NEW ROYALS SHOW DIANA’S HEART

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL

Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Monday, September 16, 2013

Volume 6, No. 36

Published by

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Seattle, Washington

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 SyndromeThere 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.

Is this a La Niña or El Niño year?  The answer and the forecast 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

Picking Death Over Eviction

Video: Urban, but Left Behind

EGYPT SEE SHORTS BELOW
EUROPEAN UNION European Rail Crashes Show Gaps in an Increasingly Precarious System

European Lawmakers Expand Power of Central Bank

Investors in Europe See a Glass Half Full and Rising

INDIA India Sends Security Forces To North After Deadly Clashes

Indian Court Convicts Four Men In Gang Rape Of Woman On New Delhi Bus

Indian Court Sentences Four Men To Death In Fatal New Delhi Gang Rape Case

Many Doubt Death Sentences Will Stem India Sexual Attacks

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

Court Upbraided N.S.A. on Its Use of Call-Log Data

Top 1% take record share of US income

’50 dirtiest’ US plants pollute more than S. Korea

Pork it over: U.S. OKs Chinese purchase of its largest pig company

One in 20 American kids is extremely obese

Deadly 1,000-year floods strike Colorado

Flooding Forces Evacuation of Thousands in Colorado

Women’s Groups Rally for Immigration Reform

Water, Now Fire, and Shore Nightmare Goes On

Judge Urges U.S. to Consider Releasing N.S.A. Data on Calls

Finding the Gold in “Tough” Neighborhoods

Massive Rescue Effort Underway As Colorado Floods

TOPICAL NEWS SHORTS

CLIMATE CHANGE

Can These Three Billionaire Superfriends Save The Climate?

Sea Change: Pacific Ocean Takes A Perilous Turn

Fearless Summer:  How the Battle to Stop Climate Change Got Ferocious

EGYPT

As Turmoil Persists, Mubarak Returns to Courtroom in Egypt

SYRIAN WAR

U.N. Rights Panel Cites Evidence of War Crimes by Both Sides in Syria

U.N. Leader Admits Failure to Halt Syrian Atrocities

How the People Pushed Back on Syria—and Won (for Now)

OH CANADA

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

And the province with the longest work week is…

SHORTS

Prime Minister Harper hires new top spokesman.

I’m Albertan and a Muslim, not an ‘other’ Canadian

Why Mexico Is ‘Really Mad’ At The Harper Government 

COUGARS CORNER 

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?

Felina:     Frederika.

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?

GOOD EXAMPLES

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

SHORTS

Women’s Groups Rally for Immigration Reform

4 Ways to Share the Season’s Harvest (and Make Friends Doing It)

Chevron Pollutes, Here’s What the People Did Back

BAD EXAMPLES

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

US Senator Patty Murray  — Working for Washington 

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.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray

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.

Did Comets Deliver Earth’s Oceans?

OUTER SPACE SHORTS

Happy Birthday, Star Trek! (Capt. Kirk, We Love Ya)

20 Most Marvelous Moon Missions

WATCH: Japan’s Brand-New Rocket Soars Into Space

CLOSER TO HOME SHORTS

The Social Life of Genes

How Incubators Are Helping Small, Sustainable Farms Take Off

The STEM Crisis Is Not a Myth

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

Did Ancient Collisions Kick-Start Life On Earth?

NORTHSTAR WEEKLY READER QUIZ

Okay, gang.  How much do you know about natural disasters.

THE GREEN AGENDA

How green is a Tesla, really?

California Takes Steps to Ease Landmark Law Protecting Environment

Rent this chicken

’50 dirtiest’ US plants pollute more than S. Korea

Carbon-friendly skies: Flying smaller airlines reduces your footprint

Let’s fight the 1 percent — of power plants

Finding the Gold in “Tough” Neighborhoods

42 Ways to Not Make Trash

HEALTH

If you’re pregnant and want tall kids, drink lots of milk.  Apparently, there is a connection.

An embryo that was frozen 19 years ago is now a healthy and happy baby boy.

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.

LINKS

Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society

LIFESTYLE

Surprising Friend Of Gay Rights In A High Place

Facing Fury Over Antigay Law, Stoli Says ‘Russian? Not Really’

Forget Teens; You Should Be Worried About Drunk Moose Gangs

4 Ways to Share the Season’s Harvest (and Make Friends Doing It)

42 Ways to Not Make Trash

IN MEMORIUM

Donal O’Brien, Audubon Leader, Dies at 79

Sunila Abeysekera, 61, Sri Lankan Human Rights Activist

Stephen Crohn, Who Furthered AIDS Study, Dies at 66

BEST OF THE NET

The Extraordinary Lee Miller:  From Surreal To Very Real

Wow! NASA’s Late-Night Moon Launch Wows Stargazers (Jaw-Dropping Photos)

Some weeks, the world reminds me of this song.  When it does, I drop in on perhaps Italy’s most ingenuous export, a delightful little mouse named Topo Gigio.

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 

WHOOPING COUGH WARNING

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.

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

  

WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT

 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 

For a preview, go here:

For the kindle book, ($3.99) at amazon.com

  

 

 

 

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 ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

Bears are using the special, pretty overpasses built for them

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.

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 chef who was told he was too fat to live in New Zealand.

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 minstrel312@aol.com 

Until next week, then, take care and Godspeed.  Rusty

 

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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