Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007
Monday, September 16, 2013
Volume 6, No. 36
NEW ROYALS SHOW DIANA’S HEART
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. We have long been a fan of The Royals and this past week, William and Kate gave us another reason why. They accepted as a gift for baby George a beautiful watercolour painting of Rupert the Bear flying over a bridge during the Bristol Balloon Festival.
As a rule, they ask that their subjects donate to a favourite charity in their names. But there was a very moving and profound reason for making an exception in this case.
The artist, Tazia Fawley, has Down Syndrome. There are about 750 babies a year born with it in the United Kingdom each year and the per capita rate seems about the same in most other countries, including Canada and America.
They’re special people, these Down Syndrome people. They’re the ones you see teaching the rest of us what heart and good sportsmanship are like in the Special Olympics. And wherever they are in any society, they are invariably gentle people who were probably born knowing more about love than most of us learn in a lifetime.
That is not, however, how they are perceived ~ by and large ~ in Britain and most other places. Kate and William know that. They’ve decided it’s not right and by this largely “symbolic” act of accepting a work of art like this, they are telling their subjects that it is time these citizens of the realm were treated that way, in all respects.
I agree. William, your mom would be real proud of both of you. I’m half Irish and I sure am. I also think it would be a really cool painting even if it was created by a giraffe in a skirt.
With all due respect.
IN OTHER NEWS
Which country ~ according to a new United Nations survey ~ is the happiest? The answer just might surprise you.
Another young girl committed suicide after being cyber bullied. If we don’t stop this, we do not deserve to survive as a species.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
|AFGHANISTAN||Slide Show: Afghan Soldiers Struggle in the Embattled District of Sangin|
|AUSTRALIA||Hundreds of millipedes crashed a train in Australia|
|BRAZIL||In wake of NSA spy scandal, Brazil seeks tighter control over data storage|
|CHINA||Chinese Trade Surplus at Highest Level Since December|
|EGYPT||SEE SHORTS BELOW|
|EUROPEAN UNION||European Rail Crashes Show Gaps in an Increasingly Precarious System|
|INDIA||India Sends Security Forces To North After Deadly Clashes|
|JAPAN||WATCH: Japan’s Brand-New Rocket Soars Into Space|
|PAKISTAN||Making History in Pakistan Simply by Serving a Full Term|
|RUSSIA||Facing Fury Over Antigay Law, Stoli Says ‘Russian? Not Really’|
|UNITED KINGDOM||Britain Prepares I.P.O. for Postal Service|
|UNITED STATES||Inquiry Finds Inadequate Staffing at Mississippi Veterans Hospital|
TOPICAL NEWS SHORTS
This is real good for our image abroad. Four Canadian Hells Angels arrested in Spain
I can remember a time when this would have been faster than Canada Post. Message in a bottle found 107 years later on Vancouver Island beach
She’s Canadian. He’s American. Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.
Sam: Felina, it’s past midnight. What are you and the television both doing still up?
Felina: Oh, I am so sorry, Dear. We did not mean to awaken you.
Sam: That didn’t wake me up. Rolling over and not getting a mouth full of fur woke me up.
Felina: Samuel, that is so sweet. You are such a prince.
Sam: When inspired, sun and moon of my life. Now, what’s up with you and your little one-eyed buddy over there?
Felina: Arnold is telling me about those poor humans in Colorado, America, apparently swimming for their lives.
Sam: Arnold the television. What happened to Fred?
Sam: Yeah, her too.
Felina: She is in that part of the Great Forest where televisions go after this life.
Sam: Creator rest her soul. And yep, there are a lot of life forms down there swimming for their lives. Funny how that happens in places where it rains that hard sometimes.
Felina: What seems odd to me is that there were no native life forms doing so. I believe we are watching horses and these South American goats whose hair humans prize more than their own. And of course, the extremely domesticated of our own species. But no one we would recognize.
Sam: Or probably want to hang out with.
Felina: No, they are not our society.
Sam: Most of whom have the sense to come in out of the rain.
Felina: Or not herd up in places the Creator did not intend.
Sam: Like on the slopes of volcanoes.
Felina: Or where big rivers empty into even vaster waters. Or where there are these huge lizards who lurk in swamps and live to eat snow birds whole.
Sam: Or where bears steal more than picnic baskets. Felina, if we keep this up, there’s not going to be a fit place on the planet for them.
Felina: Oh, they will fit in. As their humourist Mark Twain would have contended, “somewhere between the apes and the French.”
Sam: And this is the species that keeps you and your pal Arnold up past moonrise on a school night?
Felina: It was better than summer reruns of that show with the not-incredibly-bright human red haired female and her male mate with the speech impediment and musical gourds.
Sam: Nice try, Felina. Your love of these two-legged morons has made you a legend in your own time, Lass.
Felina: For which I am, of course, eternally grateful. Sigh. All in all, they really are not such bad creatures, all things considered.
Sam: I’ll take your word for that, Sweetheart.
Felina: I just wish they were not so flipping daft, Samuel. Really, it is quite frustrating sometimes.
Sam: No argument there, mate of my several lives. So on that note, Felina?
Felina: So on that note then, Gentle Readers, may the Creator bless and keep you. Unitl next week then, eh?
Virgin Group founder, British multi-billionaire Richard Branson, and Big Change have recognized how important social workers are to at least English society. They’ve initiated a two-year program designed to attract the best of Oxford University, et al, to this honorable and noble profession.
I’m certainly glad to see this. Surprising Ally For Snow Leopards: Buddhist Monks
Katrina apparently taught us something after all. They have come up with a radical new plan for managing floods
It looks like master polluter British Petroleum is getting what it deserves again as nearly 48,000 sue over toxic pollution from Texas refinery. See also: Shell fined $1.1 million for polluting Arctic air during error-plagued drilling efforts
Somehow this does not surprise us. Top 1% take record share of US income
This one’s fall from grace has apparently not yet hit rock bottom. Armstrong Ordered to Return Olympic Medal
FROM YOU GUYS
Dear Mr. Miller:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Voting Rights Act. It is good to hear from you.
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) helps ensure every American has the chance to participate in our democracy. Signed into law by President Johnson in 1965, the VRA strengthened protections that allow all Americans to cast their vote and provided the federal government powerful new tools to combat discriminatory voting practices such as literacy tests, poll taxes, and intimidation. Enacted at a time when such discrimination demanded federal action, for nearly fifty years it has bolstered the progress our nation has made on civil rights.
As you may know, on June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Section 4 of the VRA as unconstitutional. Section 4 of the VRA identifies which states and jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination must obtain approval under Section 5 of the Act before implementing a change to any voting practice or procedure. While Section 5 of the VRA remains poised to protect the rights of millions of American voters who have been historically disenfranchised, Congress will need to take action for these protections to be in force.
In this ruling, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to one of the most powerful tools in a democracy – the right to vote. At a time when many states are making it more difficult to vote with each passing election, I am disappointed this decision did not reflect the important role of the federal government in protecting our basic right. I will work with the administration to enforce our civil rights laws, while also working with my colleagues in Congress to restore the full force of the Voting Rights Act.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this important issue. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates. Please keep in touch.
United States Senator
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
It looks like “user friendly” has become a hallmark of 21st Century industrial evolution. Check this out. Machines Made to Know You, by Touch, Voice, Even by Heart
Here’s a cool animation about asteroids, in case you want to watch something that will make you wish you were wearing rubber knickers.
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 natural disasters.
THE GREEN AGENDA
If you’re pregnant and want tall kids, drink lots of milk. Apparently, there is a connection.
Here’s something every couch potato sports fan in Seattle is going to love. Apparently they’re going to start handing out earplugs at Seattle Seahawks games.
ON THE CANCER FRONT
If you live with breast cancer, love someone with breast cancer or worry about your risk of breast cancer, the New York Times wants to hear from you.
In what one physician is calling “a historic moment,” a panel from the US Food and Drug Administration approved an already accepted late stage drug for cancer to be used to treat the disease at its onset. Yes, for more on this, please go here.
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.
Whooping cough was at epidemic proportions last year. Babies and young children are particularly susceptible and this disease can kill. There is a local campaign now to help pregnant woman protect the child they’re carrying and parents, the kids they have. Yes, for more on this one, please go here.
KOMO 4 News (ABC)
KIRO 7 (CBS)
KING 5 News (NBC)
It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond her own borders. A military dictatorship controls the country and life is grim. The Republic is fighting for its very survival and for decades, especially with Latin America.
This is the world of the United States Coast Guard cutter Testament, a cybernetic patrol boat, and her six-person crew. Her mission, and those of her sister craft, is simple.
Quench the rebellion and stop the flow of Americans seeking refuge in Canada. Kill when expedient. Deliver the survivors to the Bellingham Re-Education Center.
A simple operational order and one which has served America well. Until Testament
Feature Magazine Articles
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
One of my role models as a young adult and aspiring perfectionist was a bird Richard Bach wrote about. The reality is that Jonathan was not a fictional character. He dictated to Richard and that’s how all those JL Seagull books got written in the first place. How did he do it? He learned seagull, just like you can, thanks to these folks Cornell Lab eNews: Learn “Seagullese” in This 4-Minute Video
Another bird I long ago learned to respect is one that can make your life a living Hell if you get on its bad side. These particular avians seem to embody all of the vices but none of the virtues of a noble species. That’s probably why they are so marvelously adapted to life in the big city.
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
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
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 email@example.com
Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed. Rusty