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Sunday, August 25, 2013
Volume 6, No. 33
WHY GUNBOAT DIPLOMACY STILL DOES NOT WORK
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. I’ve just finished reading a good essay examining an aspect of America’s foreign policy I’ve heard referred to down the years as “gunboat diplomacy” and “neo-colonialism.”
What that essentially means is that top level American government officials decide who is going to rule the rest of the world. If they don’t agree with the leader of another nation, they take him or her out. If they do agree with them, the leader of another nation can be sadistic, deranged and delusional. He will still be supported.
This essay points out, as well, that this really hasn’t worked out very well for the citizens of America, who by and large have nothing to do with setting or implementing foreign policy.
But we ~ American citizens ~ do pay for it and we started paying for it, with all due respect, before 9/11. And the largest single reason it happened was that citizens in Other Countries got tired of American government interference in their domestic and foreign affairs.
Were they entitled to do what they did at the TwinTowers? That is a moot point in an enterprise which has but one “rule” and that is to kill more of them than they kill of you. If you do that often enough, maybe your country will be left alone to settle its own destiny.
As much as anyone can, I regret the War on Terrorism. I see what four tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and other places young Americans in military are fighting this war is doing to an entire generation. War certainly was not kind to mine.
But then the purpose of War is not to be kind. It is simply to kill. As long as we who finance that war with our taxes and our children permit it, War will continue to do that.
And it does it very, very effectively, doesn’t it?
IN OTHER NEWS
A new United Nations report – compiled by an international group of scientists ~ confirms that our species is contributing significantly to global warming and that if it continues at its present rate, the oceans of the world will rise three feet/.9 meters by the end of this century.
Well, those who blame their current problems on a youth squandered on sex, drugs and rock and roll can’t blame one of those substances. Norwegian researchers confirmed what others have suspected for a long time. There is no link between the use of hallucinogenics and mental health issues.
When one thinks of inventors, the gender is most often male. Here are eight reasons why it should not be.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
TOPICAL NEWS SHORTS
MIDEAST PEACE TALKS
This is something I know readers from Sooke to Halifax have been waiting for. It looks like now, with Verizon looming in background, wireless prices are dropping.
The new federal health minister, Rona Ambrose, promised a new era of hands-on, proactive involvement in making sure every Canadian has a health plan they can afford. She spoke this week at a Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA) annualconvention in Calgary.
She’s Canadian. He’s American. Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.
Felina: Samuel, I am reading this story Sun Unleashes Another Solar Storm Aimed at Earth.
Felina: And I have a question. Actually, I have two questions. But the answer to the first might negate the need for the second.
Sam: Then from your mouth to the Creator’s ear, Lass.
Felina: Aye, but to your ear first. And if you cannot explain this, then we will ask the Divine One.
Felina: Thank you, Samuel. What puzzles me is this. What did humans do to get the Sun so mad She aimed a solar storm at them in the first place? And why are they apparently still doing it?
Sam: Ummm, Felina, that headline is a little misleading?
Felina: Excuse me?
Sam: You know how they’re always “humanizing” (shudder) things not like them?
Felina: Ah, their quaint habit of slandering that which they do not understand or which clearly does not enjoy their society. Yes, I am familiar with it. So the Sun is not really angry with them.
Sam: Not when I run the numbers, Felina. Human beings are among teeming billions of life forms on Gaia. Gaia is a very modest planet tucked into a very simple solar system at the remote edge of a rather minor galaxy in a magnificent universe which has no beginning, no end and no boundaries.
Felina: So even if the Sun was a good archeress, She would have to be rather extraordinarily good.
Sam: She would have to be as good as the One Who created Her, yep.
Felina: Thank you, Samuel. I feel a lot better.
Sam: Not a problem, love of my life. And on that note, then, Felina?
Felina: And on that note then, Gentle Readers, may the Creator bless and keep you. Unitl next week then, eh?
The human capacity for courage and self-sacrifices never ceases to amaze me. WATCH: Elementary School Bookkeeper Single-Handedly Prevented Mass Shooting.
Here’s a chance to help a very dedicated young veterinary student find a home for a puppy whose owner ran an ad on Craiglist threatening to kill the animal if it was not adopted by the end of the day. Even if you’re not in the Columbia City, Missouri area, it sure wouldn’t hurt to tell her how cool you think what she did is. Her email address is email@example.com
Rather than let them swim for it or drown, officials in a part of Russia that is flooding airlifted two marooned brown bears to safety. Some 20,000 human beings have also been evacuated from the storm savaged region.
This has got to stop. Native Canadian women and children are apparently being sold into sexual slavery at Great Lakes ports. A researcher for the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition said that according to those she has interviewed, this practice has gone on for generations.See also: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade Adam Hochschild: We Can End Slavery—Again
As if this family has not been through enough, Rehtaeh Parsons’ Father Says He Received Death Threat. Whenever I read about people who do this, I seek parallels in the other life forms on this planet. I have never been able to find any. So I think that perhaps Hell is not as big as I thought. I personally would like to see people who commit these unutterable acts of cruelty buried there and fully conscious that from now until the end of forever, their life is confined to a coffin on a remote and desolate plateau in Hades where Satan does not rule nearly as effectively as Eternal Silence.
I’m one of those individuals who believes that sports ~ like life itself ~ should be about being the best you can be, not the best steroids, cosmetic surgery or your press agent can make you. Apparently not everybody feels that way. A new study indicates that doping is more widespread in track and field than previously thought.
A CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Realizing ~ as so many of us are these days ~ that if we wait for our respective national governments to save us from the consequences of greenhouse gases (GHG) and our own greed, we are doomed, the World Wildlife Fund throws out this challenge to each of us to clean up the planet community by community. To pick up that particular gauntlet, yep, please go here.
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
On Mars, the rover Opportunity, Curiosity’s “older sibling,” is setting up winter operations at a place on the Endeavour Crater called Solander Point. It will continue its exploration at this new site, which faces north, the direction of the most sun in Martian winter. The golf-cart sized explorer landed on the planet in 2004.
NASA’s Global Plan for Space Exploration Gets an Upgrade — Twelve international space agencies, including NASA and the European Space Agency, published a Global Exploration Roadmap; outlining plans and joint goals in space exploration.
OUTER SPACE SHORTS
CLOSER TO HOME SHORTS
BIG ROCKS IN SPACE AND WHAT’S BEING DONE ABOUT THEM
COOLEST SCIENCE STORIES OF THE WEEK — The Hyperloop transportation system, surviving a brain-eating amoeba and North America’s oldest rock art are just the beginning or our cool science stories this week.
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ
Okay, gang. How much do you know about inventors and their inventions?
THE GREEN AGENDA
If your body mass index (BMI) is over 25, you are male and you are younger than 55, too much coffee can kill you. That is among the findings of a recent study which followed 40.000 people over 17 years and took into consideration a variety of other factors. Yep, for more, please go here.
Well, here’s something we’ve known for years. Empathy is a physical trait, not just a state of extreme compassion. Really caring people are made that way.
By the same token, it looks like sociopaths are also made that way and according to this article, entitled 11 Signs You May Be Dating A Sociopath, 1 in 25 Americans is one. I thought enough of this article to break it out and share it with my family as a basic life tool.
For those of us fortunate enough to live close to an ocean or a sea, seaweed is as versatile a “salad green” as anything out of an Iowa pea patch garden. Whether it’s actually a superfood or not is largely a matter of subjective definition. If you can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound after eating it, it is probably very healthy but it will not make you Wonder Person.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
September is Cancer Awareness Month. Let’s Go the Distance to Find a Cure for Childhood CancerLINKS Cancer: What You Need to Know American Cancer Society Canadian Cancer Society
BEST OF THE NET
Best Space Photos of the Week – Aug. 18, 2013 — From a new star explosion to the possibilities of the hyperloop, don’t miss these amazing space photos of the week for Aug. 18, 2013.
SITES WE PERSONALLY ENJOY EACH WEEK
Image of the Day — A gallery of amazing photos from around the world – and above it! Our Image of the Day archive features stunning pictures of nature and space.
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.
MAYOR HEADS BAN GUNS FROM BUSINESSES CAMPAIGN
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn this past week launched an effort to ban guns from the city’s retail businesses. He has the support of some of the members of the Chamber of Commerce and the state’s anti-gun lobby.
It’s legal in this state to wear a sidearm and to carry one concealed, if you have a permit. So he does not have legal precedent working for him. He’s also a long way from his native Boston and naïvely believes he’s addressing a culture of gun violence.
Hello? This is WashingtonState, Mike. You know, the one north of Oregon. Guns are part of a culture which once included Conestoga wagons, China Clippers, mule-drawn plows and streetcars powered by horses.
It remains, this state, mostly rural in character. People fish and hunt not just for recreation, but for sustenance. East of the mountains, guns are used to protect livestock from predation and as a certain response to a lunging rattler, a diseased deer or a cornered cougar or bear fighting for its life.
Putting a sign on your business forbidding firearms on the premises will not stop someone from concealing a weapon and then pulling it out and bathing the establishment in blood. If you want that kind of protection, you better get a metal detector and frisk every customer at the door. Oh, and you do know that they can make plastic weapons which can elude a metal detector, right?
This is time, money and energy focused on a largely symbolic effort that will accomplish nothing except, perhaps, give some people a false sense of security when they patronize gun free businesses.
I’d personally like to see all these resources committed to a responsible program of firearms education and ownership. I agree with a waiting period and background checks for sidearms and for automatic weapons. And I totally support legislation stiffening the punishment for crimes committed while in the possession of a gun. I’d also like to see bigger budgets for those law enforcement agencies faced with a high incidence of crimes involving firearms.
What I am totally opposed to is legislation which empowers the ruthless and the unstable while depriving potential victims of the means to defend themselves, their families, their property and their communities.SEATTLE DIRECTORY THE TODAY FILE: “The latest news from Seattle & around the Northwest” What’s Going On In Seattle? Seattle Restaurant Guide Here’s the 10 day forecast 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
Well, here’s another reason for not swimming in America’s Potomac River. Apparently, sharks do too. The real kind.
Here’s another opportunity to die of cute. WATCH: Orphaned Lamb Makes An Unlikely Friend
And in case you missed it under GOOD EXAMPLES, here’s a chance to help a very dedicated young veterinary student find a home for a puppy whose owner ran an ad on Craiglist threatening to kill the animal if it was not adopted by the end of the day. Even if you’re not in the Columbia City, Missouri area, it sure wouldn’t hurt to tell her how cool you think what she did is. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM THOSE WE SUPPORT MAKING A DIFFERENCE
A LETTER OF THANKS
August 22, 2013
Your support for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is making a real difference for bird conservation—highlighted in recent news carried by The New York Times and the Washington Post.
Just a few days ago, the Times ran a story about the eBird phenomenon, how our technology enables tens of thousands of birders (maybe you too!) to monitor the health of bird populations in real time. They called it crowdsourcing for birds. We say it’s a powerful movement that puts bird conservation in the hands of bird watchers, scientists, and decision-makers.
For example, the 2013 State of the Birds report used eBird data to document how some of our most vulnerable and at-risk bird populations rely on America’s farmers and ranchers to steward valuable habitats for birds. My recent editorial in the Washington Post brought attention to the critical importance of a conservation-friendly Farm Bill.
The State of the Birds, eBird, and everything else we do at the Cornell Lab is made possible thanks to passionate people like you who care about birds and who are helping us to break new ground in conservation. Thanks again for your support.
Best regards,John W. Fitzpatrick, Director Cornell Lab of Ornithology 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 was the dude in Windsor, Ontario, Canada who chugged eight beers and swam across the Detroit River into the United States. Local governments and the federal agencies of both countries appear not to be taking this as an attempt at domestic terrorism, illegal immigration or a one-Canadian invasion of America.
AVAILABLE FROM NORTHSTAR
WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT
an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion
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Some of the best relationships include sharing what you love with the ones whom you love. ~ D.A.G.
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A FINAL WORLD
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Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed. Rusty