January 31, 2016 Vol. 9 No. 190 435th Consecutive
A RATHER MESSY BUSINESS AT BEST
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, this year is certainly starting out interestingly enough. Northstar relocates next to a mountain with cougars on it and not only does China accuse Canada of espionage but the Canadian government itself finds legal umbrage with its intelligence agencies’ policies.
Espionage aka “intelligence gathering” is an intricate and “dirty” game at best. As an entity in “free world” countries, it operates in an ubiquitous no man’s land somewhere between the laws of the land and the need to protect that same land.
It is a game of strategy and tactics waged against enemies desperate enough to kill their own children in pursuit of whatever goals they have declared, from autonomy to jihad to the purification of the race to one world religion (theirs of course.)
It is also a process which transcends relatively transient political administrations. Politics knows many secrets and keeps very few of them. Elected officials are also much more vulnerable to coercion than most of the vetted intelligence community because of the complex matrix of trade-offs it takes to get elected, get the job done and get re-elected.
I wonder, then, how realistic it is to hold intelligence agencies “accountable” and subject to policy review. I believe it is, however, realistic to require said agencies to police themselves. No, I’m not certain that would work either but at least it would keep such internal investigations inhouse.
War is, perhaps rather unfortunately, also a rather dirty business at best. The only real rule is to win. These cloak and dagger warriors are part of the army we put in the field. Perhaps it is time to let them do their job, as well.
That’s it for this week, gang. Take care, stay well and God Bless.
Only in America, folks. We Asked, You Answered: Your Favorite Blizzard Things
I think this is very useful information for all of us to know, just in case. How To Become An Australian
This is long overdue and I hope it works. U.S. Police Leaders Unveil Principles Intended to Shift Policing Practices Nationwide
INTERNATIONAL HEADLINE NEWS
Major Cities Grind To A Halt And Face Days Of Digging Out Snow See also stranded In The Snow, Travelers Camp In Cars And Make Do
Oceana & Polynesia
TOPICAL HEADLINE NEWS
Climate Change & Weather
Espionage And Terrorism
This week I watched a quite interesting film, “The Big Short.” It was about how the financial crisis 2007-2008 triggered by mortgage bubble. I really appreciated how the creators of the film tried to explain some basic economic terms by simple examples.
Like “derivative,” they showed how people bet on a casino roulette winner, and then other people bet if the previous bet won. And then a third circle of people who bet if the previous circle was right.
And if this gambling fails at first circle, then all the long queue of betting leads to a total collapse. If the first circle of betting is understandable, the question is why system allows further circles, making itself as vulnerable as a house of cards.
And with respect to this photo, Lammas is a pioneering eco-village in West Wales, United Kingdom, where they build houses by themselves in pursuit of eco-living and demonstrate that an alternative is possible. Of course not everyone can sacrifice the luxury and comfort of a city dwelling, but it’s nice to know there is another way, especially when it is supported by the government. Having sustainable households in the long run could be more efficient for a healthy economy.
That’s it for this week. Stay warm, my cousin Mishka.
Out-flipping-standing. Cracking Europe’s Human Trafficking Rings
I got tears in my eyes watching this. Aboriginal Brass Band Offers Burst of Hope in a Bleak Community
I think this is a good idea and I hope it works. Massachusetts Chief’s Tack in Drug War: Steer Addicts to Rehab, Not Jail
Go You Guys! Ottawa To Mandate Climate Test For Energy Projects
I am very glad to see that this is working. In A Tiny House Village, Portland’s Homeless Find Dignity
Something really needs to be done about this and soon. Inuit — Once Relatively Cancer-Free — Now Have Highest Lung-Cancer Rate In The World: Study
This needs to change and it is certainly possible. Precipitous Rents in Ski Country Push Workers to Edges
This needs to change before the health system turns on those it was meant to serve. Drug Shortages Forcing Hard Decisions On Rationing Treatments
OUR SCIENCE SECTION, ABRIDGED
I totally loved this. Meet The 31mph Electric Supercar
This is reassuring, he observed sarcastically. Study: Maybe We Can’t Find Aliens Because They’ve All Died Already
If this were ever to get into “the wrong hands…” Why Police Have Started Scanning Brains
Where No Human Has Walked Before ~ The Only Sound You’ll Hear Is Dripping Ice, But It Won’t Be That Way For Long
THE GREEN AGENDA
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Amy at SpringggRain@aol.com
BEST OF THE NET
A super power no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall. The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust. Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose. A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters which spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves.
NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES
Advertising Copy ~ Classified and Display
Editing ~ General and International
Online English Tutoring
“Americanization” of International Websites
Comedy ~ jokes, monologues
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ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
This is totally absorbing. Swimming With Elephants And Sharks
I see a major motion picture in this discovery. The BBC headline writer even gave it a movie title. The Monkeys That Sailed The Atlantic
Here is a chance to wrap yourself in a quilt of totally cute. How To Rehabilitate A Baby Otter
YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP
The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine reaching readers in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Oceana. We also have a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In. While we occasionally accept classified advertising, we are otherwise entirely reader-supported. If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here. For more information and to receive us in your email, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org