INTERNATIONAL ESPIONAGE, REVISITED

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL

Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Volume 6, No. 43

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Seattle, Washington

minstrel312@aol.com

SPYVSPY

INTERNATIONAL ESPIONAGE, REVISITED

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, last week our two resident cougars had a good time with the theme of global espionage.  Maybe Halloween contributed to it but the prophetic nature of their column made the House of Northstar a little spooky for a couple of days.  And nights.

Reality eventually sets in, thank you, Lord.  This international espionage has been going on since the invention of gossip.  It’s an art of diplomacy, this gathering of information and trading secrets and all.

Considering the easy of access of information in the 21st Century, however, it is becoming rather mundane.  There is no such thing as a secret anymore because we have become our brothers’ keepers and also his confessor.

We seem to have this inordinate need to bear our souls on the Internet, as if seeking some kind of validation for even the most pedestrian details of our personal lives.  Are we then so surprised when that information is used to hurt us?

The easiest way to keep a secret is to not tell anyone.  The easiest way to avoid the issue of whether you can keep a secret is to nod and say, “Sometimes.  It just depends on the secret.”  If that doesn’t work, interrupt the telling of the secret a couple of times with the word “Huh?”  It’s not much fun confiding in someone with no attention span.

As far as I’m concerned, secret management takes entirely too much time away from cool stuff.  There is also a real dark side to being the repository of secrets.  Dead people tell no tales.

As a journalist, I’m covered professionally and legally, but I have also developed this marvelous ability to truly totally forget stuff that is either totally not relevant to my life and/or somehow not healthy for me to know.

There are several simpler ways to deal with secrets.  One is for us to stop doing things we’re afraid of being caught at.  Another is to make respect for privacy a two-way street.  We have no right, as private citizens, to expect that in our own lives when we spend millions of dollars annually for the most intimate details of the lives of public figures.

The ultimate solution, for now it would seem, is to lead a life so totally devoid of spice that watching icicles melt would provide more entertainment.  Sometimes there is a lot to be said for bland.

IN OTHER NEWS

Well, guarded or not, this is still good news.  Yes, CO2 emissions are down, but they have much further to go

Somehow, I did not find this surprising.  I don’t think any of you will either.  Voters’ Anger Over Shutdown Is Inspiring Democrats to Run

When you live in both the shadow of a (northern) rain forest and a convergence zone, like we here in Seattle do, it’s nice to see that something like this may eventually improve weather forecasting locally.  Lightning-Detection Network Tested Out for Storm Tracking

WORLD NEWS SHORTS

CHINA Forging An Art Market In China

China Focuses On Ethnic Minority In Beijing Car Explosion

In Singapore, Building Businesses For The Next Billion

China Trying to Stem Attacks by Patients on Their Doctors

China Aims to Fully Mute Dalai Lama

EGYPT Ousted General In Egypt Is Back, As Islamists’ Foe
INTERNATIONAL Currency Traders Put on Leave Amid Investigation
ITALY Mt. Etna Erupts
PAKISTAN In A Surprise, Pakistan Says Fewer Civilians Died By Drones
RUSSIA Activists Feel Powerful Wrath as Russia Guards Its Arctic Claims

Russian Service, and With Please and Thank You

TURKEY Amid Debate, Turkey Unveils Rail Tunnel Under Bosporus
UKRAINE Chocolate Factory, Trade War Victim
UNITED STATES West Coast States And BC Sign Climate Accord

12 Percent of U.S. Spice Imports Contaminated, F.D.A. Finds

At Los Angeles International Airport, Two Lives Collide in a Fatal Instant

CLIMATE CHANGE

The Pacific Ocean Is Now Warming 15 Times Faster Than It Used To

Adapting to Climate Change: It’s Not About Giving Up, It’s About Getting Real

SYRIA

Syria Fires Official Who Tried to Broker Peace

Chemical Arms Inspectors Say Syria Has Destroyed All Declared Sites

Stick Figures and Stunted Growth as Warring Syria Goes Hungry

SPYING

Spying Known at Top Levels, Officials Say

Intelligence Officials Defend Operations on Capitol Hill

Russia Denies Report It Spied on G-20 Officials

As It Denounces U.S. Spying, Europe Delays Privacy Protection at Home

N.S.A. Said to Tap Google and Yahoo Abroad

Angry Over U.S. Surveillance, Tech Giants Bolster Defenses

No Morsel Too Minuscule for All-Consuming N.S.A.

WAR ON TERROR

High-Ranking Muslim Brotherhood Leader Is Seized in Egypt

In a Surprise, Pakistan Says Fewer Civilians Died by Drones

Drone Strikes Are Said to Kill Taliban Chief

Pakistani Taliban Gather to Select Successor to Leader Killed in U.S. Drone Strike

OH CANADA

This cannot be good news on the Prairies,  Albertans carrying more personal debt than Canadians in any other province

We’re sorry to see this as well.  This store was an iconic part of my own youth.  Struggling Sears to abandon flagship store in Toronto, four others

Well, now that oil pipelines have fallen out of vogue, Canadian petro-chemical processors are moving more and more of their product by rail.  See what this bodes for all of those impacted by this trend.

She’s Canadian.  He’s American.  Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.

She’s Canadian. He’s American. Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.

Sam:        Well, that sort of backfired, didn’t it, Felina?

Felina:     Your ambitions for international espionage was not one of your better ideas, no, Samuel Alexander, mate of my three lifetimes.

Sam:        They have totally no sense of humor about things like this, Sweetheart.

Felina:     They have, I think, my love, such a passion for secrets and for discovery that it clouds their vision, impairs their judgment and makes them behave sometimes as though they lacked the common sense the Creator gave a Crimean catfish.

Sam:        If memory serves, Crimean catfish are not real bright.

Felina:     Crimean catfish have no self-preservation instinct, Samuel.  When they see a fisherman, they leap out of the water and onto the bank.  And yet they look so stunned when the angler strikes them forcefully on the head and sends them to the Catfish Hereafter.

Sam:        Well, I’ve done some dumb things, I’ll grant you.  But I’ve never walked up to a human with a bow or a gun in its paws and said, “Hi, my name is Samuel Alexander Mountainlion.  Shoot me.”

Felina:     Nothing you have ever done, oh sun and moon of my life, comes within a thousand galaxies of human foolishness.  It is not in your nature to be stupid.  Unfortunately, it seems to be the essence of quite a few of them.

Sam:        Not to mention that trying to keep a secret in this cave would be an exercise in futility.

Felina:     It would be an exercise in the impossible, mate mine.

Sam:        This is also true, love of my life.  So on that note, Felina?

Felina:     So on that note then, Gentle Readers, may the Creator bless and keep you.  Until next week then, eh?

GOOD EXAMPLES

Here’s something we totally love and in comes ~ in part ~ from a peer publication on the other shore of the SalishSea, YES magazine.  It’s called The Gratitude Challenge and it is interactive.  The publication is inviting readers to count down their blessings each day from Nov. 7 to American Thanksgiving, which this year is on the 28th of this month.  They’re also inviting us to email to them some of the things for which they are thankful.  We accepting the Challenge and if you’d like to join us (and them), please go here.

A bus driver prevented a distraught young woman from jumping off an overpass in Buffalo, New York this past week.  Watch Today’s interview with a true American hero.

I like this one because I’m a fan of China and the empowerment of women by the personal example of individuals like this.  Another Look at the Empress Dowager Cixi, This Time as the Great Modernizer

SHORTS

Video: Guardian Scholars

Meet the Comic Book Artist Fighting Back Against Rape Culture

Meet the New Climate Heroes: Faces of the Frontline

BAD EXAMPLES

Is there no end to what these morons tried to foist off on us?  N.S.A. Said to Tap Google and Yahoo Abroad

This reminds me a Murphy’s Law which contends that while there is not always time to do it right the first time, there is always time to do it over.  344,000 Minivans Recalled by Honda for Brake Problem

Sometimes I think Congressional ineptitude must now be a requirement for holding public office.  2 Democrats Split on Tactics to Fight Military Sex Assaults

EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Some of the best inventions still come from the genius of one person.  Check out this totally cool video of a kayak that ~ in seconds ~ turns into a one person submarine.

Here’s something that should definitely save lives.  Watch: Crash-Proof Flying Rescue Robot

This sort of blew me away.  They Did WHAT!? 10 Scientists Who Risked It All For Their Research

HERE ON EARTH

How Beefy Could Dinos Really Get?

Hungry Sea Monster Found With Surprise In Its Belly

Student Uncovers Baby Dinosaur Specimen

TECHNOLOGY

If a Young Child Wanders, Technology Can Follow

Innovation Imperative: Change Everything

OUTER SPACE

Astronomers Puzzle Over Newfound Asteroid That Acts Like a Comet 

A Pair of Stellar Newborns Shine Brightly

REVEALED: Secrets Of Sunday’s Rare Eclipse

BIG ROCKS IN SPACE HEADED OUR WAY

EXPLAINED: How Astronomers Home In On Killer Asteroids

NORTHSTAR WEEKLY QUIZ

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

And here’s a 10-question daily trivia we have emailed to us.

THE GREEN AGENDA

Yes, CO2 Emissions Are Down, But They Have Much Further To Go

West Coast States And BC Sign Climate Accord

Who me, an environmentalist?

What Were Morgan Stanley Reps Doing at a Fossil Fuel Divestment Forum?

Meet the New Climate Heroes: Faces of the Frontline

HEALTH

Well, this is not good news.  F.D.A. Finds 12% of U.S. Spice Imports Contaminated  However ~ and mind you, I love to cook?  I look for seasonings grown in North America because that’s where I live.  If it’s not cultivated, packaged and sold somewhere here, I probably should not be cooking with it in the first place.  I mean, what if there was an embargo?  What if the country producing it wanted to extort stuff from us that they should not have in return for it?  One of the things the Locavore Movement has done is made American citizens less vulnerable to Spice Terrorists.  So in the interests of national security, right?

Realizing that there is no way I could afford some of this stuff even if I was a professional athlete, I thought these 11 athletes sharing their favorite nutrition secrets and recipes was awesome.  I’m personally going to see how many of these are available in generic and how many of them really sound like something you and I would actually eat because we wanted to and not because it is “good for us”.

The battle against hepatitis C got a major addition to its arsenal.  U.S. to Approve Potent Oral Drugs for Hepatitis C

ON THE CANCER FRONT

In loving memory of:
Shannon Patricia Goddard Mills
“Short Stuff”
1962 – 2001 

Red and processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer in some.

LINKS
Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society
 

LIFESTYLE

Being ‘Partly Jewish’

Robots or Aliens as Parents? Colleges Gauge Applicants’ Creativity

Earning Less, but at Home

Meet the New Climate Heroes: Faces of the Frontline

IN MEMORIUM

Srdja Popovic, 76, Champion of Rights, Dies

William C. Lowe, Who Oversaw Birth of the IBM PC, Dies at 72

Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Ex-Premier of Poland, Dies at 86

BEST OF THE NET

Video: Humanoid Robots

Video: Intersection: The Warsaw Way In Poland’s Savior Square, Martina Matwiejczuk, a singer, displays her elegant nonchalant style through mixing simple and avant-garde pieces.

Video: Breakthrough Performances Logan Hill looks at some of the noteworthy performances of the holiday movie season.

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

GRITtv With Laura Flaunders is about personal and community empowerment in an environmentally sane world.

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.

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.

SEATTLE SCENES

Waves from Lake Washington dash across the 520 Bridge.  Photo courtesy of KING5 News and the Washington State Department of Transportation

Waves from Lake Washington dash across the 520 Bridge. Photo courtesy of KING5 News and the Washington State Department of Transportation

TWO HURT AS GALE FORCE WINDS BATTER WESTERN WASHINGTON

Gale for winds hammered Western Washington Saturday, leaving thousands without power for as long as eight hours.  KING 5 TV has more.

GUESS WHO SHOWED UP IN THE SOUND THE OTHER DAY?

A large pod of orcas surrounded a WashingtonState ferry carrying artifacts to the new ChiefSealthMuseum.  The Associated Press’ Doug Esser has more.

SEATTLE DIRECTORY
THE TODAY FILE:  “The latest news from Seattle & around the Northwest”
Earthquake Watch
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
 

FROM NORTHSTAR

 

TESTAMENT ICON

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

Back Country Gallery JPG

BCG’s monthly wallpaper is now available.

 

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES

Business Correspondence

Campaigns

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Editing

Feature Magazine Articles

Ghost Writing

Humor

Interviews

Jokes

Online Research

Profiles

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Resumes

Reviews

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Special Projects

Speeches

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minstrel312@aol.com

206-478-9254

http://minstrel312.tripod.com

 ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

If someone doesn’t make a film out of this, I will be very surprised.  Dog’s Tale: From Death Row to Doorstep

Guess who showed up in the Sound the other day?

Oarfish are as elusive and as interesting a denizen of the deep as any yet recorded.  A pair of them washed up on the California coast last month, providing marine biologists with an unprecedented opportunity to solve some of the mysteries surrounding this enigmatic creature.

FROM OUR GOOD FRIENDS OUT THERE MAKING A DIFFERENCE

The World Wildlife Fund’s winter quarterly magazine is now available and it is awesome.  If you love animals, you will totally enjoy this.  It is also a great way for adults and kids to spend time together.  This comes with a five star endorsement and this is the second time in six years, we’ve awarded that rating.  Yep, go here.

RELATED LINKS:
Living With Wildlife
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals
 

YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Watch this Chinese helicopter open a beer bottle.

083013A FINAL WORD

The Northstar Journal is entirely reader-supported.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to help out with the next, please go here.  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

 

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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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