LORD, PLEASE PROTECT US FROM THOSE WHO WOULD PROTECT US FROM OURSELVES

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL

Proudly serving North America and the International Community

1998 – 2001

2007 – 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Volume 6, No. 35

Published by

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Seattle, Washington

minstrel312@aol.com

Spy

LORD, PLEASE PROTECT US FROM THOSE WHO WOULD PROTECT US FROM OURSELVES

Hi again from the shores of the Salish SeaWell, 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

AFGHANISTAN Woman Who Wrote About Life Under the Taliban Is Killed
ARGENTINA Not Crying for Argentina but Fearful of a Ruling
AUSTRALIA News Corp’s Tight Grip on Australia’s Papers Shapes Its Politics

Tony Abbott Australia’s 26th Prime Minister

BRAZIL Video: Brazil’s Humor Guerrillas
CHILE Chile just got really good at creating drinking water from fog
CHINA Seeking Edge in Academics, Chinese Spend Summer in U.S.

Senior Chinese Official Is Investigated for Graft

China Graft Inquiry Sweeps Up Billionaire Oil Entrepreneur

China Looks West as It Bolsters Regional Ties

EGYPT SEE SHORTS BELOW
EUROPEAN UNION No Bounce for Europe in Rebound by Germany
G-20 Plan at G-20 Is to Tighten Global Rules on Taxes

G-20 Leaders Agree to Continue Stimulus Plans

GERMANY What Happened to Germany’s Green Party?
GREECE Greek Prime Minister Says Positive Economic Data Points to Austerity Easing
INDIA Rupee Continues Decline on New Evidence of Weakness in Indian Economy

Falling Economic Tide in India Is Exposing Its Chronic Troubles

IRELAND Ryanair Warns Profit Could Fall Short
ISRAEL Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria
JAPAN Levitating train breaks speed record in Japan

Tokyo to host 2020 Olympic Games as IOC votes send Istanbul, Madrid packing

PAKISTAN U.S. Drone Strike Kills 6 in Pakistan, Fueling Anger
RUSSIA Online Attack Leads to Peek Into Spam Den
SWITZERLAND Swiss Agree on Penalties for Banks That Aided Tax Cheats
UNITED KINGDOM Muslim Community In Tower Hamlets Hold Demonstration to Counter East London EDL March

Falmouth Lashed By Violent Hail Storm (PICTURES)

Prison Officials Censured For Using Official Transport to Rush Guinea Pig to Veterinarian

Britain Sent Poison Gas To Syria

UNITED STATES Video: Death of a Russian Orphan

Arrests of 3 Mayors Reinforce Florida’s Notoriety as a Hothouse for Corruption

Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.’s

Interracial couples on the rise the US

V.A. to Provide Spousal Benefits to Gays, Administration Says

N.S.A. Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on Web

Detroit Bankrupt? Six Ways the Motor City Is Thriving

TOPICAL NEWS SHORTS

CLIMATE CHANGE

We can’t blame everything on climate change: Soot melts glaciers too

New Report Confirms Human Activity Plays Role In Global Warming

EGYPT

Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Charged With Inciting Murder

Egypt’s Interior Minister Survives Assassination Attempt

SYRIAN WAR

U.N. Chief Reaffirms Opposition to Strike on Syria

Putin Says Proof of Chemical Arms Attack Not Enough to Justify U.S. Action

Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West

Rockets in Syrian Attack Carried Large Payload of Gas, Experts Say

Syria Crisis Reveals New Paradigm

Israel Backs Limited Strike Against Syria

U.S. Orders Nonessential Diplomats to Leave Lebanon

Crossing Deadly Landscapes, Refugees Reach Havens in Lebanon

Syria: Six Alternatives to Military Strikes

Europe Says Syria Strike Should Hinge On U.N. Data

OH CANADA

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

octo 3 frame

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?

GOOD EXAMPLES

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

Now we’d consider this definitely above and beyond the call of duty for this particular blue knight in Florida.

earthEXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Now that I know this, I will not ever be able to look at Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens or Mt. Baker again quite the same.  See also:  Which US Volcanoes Are Likely To Erupt Next?

A new report confirms that human activity has and is playing a role in global warming.

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

Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Two Soars in 2nd Rocket-Powered Flight Test

Shifting Winds May Spark Dramatic Changes In Solar System

Historic Moon Mission Blasts Off

CLOSER TO HOME SHORTS

New Technologies Aim to Save Energy–and Lives–with Better Air-Conditioning

Scientists Say We May All Have This ‘Sixth Sense’

Toy Company Unveils First Female Scientist

BIG ROCKS IN SPACE AND WHAT’S BEING DONE ABOUT THEM

Agency Makes Map Of Dangerous Asteroids

NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ

Okay, gang.  How much do you know about Syria?

THE GREEN AGENDA

Sea otters, who already had us at hello, will now help clean up the ocean

Concern for Others Activates Evangelicals on Climate Change

Thousands Of Acres Of Sierra Wilderness Saved In Landmark Deal

EPA Quietly Withdraws Two Proposed Chemical Safety Rules

HEALTH ICONHEALTH

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.

Just a reminder that it is time to get flu shots.

ON THE CANCER FRONT 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved the drug Abraxane as a weapon in the arsenal against late stage pancreatic cancer.

LINKS

Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society

LIFESTYLE

Surprising Friend of Gay Rights in a High Place

Photos: Life on minimum wage around the world

Truth Or Myth? Everything You Need To Know About Honey For Rosh Hashanah

Americans Go to Great Lengths to Mask Web Travels, Survey Finds

Lego Releases First Female Scientist

High Holy Days, and Cantors Are on the Road Again

Too Much Stuff in Your Life? 7 Ways to Turn it Around

IN MEMORIUM

David Frost, Interviewer Who Got Nixon to Apologize for Watergate, Dies at 74

Tatyana I. Zaslavskaya, Adviser to Gorbachev, Dies at 86

Janusz Lewandowski, 82, Polish Peace Envoy in Vietnam, Dies

BEST OF THE NET

Is this cloud angry at the world?

Gorgeous, super-rare cloud looks like a rainbow portal

Take a look at these Kodiak bears under water.

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

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND

WRITING FOR PEACE

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 

A SEATTLE “INSTITUTIION” CELEBRATES ITS 6OTH BIRTHDAY 

Dick’s Drive-In, in Wallingford.  Photo by MS(R)M

Dick’s Drive-In, in Wallingford. Photo by MS(R)M

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

Stormy night.  From Noelle in Manchester  Photo courtesy of Fox News 13, Seattle.

Stormy night. From Noelle in Manchester Photo courtesy of Fox News 13, 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.

A wolf caught in barbed wire owes its life to two good human Samaritans.  

Here are the ten animals which live the longest.

FROM OUR FRIENDS AT THE SEADOC SOCIETY

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 incredibly ingenious young man who figured out how to pedal his way up into his tree house rather than climb. 

AVAILABLE FROM NORTHSTAR

The August wallpaper from our favourite outdoor photographer is now available.   

 

 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

 

 

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES

Got a problem or a project involving the English language?  Want a professional writer and editor who is also a neighbor?  Would you like reasonable rates and a flexible payment plan for such things as manuscript editing or an ad campaign?  Need a classified ad that produces results?  How long has it been since you updated your resume?  We’re all online and by Paypal now, so while we are located in Seattle, we welcome international clients.  Check out our list of services at http://minstrel312.tripod.com  and then email us at minstrel312@aol.com or give us a call at 206-478-9254. 

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES

 

THOUGHT OF THE DAY

 TOD PIX 1 090813

“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 

Wishing our Jewish readers a sweet and healthy new year!

Wishing our Jewish readers a sweet and healthy new year!

To subscribe to this Thought of the Day, contact Amy at SpringggRain@aol.com 

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

 

 

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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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