February 21, 2016 Vol. 9 No. 193 438th Consecutive
RUSSIA’S PATRIARCH & THE PENGUINS
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. I have been ~ as most of you know ~ a journalist for about 37 years, total. In that time, I have seen many strange and wonderful things. I have also seen the darker side of the human condition, both as a crime reporter and as a warrior in a forgotten American conflict.
It takes, therefore, a great deal to impress me and this does, although I am not entirely certain why.
I have never met this Russian Patriarch person, but our European editor holds him in high regard, as I do Pope Francis. Olya wrote last week of the monumental significance of these two religious leaders meeting. I am impressed with the numbers.
According to an extremely well annotated Wikipedia source, the western Church has 1.1 billion adherents; the Eastern, 225 – 300 million. As of this writing, the world’s human population stands at about 7.4 billion. I am no rocket scientist but it looks like we are talking about a third of all the people on the planet.
These two men ~ elected by their peers ~ have larger “constituencies” than any leader in the history of humankind. And Catholics are everywhere. And everywhere they are, there are the powerful, the comfortable, the marginal and the poor. Some are free. Others are not.
But they are all Catholic and I find it very significant that both the Patriarch and the Pope are in the Latin American part of the Western Hemisphere. They are addressing the human condition and “asking” for change, not just for their adherents but for all human beings. And not just in the name of God but in a blunt and sometimes angry appeal to fundamental human decency.
I am not surprised they are making headlines. I am glad.
Have a great week, gang.
This is close to home and you’ll understand why we led with it this time. Elwha: Roaring Back To Life
For a “lame duck” president, he is making a lot of wild creatures very happy these days. With 3 New Monuments, Obama Creates World’s Second-Largest Desert Preserve
And some people wonder why I believe in a self-correcting universe. Nature’s Victories Buck The Trend
INTERNATIONAL HEADLINE NEWS
China Deploys Missiles On Contested Island In South China Sea ~ U.S. Official Confirms ‘Apparent Deployment’
Oceana & Polynesia
TOPICAL HEADLINE NEWS
Climate Change & Weather
Espionage And Terrorism
NIH Officials Accelerate Timeline For Human Trials Of Zika Vaccine, Saying They Will Now Begin In The Summer
U.S., Brazilian Officials Say No Scientific Basis For Theory That Chemicals — Rather Than The Zika Virus — Is To Blame For Birth Defects
A HUGE GREY CITY AT DUSK
Among other news, this one deserves attention: Refugee Crisis: Joint Action With Turkey The Priority, Says Merkel, As Summit Called
I remember wintry Istanbul, having been there once. The flight landed and outside it was nasty wet weather. From the rainy window of a taxi, it was a huge grey city in the dusk. The next day, snow fell. Being for the first time in an unknown city was an adventurous time, even for those who were sheltered from the weather itself.
According to the Guardian article cited above, “more than two million refugees are on Turkish soil, most of them from Syria”.
Besides Turkey’s refugee wave, the country is facing another dilemma, the tension with Turkish Kurds. The Guardian analyzed this in an article headlined Erdogan Must Drop Personal Ambition And Ease Tensions With Turkey’s Kurds
Recently on an international networking party, in a talk with a man from Ankara, I was told tourists should be careful visiting country at the moment and try to stick to guarded areas during visit.
Even though lunch in a seaside restaurant on the shores of the magnificent Bosporus is a real treat for those who like new experiences, probably it can be postponed for safer times.
That’s it for this week. Stay warm, my cousin Mishka.
Where has one of North America’s foremost kayaking photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting? Yep, find out here. This is a Northstar Journal Five Star Recommendation.
Stop feeding it and it may die. U.S. Closing A Loophole On Products Tied To Slaves
We totally applaud this. Helping Homeless Artists Turn Around Their Fortunes
This is absolutely inspiring. How Ordinary Germans Defied Hitler
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This needs to be reversed and not tomorrow. Canada experiencing alarming growth in child homelessness
Allah must certainly be weeping. I am. ISIS beheads 15-year-old Iraqi boy for listening to pop music
More Bad Examples
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A CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Help EarthSky Keep Going and Growing! — Hi, y’all. We’re back with our yearly fund-raiser, hoping once again to convince you we need and deserve your support!
OUR SCIENCE SECTION, ABRIDGED
This does not, I suspect, bode well. After Computer Hack, L.A. Hospital Pays $17,000 In Bitcoin Ransom To Get Back Medical Records
This is fascinating. Protecting The World’s Largest Wetland
THE GREEN AGENDA
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
Recommended by my younger ever-intriguing international development and social change/ community development and planning daughter: This is really interesting. It’s a set of thought-provoking pictures and comments, just a couple of minutes to see the whole thing: http://www.noire3000studios.com/album/nakedblackjusticeseries?p=1%3Fp%3D1#2
To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame 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. Now available in both paperback and Kindle at amazon.com
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ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
This will move you to tears, trust me. Homeless woman wants her dog to have better life
This is amazing. Feasting In The Floods
YOU GUYS THINK WE MAKE THIS STUFF UP
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