A MEMORIAL DAY REFLECTION: WAR, THE ULTIMATE INSANITY

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL

Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Volume 6, No. 21

Published by
Northstar Media Services
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
 Seattle, Washington
minstrel312@aol.com
 
vietnam-memorial

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

Afghanistan: Effort to Strengthen an Afghan Law on Women May Backfire

Taliban Attack U.N. Affiliate’s Compound in Kabul, Testing Afghan Security Forces

Australia: Ancient African Coins Could Rewrite Australia’s History
Brazil: Public Rapes Outrage Brazil, Testing Ideas of Image and Class
Chile: Strong Earthquake Hits Off Coast Of Chile
China: Chinese Hackers Resume Attacks on U.S. Targets

China’s Brutal One-Child Policy

Rice Tainted With Cadmium Is Discovered in Southern China

China Space Program Ramping Up Capabilities, Pentagon Says

Hackers Find China Is Land of Opportunity

Beijing Plans to Reduce the State’s Role in the Economy

Croatia: Bees Being Trained to Hunt Land Mines
International: U.S. and Europe Prepare to Settle Chinese Solar Panel Cases
Iran: Report: Iran Executes Men Convicted Of Spying For U.S., Israel
Iraq: Bomb Blasts Claim More Lives In Iraq
Ireland: True Cause of Potato Famine Discovered After 168 Years
Israel: Israel, Syria Exchange Fire Over Border
Japan: So Far, the Battery Charger Is Working in Japan

Japan’s New Optimism Has Name: Abenomics

Malaysia: Meet the Rainforest-Dwelling Malaysian Farmers Fighting to Keep their Land above Water
Myanmar: China Tries to Improve Image in a Changing Myanmar

In Myanmar Outpost, a Fading Orwellian Link

Pakistan: Pakistan, Rusting in Its Tracks

Gunmen Kill Prominent Female Politician In Pakistan

Russia: Russia Expels Former American Embassy Official

Polling Group in Russia Says It May Close

Sweden: 4th Night Of Violence In Sweden
United Kingdom: British Study Raises Warning on Scottish Banks

British Village Residents Protest Plan for Shale Gas Drilling

United States: Sky High and Going Up Fast: Luxury Towers Take New York

Wells Dry, Fertile Plains Turn to Dust

Nation’s biggest uranium mine planned in New Mexico

Obama, in a Shift, to Limit Targets of Drone Strikes

Brood II Cicadas Now Bugging New Yorkers

Additional Embassy Guards Will Come With a Steep Price

CLIMATE CHANGE SHORTS

Climate Change Impact On Tornadoes ‘Damn Difficult Thing To Predict’

Can we blame climate change for the tornado that took out Moore, Okla.?

Manhattan to see more killer heat waves

Ten US Cities Expected To Get Hit Hardest By Climate Change

Spared by climate change: The 10 best cities to ride out hot times

For a Future that Won’t Destroy Life on Earth, Look to the Global Indigenous Uprising

LONDON ATTACK SHORTS

Man Reportedly Beheaded In Brutal Assault In London Neighborhood

Alleged London Attacker British Citizen Of Nigerian Origin

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Bloody-Handed Man Defends Woolwich Murder

‘Barbaric Attack’ in London Prompts Meeting on Terror

Call for Calm After 3 New Arrests in British Soldier’s Death

NORTH KOREAN SHORTS

North Korea Reportedly Launches Short-Range Missiles

North Korea Fires Sixth Missile Into Sea

NKorea Sends Special Envoy To China

China Bluntly Tells North Korea to Enter Nuclear Talks

SYRIAN WAR SHORTS

Assad Suggests Peace Talks Would Fail Because West Wants to Prolong War

Hezbollah Aids Syrian Military in a Key Battle

Hezbollah’s Role in Syria War Shakes the Lebanese

TORNADO SHORTS

WATCH: Tornadoes Rip Through Central U.S.

OKLAHOMA HORROR

Oklahoma Tornado Aftermath: Trail Of Destruction In Moore

LOOK: Oklahoma Tornado Seen From Space

Can We Protect Against the Next Moore Tornado?

BUSTED: 7 Dangerous Myths About Tornado Safety

Remembering The Victims Of The Tornado

OH CANADA

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.

Following the United States and the European Union, Canada is initiating an investigation into Google’s anti-competitive practices

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.

GOOD EXAMPLES

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.

SHORTS

“Miracle garden” brings life, and food, to the urban wasteland

Georgia Professors Teach Undocumented Students—for Free

80-Year-Old Scales Everest

BAD EXAMPLES

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

Asteroid Capture: NASA Plans to Drag Space Rock Into Lunar Orbit

WATCH: Giant Space Rock Headed Our Way

NASA Chief Ends Speculation About Manned Moon Missions

CLOSER TO HOME SHORTS

Mysterious Particles Detected At Icy Observatory

Drones May Revolutionize Farming, Experts Say

DNA Study Solves Mystery Of Mysterious Mixed-Race People

How Evolution May Help Build Better Robots

This solar panel printer can make 33 feet of solar cells per minute

NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ

Okay, gang.  Here are ten descriptions of places from around the world.  Let’s see how many you can identify.

THE GREEN AGENDA

More than 100,000 electric vehicles now on the roads in U.S.

Could a Chinese carbon cap pave the way for a global climate deal?

L.A. on a green streak: New mayor pledges allegiance to smart growth, bikes

Don’t Let the Apocalypse Get You Down

HEALTH

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.

SHORTS

Slim Down with Healthier Snack Habits

Are Nightmares Ruining Your Sleep?

The Secret to Better Sleep

Is Your City Aging You?

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.

LINKS

Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society

LIFESTYLE

The 20 Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes

Prague’s “love subway” will let single people find romance while they commute

Boy Scouts End Longtime Ban on Openly Gay Youths

BEST OF THIS WEEK’S NET MEDIA

Helicopters Bring Viewers Vivid Images of Tornado

Curious kitten gets big surprise from lizard

PERENNIALS

Liveblog: Cute animals to look at | Grist

NASA Earth Observatory Home

Outer Space, Space Shuttle & Solar System Videos

LiveScience Best Science Photos of the Week

NORTHSTAR ENDORSEMENTS

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

BACK COUNTRY GALLERY:  BEST NATURE PHOTOS ON THE NET

BLACK SEA AGRO: AGRICULTURE IN THE BLACK SEA REGION

CREAM MAGAZINE & MILLENNIUM ART GALLERY

HELP END WORLD HUNGER & POVERTY | HEIFER INTERNATIONAL® | HEIFER.ORG

THE SEADOC SOCIETY: PEOPLE & SCIENCE HEALING THE SEA

SIERRA CLUB

OTHER BLOGGERS WE FOLLOW 

The Tomatoman TimesSardonic, 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.

 SEATTLE SCENES

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.

Seattle looks like the best place in America to ride out climate change.  See following story.

Seattle looks like the best place in America to ride out climate change. See following story.

NEWS, WEATHER & INFORMATION

It looks like the best city in America to ride out climate change happens to be this oneFor nine other cities besides Seattle that will be impacted the least or are the best prepared, yep, please go here.

THE TODAY FILE:  “Your guide to the latest news from Seattle and around the Northwest”

What’s Going On In Seattle?

Here’s the 10 day forecast, courtesy of the good folks at our CBS affiliate, KIRO 7.

SEATTLE DIRECTORY

Seattle Weather

Map of Seattle

Seattle City Cams

More Seattle Facts & Figures

KOMO 4 News (ABC)

KIRO 7 (CBS)

KING 5 News (NBC)

Seattle Times

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.

SHORTS

Bees Being Trained For Life-Saving Duty

Salamander’s Regrowth Secret Revealed

Never Before Seen Images of Pandas In The Wild

RELATED LINKS:

Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals

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 

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.

If you’re reading this on our blogsite and would like the graphically enhanced edition delivered to you by email, please so inform us at minstrel312@aol.com 

Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed.  Rusty

  TESTAMENT ICON

WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT

an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion

For a preview, go here:

For the kindle book, ($3.99) at amazon.com.

 

 

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About minstrel312

MERRITT SCOTT MILLER Bio Wrath of the Testament Author and Northstar Journal editor Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller is a former newspaper reporter who has published extensively in the Pacific Northwest and several times nationally. A U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, he began his career in the alternative media of the mid-Seventies. His own Sacramento-based monthly ~ Rapline ~ drew praise from Sacramento BEE metro columnist Herb Michelson in a column published that that newspaper; and from Berkeley Film Quarterly editor and author of the bestsellers Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging, Ernest Callenbach. A Northern California native with roots in British Columbia, Mr. Miller has written for several Northwest community newspapers, United Press International, the daily Portland Oregonian and for such Seattle publications as the Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Press and the University Herald. As an investigative reporter for the McMinnville, Oregon News-Register ~ and in conjunction with CBS News in New York, Washington, DC and Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Mr. Miller localized a story of alleged Contra gun-running by an international air freight company headquartered in that Willamette Valley community. During the 1987 Angel Complex Fire in southern Oregon, Mr. Miller worked as the lead dispatcher for the U.S. Forest Service and covered the disaster for National Public Radio and as a special writer for the Portland, Oregonian. His 1988 series on child abuse for a rural weekly earned him praise from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. In his career as a journalist, Mr. Miller has interviewed a Nobel peace laureate; an internationally renowned abstract artist; a popular folksinger and various Pacific Northwest elected officials, include a state treasurer and governor. An accomplished travel book writer, Mr. Miller has penned demographic and feature copy for the “Best Choices” series on Eastern Washington, British Columbia, Virginia, South Carolina and Atlanta. As either a contract or staff publicist, he has served a host of clients including the Olympia Music Festival, Umpqua Valley Community Hospital, the City of Canyonville, the Tiller Ranger District, The English School, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners, Yamhill County Assessor Kim Worrell and Workers of Oregon Development. His freelance publications include: United Press International, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Portland Oregonian, Forest World, American Trucking, Trucks, Oregon Adventures, Oregon Education, Old Oregon, The Entertainer, the Seattle Press, the San Juan Island Sounder, Northwest Passage, Northwest Connection, Seattle Source, Seattle Forum, the University of Colorado’s Writers Forum, Clouds, The long Beach Literary Journal and the Pacific Media Group. He has worked since the age of 13 and has been a hop harvester, professional musician, civil servant, forester, convenience market clerk, lumber mill worker, temporary word processor, technical writer and editor. He has also led a social services research and development team and has six years of radio and telephone communications experience. His interests include astronomy, aviation, camping, Canada, communications, conversation, cooking, dancing, economic development, education, environmentalism, exploration, film/DVDs, fine dining, government, green technology, health. History, human rights, International community, Internet media, law, literature, marine engineering & design, medicine, music, nature, networking, outdoors, pets, photography, romance, science, sexuality, technology, travel, water, wildlife His honors and awards include: Letter of Appreciation - Amnesty International; US Senator Patti Murray Letter of Appreciation for The Northstar Journal Blog; Editors Choice, International Library of Poetry; Congressman Edward Murray Letter of Appreciation; Congressman Frank Chopp Letter of Appreciation; Hersch Best Read on the Net Award for The Northstar Journal; President Bill Clinton Letter of Appreciation; Workers Of Oregon Development Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Police Department Certificate of Appreciation; City of Canyonville Mayor’s Office Certificate of Appreciation; California Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird Letter of Appreciation; Northwest Magazine Editorial Board Letter of Appreciation for Rain; Editorial Award, Society of Professional Journalists; Sacramento Bee Metro Column; Honor Roll: California State University Long Beach; Deans List: Long Beach City; Mr. Miller currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he continues to edit and publish The Northstar Journal. He is working on two novels concurrently and a sequel to Wrath of the Testament.
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