SABER RATTLING IN THE FAR WEST PACIFIC

THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL

Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, December 1, 2013
Volume 6, No. 49
Northstar Media Services
Rusty Miller – Editor
Seattle, Washington
minstrel312@aol.com
 
Chinese-Dragon-4e30f14123a54_hires
 

SABER RATTLING IN THE FAR WEST PACIFIC

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it has certainly been an interesting week, has it not?  Our congratulations to those who survived Black Friday here in America.  As our resident cougars discuss in this edition, it is a rather quaint if not occasionally lethal custom.

And it has certainly been interesting in other parts of the world.  We’ve got some muscle flexing going on in the far West Pacific.  Three major powers are arguing about air space over islands claimed by Japan and ~ apparently by active proxy ~ the United States.  China, for some reason, seems threatened by this.

As near as we can tell, it must be the air over there.  North Korea’s scared the living daylights out of an American Korean War veteran who admitted to killing civilians during that conflict.  Hello?  This is war and there are no civilians anymore.  As much as any nation should, North Korea knows this.  Maybe when things reach that level of absurdity, it’s time to look for a deeper cause, like radiation from a certain Japanese nuclear energy facility.

I honestly cannot see anything dramatic happening from all this saber rattling but at a time when at least one national budget is strained to the max, the idea of sending some of the largest bombers in the world on a mission like this ~ even though it was scheduled in advance ~ seems to add fiscal stupidity to geopolitical insensitivity.   Even a cursory study of history should suggest why that’s not good diplomatic mix.

For some reason, I’m reminded now of something someone named Anonymous once said.

“When it looks like the world is going to hell in a basket, it is time to switch baskets.”

Have a good week, all, and let’s hope it’s not quite as interesting as this one has been.

IN OTHER NEWS

This has got to come as good news.  2013 Hurricane Season Weakest Since 1982

In the wake of a federal monitor’s first report, the Seattle Police Department is once again in the headlines as two assistant chiefs were demoted and one voluntarily accepted a reduction in grade to captain.  Like several other major cities in the United States, the SPD was the subject of an intensive Department of Justice investigation into inappropriate police practices and, in particular, racial profiling and excessive use of force.

If you’re an American reader or planning on visiting the States this month, this short, very entertaining winter forecast for the month is probably something you should watch.

WORLD NEWS SHORTS

AFGHANISTAN Afghan Leader Lashes Out at U.S. Allies After NATO Drone Strike
CHINA China Military Sends Fighter Jets Into Disputed Air Space

China, Democracy and US

EUROPEAN UNION E.U. Grapples With Disappointment Over Ukraine

Euro Zone Inflation Rises to 0.9% as Jobless Rate Dips to 12.1%

FRANCE Recasting France’s Role in Africa
GERMANY Berlusconi Expelled From Senate in Italy After 2 Decades in Government
INDIA Dispute Erupts in India Over Surveillance by Candidate

Indian Editor Is Arrested in Assault of Employee

India Is One Of The Worst Places To Be Born, But This Group Is Trying To Change That

IRAN Iran Invites Inspectors to Nuclear Site
ITALY Berlusconi Expelled From Senate in Italy After 2 Decades in Government
JAPAN Japan Takes Airspace Issue to U.N. Agency
MYANMAR Slide Show: Myanmar’s Empty Capital
NORTH KOREA North Korea Accuses Captive U.S. Veteran of War Crimes

North Korea Releases a Video of a U.S. Veteran Confessing to ‘Hostile Acts’

PAKISTAN Drone Strike Kills Suspected Militant, Pakistani Official Says
SCOTLAND Police Helicopter Crashes Into Crowded Glasgow Pub
TAIWAN Short on Space, Taiwan Embraces a Boom in Recycling
THAILAND Thai Leader Survives Vote as Protests Continue

Protesters Enter Headquarters of Thailand’s Army

UKRAINE Thousands Protest Ukraine’s Rejection of Trade Pacts

Ukrainians Back in Street to Support E.U. Accord

UNITED KINGDOM To Cool Housing Market, Britain Curtails Loan Help

The Threat to British Curry

London Mayor Raises Eyebrows, and Ire

UNITED STATES Slow Cleanup of Bomb Waste Pits South Carolina Against Washington

Law Limiting Plastic Guns Set to Expire

As Oil Floods Plains Towns, Crime Pours In

U.S. Directly Defies Chinese Airspace Declaration

CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change will make the Arctic a new battleground. Here’s how America will fight

How to Save for a Disaster

Bruce Molnia’s Repeat Photos of Alaska, and What He Says They Reveal About Our World

SYRIA

Out of Syria, Into a European Maze

Video: A Rescue at Sea

SPYING

N.S.A. May Have Penetrated Internet Cable Links

Ire in Canada Over Report N.S.A. Spied From Ottawa

OH CANADA

Climate takes back seat as fledgling B.C. LNG industry courts China

This is certainly good news, if it happens.  Flaherty Predicts Balanced Budget In 14 Months, With Surpluses To Follow

Somebody really ought to get a good spanking before this is all over and done with.  Ire in Canada Over Report N.S.A. Spied From Ottawa

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.

Felina:      Samuel, would you mind joining us in the den?

Sam:         Sure, Sweetheart.  Anything special you and Arnie have on your minds?

Felina:      Arnold, Dear.

Sam:         Yeah, him too.

Felina:      And would you mind, so much, love of my three lives, bringing popcorn with you?  A rather large bowl.

Sam:         Yep, oh sun and moon of my elightened existence.  I know you take yours with a pinch of sodium chloride.  But I can’t remember how your one-eyed buddy takes his.

Felina:      You make me smile, my love.  You know Arnold does not eat popcorn.

Sam:         Right.  One Eskimo Pie coming up.  For Arnold, the television set who does not eat popcorn.

Felina:      Quite so and thank you, so much, my dearest.

Sam:         Not a problem and — thanks to Norma the Nuker and Fred the Fridge – viola!  And I am here too.

Felina:      Isn’t progress simply grand, Samuel?

Sam:         It is indeed, Felina.  Now, to what do we owe the pleasure of my company, you and your Eskimo Pie-eating television set, there?

Felina:      We have been watching this rather unsettling human ritual wherein they rise by starlight to stand in long lines in order to purchase things made from digging in the earth and cutting down big plants.

Sam:         Ah, that pantheon to human greed and laissez faire commerce in future artifacts called “Black Friday”.

Felina:      Rather.  We were discussing the origin of the term.  Arnold seems to think it has something to do with the time humans awake for it.  I suspect it is the colour of their behaviour.

Sam:         They do get a little rowdy, don’t they?

Felina:      They are worse than humans after a South American football game.  Another curious past time, this kicking and shoulder and head bumping an inflated pig’s stomach about a manicured pasture.  However, I digress.

Sam:         And you are so alluring when you do that, oh sun and moon of my life.

Felina:      And you, Sir Mountain Lion, make a fair feline blush.

Sam:         Which you have to admit, looks good on you.

Felina:      It would look better on a St. Louis cardinal, I fear.  However…

Sam:         Gotcha.  Felina, it is called “Black Friday” because all the businesses hope they finish on the side of the sheet which says it has been a good day for commerce in future artifacts.

Felina:      If that side of the sheet is dark, how do they know it has been a good day or a bad day?

Sam:         It’s in Braille, Felina.

Felina:      Of course.  And more creative than admitting that you do not know either.

Sam:         One would hope, yep.  Especially right now.

Felina:      And as ludicrous at it is, it makes as much sense as any other aspect of this particular ritual.

Sam:         Which is to say, probably not much, right, Sweetheart?

Felina:      Which is to say, Samuel Alexander, this Black Friday sounds totally preposterous.

Sam:         But not so out there, considering the species under discussion.

Felina:      No, my love.  They are, after all, only human.

Sam:         Then on that note, Felina?

Felina:      And on that note then, Gentle Readers, may the Creator keep you safe in the palm of Her paw.  Until next week then, eh?

GOOD EXAMPLES

Mark Twain once remarked that he knew someone most unusual, a lawyer who kept his hands in his own pockets.  I think the imminent Mr. Clemmons might have revised his opinion had he seen this particular attorney in action.  I fought the law and, actually, I won: How one lawyer helps protesters

We realize that the balance between humans and the rest of nature is difficult to maintain sometimes.  Nonetheless when this first happened, it was totally unacceptable.  We’re glad to see the Lady Justice apparently agrees.  Wind energy company fined $1 million over bird deaths

As a former Northern Californian who lived not far from where this evolved, I am very proud to have once been from there.  When neighbors tore down their fences

BAD EXAMPLES

I don’t know about you guys, but I think this is totally out-flipping-rageous.  These are the saddest school lunches we’ve ever seen

I found this somehow very ironic, considering the history of the United States of America and, in particular, South Carolina’s role in what is known to one side as the Civil War and by the other as the War Between the States.  Slow Cleanup of Bomb Waste Pits South Carolina Against Washington

EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Okay.  This is extremely weird.  Watch: Jellyfish-like Robot Flies

And how about the computer as a portrait artist?

For some reason, this creeped me out a little too.  When Algorithms Grow Accustomed to Your Face

HERE ON EARTH

The Vaccination Effect: 100 Million Cases of Contagious Disease Prevented

Scientists Explore New Zealand’s Deep Sea 

The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear

TECHNOLOGY

Drones Offer Journalists a Wider View

Secret Weapon in Mall Battle: Parking Apps

Coming Soon, a Night Watchman With Wheels?

OUTER SPACE

NASA Moon Missions: Astronauts Won’t Return To Lunar Surface Anytime Soon, Agency Chief Says

WATCH: Will THIS Bring Bits Of Mars Back To Earth?

Surface-Skimming Probe Gets Down To Business

THE GREEN AGENDA

Story of Stuff Project  –   With thanks to YES! magazine

The good folks at the Story of Stuff Project think we “use too much stuff, too much of it’s toxic, and we don’t share it very well.” They also believe we can change that. YES! recommends the Story of Stuff Project for its ingenious way of motivating people to build a more healthy and just planet. We are thrilled to share an exclusive preview exercise from Story of Stuff’s soon-to-be-released “Citizen Muscle Boot Camp.” You’ll also find a free download of the high school curriculum “Buy, Use, Toss?” as well as the recently released short film, Story of Solutions, and more.  For more, please go here.

HEALTH

I’m sorry, but I cannot help wondering if this also works on bad hair days.  And before anybody gets their dandruff up, yep, I have them.  ‘Immunize’ Yourself Against Bad Moods? Scientists Say It’s Possible

We totally enjoyed this one because it applies to the most basic and necessary of all human relationships outside the blood line, friendship.  How building a happy marriage can lead to healthier, longer life

In the interests of promoting healthy (and fun) meals, one of Seattle’s television stations is inviting its audience to send in their healthy recipes for stuff.  I think it might be cool to see some of those recipes come from you folks in places like Australian, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Texas and the Ukraine.  Yep, check it out here.

NOURISHMENT FOR BODY, MIND & SPIRIT

Leah Libow
Wellness Coach, Nourishing Educator/Cook, Writer

I am always a bit surprised by two things this time of year – how quickly the light of Seattle turns to darkness and how, as soon as the light turns, the holidays are upon us!

As we continue to descend further into the darkness, I encourage you to truly feel and respond to that pull to rest and nourish yourselves. Sleep more, drink warming teas and begin reflect upon the love and whole-hearted effort you put into your life this year.

This week’s newsletter features my blog  What is Wellness? – Giving Flowers to Your Minotaur(s)  which reflects on how we can begin to practice bringing the heart to even the most difficult moments and situations in our lives.

I wish all of you a truly heartfelt week of giving thanks for all you have.

I am truly grateful for all of you out there working to make the world a more beautiful and loving place!

Thank you for joining me on the path of nourishment!

May you be nourished,

Leah

For more, please go here.

ON THE CANCER FRONT

In Loving Memory of
Shannon Patricia Goddard Mills
“Short Stuff”
1962 – 2001     

If you’re munching on French fries (potatoes fried at very high temperatures), you’re exposing yourself to cancer, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which has issued draft guidance for consumers and the food industry.  For more on this, please go here.

LINKS
CANCER:  WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY
 

LIFESTYLE

Rise in Unprotected Sex by Gay Men Spurs H.I.V. Fears

Bangladeshis Build Careers in New York Traffic

Photographs Tell a History of Palestinians Unmoored

As Fund-Raisers in Congress, Women Break the Cash Ceiling

Years of Mourning the Losses in Mumbai

Shopping for a Girl? Consider Science and Engineering Toys

Video: Creating Skilled Workers

Video: Win a Trip 2014

IN MEMORIUM

Arik Einstein, 74, Beloved Israeli Singer, Dies

Peter Kaplan, Editor of New York Observer, Dies at 59

Paul Mayer, 82, Ex-Priest and Peace Activist, Dies

BEST OF THE NET

Video: Whales and Anchovies

Slide Show: Myanmar’s Empty Capital

Balloons Fly Low, but Parade Delights

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.

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

Scenes of Autumn:  A Neighbor Dropping By

Scenes of Autumn: A Neighbor Dropping By

SEATAC MINIMUM WAGE OF $15 PASSES BY 77 VOTES

SeaTac now has a minimum wage that is more than twice the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.  For those unfamiliar with this community, it is south of Seattle on Interstate 5 and serves the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEATAC).  For more on this one, please go here.

Homeless SW Man Moves People To Tears With Music

If this doesn’t do the same to you, you might want to ask the Wizard for a heart.

SEATTLE DIRECTORY
SEATTLE FACTS & FIGURES
MAP OF SEATTLE
10-DAY WEATHER FORECAST
SEATTLE CITY CAMS
KOMO 4 NEWS (ABC)
KIRO 7 (CBS)
KING 5 NEWS (NBC)
SEATTLE TIMES
THE TODAY FILE:  “THE LATEST NEWS FROM SEATTLE & AROUND THE NORTHWEST”
EARTHQUAKE WATCH
WHAT’S GOING ON IN SEATTLE?
SEATTLE RESTAURANT GUIDE
 

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

 

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES

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Ghost Writing

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Profiles

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Reviews

Song Lyrics

Special Projects

Speeches

Travel Copy

minstrel312@aol.com

206-478-9254

http://minstrel312.tripod.com

   BACK COUNTRY GALLERY’s monthly wallpaper is now available.

ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL

It began with the lowly anchovy and now sea life has blossomed along the California coast. 

And in a Sierra Nevada foothills California state park that was once a gold mining town of 10,000, life threatened by climate change is holding its own.

If only we were this compassionate with members of our own species.  All Dogs May Go to Heaven. These Days, Some Go to Hospice.

FROM OUR GOOD FRIENDS OUT THERE MAKING A DIFFERENCE

This is a little late for Thanksgiving but their photo of a greater sage grouse was just too outstanding not to share.

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

YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP

This has to be one of the dumbest things to come down the pike in some while.  Despite Outlaw Image, Hells Angels Sue Often  I met Sonny Barger when I was a kid and living with a cop and his family in California.  This is just another expression of the contempt these gangs hold most of us in to begin with.  You might also want to check this out while we’re on the subject.  Video: Reporting on Motorcycle Clubs

A 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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