October 2014

Hark! Hear the Angels sing — at Ottawa's Celtic Cross Pub

'A pretty nice gift at Christmas time'

'Susan and Janine's music is a beautiful melding of voices, instruments and spirit. A true friendship in music.' — Sharlene Wallace, harpist-composer.

By Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective

Image: Acacia Lyra raise a glass (each) to toast the Yule. Photo by Jean-Marc Carisse, via http://www.acacialyra.com/mediakit.htm.There can be 20 instruments, from percussion, to strings, to wind, and rising beautifully out of the strong Gaelic sound you will hear two angelic voices with harp strings.

It will be Wednesday evening at the Celtic Cross Pub and Eatery at 343 Somerset West, at Bank Street, in downtown Ottawa, a few stone throws south of Parliament Hill. The angels in question are Janine Dudding and Susan Sweeney Hermon who perform under the banner of Acacia Lyra. The duo reinforce the fact that the Canadian harp music scene is vibrant and varied.

Janine and Susan blend both contemporary and traditional Celtic harp music, performing, composing, and singing music in several languages and from many corners of the world.

On Wednesdays at the Celtic Cross Pub (starting about 7 p.m.) the sound is created spontaneously with other musicians in the spirit of the Irish Kitchen Party tradition. For example, one player could call out and lead with a tune and song that grew out of the the hardships of the workers who built the Rideau Canal and the others will join in. Other contributions link adventures of the Irish community as they settled in the Ottawa Valley. And, of course, the folklore in song of Newfoundland and the Atlantic provinces will find their places in the sun. (More)

Obama mocks his Nobel Peace Prize by calling for

eternal war at his United Nations speech September 24

'The candidate of hope and change in 2008 has somehow become the president of war and fear in 2014, channeling his predecessor’s rhetoric while pursuing similar policies somewhat less recklessly. How did this happen?'

By William Boardman
Reader Supported News
29 September 2014
William M. Boardman has more than 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

'The U.S. without a war is like an apple pie without apples'

Image: US President Barack Obama, image via AP.Nobel Peace Prize recipient is among the loudest voices for war nowadays. Better, this Nobel Peace Prize recipient has unchecked power to wage war and uses it willfully in a variety of nations. Perhaps best, this prize-winning peace president has set out a plan to make a desert and call it peace, for which a grateful power structure might well give him yet another prize.

Such absurdity dominates the world we live in now, because people in governments are committing us all to irrational choices based on no credible public explanation. Examples are myriad, but President Obama’s shrill war cries at the United Nations offer a paradigm of the present bloody moment that is, in part, a near-parody of grandiloquent George W. Bush doing his most preening strut as a feckless “war president.” (More)


Postal Workers deliver ten thousand postcards to protest

failure of Harper government to consult with the public

12 September 2014 MILTON, Ontario —  The Canadian Union of Postal Workers today delivered more than 10,000 postcards signed by Canadians to protest the failure of the Tory government to act according to rules of the Canadian Postal Service Charter. (More)


Hungary ‘indefinitely’ turns off gas supplies to Ukraine

Orban says sanctions against Russia like shooting oneself in the foot

Image: Worker at oil pipeline control. Reuters / Laszlo Balogh 26 September 2014 BUDAPEST (RT) Natural gas deliveries to neighboring Ukraine have been halted “indefinitely”, said Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, a day after securing a new deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Hungary's gas pipeline network operator FGSZ suspended gas supply to Ukraine as of 4pm GMT on Thursday 25 September citing a need to meet increased domestic demand. (More)

Two fascinating links in one: The story in print and a video interview with Russia's Lavrov and his appeal for peace

To understand what's happening in the world, take time to listen and to read the two-in-one links we present here. For the video  just click on the shot of the missle. We guarantee that it won't go off; it will just release information that will reveal how the Pentagon-controlled media have served to mislead us.

Full Monty: UK minister resigns

after falling for journalist's sexting sting


Image: Screenshot detail of British MP Brooke Newmark.28 September 2014 LONDON England (RT) UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party has accepted the resignation of Brooks Newmark, Minister for Civil Society, who was caught sending explicit photos of himself over social media networks.

Newmark, a married father of five, was the victim of a sting operation in which he was duped by a male freelance reporter into believing he was communicating with a female Tory party activist. The journalist, who sold the story to the Sunday Mirror, was investigating allegations that some MPs were using social media sites to meet women. (More)


News of a new aristocrat simply cannot wait! 

By Lynn Stuart Parramore
Image: Photo of Duchess of Cambridge waving, Prince William at her side.09 September 2014 LONDON, England — Frances O’Grady, first female general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, was giving an important speech on the woes of the working class and the growing divide between haves and have-nots in Britain.
Just minutes after she warned of a return to a “Downton Abbey” society, the BBC's live coverage of O'Grady's remarks were interrupted for what was deemed to be a critical newsflash that could not wait: the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant. (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

UK MPs pass motion to recognize Palestine as a state


Secret evidence reveals that right-wing Kiev responsible

for shooting down MH17 Boeing-777-200 airliner in July


Armed Kurdish women are beating the ISIS

Killers flee in panic when attacked by women


Palestine: Israelis say attacks on Gaza, 'Mowing the lawn' 

Their most recent attack was called 'removing the top soil'

Noam Chomsky and U.S. policies on Israeli and Gaza


Amnesty International betrays its claim to neutrality


‘No peace till Netanyahu no longer in power in Israel’

US failure to see Saudi role in 9/11 contributed

to rise of ISIS – says ex-U.S. Senator Bob Graham


Crimea has been a part of Russia about

as long ago as when the U.S. was founded


TrueNorth Humanist Perspective

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. 8 (350)
October 1 2014

Editor's Notes

Always a faithful stooge to Boss 'Stonethrower' Obama

Calamity Steve leads Canada hot down the obscenity trail

Putin warned West about 'terrorists' going home after Syria practice

Eisenhower warned against control by the Military Industrial Complex

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

The ISIS cutting the heads off a handful of civilians is an obscene act of war. Just as obscene was President George W. Bush's attack on Iraq in 2003. He justified the attack on the false accusation that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was about to hurl them at the United States.

Two lies in one: and the heartbreak of more than 500,000 innocent civilians dead in Iraq. When you take in the physically and psychologically traumatized, it's a safe bet that you can measure at three-to-one, meaning a total of more than two million innocents dead and wounded because of Washington's armed aggression. At least since the Gulf of Tonkin lie, in August 1964, against Vietnam, Washington has lied the world into virtually continuous wars for more than a half-century.

With smug smirks, Washington, and its embarrassed puppets, ignored or brushed aside warnings, as it proceeded against all logic, to fulfill its imperialist compulsions, leaving a trail of destroyed countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, to name a few, and millions of dead and injured. And where it didn't use military hardware, it used such institutions as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and sanctions to cripple the economies of would-be competitors.

It spent one billion to set the stage to carpet bomb Libya. It spent five billion to undermine the economic and political viability of the Ukraine. It selected, as Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko. A man considered an unreliable crook by Washington until he became useful. (More)


Op Ed

It doesn't matter if U.S. elects President Wimp or Macho

The Pentagon controls and policy of war will be the same

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter

By Neil Clark

Image: US President Obama is saluted. Screenshot detail from nstagram.com/whitehouse25 September 2014 (RT) Colonel Kilgore, in Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” said he loved the smell of napalm in the morning. By way of contrast, US President Barack Obama, prefers the smell of coffee.

Kilgore liked to go surfing. Barack Obama prefers a leisurely round of golf. (Instead of ‘Charlie don’t surf!” try saying: ‘ISIS don’t putt!’ – It wouldn’t really cut it in the Marines.)

Kilgore liked the music of Richard Wagner, because it “scares the shit out of the slopes.” Obama prefers Marvin Gaye.

Instead of President Macho, we’ve got President Wimp – or so we are led to believe.

Obama’s so-called #LatteSalute has come in for much criticism, a sign that such a man is unfit to lead America into yet another war. If only we had a Colonel Kilgore, John McCain or Mitt Romney in charge — or a modern-day John Wayne! Hell, yeah - he’d kick IS’s butt alright and show those jihadists not to mess with Uncle Sam! (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

Domestic trade deal needs details

By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

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

October 2014 The Harper government has unveiled a proposal for putting teeth into the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) without providing many details on how it is supposed to be all tidied up in time for the country’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

Basically the government’s message is that for a country trying to conclude a free trade deal with Europe and participating in negotiations on a sweeping agreement covering the Asian Pacific region, we ought to be able to accomplish as much at home.

Although the AIT was signed two decades ago, it appears to have amounted to a paper tiger in terms of reducing trade barriers in Canada. Trade Minister James Moore says “Persistent barriers to internal trade, including regulatory differences, inconsistent standards, and restrictions on the free movement of people, goods and services, fragment our economy and put Canadian firms at a disadvantage. The result is a weaker Canadian economy, lost jobs, and a less united Canada. We owe it to Canadians to take action by breaking down the barriers to building a modern economy. Together we can achieve our common goal of one nation, one national economy.” (More)


From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

The Mount Polley mine disaster

"Where's the bathroom" asks BC premier Christy Clark

By Rod Marining
Common Ground
Image: Person looks out on polluted river.21 September 2014 On BC Day, a holiday meant to celebrate beautiful BC, we were all having a beautiful time at the family cabin at Quesnel Lake, with hot sun, blue skies and a pristine lake.
That night, I slept on my new boat docked in front of the cabin and was awakened at 3:00 AM by a continuous roar – like a 747 jet was flying towards the town of Likely. I thought the sound odd and then noticed the boat was rocking when just a minute before Quesnel Lake had been as smooth as glass. I knew that Polley Mine was only a few miles away, but I just returned to bed puzzled by the strange, distant noise.
In the morning, life continued as normal. I swam in the lake and drank out of it. Everyone went swimming, including the young children. We were unaware that the tailing pond had burst and had sent a torrent of 10 billion litres of water and 4.5 million cubic metres of toxic silt into Quesnel Lake, just four kilometres away. (More)


From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

Mount Polley's sister mine: We must do this one right

Red Chris mine is expected to yield a vast fortune

But how to insure against another catastrophe?
By Wade Davis

Image: Detail of photo of Kluea and Todagin Lakes in British Columbia. Copyright Carr Clifton. 22 September 2014 VANCOUVER B.C. — The highest levels of corporate integrity and responsibility should be the standard for any new mine in Canada, and especially for one with as much potential as Imperial Metals' Red Chris project, situated at the heart of the Sacred Headwaters in remote northwestern British Columbia. Imperial Metals has acknowledged that all exploration, regulation and construction costs will be reclaimed within two years of the mine's anticipated three decades of active production.

If true this immense and certain profitability ought to allow both the company and the government to push the limits of excellence on every front, assuring the public at every step in the process that costs and/or expediency will never deflect them from their goal of building an exemplary mine. It is in the interests of all of the mining industry and both federal and provincial governments that such high standards be set for Red Chris. Civic and corporate responsibility aside, self-interest alone would suggest that Imperial ought to build a great mine. (More)


By Geneviève Hone

Where There Is A Family

There's always advice from Granny Witch

We knew him

Hone, small image.

Dear Granny Witch,

I need your help to fill a request from a friend. She has a friend in our building who just lost her husband to cancer leaving a 17 month old son. I didn’t know this man well at all, just enough to say hello in the mail room. He seemed to be a joyful man. I say that because I heard him singing as he left to walk the baby in his stroller. He used to show pictures of his baby to just about everyone he met, he was so proud of him. After he died, people said that he fought his illness to the bitter end because he so wanted to be there for his son.

I said a prayer when I learned of his death and left a sympathy card for his wife. But now my friend who knows the family very well wants people who knew this man, even if only a little, to write to the baby. They could tell him how they knew his father so he can have a souvenir box for when he grows up. It seems like a good idea, but I feel I don’t know this man enough to actually write about him. Plus, I’m not that good a writer. How would you go about it, Granny Witch? You have such a way with words.  

Signed: Stumped right at the starting line

Dear Stumped, (More)


Bits and Bites of Everyday Life

What a difference in lifestyles

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.

“Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.” (Mandy Hale)

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte Villeuneuve-Sinclair

Image: Detail of photo of Alberte's grandparents, and others.On a fine September afternoon, I joined five of my cousins at the Outaouais Golf Club in Rockland. I wanted to find out more about my maternal grandmother, Alexina (Lacasse) Filion. She was also my godmother and by the time I got to know her, she was living in Rockland and her health was poor. She suffered from asthma and angina. But Jacqueline, Réjeanne, Claire Alice, Yolande and Aline are slightly older than me and their memories go back to when my grandparents still lived on the farm in Clarence.

My hero:

A special appreciation

Heroes come in all ages and sexes. True North Perspective is proud to learn that Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is not just a favourite among our readers, but a hero to someone very special to her. Click here to learn more!


Grandmother was a very proud woman, mother of ten children, who worked tirelessly. Life on the farm was a never-ending series of chores to be done on a daily basis. They raised cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, chickens, turkeys and some rabbits. There were no utilities in the house or the stable: no running water, bathroom, electricity or central heating. A well supplied the water that was carried back to the house and the stable. Firewood had to be brought in daily to feed the wood stove which was used for cooking and heating. The summer kitchen was used during hot days. Oil lamps and candles were used for lighting. All meals were made from scratch. Grandmother churned her own butter, salted pork, prepared marinades and preserves, baked her own bread and pastries. In the spring, maple trees were tapped so that maple syrup could be made and stored for later. They butchered their own animals. Nothing was wasted. She made head cheese (pig’s head meat suspended in a jellied stock) and blood pudding (black pudding) and much more. (More)


Spirit Quest

Parlez-vous . . ?

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

A strange phenomenon has been manifesting itself in my brain — words and phrases in the Czech language, irrelevant and often inappropriate, have been popping into my head at all hours.

The Czech language, until I was ten years of age, was a second language for me, German being my mother tongue. I was then living in what used to be the Sudetenland, an area stretching along the border of Germany and Austria. In our city, 85% German, Czech was the second language. We children were taught Czech in school. By the time I was nine years old I could converse in basic Czech but then we were forced to flee the country when Hitler annexed it. (More)


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.

ParkTales Image, small

Image: Detail of raging Granny cartoon above a 'smiling' Prime Minister Steven Harper.Congratulations are due to Ottawa's Raging Grannies for their latest “Event”. 

The Grannies set up a Harper Bus monument dedicated to all victims “thrown under the bus” by the Harper government. It was located on the front lawn of the Supreme Court, just steps west of the Parliament Buildings, and was removed soon after.

According to a press release, September 26, 2014, by the Grannies: “The Ottawa Raging Grannies have constructed a monument to all victims “thrown under the bus” by the Harper government. The large blue cardboard bus is labelled Monument to the Victims of C, (for Conservative), and popped up near the proposed site of a monument to the Victims of Communism. (More)


An open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on War

By Elizabeth Whitmore, Ottawa, Canada

Cc: Paul Dewar <dewarp@parl.gc.ca>, Justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca, Elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca, Thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca <thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca>

Dear Prime Minister,

How is it that yet again, we get caught up in the hysteria of the moment, grab our guns and think that bombing is going to somehow get the bad guys. It was not so long ago that Saddam Hussein was the bad guy, and fortunately Canada did not “ bite” (in spite of your advocacy for us to enter that disaster). We know that what is happening now is a direct result of the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. Talk about blowback!

Why is ISIL videotaping their gruesome acts of violence? Because they WANT the “west” to bomb, which will get them more recruits, as civilians, homes and livelihoods are destroyed. The “west” becomes a major tool for their recruitment of indignant Arab/Muslim young men (and women, according to the Guardian). (More)


In the medical response to Ebola,

Cuba is punching far above its weight

By Adam Taylor
Washington Post
Screenshot from report on Cuban medial workers arriving to help combat Ebola.4 October 2014While the international community has been accused of dragging its feet on the Ebola crisis, Cuba, a country of just 11 million that still enjoys a fraught relationship with the United States, has emerged as a crucial provider of medical expertise in the West African nations hit by Ebola.
On Thursday, 165 health professionals from the country arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to join the fight against Ebola – the largest medical team of any single foreign nation, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And after being trained to deal with Ebola, a further 296 Cuban doctors and nurses will go to Liberia and Guinea, the other two countries worst hit by the crisis.
Cuba is, by any measure, not a wealthy country. It had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of slightly more than $68 billion in 2011, according to the World Bank, putting it a few places higher than Belarus. At $6,051, its GDP per capita was less than one-sixth of Britain's. However, its official response to Ebola seems far more robust than many countries far wealthier than it – and serves as further proof that health-care professionals are up there with rum and cigars in terms of Cuban exports. (More.)


​Canadian CEO sentenced to 15 years

in Cuba on bribery, corruption counts

28 September 2014 (RT)A Cuban court has sentenced 74-year-old Canadian automobile executive Cy Tokmakjian to 15 years in prison for bribery and other economic and corruption-related charges, his company, the Tokmakjian Group, announced on Saturday, describing the case as "absurd" and a "travesty of justice." His two aides received sentences of 12 and 8 years, the Ontario-based transportation firm said in a statement. The company's Cuban offices were raided in 2011 in an anti-graft investigation and about $100 million worth of the company's assets were seized.

Media Watch

Public support for Palestine is growing

but mainstream media fail to reflect this

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com.

By Neil Clark
Image: Demonstrators protest to support the people of Gaza, in central London August 9, 2014. (Reuters / Luke MacGregor) 12 August 2014  LONDON England Thousands marched from the BBC headquarters in London at Broadcasting House, to Hyde Park, on Saturday, August 9.
Once again, as with the other recent demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians, the media has failed in reporting the numbers accurately.
Interestingly, a piece in the Guardian which at least covered what must have been one of the largest public displays of support for Gaza, and opposition to the state of Israel since millions marched against the illegal war waged on Iraq in 2003, noted that "According to police, more than 20,000 people marched". Which technically is true. More than 20,000 people did march, but by all accounts the true figure was more likely closer to 150,000.
But of course, rather than acknowledge the level of support and sympathy that is growing for the Palestinians, in part due to the fact that social media circulating the stories which fail to reach the public's eyes and ears, most in the media would rather willfully bury their heads in the sand. (More.)


By Robert Parry
Consortium News/Reader Supported News
Image: Detail of Nazi symbol on helmet worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. Filmed by a Norwegian camera team and shown on German TV.17 September 2014 — The U.S. mainstream media’s deeply biased coverage of the Ukraine crisis – endlessly portraying the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev as “the good guys” – reached a new level of absurdity over the weekend as the Washington Post excused the appearance of Swastikas and other Nazi symbols among a Ukrainian government militia as “romantic.”
This curious description of these symbols for unspeakable evil – the human devastation of the Holocaust and World War II — can be found in the last three paragraphs of the lead story in the Post’s Saturday editions, an article about Ukraine’s Azov battalion which has become best known for waging brutal warfare under Nazi and neo-Nazi insignia.
However, if you didn’t know that reputation, you would have learned little about that grim feature of the Azov paramilitaries as you wound your way through the long story which began on Page One and covered half an inside page. (More.)


Stewart, Colbert save day: Bill O’Reilly and Fox News'

ISIS insanity make 'fake news' more essential than ever

Stephen Colbert delivers critique CBS was either too afraid, or ill-informed, to shut down the Fox blowhard

By Sophia A. McClennen

Image: Photo of Stephen Colbert2 October 2014 —  As the nation continues airstrikes on ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the U.S. public is bracing for yet another military conflict in the Middle East.  And in order to make sense of this new crisis viewers are finding that “fake news” often offers better analysis than the so-called “real news.”

While Fox News’s Eric Bolling called the first female UAE pilot that bombed the Islamic State “boobs on the ground” and coverage on all major news channels mistakenly described ISIS as an imminent threat to the United States, fake news offered the U.S. public a refreshing dose of reality. (More)


Media colleagues scoff at cartoonist's claim she is victim of

Venezualian censorship after she was fired by private daily

'Everyone knows the media says whatever it wants in this country'


Image: Photo of Rayma Cannes.01 October 2014 CIUDAD BOLIVAR —Political Cartoonist Rayma Suprani, long renowned for drawing scathing critiques of the Venezuelan government and its supporters, was fired last month from Venezuela's largest daily newspaper and leading anti-government news source, El Universal. The artist attributed her removal to a cartoon she printed, which manipulated late president Hugo Chavez’s signature to satirize what she considers poor healthcare conditions, and told reporters there were “government hands” behind the decision.

Rayma also claimed her sacking is a result of the sale that recently placed the 105 year-old publication under new ownership. (More)


Simmering conflict in Hollywood over Israel

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being played out

in Tinseltown with stars joining on opposite sides of the issue

By Alex Kane

02 October 2014 —The summer’s bloodletting in the Gaza Strip has stopped, but the discourse on war that Israel’s assault sparked in the U.S. rages on. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Hollywood, where celebrity criticism of Israel led to recriminations from pro-Israel stars and threats to blacklist those who spoke out against the military operation. The entertainment industry is splitting over Israel in the wake of that state’s punishing attack on Palestinians in Gaza.

The latest salvo comes courtesy of Creative Communities for Peace. Created in 2011 by music industry executives, CCFP,  funded in part by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, has worked hard in recent years to blunt the impact of celebrity calls to boycott Israel. (More)


Ukraine is broke – and winter is coming…

By Bryan MacDonald

Image: A rebel walks in front of a factory destroyed during recent shelling, in the town of Nizhnaya Krinka, eastern Ukraine, September 23, 2014 (Reuters / Marko Djurica)24 September, 2014 — Ukraine is broke, and that's the sad legacy of this year's tumult. The question now is: will its western “friends” and Russia save Kiev from the abyss?

Countries often experience similar short-term periods of paper wealth, followed by a humongous hangover when the debt collectors come calling. There are a myriad of current examples in Europe: Greece, Spain and my own Ireland for starters. Others didn’t have much of a party, but still got the furry tongue – Hungary, Cyprus and Portugal spring to mind.

Nevertheless, there is one European state that bucks all trends by having had no shindig at all before getting its medicine from the markets – Ukraine. That is, unless you count a civil war, a violent revolution and a horrifically divided nation as a party. Incredibly, some in Ukraine actually do. To them, Maidan and its consequences is all a big celebration. Well, the hijinks are over now and the DJ has just played “My Way.” (More)


How reliable is eyewitness testimony?

Hint: Not as reliable as you probably thought

By John Bohannon
Science Magazine
Image: Close-up on an eye. Ben K Adams/FlickrNovember 2014 — The victim peers across the courtroom, points at a man sitting next to a defense lawyer, and confidently says, "That's him!"
Such moments have a powerful sway on jurors who decide the fate of thousands of people every day in criminal cases. But how reliable is eyewitness testimony? A new report concludes that the use of eyewitness accounts need tighter control, and among its recommendations is a call for a more scientific approach to how eyewitnesses identify suspects during the classic police lineup.
For decades, researchers have been trying to nail down what influences eyewitness testimony and how much confidence to place in it. After a year of sifting through the scientific evidence, a committee of psychologists and criminologists organized by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) has now gingerly weighed in. "This is a serious issue with major implications for our justice system," says committee member Elizabeth Phelps, a psychologist at New York University in New York City. Their 2 October report, Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification, is likely to change the way that criminal cases are prosecuted, says Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, who was an external reviewer of the report. (More.)

The Book End

Bruno Manser Fund / Bergli Books

New book claims to expose Ottawa connections

to Borneo 'kleptocrat’s' secret Canadian businesses

Image: Cover of Money Logging by Lukas Straumann.An explosive new book to be released in Canada in November claims to expose a Malaysian despot’s million-dollar-businesses in Canada, including his investments in the Nation’s Capital.

The money trail leads from the rainforests of Borneo to real estate developments in Ottawa, to the Ontario government and to the FBI.

Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia is to be published by Bergli Books. It will be launched in Canada at public events in November in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto.

Money Logging explains how The Taib family of Malaysia is behind multi-million dollar investments in Ottawa, including a major office complex on Preston Street. The buildings were built by the family’s daughter who married into a well-known family of Ottawa architects with close ties to the federal and provincial political establishments.

Currently, eleven Ontario government ministries are renting office space from the Taibs. (More)


The Crimson Dream

(a vampire escape)

A new novel

By Patricia K. McCarthy

Also known as Ottawa Fang Queen

Crimson vampires wreak havoc in the City of Ottawa

Where and how did Ottawa Police go wrong?

Image: Cover of The Crimson Dream (a vampire escape), by Patricia K. McCarthyThe serene cityscape of Ottawa has become a macabre setting for prison breaks and vampire bloodshed. Hold on tight to your morals (and your knickers) – these erotic savages will hypnotize you!

The Crimson Dream (a vampire escape) is the sixth novel from author Patricia K McCarthy who weaves the final silk-strands of the previous five Crimson installments into a tapestry of twists and turns. Who’d have thought that Ottawa could be so cool and complex?


Image: Photo of author Patricia K. McCarthy

Drugged, confined and half-starved, Samuel Crimson languishes in the old Ottawa jail, kept apart from the woman he loves. Magdalene and baby Finn are hiding out with Auntie and her many mugs of dark rum. When time takes a reverse turn, back to the days of Ottawa’s past in the 1900s, Sir William seduces the upper class ladies with the aplomb of a gentleman. He unleashes his vampire lust and then orchestrates a life-altering night for his prized hybrid son. And in returning to present-day Ottawa, an ingenious escape is somehow carried out by David Three Rats and the Coffey boys – if only they can remain focused they’ll do anything for their dearest friend. In the end the real truth will be learned – who lives and who dies, who dreams and who hides. (More)