ALTRUISTS OR THE SELFISH — WHICH DO WE REALLY ADMIRE?

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL

Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Volume 6, No. 27

Published by

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor

 Seattle, Washington

minstrel312@aol.com

P_19A

ALTRUISTS OR THE SELFISH

WHICH DO WE REALLY ADMIRE?

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it’s been an interesting, if not introspective past week in the House of Northstar.  We’re focused on the fading health of Nelson Mandela, someone we’ve never met but who we feel has known us forever.

What is it that makes some people fight for the freedom of others and other people focus so narrowly on their own vested self-interests that life is all about them and no one else?

Ironically, I think that the one thing both groups have in common is the motive of self interest.  The altruist defines it one way; the self-prepossessed, another.

The latter believes that the more wealth, power or whatever they accrue, acquire, cultivate and exercise, the better person they are.  They’re of the Divine Right of Kings school of ethics.  They don’t need to obey the law in their pursuit of happiness because that pursuit of happiness IS the law.

The self-prepossessed are extremely competitive.  One way to acquire stuff is to defeat someone in combat of some kind and claim the spoils of victory, whether it’s extorting food stamps from a tenant late with the rent, getting a bunch of the rich and gullible to pay alms to the god, Ponzi, or having sex with your best friend’s partner simply because that partner is a slut anyway and if you get caught, it’s best for the friend to find out who and what they really married.  And better they should find out from you who can attest to how easy they were to seduce and how much they wanted it.

The altruist tends to view life as this matrix of inter-connectedness.  Like John Donne’s famous quote about no man (person) being an island.  They see the value of cooperation and of sharing.  They interpret Charles Darwin appropriately.  That imminent Englishman did not say that it was the survival of the fittest but of the most adaptable.

Most altruists I’ve met have also been pretty ordinary folks in most respects.  They’ve generally led g-rated lives and stayed out of the tabloids simply because away from the “job,” they were not as newsworthy as those who use any degree of peer or public recognition as a mandate to act like a total flipping prat.

Nelson Mandela, his wife Winnie and his kids are not so much different than the average family anywhere on this planet.  Mr. Mandela is a father who hates to see his children suffer.  He is a husband who feels his wife’s agony as his own.  He is a human being to whom every other human being is a relative, near or distant.  South Africans of any tribe or nation of origin are the kin he can see, hear and touch.

He fought for freedom because his emotions would allow him no other course.  He went into a cell on RobbenIsland about the size of a middle-class walk-in closet.  He spent most of his daylight hours chained to this huge rock he was breaking down, chunk by chunk, with a heavy sledge hammer.  Most of us get tired following our lawn mower around the yard.  Can you imagine what he must have endured, day after day, week after week, year after year?

There have never been enough people like Nelson Mandela.  There have never been enough to fill the bellies of hungry children.  There have never been enough to end the need for domestic violence shelters for women.  There have never been enough to convince elected officials that it is better to govern by will of the consensus than the depth of the pork barrel.

But as long as we remember what people like Nelson Mandela did and why they did it, I don’t think the stone selfish will triumph in the end.  But to the extent that they exert any influence at all, they will be a blight on the butt of all humanity.

Until next week, take care and Godspeed, then, eh?  And thank you.  I hope you like this week’s edition.

IN OTHER NEWS

Canadian authorities thwarted an Al Quaida-style attempt to bomb the BC provincial legislature on July 1, Canada Day.  We predict that this was probably one of the dumbest attempted acts of terrorism in the history of the tactic itself.  It is not generally a good idea to antagonize a country whose national past time involves whacking at one another with big sticks, living in places where even polar bears wear electric sox and eating a dish so disgusting it has to be disguised by a French name.

On behalf of others in the International Community, we would like to welcome Croatia to the European Union.

It’s about time to either put this whole climate change denial shtick to rest or classify it as a mental illness.  According to the United Nations, the world suffered unprecedented climate extremes in this past decade

WORLD NEWS SHORTS

AUSTRALIA Taliban Attacks Afghan Capital Amid Peace Talk Tensions
CHINA China Blames Religious Extremists for Violence in XinjiangChina’s Spaceflight Success Sets Stage for Big Space Station

China Taps a Growing Phone Market

With Surf Like Turf, Huge Algae Bloom Befouls China Coast

CROATIA Croatia Joins The EU
EGYPT See SHORTS below
FRANCE France and Germany Piqued Over Spying ScandalHollande Pledges To Legalize Euthanasia

France, Too, Is Sweeping Up Data, Newspaper Reveals

GERMANY France and Germany Piqued Over Spying Scandal
INDIA Ahead of Elections, India’s Cabinet Approves Food Security Program
INDONESIA Dozens Dead After Earthquake Rocks Indonesia
JAPAN Ban Lifted, Japan’s Politicians Race Online
LITHUANIA At Anchor Off Lithuania, Its Own Energy Supply
PAKISTAN U.S. Drone Strike Kills 16 Militants In Pakistan
RUSSIA Prosecutor Urges Six-Year Term for Russian Opposition Leader
SOUTH KOREA South and North Korea Agree to Discuss Shared Industrial Park
TANZANIA Violent Episodes Grow in Tanzania, an African Haven
UNITED STATES Brutal Heatwave Smothers the West19 Firefighters Are Killed Battling Arizona Wildfire

Obama Calls for New Partnership With Africa

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

After 8 Months Away, Crowds Swarm to See a Storm Survivor

U.S. Adds 195,000 Jobs in June; UE Remains at 7.6%

TOPICAL NEWS SHORTS

CLIMATE CHANGE

Experts See New Normal as a Hotter, Drier West Faces More Huge Fires

Incredible Tech: How to Engineer the Climate

Nothing to sneeze at: Climate change is making your allergies worse

NELSON MANDELLA

Obama Visits Prison Where Mandela Was Jailed

Johannesburg Center Is Helping to Preserve the Legacy of Mandela

Visit by Obama Is Overshadowed by Mandela Vigil

Obama Visits Prison Cell That Helped Shape Modern South Africa

EGYPT

Morsi Faces Ultimatum as Allies Speak of Military ‘Coup’

Egyptian General Says Army Will Intervene If Crisis Not Resolved In 48 Hours

Mohamed Morsi Is No Longer Egyptian President

Egyptian Chief Supreme Court Justice Assumes Presidency

Morsi Aides Arrested in Widening Sweep

Egypt’s Arrests of Islamists Pose Test to U.S. Over Military Aid

ElBaradei Seeks to Justify Ouster of Egypt’s President

Military Reasserts Its Allegiance to Its Privileges

Morsi’s Fall in Egypt Lauded by Syria’s Assad

Crackdown on Morsi Backers Deepens Divide in Egypt

For Islamists, Dire Lessons on Politics and Power

Egypt Protests Turn Increasingly Violent

U.N. Rights Official Questions Detention of Islamist Leaders in Egypt

Ouster of Egyptian Leader Draws Divided Response

Mayhem in Cairo as Morsi Backers Fight for Return

Mohamed ElBaradei, Former Diplomat, to Be Named Egypt’s Interim Prime Minister, Spokeswoman Says

SNOWDEN

Job Title Key to Inner Access Held by Snowden

Putin Says Snowden Must Stop Hurting U.S. to Stay in Russia

Kerry Says Snowden Affair Will Not Upset China Relations

Poland Rejects Snowden’s Request For Asylum

Résumé Shows Snowden Honed Hacking Skills

Poll Shows What Americans Think About Snowden

SYRIAN WAR

Syria Attacks Rebel-Held Area in New Push to Retake City

Activist Who Documented Syrian War’s Toll Became Its Victim

OH CANADA

Well, this was typical.  Someone at Huff Post Canada got the bright idea that we might want the nation’s capital in a city other than the one in which it is presently located.  With more fanfare than a Calgary Stampede, this contest raged for several weeks and in the end, Ottawa prevailed.  Sometimes, as a nation, I think we have way too much time on our hands.

What is good news for one gender is not necessarily good news for the other.  Case in point?  Canada’s Women Doing Better; Men, Not So Much

Check out the best-paying jobs in Canada that do not require a degree.

SHORTS

Two  Charged In Canada Day Terror Plot

Names Of Alleged Terror Plotters Released

Stunning Number Of Households Have Ridiculous Debt Levels: Report

Household Income: Canada’s Families See Years Of Stagnation, StatsCan Finds

GOOD EXAMPLES

Here’s an application of 21st Century technology that we could really get behind.  Thanks to a 3D printer, a crippled duck is going to walk again.

A South African man whose son was stabbed 12 times defending a girl friend from a gang attack has turned his neighborhood around.  To see how he did this and why I think this is one of the best GOOD EXAMPLES we’ve published this year, please go here.

Long after he is no longer among us, Nelson Mandela will be remembered.  Here is one of the reasons why.  Where Mandela Kept Hope, Guide Tells Their Shared Saga

SHORTS

Obama Visits Prison Cell That Helped Shape Modern South Africa

Conservation Organizations Laud Obama’s Order To Combat Poaching

A Kinder, Gentler Way to Thin the Deer Herd

EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Our little buddy, the Mars rover Curiosity, has been busy.  Check out this short video of one of the planet’s tiny moons, Phobos, rising.

The man who invented the mouse died this past week.

OUTER SPACE

Asteroid Miners to Use 3D Printing for Space Telescopes

HUGE Number Of Alien Planets May Be Able To Support Life

Rescue Robots and Shopping in Space

CLOSER TO HOME

Desert Mummies’ Hair Reveals Bad Habit

Volcanic rock may be used as giant wind-energy battery

Passenger Jets Testing Touch-Screen Technology

OUTER SPACE

Asteroid Miners to Use 3D Printing for Space Telescopes

HUGE Number Of Alien Planets May Be Able To Support Life

Rescue Robots and Shopping in Space

NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ

Okay, gang.  It’s time to find out how much you know about Egypt.

THE GREEN AGENDA

Incredible Tech: How to Engineer the Climate

Robert Redford: ‘We Need Climate Action On All Fronts’

Trapping Carbon Dioxide Underground: Can We Do It?

HEALTH

Are you delusional about your health?  Weird question, I know.  But a recent study suggests that most of us think we are in better health than we actually are.  I found this very interesting.  Check it out here then, eh?

Child birthing costs more in the United States than it does in any other developed nation.  Why?

Lower back pain afflicts millions of us, whether chronically or as the result of situational stress or injury.  I’m one of these people who hates to use anything I might run out of so I was very relieved (pun intended) to learn about a very simple exercise which can really make a difference.

SHORTS

Scientists Fabricate Rudimentary Human Livers

A Disease Without a Cure Spreads Quietly in the West

Natural Remedies For Erectile Dysfunction

ON THE CANCER FRONT 

We are aware, from personal experience, of the heath damage working swing or graveyard can do to one’s system.  We did not know, however, that breast cancer risk could double for women working night shifts

LINKS

Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society

LIFESTYLE

Video: The Italian Gesture:  Can Italians talk without using their hands? Gestures that insult, beg and swear offer a window into Roman culture.

Divorce Hits Youngest Kids the Hardest, Study Finds

To Keep Kids Out of Trouble—And Prison—Teach Them to Understand Their Emotions

Skin Cancer on the Rise in Young Women

BEST OF THE NET

Slide Show: The Potato Chip of Pets – Llama owners say it’s impossible to stop at one or two.

Space History Photo:  Shuttle Atlantis Under A Full Moon –Rating *****

Here’s a dynamite video showing how grizzly bears swim and catch fish. 

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 ENDORSES

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

BLOGS 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.

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.

SEATTLE SCENES

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.

Rustic Western in VH July 2013

One of the things that continues to impress and delight me about Seattle’s neighborhoods is how rustic and architecturally homogenous they can be.  It’s almost like “The Land Tract Housing Forgot.”

Guess Which Fair Metropolis Tied For Fifth Snobbiest City in America?  Hint:  It Was Not Bellevue

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 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

Here’s one that I thought was kind of weird.  Some scientists have taught cockatoos to open locks.  It seems to me that if they can learn to use a key, the next step is a combination and then a pick.  We have heard that scientists are often required to go out of the box in search of funding but times must indeed be hard when several of them feel compelled to teach birds how to invade petty cash.

Here’s a chance to help stop wildlife crime in Africa.

And now it appears that “crazy ants” are invading the American Southeast.  What has Dixie done to deserve this, eh?

SHORTS

Social Lemurs Have More ‘Street Smarts,’ Study Finds

LOOK: Real-Life ‘Lassie’ Ends Magnificent Career

Conservation Organizations Laud Obama’s Order To Combat Poaching 

FROM THOSE WHOSE EFFORTS WE ENDORSE AND SUPPORT

Our Good Friends at The SeaDoc Society

The Good Folks at the World Wide Fund for Nature

RELATED LINKS:

Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals

YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP

And then there’s the guy who, every year, on the hottest day in Death Valley, California, dresses up like Darth Vader from Star Wars and goes for a one-mile/1.6 km run.

AVAILABLE FROM NORTHSTAR

           

 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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NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES

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

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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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