Proudly serving North America and the International Community
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2007 – 2013
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Volume 6, No. 35
LORD, PLEASE PROTECT US FROM THOSE WHO WOULD PROTECT US FROM OURSELVES
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, it looks like America’s National Security Agency ~ among the folks responsible for making sure that nobody spies on us ~ has done a pretty good job of making sure they (the NSA) can do it instead. Their cyber cryptographers have been busy security code and password busting all over the world, apparently.
I’m not real pleased with that but not because I’ve got anything to hide. My life, from the sublime to the acutely embarrassing, is mostly a matter of public record and as outrageously droll as I get in my commentary here sometimes, I’m hardly a threat to the national security of any nation on the planet, much less the two I call home.
I’m also not naïve enough to believe that this espionage-counter espionage, foreign and domestic, is anything new. Human beings are a gregarious species and the gathering and selling of information has always been a lucrative enterprise.
I’m also acquainted with most of the historical rationales for it. And the list of clichés to cover it is hardly a short one either. The ability to do it has advanced with the same technology used to better predict the weather, the path of hurricanes and the melting of the northern ice cap.
What I resent is the bold-faced hypocrisy involved. We’ve crucified a mixed up kid for what he did and it looks to me like his only real crime was getting caught at it. I still don’t approve of what he did but if he’s going to be punished for it, I want the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and my local police department held accountable for the gathering and disseminating of information I, as a citizen of this country, did not authorize.
I also think that in this age where we seem obsessed with sharing every detail of our lives with strangers, we’re suggesting that it’s okay to log all this personal information and store it for potential future use. But by whom, for what purpose and with whose permission?
I think it’s okay now to say, “Excuse me? That’s really none of your business now, is it, mate?”
Because it’s not.
IN OTHER NEWS
We’re not sure why anyone would want to do this but we sure admire the dedication, endurance, good humour and patience Diana Nyad demonstrated in attempting to swim from Cuba to Florida. This was her fourth attempt and guess what? She made it.
What seven things to good educational institutions have in common? The answers might surprise you.
This cannot possibly come as real good news. Crop-munching pests are traveling north at the rate of 24 feet a day as the climate changes
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
TOPICAL NEWS SHORTS
This is definitely us. Cheeky Canadian reclaims his stolen bike and replaces it with a drawing
Now here’s a good example of our tax dollars making a difference. Remember, we pay the salary of these guys and guyettes. Police seize computers linked to large cybercrime operation
Apparently someone still isn’t getting the memo. Possible B.C. pipeline route crosses grizzly bear sanctuary
She’s Canadian. He’s American. Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.
Felina: Samuel, I am reading about this human being of some antiquity who apparently escaped Cuba by swimming to Florida. This article says it was her fourth attempt. I have some questions?
Sam: I’m not surprised. There are usually a lot of them when the yardstick of common sense is applied to human behavior.
Felina: They can be incredibly perplexing at times, my love.
Sam: Aye, Lass, they can indeed.
Felina: Samuel, why did she keep going back to the place from which she was escaping? It looks like she did this voluntarily?
Sam: Well, Felina, she wasn’t really escaping. She was probably just trying to show the humans in Cuba that maybe they didn’t need a boat if they wanted to leave and their government wouldn’t let them.
Felina: Oh yes, all those boat humans. I do remember that. So tragic and yet so moving a testament to their love of freedom. But this Nyad human was not one of them? Ever?
Sam: Nope, Luv. She’s just an American human who likes to swim.
Felina: It would rather appear that she enjoys it so much that she was perhaps born the wrong species. Have humans invented a procedure or a cure for that yet, Samuel?
Sam: Not that I know of, Felina. But it would not surprise me if there was some scientific team somewhere in the vastness of the North American continent secretly working on that particular aspect of genetic engineering.
Felina: That is not a comforting thought, love of my life. But it is a rather interesting one, this notion of re-engineering a human based on its true nature.
Sam: It would definitely give the jackass population something to bray about.
Felina: And perhaps the dolphins, the orcas and other more exotic lifeforms. Perhaps even the Quebecois.
Sam: Yep, Sweetheart, perhaps even the Quebecois. And on that note, Felina?
Felina: And on that note then, Gentle Readers, may the Creator bless and keep you. Unitl next week then, eh?
We certainly think this is long overdue. Sixty-five Years Later, a Memorial Gives Names to Crash Victims. Also see Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (Deportees) – Joan Baez
We applaud this Texas city for doing what decades of federal and state legislation have failed to accomplish. San Antonio Passes Far-Reaching Antidiscrimination Measure
Morgan Freeman is one of our favorite actors. Read what he has to say about aliens, space and the origins of life on earth.
OUTER SPACE SHORTS
CLOSER TO HOME SHORTS
BIG ROCKS IN SPACE AND WHAT’S BEING DONE ABOUT THEM
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ
Okay, gang. How much do you know about Syria?
THE GREEN AGENDA
If you think you’re getting a little too old for some good healthy exercise, consider the case of 64-year-old Diana Nyad. This past week, on her fourth attempt, she swam from Cuba to Florida.
What our kids eat can actually not only prevent tooth decay but make the difference in their overall dental health.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
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.
A SEATTLE “INSTITUTIION” CELEBRATES ITS 6OTH BIRTHDAY
Dick’s Drive-in Restaurants are celebrating their 60th anniversary with a block party today, Sunday, September 8, 2013, on Broadway in Capitol Hill. For more information, yep, please go here.
LATE SUMMER STORM ROCKS SEATTLE
Here’s what Seattle looked like Thursday and Friday as thunder and lightning rocked the skies over most of the state. Some areas received as much as two inches of rain in as many days.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
A kayaker who decided to explore a small island off the northwest coast of Australia was a “guest” of the real estate’s apparent owner. It was a very large crocodile familiar to boatmen in the area. This is also a part of the AustralianCoast apparently as legendary for “crocs” as the Great Barrier Reef is for sharks. I have never understood why people swim and surf on the GBR despite frequent attacks by the monsters of the deep. So it follows that I am having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that anyone would want to visit a place ruled by the cousin of the crocodile that ate Kalamazoo.
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
AVAILABLE FROM NORTHSTAR
WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT
an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion
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THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“You, enlightened, self-sufficient, self-governed, endowed with gifts above your fellows, the world expects you to produce as well as to consume, to add to and not to subtract from its store of good, to build up and not to tear down, to ennoble and not degrade. The time is short, the opportunity is great; therefore, crowd the hours with the best that is in you.”
~ John Hibben, president of Princeton University – 1913 graduation address
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A FINAL WORD
The Northstar Journal is entirely reader-supported. If you enjoyed this edition and would like to help out with a dollar or two towards the next, you can donate via Paypal at this website. Thank you. MS(R)M