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Sunday, May 26, 2013
Volume 6, No. 21Published by Northstar Media Services Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor Seattle, Washington firstname.lastname@example.org
A MEMORIAL DAY REFLECTION: WAR, THE ULTIMATE INSANITY
Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea This Monday, American celebrates Memorial Day, a holiday consecrated to those who have died in defense of this nation.
I have very ambivalent feelings about commemorations such as these. Like most of us, I admire valour and a courageous lifestyle. I’m a combat veteran of one war and have people close to me who have served in those subsequent.
Annual celebrations don’t begin to cover the loss. And I worry that as long as war is glamourized or sanctioned in any form, it will not stop.
The immutable fact is that war is the ultimate insanity. Those engaged in it have but one objective, to kill more of them than they kill of you.
There are no “rules of engagement”. There are no combatants, noncombatants, civilians or all the other euphemisms we’ve tried to use to hide the grisly reality of this homicidal nonsense from ourselves.
War is about pain and misery and death and suffering. There is no way to make people who have not experienced it, feel what it is like.
In America, that’s not a large number. But it is a significant number in Austria, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Russia, Sweden and all of the other of Shannon’s twinkling lights.
I admit that after all these years, I don’t know much about stopping war. To me, war is a single act of violence committed by one of us against another of us. And magnified some considerably.
But for as much as I do not know about how to stop war, I do know about what it takes to build a strong family and a strong community. And I know how to do it non-violently. This magazine reaches an amazing number of you who know this stuff too so I’m in good and honourable company.
Do I believe peace is worth dying for? Dying for something is easy so the relevant question is, “Do I believe that the pursuit of peace is worth living for?”
Yes, I do.
Until next week, take care and Godspeed, then, eh? And thank you. I hope you like this week’s edition.
IN OTHER NEWS
NOAA has published its prediction of the 2013 American Hurricane Season. Please remember, we are only the messenger.
Well, here’s something we found very ironic. It seems that the longer many immigrants live in America, the worse their health becomes. Seems to me that ought to suggest something to all these bigots in a blanket clamouring for Orwellian measures to crack down on undocumented aliens. Stop persecuting them. Just let them live in America. Apparently that’s punishment enough.
We welcome back to earth some intrepid cosmonauts after a month in orbit. Mice, lizards and crayfish were among those whose reaction to weightlessness and other conditions in space were tested. We’re sad to report that less than half the original rodents made it back but apparently everyone else survived.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS
LONDON ATTACK SHORTS
NORTH KOREAN SHORTS
SYRIAN WAR SHORTS
When I grew up, it was all about the acquisition of adult privileges without having to accept adult responsibility for them. This protracted Recession of 2007 has changed that dramatically for this newest generation of Canadians. To see what they are facing, please go here.
Those living in Central Canada had a “What did we do to make God mad at us?” day last week. Yep, 5.2 on the Richter. For more, please go here.
Courage doesn’t come much better than this and it is a reminder that every Briton is capable of holding that thin red line. Brave Woman Stood Down London Attackers
When I lived in Southern California, it was still a smog capital. So I’m delighted to read this story, L.A. on a green streak: New mayor pledges allegiance to smart growth, bikes
What’s the most popular country in the world? The answer just might surprise you.
We’ve been reporting regularly it seems on sexual abuse in the American armed forces. Here’s the latest. Women Were Secretly Filmed at West Point, the Army Says One would think by now that the Pentagon would have found a way screen these perverts out.
A CHANCE TO HELP
Help protect Alaska in general and Bristol Bay, in particular, from the environmental impacts of what would be the largest mine in North America. This is from our good folks at the World Wildlife Fund and it is not an appeal for membership or donations. It is an opportunity to join thousands of others, including those of us here at the House of Northstar, in signing a petition to the American federal government. We know from past experiences that these do, in fact, often make a difference. For more information, please go here.
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
One of the cool things about 21st Century exploration is that it is as devoted to the frontiers of inner space as it is passionate about going where no human being has ever gone before. Check out the world’s smallest droplets created in world’s largest atom smasher.
It looks like our favorite Mars rover is back on the job. To see what Curiosity is up to now, please go here.
Here’s something I found really interesting considering the plans to colonize Mars. It also pretty much convinces me that if there’s actually really intelligent life in the solar system, it’s probably buried deep. WOW: Asteroids Hit Mars HOW MANY Times Each Year?
OUTER SPACE SHORTS
CLOSER TO HOME SHORTS
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ
THE GREEN AGENDA
One of the elements of human tragedy that has been depicted probably even on cave walls is dying of a broken heart. That’s been largely a figurative allusion. It turns out it is often also literal. It is medically possible to die of a broken heart.
Have you noticed people lately moving away from you on a crowded bus or deliberately sitting down wind of you? Check out four Common Body Odors You Can Avoid
With so many of us working longer hours or taking on second jobs to help makes end meet should really check out these eight energy boosters which do not engage the stimulant/relaxant syndrome.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
More and more, cancer fighters are learning how to harness the power of the human mind. When Shannon came out of remission, we visualized what life would be like when she got well. It was not, ultimately, enough to save her life. But it did extend it some and it was quality time she had. So yep, for more on this one, please go here.
BEST OF THIS WEEK’S NET MEDIA
OTHER BLOGGERS WE FOLLOW
The Tomatoman Times – Sardonic, ironic, sometimes poignantly incisive, this is also one of the longest running human interest blogs on the Net and well worth the read.
Meade’s California Coast is moving commentary and photos by one of that state’s premier photojournalists. Short, poignant and memorable, it is a tribute to both the craft and the subject.
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.
NEWS, WEATHER & INFORMATION
It looks like the best city in America to ride out climate change happens to be this one. For nine other cities besides Seattle that will be impacted the least or are the best prepared, yep, please go here.
KOMO 4 News (ABC)
KIRO 7 (CBS)
KING 5 News (NBC)
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
One of the great loves of my life once made me sleep on the couch for a week after she came back from a business trip and found me and the cat playing with three raccoons who had come into the flat through Sasha’s door to hang out. I wonder what S. would have done to me had it been a band of baboons?
Last Thursday, May 23, was World Turtle Day. And of course, we did not get that memo either. Sigh.
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Okay, this is weird, even for us and you guys. A couple in the UK were having trouble with their Internet and television connection so they called their cable company. The tech on the scene opened the box and found a nest of snakes in it. These are a protected species in the UK so the tech fixed the connection problems and closed the box without disturbing the snakes. The couple is perfectly happy with the way things worked out too.
A FINAL WORLD
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Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed. Rusty
WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT
an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion