Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Volume 6, No. 26
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TWO GOOD NEIGHBORS
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. We are proud and honored to wish Canada a happy 146h birthday Monday. She is one of Northstar’s parents. America, who celebrates her 237th birthday on Thursday, the fourth of July, is, of course, the other.
Though we have occupied the same continent for about six hundred years now, we are two distinct nations. Canada took one path to independence. America took another.
Canada remained a “colony” for much longer. What she produced was intended for an empire, not a developing nation. And because she was a member of the mighty British Commonwealth, her young men and women “served at the discretion of the Crown.” If the Maple Leaf flag were to fly over all the graves of her children lost in battle or international rescue, there is not a place on this planet that modest emblem would not be seen.
Americans came from other world empires but with every intention of building their own. Britain did not have nearly the hold over the international nature and character of “the Colonies.” The Crown consistently underestimated the intelligence, resourcefulness and passion for self-determination of her American subjects. She treated them as she did her other colonials and that spelled the beginning of the end of the Empire itself. It also set an example for the subjects of monarchs all over the world and after Waterloo and the Crimea, the Crown was very, very tired.
Because they came of age differently, America and Canada also ~ to me ~ have distinct national characters. Americans paint with a bigger brush and a bolder stroke. Adventure ~ direct or vicarious ~ is still a burning passion with them. It has pervaded every aspect of their civilization, of their society.
It has also taken them to the moon and other very interesting places. It has made them at times the enfant terrible of the international community. At other times, it is why they were the only thing standing between all of us and a maniac’s Final Solution.
Americans are a most interesting species to observe; particularly when it comes to beating their own drum a bit too loudly and, arguing among themselves about things even more absurd than how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
They seem to display a particular penchant for dubious public discourse. In the name of striking for common ground ~ and in language far pithier than even that of Nero’s Rome ~ they proceed to call each other every possible biological combination except another child of God. And this, some of them of them stolidly assert, is consensus building.
When their president Abraham Lincoln suggested that a house divided against itself could not stand, he obviously did not truly understand the nature of the creatures with whom he was dealing. When their nation is in peril, when one of their communities has suffered a major disaster, and when other places in the world have a dramatic need for them, Americans stop bickering, set aside their tools, close up shop and pitch in to help where they are needed most.
Canadians are more reserved, quieter and less inclined to court the favors of divine providence. They are the second largest nation in terms of land mass but 36th in total population. Canada’s average density is 3.4 per square kilometer/9.1 per square mile.
In contrast, the United States is the third largest nation in both land mass and population. America’s average density is 31.9 per square kilometer/82.7 per square mile. With Canada’s population at around 36,000,000 and America close to 332,000,000, it means that America has slightly less land and over nine times the people.
Much of Canada, then, is still wilderness and vast expanses where there are no human beings. So if Canadians from Victoria to Halifax seem to act as if they know one another, chances are there’s a friend, relative or distant family member they have in common.
Canada does not have the ethnic diversity that the States does. Her population is comprised of British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%.
The United States uses a slightly different breakdown: white 79.96%, Hispanic 15.1%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)
Many inferences can be drawn from data. What is most important to me is that Canada and the United States have not only shared the same continent for all this time, but a common border. They are also two very separate and distinct countries which have been living in peace beside one another longer than any other two nations on the planet.
Happy birthday guys and nice going.
Until next week, take care and Godspeed, then, eh? And thank you. I hope you like this week’s edition.
IN OTHER NEWS
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional because it prevented the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages by those residents of states in which they are legal. In my opinion, the language of this decision was far broader because it affirmed not only the equality of gays and lesbians but the vital role they do, in fact play, in every aspect of American society. The Northstar Journal fully endorses the decision of the Court and recognizes its wisdom in these regards.
It has been a long watch at Northstar as we pray for the recovery of Nelson Mandela. I have studied some the history of the nations and tribes of the African continent. I am particularly familiar with South Africa and apartheid. I recently watched the film Invictus and was reminded of how well President Mandela has served each and every one of us. As much as he is needed ~ as much as I yet need to be inspired by his personal example ~ I know he will ascend gracefully. Heaven is not so perfect a place, I suspect, that it cannot use another diplomat and another soul capable of Divine forgiveness.
The American presidential administration’s decision to spy on its own citizens has had dramatic repercussions around the world. Germany, an ally since the Marshal Plan and especially since Reunification, is apparently no longer a fan. It seems most Germans are not real high on domestic surveillance. With the Gestapo and the SS as historical precedents, this is not surprising.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
TOPICAL NEWS SHORTS
Here’s yet another opportunity to “relocate” the federal government. DEATHMATCH: Pick The New Capital Of Canada
Not that we’re noted for being especially exciting to begin with but if you’re really down with dull, you might just want to know what the most boring city in Canada is.
And as if we needed yet another reason to wean ourselves off fossilized fuels, Calgary floods trigger an oil spill and a mass evacuation
These women deliver food from farm to table by bike, in minutes A vegan bicycle maker and two organic urban farmers walk into a bar … (Hint: Yep, it’s for real, and nope, it’s not in Portland.)
We’re glad this happened. On behalf of the heterosexual community, I’m sorry it took so long and cost so many so much. U.S. Supreme Court DOMA Decision Rules Federal Same Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
L.A. launches nation’s largest solar rooftop program The program will pay residents for excess solar power they produce on their roofs, with the aim of generating enough to power 30,000 homes.
Well, this makes me real proud to be living in “the Lower 48.” Americans Among Least Concerned About Major Global Issue, Poll Shows
And as someone who has been a part of the struggle for human rights in this country for over three decades now, this comes as real good news. (NOT) Key Part of Voting Rights Act Invalidated
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Well, we’d like to welcome China’s three astronauts back to earth after what is being called “a record-breaking” space flight. For such a relatively late entry into this international race for the stars, the RedRepublic is making impressive gains on the rest of the pack.
For over 35 years, NASA’s Voyager 1 has been expanding our knowledge of the solar system. Now, she truly is going where no probe has gone before.
Well, here’s a scientific discovery worth passing along. Utensil type has surprising effect on how foods taste, study shows
CLOSER TO HOME
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ
Okay, let’s see how much you know about Canada.
THE GREEN AGENDA
For those of you who suffer from hot flashes, this should come as good news. F.D.A. Approves a Drug for Hot Flashes
The Obama administration has taken its war on childhood obesity to school vending machines, snack bars and campus stores. This is one of Michelle’s great crusades and we are pleased that she is doing so well with it.
Check out these five foods for better skin
ON THE CANCER FRONT
Here are 9 Ways to Prevent Cancer
Only 5 percent of men worldwide use condoms despite public health campaigns, so the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is joining the effort and issuing a challenge.
BEST OF THE NET
BLOGS 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.
No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News is like a blend of Popular Mechanics, Scientific American and the science pages of the New York Times and the Huffington Post. I totally geek out when I read these folks.
All photos used in Seattle Scenes, unless otherwise noted, were taken by the editor. For a virtual tour of the Northstar Gallery, please go here.
NEWS, WEATHER & INFORMATION
This is not a good time to go in the water at Lake Washington’s Matthews Beach. For more on why, please go here. Nice catch, PJ, and thanks.
KOMO 4 News (ABC)
KIRO 7 (CBS)
KING 5 News (NBC)
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
Being a total fan of these magnificent leviathans, I am of course delighted to report that humpbacks are alive and thriving in the Salish Sea fka the Puget Sound.
And since I am also a horse person, I was impressed by a recent discovery which strongly suggests this species got its start about two million years earlier than has been previously thought.
It is rare but not unheard of for an animal in a zoo to escape. But in some 30 years impersonating also a wildlife reporter, I cannot recall an animal trying to break into one.
Two Rare Albino Humpback Whales Spotted on Yearly Migration An albino humpback whale was spotted with an all-white companion on the whales’ annual migration to the Great Barrier Reef for their mating season.
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
And then there were the two dozen tourists who thought it would be really cool to holiday out on a Baffin Island ice floe. The mini expedition was going fine until the 30 mile/48 km chunk of ice and snow detached itself from the larger land mass and headed out for the Arctic Ocean. Canadian Forces affected rescue with no loss of life or injuries. These are tax Loonies at work, in this case saving the lives of two dozen recreational Jack London or Robert Service wannabes. They’d have been a lot smarter if they’d just filled a big swimming pool with ice, turned the air conditioner on high and invited friends. And if the pool started to move, as they sometimes do in California, Alaska and Seattle, they could just pull the plug. It would be just as dumb as a holiday on an ice floe but it would not cost Canadian taxpayers money better spent promoting poutine as the cuisine of choice among the Maple Leaf’s culturally discriminating.
AVAILABLE FROM NORTHSTAR
WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT
an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion
|NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES
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A FINAL WORD
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Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed. Rusty