Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007Sunday, December 2, 2012 Volume 5, No. 49 Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor Seattle, Washington firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS IS NOT A REAL GOOD IDEA
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, it’s real comforting to read that apparently some folks dislike journalists enough to declare war on them; individuals, groups, agencies and nations, apparently. A third of the annual fatalities in the working media can be attributed to constructive criticism taken to the max.
This isn’t just happening in the Middle East. Violence against the media is prevalent to some degree in almost every nation on earth. It is certainly worse in places like Syria right now and in Latin America and Mexico. But it has become a societal endemic and it is on the rise.
I know that a lot of people are not going to take this as bad news. Some of the press can be incredibly rude and intrusive. Some of them are downright dishonest, especially in their violation of the space and privacy of others. They are the same ones ~ essentially ~ who bring bad press to any profession.
The cowardly, the dishonest, the inept and the homicidal, these seem to attract more interest than the virtuous. So the media leans toward pandering to the lowest common denominator because that is what it appears people want and will pay for.
It seems to me that in a consumer driven media at least, the criticism for its content, if not its practices, belongs on those who pay for it. Develop a taste for higher class content and spend the money on that instead of the tabloid stuff. If you don’t like something, get on the Internet and tell people. That in itself will become news.
Also, I think it helps to realize that tabloid journalism is not the predominant form in the world. From single news journalist bloggers on up to outfits as large as the New York Times or the Toronto Star, they are just professionals doing a job. Honesty is no more important to their profession than it is to any others. But it is certainly no less, either.
They do not need to be shot at to get their attention. It is not necessary to murder them to enhance the sincerity of sentiments in these regards. Many of them take fire every day in war zones and they are always there when their nations need to know.
Hundreds of them have been targets of intimidation. Some of them have been an assassin’s commission. More than a handful of them know what it is like to live in fear of retribution for the truth they report and their media publishes.
Violence against journalists never shuts them up. It has, in fact, the opposite effect. It brings them good press, the kind that empowers others. With the new support, it makes their jobs easier. Proactive audiences are always more rewarding than passive media consumers.
It should also be noted just because journalists prefer the pen to the sword does not mean they do not know what a good blade is or how to use it.
Especially in a land of big evergreen trees and axes.
IN OTHER NEWS
Two astronauts ~ one American, the other Russian ~ are now in training for what will be America’s longest mission in space. I hope they get along better than the American Congress. Otherwise, we’re going to be hearing a lot of noise from the International Space Station. But not a lot is going to get done. For more, please go here.
The World Justice Project has just released its 2012 Rule of Law Report. To see how your nation scored, go here and in that little rectangle at the bottom, type in 63 for the page and hit enter. The Report ranks 97 nations on a variety of factors and on a master list by total scores in the various factors.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
US – California: California Shows Signs of Resurgence
CLIMATE CHANGE/HURRICANE SANDY SHORTS
Rob Ford was removed from office last month as Toronto’s mayor. What’s in store for him now? For more, please go here.
A Canadian is now headed for London to run the Bank of England. For more on this incredibly rare event, please go here.
The Maple Leaf national flag is flying as proudly over Montreal as it is over the rest of the country. Yep, for more, please go here.
A Minnesota grocery owner who is retiring is giving the business to its 400 employees. For more on this one, please go here.
By failing to extend an oyster company’s lease, the US federal government effectively established that nations’ first marine wilderness in the continent United States. Yep, for more on this one, please go here.
Unused inner city lots are providing farmer’s market growing and vending opportunities for the poor and for refugees. For more on this one, please go here.
International fossil fuel giant British Petroleum has been barred from new business ventures in the United States as a result of its adjudicated responsibility for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. For more, please go here.
John McAfee, the anti-virus mogul wanted in Belize for first degree murder, continues to elude authorities in that South American nation, much to the consternation of law enforcement authorities. For more on this one, please go here.
A top Iranian police official has been dismissed and could face criminal charges after the death of a blogger who was critical of the country’s financial policy and who was murdered in prison while awaiting trial. For more on this one, please go here.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, NATURE AND EXPLORATION
This sounds like one of those Fifties science fiction movies like The Tomato That Took Over Toledo or The Eggplant That Ate Evanston. It’s an invasive plant, however, which could pose a big problem or be the solution to one.
Well, it turns out dinosaurs might not have been quite the “thunder lizards” they’ve been previously thought. Some of them, as a matter of fact, might have been delicate for their size;
Editor’s Note: Mars Rover Curiosity has been busier than the Energizer Battery bunny so to keep up with the little dude, we’ve creating this special shorts section. Go, Curiosity.
THE GREEN AGENDA
What are 10 of the worst ingredients found in food? The answers just might surprise you.
What are the most overrated exercises? The answers just might surprise you.
What countries will be best to be born in next year? The answers just might surprise you.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
More and more cancer patients with no other choice are going public and putting their lives in the hands of strangers. That is turning out to be not such a bad idea.
Once strongly recommended on an at least annual basis, breast examinations may have failed and may, in fact, be responsible for 50,000 – 70,000 surgical procedures unnecessary. Yes, for more, please go here.RESOURCES AND RELATED LINKS: Cancer: What You Need to Know American Cancer Society Canadian Cancer Society
He has been historically touted as one of the America’s most passionately freedom loving founding fathers. He was certainly more of its more eloquent. He was also a life-long slave holder who was not always the kindest of masters. For a controversial but supremely historically accurate portrait of Thomas Jefferson, please go
BEST OF THIS WEEK’S NET MEDIA
The Nature Cure is indeed that. It is geography and weather from all over the world. Fantastic visual therapy for the flat-screen addicted, it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable recreational experience. It also provides a perfect visual backdrop against which to meditate and is linked to several other equally outstanding examples of this art form.
All photos used in Seattle Scenes, unless otherwise noted, were taken by the editor. For a visual tour of the Northstar Gallery, please go here.
Queen Anne Science Café: Weather Forecasts
Weather forecasts used to be very unreliable with major events, like the 1962 Columbus Day Storm and the New England hurricane of 1938, being essentially unforecast. A lot has changed since those days. At the December Queen Anne Science Café, join UW Atmospheric Sciences professor Cliff Mass, PhD. to explore the improving technology of weather prediction. That’s next Tuesday, December 4, 7:30 p.m. at T.S. McHugh’s on Lower Queen Anne. We expect this event to fill quickly so get there early. As always, all Science Cafés are free and open to all ages. Learn More
New Business in Wedgwood
If your child is into ballet or modern dance, like quite a few of them are in my neighborhood, you should check out http://www.twirldancewear.com/. They’re just north of 35th & 85th, between the dance studio on the corner and the Wedgwood Alehouse.
Also in Wedgwood: Northwest Harvest is holding a fundraising evening at the Fiddlers Inn, Tuesday, Dec. 4th. Entertainment includes Ciscoe talking about gardening. For more on this, see Gail Manahan’s online press release.
Home Team Harvest
Home Team Harvest is an outstanding way to help feed Seattle’s hungry. It’s endorsed by KING5 TV, which holds an annual food drive. They’re very accessible and the donation process is both convenient and easy. For more, please go here.
Seattle Weather Map of Seattle Seattle City Cams More Seattle Facts & Figures Komo 4 News (ABC) King 5 News (NBC) Seattle Times
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
Late last month, in England, a dog named saved one of his mistresses’ children by pushing the young man out of the way of a speeding truck. The dog took the full impact himself but survived and is expected to make a full recovery. Yes, for details, please go here.
They’re taking back the ‘hood, as it were. Check out the resurgence of wildlife in American cities.
RELATED LINKS: Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
A FINAL WORLD
The Northstar Journal is one hundred percent supported by readers like you. If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute ~ however modestly ~ to the next, please go here and with our thanks. Rusty