystery as to where or under what conditions

By Arun Gupta
In These Times
Image: Shopper at Walmart, via Walmart.23 June 2014When Walmart announced in April that it was introducing the Wild Oats brand of organic food products in 2,000 stores, some food-justice advocates grew excited. In U.S. News & World Report, one writer praised Walmart for embracing “sustainable products and sustainable sourcing.” The Guardian declared that Walmart was providing low-income shoppers with “an organic option they can afford.”

Others fear Walmart’s history spells trouble for organics. Since the 1980s, Walmart has revolutionized the U.S. economy from a “push” system, in which manufacturers determined what was sold on store shelves, to a “pull” system, in which retailers set the terms. Walmart has induced its suppliers, including iconic companies such as Huffy Corp (maker of Huffy bicycles), Levi Strauss & Co. and Master Lock, to relocate factories and jobs to impoverished countries while skimping on the quality of their goods. Critics worry the Arkansas-based retailer will “Walmart” organic food, pushing farms to relocate to unregulated regions abroad while undermining organic standards at home. (More)

Every 7 Seconds

Every seven seconds? Maybe not. But rather than just wonder if it's true,

Tom Stafford asks how on earth can you actually find out

By Tom Stafford
Image: Woman scratching man's back while looking over his shoulder. Via Getty Images.18 June 2014 — We've all been told that men think about you-know-what far too often – every seven seconds, by some accounts. Most of us have entertained this idea for long enough to be sceptical. However, rather than merely wonder about whether this is true, stop for a moment to consider how you could – or could not – prove it.
If we believe the stats, thinking about sex every seven seconds adds up to 514 times an hour. Or approximately 7,200 times during each waking day. Is that a lot? It sounds like a big number to me, I’d imagine it’s bigger than the number of thoughts I have about anything in a day. So, here’s an interesting question: how is it possible to count the number of mine, or anyone else’s thoughts (sexual or otherwise) over the course of a day? (More.)

Science — From the Desk of Bob Kay, Contributing Editor

Sky cars to be built in Tel Aviv

By Jane Wakefield
Technology reporter

Image: Artist's conception of proposed personal mass transit system to be deployed in Tel Aviv.

24 June 2014 — A 500m loop will be built on the campus of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) followed by a commercial network, according to skyTran, the company that will build it.
Two-person vehicles will be suspended from elevated magnetic tracks, as an alternative transport method to congested roads, the firm promised.
The system should be up and running by the end of 2015.
The firm hopes the test track will prove that the technology works and lead to a commercial version of the network. (More.)

Many Conservatives agree with Elizabeth Warren

when she says that the US economy is rigged

By Jamie Fuller
The Washington Post

Image: Photo of Elizabeth Warren, via Reuters.27 June 2014 — Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has built a sizable political profile — including the requisite presidential speculation — by espousing a simple idea: that the system is "rigged" against average Americans.

And you might be surprised who agrees with her: A whole bunch of conservatives.

According to a new Pew survey, 62 percent of Americans think that the economic system unfairly favors the powerful, and 78 percent think that too much power is concentrated in too few companies. The discontent isn't limited to those who share Warren's liberal ideology; 69 percent of young conservative-leaning voters and 48 percent of the most conservative voters agree that the system favors the powerful, according to Pew. (More)

Democrats jumped into corporate bed with Clinton

By Richard Eskow
Campaign for America's Future

04 July 2014Well, now, this is interesting. Sen. Elizabeth Warren went to Kentucky to campaign for Allison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic Secretary of State who’s looking to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that “a wide range of people from college students to people in their 80s attended the event at (the University of Louisville), billed as a college affordability rally.”

“I’m a little surprised to be here,” said Warren, “partly because I’m a little surprised to be in the United States Senate. I am the daughter of a janitor and I ended up in the United States Senate. America is truly a great place.”

Intentionally or not, Warren’s invitation sends a message. A Southern campaign asked a Massachusetts progressive (and a Harvard professor, no less!) to campaign for it in a close-fought race with one of the country’s leading conservatives.

Remember, we’re talking about Rand Paul country here. Some smart people have clearly concluded that progressive economic populism is a winning strategy in the South. (More)


Glenn Greenwald: Surveillance State

and George Orwell's Dystopian Future

By Sonali Kolhatkar
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate, they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.“1984,” George Orwell
06 July 2014 Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, best known for his reporting on the U.S. surveillance state, told me that in the year since he first met whistle-blower Edward Snowden, he went back and re-read Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”

In an interview on Uprising, Greenwald said that what surprised him the most about re-reading the ominous story was that “I had always remembered the ubiquity of the surveillance [in ‘1984’], which was we had a monitor in every single room of every home constantly watching every single person. So, a lot of people said, [our world is] not like ‘1984’ because not every single one of our emails is being read and or every one of our calls are being listened to because nobody could possibly be doing all that.” But, as Greenwald rightly pointed out, in Orwell’s world, “nobody actually knew whether they were being watched at all times. In fact they didn’t know if they were ever being watched.”

In essence said Greenwald, “The key to the social control was the possibility that they could be watched at any time.” Although we have no evidence that the Obama administration is engaging in any organized form of social control in our real world, the most dangerous possible outcome of the U.S. surveillance state is a dampening of dissent because of the mere possibility that the government is watching our every move. (More)