Proudly serving North America and the International Community
Sunday, February 23, 2014
2007 – 2014
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Public forums ~ regardless the venue ~ can be very interesting sometimes. I might be a dilettante in these regards but I’m also a people person so I sample several. The observations I make, then, are drawn not from one but to one degree or another, from all.
One of the things I find quite remarkable from a consensus building perspective is the political polarization. It’s like when that topic comes up and it does like Australian brush fires, rational thinking is invariably the first casualty.
If people in a coffee house, tavern or pub, on the radio or in an Internet chatroom cannot be objective about the opposition and see the good they have to offer, how can they then criticize those they have elected for being similarly disabled?
It saddens me to see my fellow Americans in such disarray in these regards. It seems that frustration is as endemic to the political process as fermentation is to wine. But given too much and Vin Rose turns into white vinegar.
Historically, it seems that when citizens of any nation become too dependent on government, government generally lets them down. If that doesn’t ignite a violent revolution, it generally produces more community self-reliance.
No matter how much “You Are There,” communications technology produces, vicarious/virtual experience in these regards will not substitute for having neighbours over to discuss a common problem.
It also puzzles me that the problems keep being remunerated. Everyone seems to need to make sure everyone else understands how bad it is out there right now. Hello? I share this planet with you?
Why aren’t Americans as a people more solution-oriented? That’s a trick question because even though I don’t think the mainstream media covers them well enough, there are people out there with solutions that work. Most of them are simple and can be replicated from the family level on up.
Has it become easier to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune than it is to accept personal responsibility and do what every American in their heart knows takes to build a strong and resilient nation?
The plain fact is that Americans have written that particular book better than any nation on the face of the planet. Maybe it’s time, as well, that Americans themselves take another look at that book.
Have a good week, gang. And thanks for the ear.
IN OTHER NEWS
Here’s what a small town in rural America looks like after a massive oil spill. It’s a video and it is graphic.
Here’s real good news (not) and a connection with climate change we totally did not expect. Climate change is going to cause 1.3 million extra burglaries before 2099
I’m glad to see that a man considered to be among the most vicious and powerful in the world has been recaptured after a decade on the run. Talented, this particular drug lord and as elusive as a cockroach in a blackout, his incarceration is not expected to impact the cartel he ran. As long as there are customers for illegal substances, there will always be those to provide. The Sinaloans apparently specialized in heroin and marijuana.
WORLD NEWS SHORTS
Canadians do not ignore the plight of someone like this. Daphne Bramham: Cries for help from homeless straight-A student
Or this one. Missing Halifax woman’s family appeals for help
Welcome to the 21st Century, little Canadian-type persons. Canadian tykes now better at computers than bike-riding, name-writing or shoe-tying
Sam: I smell popcorn, Felina. And your buddy Arnie is speaking in a language which does not sound like American, Canadian, English, French or Quebecois.
Felina: I would be delighted to have you join us, Dear. Arnold is talking to this relative in this place whose name sounds like either a cough or a sneeze.
Sam: Our television set has a relative in the Ukraine. Oookay.
Felina: Quite so. The Yoo-KRANE!
Sam: Gezundheit, Sweetheart.
Felina: Thank you, mate of my three lifetimes.
Sam: You’re also almost out of popcorn, right? You want me to make a sandwich for Arnie?
Felina: That is so considerate of you, my rugged rapscallion. There is a salad in Amana for Arnold.
Sam: Arnie’s on a diet?
Felina: One of your sandwiches would feed a village of starving humans for a fortnight, darling.
Sam: We eat big where I come from.
Felina: And that is why you are such a handsome ne’er do well. You did not just eat “big”. You ate well.
Sam: But too well for a television set on a diet.
Felina: Yes, mate of my three lifetimes.
Sam: Gotcha and by the miracle of time lapse photography, viola. A bowl of popcorn for the foxy feline and a tossed green salad with low cal Ranch for the electronic device on a diet. I assume you’ll finish what your cyborg buddy does not.
Felina: That would be an astute assumption, yes, my love. Sometimes Arnold’s eye is bigger than his stomach.
Sam: That was good, Felina. I didn’t even see that one coming. However, we digress.
Felina: We are the Calamity Joan and Wild William Hitchcock of digression. And the Wyatt Urp of the smooth segue.
Sam: Sweetheart, we really need to hire an editor who is not related to us.
Felina: We need to hire an editor who is not related to you, my darling. But then we would need to pay more than salmon and a guarantee never to eat them.
Sam: Relatives sound cheaper. And possibly tastier. However…
Felina: Quite so. Samuel, I have been studying for months on this place that sounds like a sneeze. They once rode horses and terrorized other humans for leagues and leagues around.
Sam: Yep, they were called Cossacks. And they were eventually subdued by others and experienced much anguish and suffering before they became their own country again.
Felina: They have such beautiful music and dance. And wave upon wave of the plants humans use to make bread and feed the source of their milk and steaks. They seem like such nice humans, actually. It saddens me to see them suffer so.
Sam: It will pass, Sweetheart. These human aggregates called nations are like the young of any species, including our own kittens. Some learn the easy way, some learn the hard way. The ones who survive, simply learn.
Felina: This You-KRANE will survive, then?
Sam: Yep, Lass. They will.
Felina: That makes me very happy.
Sam: It does me too, Sweetheart. And on that note, then, Felina?
Felina: On that note, Gentle Readers, until next week, may the wind be always at your back and the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.
This is so cool. Pharrell is making jeans out of recycled ocean plastic
Here’s another idea whose time has clearly come. Finnish reindeer now have glowing antlers to protect them from cars
When America does something cool, sometimes it winds up here. US Announces Ambitious Strategy to Tackle Wildlife Crime
This is NOT a good idea. Cigarette Ads Return to British TV in a Cloud of Vapor
Just like Ira Hays, this should be a national shame. Nestled Amid Toxic Waste, a Navajo Village Faces Losing its Land Forever
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Variety is nothing, if not the spice of life, eh? Facebook now offers more gender options in user profiles
One of the down sides of fish farming is that it puts stress on the aquatic web of life if the fish are carnivorous. For the last decade ~ it turns out ~ this problem has been quietly addressed by both the American government and the aquaculture industry. Yep, for more, go here. And yep, I totally enjoyed this one.
This will probably take some personal adjustment. The virtual physician’s assistant will see you now.
HERE ON EARTH
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY QUIZ
Okay, gang. How much do you know about the Ukraine?
Merriam-Webster Online offers a short battery of games to improve one’s spelling and vocabulary. They are short, timed and the scores are ranked by age group. These are also activities you can share with friends and family. In my house, learning together is also considered cool.
THE GREEN AGENDA
If this doesn’t move and inspire you, you need to go back to Oz and ask the Wizard for a heart. Cancer survivor planned surprise wedding for a year without groom’s knowledge
See what Canadian Olympic athletes consider their particular “breakfast of champions.”
YOUTUBE “JUST TO FEEL GOOD” STUF
BEST OF THE NET
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL — AI has been at the front of every human rights issue and concern since its founding in 1961 by a British attorney. Without this organization, thousands would still be imprisoned and international justice would yet be a dream.
BACK COUNTRY GALLERY: BEST NATURE PHOTOS ON THE NET — This nature photographer’s work is the single best I’ve seen outside National Geographic.
BLACK SEA AGRO: AGRICULTURE IN THE BLACK SEA REGION — This region feeds most of the former Soviet Union. How they tackle issues of concern to their own agrarians deserves to be read by every farmer on the planet.
CREAM MAGAZINE & MILLENNIUM ART GALLERY — We have a relationship with the two Canadian men in Vancouver who own and manage this gallery that goes back over 30 years. They were the first to publish our mountain lions, Felina and Sam. Their literary magazine features talent from all over the world and their virtual gallery is a cozy rainy afternoon virtual excursion.
GRITTV WITH LAURA FLAUNDERS is about personal and community empowerment in an environmentally sane world.
HELP END WORLD HUNGER & POVERTY | HEIFER INTERNATIONAL® | HEIFER.ORG — This was recommended to us by a staffer who loves cows and admires the splendid work this particular organization is doing.
NEW DICTIONARY: We were asked to give this new online dictionary a try. We already use Merriam-Webster and have that on our browser’s tool bar. M-W is linked to a medical dictionary and an encyclopedia. When we need to cite the source for a definition, etc., M-W also packs the gear. That having been said, this new dictionary is great for everyday writing, editing and email correspondence. It is simple, extremely user friendly and was obviously designed by people who use these tools themselves. Yep, check it out here.
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.
OUTSIDE MAGAZINE — This is the comprehensive weekly for the rugged and socially responsible nature sports set, which marginally includes me. The National Geographic is still the standard here so if NG is a ten, OM is an eight.
THE SEADOC SOCIETY: PEOPLE & SCIENCE HEALING THE SEA — Affiliated with the University of California – Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, these folks are headquartered on a small forested island in the north part of Washington state’s Puget Sound. They are actively involved in research, education and legislation to protect the marine environment. Their monthly newsletter is an animal lover’s delight.
SIERRA CLUB — Historically, the Sierra Club has been in the vanguard of the Conservation Movement. They are very reflective of the mountains for which they are named.
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND — I like the spirit with which these folks pursue the task of protecting life on this planet. They’re engaging, interactive and educational without being preachy. They’ve learned early on the power of a good visual and a restrained narrative. Reading their newsletter is like talking to a naturalist.
WRITING FOR PEACE — This is an ambitious project which I think has an inestimable value to those learning about war. These weekly blogs are written by those who have experienced that particular horror. Because I’ve seen some of the more horrific things they write about, I don’t go there often. Anyone who still believes that war is better than peace should.
Each of us experiences a place differently, I think. When I see a headline like the above, I’m going, “relative to what?” My reality of Seattle is that it is a solar system of very caring communities orbiting around one of the most picturesque downtown cores of any city on the West Coast south of Vancouver, BC. To me, there is in headlines like the above, as well, the implication that one cannot love causes and neighborhoods both. In Seattle, most of our “causes” start at that level. I nonetheless found this article very interesting.
Whether you’re a native or a visitor, if you’re as nuts for Mexican food as I am, you’ll want to know where to find the best and least expensive tacos. Go here and try not to drool. It’s not good for the keyboard.
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
Here’s a chance to wrap yourself in total cute. Watch: Fun-loving goats play on metal sheet(Video)
This is the type of interspecies cooperation which suggests to me that human beings really do belong on this planet. Fishing rope cut from endangered whale off US Georgia coast
FROM OUR GOOD FRIENDS OUT THERE MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The World Wildlife Fund’s monthly newsletter is a Northstar Five-Star Favourite. To find out why, go here.
Check out the latest Great Backyard Bird Count and real some real cool articles on birds. Yep, this is a Northstar Five-Star.
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
This might be real handy to know. ‘The Antarctic Book Of Cooking And Cleaning’: Nourishing Recipes From The Coldest Continent”
Since several of you have asked, yes, the Northstar Journal is non-profit and entirely supported by its readership. It costs about 25¢ (twenty-five cents) U.S. per reader to produce. If you would like to toss a quarter in the can, please go here
If you are reading this on our blogsite and would like the graphically enhanced edition delivered to you by email, please so inform us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next week, then, take care, stay well and Godspeed. Rusty