Seeing the title “Clams: the RVs of the Beach,” and with me and my wife being in an RV this year, I had to see what the post on John Williams’s outstanding online Salish Magazine (https://salishmagazine.org/) said. Though only loosely connected with RVs (clams move their homes with them), this article (https://salishmagazine.org/rvs-of-the-beach/) by Tom Noland about bivalves is full of the science details and good pictures of beach creatures that you expect from Salish Magazine.
First, regarding local news: Today’s blog is about quality national news, but before delving into that, a brief mention about local news. As the Seattle Times article referenced below mentions, “most states lost half their working journalists.” The loss of so many reporters threatens communities with not having accurate and comprehensive news about what’s going on in their communities, and it also compromises the ability to hold local officials, agencies, businesses, and other groups accountable. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State recognizes the risk to communities and democracy, so she’s striving to strengthen local journalism. You can read more in this article: Brier Dudley, “Sen. Cantwell on local news and keeping Americans informed,” Seattle Times, 30 July 2021, Web, Senator Maria Cantwell strives to strengthen local news
The Factual also ranks news sources, and it’s ratings of which are the most objective can be found at https://blog.thefactual.com/most-objective-news-sources. To determine these ratings, The Factual reviewed 828,00 articles from 53 sources, covering the period from 1 Jan. 2020 to 18 May 2021. For those wanting to know how the analyses were done, The Factual’s browser extension and the microsite IsThisCredible.com lets you drill down into the details.
[Note: This list does not include “local” papers (such as the The Seattle Times) which report lots of national news, though it does list The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.] Per The Factual, these are the Top Ten most objective national news sources: Percentage Score Factcheck 86.2 Smithsonian Magazine 82.7 Undark 80.9 The Conversation 76.4 Grist 76.0 The Intercept 75.3 FiveThirtyEight 74.0 Lawfare Blog 73.3 Politifact 73.2 National Geographic 72.9
These are the objectivity ratings of those news sources after the Top Ten.
Percentage Score Vox 72.4 ABC News 72.0 CNBC 71.5 ProPublica 71.4 New Republic 71.0 Business Insider 70.7 Science Magazine 70.4 Washington Examiner 69.6 Reason 69.0 New York Times 68.4 MarketWatch 67.6 The Norton 67.4 NPR 67.2 Wired Magazine 67.2 CBS News 67.2 Mother Jones 66.9 LA Times 66.9 The Atlantic 66.7 Washington Post 66.1 Tech Crunch 66.0 BBC 65.7 Daily Beast 65.6 Politico 65.5 Quillette 65.1 The Guardian 65.1 Cato Institute 64.3 New Yorker 63.0 Reuters 62.9 USA Today 62.6 Real Clear Politics 62.3 Wall Street Journal 61.8 Financial Times 60.3 Voice of America 58.8 The American Conservative 57.8 Popular Science 56.7 Fox News 55.3 The Federalist 55.3 Al Jazeera 54.3 CNN 53.6 Breitbart 52.8 National Review 50.3 Washington Times 50.3 Forbes 49.3
My wife and I had come to Medora, North Dakota to explore the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, to see the Badlands and its animals and plants, and to see where TR attained solace after family tragedy, and where he established and then failed at two ranches. Those places and things we saw, and we had a wonderful nature- and vista-filled experience in the park, but the unexpected surprise for us was the entertainment and learning to be had in the town of Medora. North Dakota residents know about Medora (for there were many natives at the Medora Musical the night we attended it), but many of us out-of-staters don’t. The combination of national park hikes and panoramas, and the shows and shops in Medora, made for an activity-filled five days.
As Oregon governor Kate Brown relates in the opinion piece above, the West is on fire (my wife and I see smoky skies most days as we trailer travel around Oregon and Washington). She lists climate action measures that Oregon is instituting, and she demands that Congress act, too. In this climate crisis, it’s critical that we have insightful, courageous, and strong climate-action leaders like Brown and Washington governor Jay Inslee. We have some in Washington, DC (such as Biden, Murray, Cantwell, and others), but we also have many (much to our detriment) politicians there who are blocking desperately needed greenhouse gas controlling measures. As anyone who hikes, hunts, or fishes knows, nature has many blessings, but her hard reality does not suffer fools—and to not put in place now the United States infrastructure and systems that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be foolishness on a grand scale. We need wise, courageous, and strong climate-action leaders in state, federal, and city government positions, and in business too, and we need infrastructure and systems that will allow us to have a future.
“Trees, trees and more trees” was Golden Gate Park Supervisor John McLaren’s motto when he helped design the shaded, pleasant, walkable, and popular Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon. Trees, we know, besides making our neighborhoods cooler and more pleasant, are part of the solution to the climate crisis.
God gave us the minds, hearts, and souls to experience and learn from both his word and his nature. It’s good to learn about God in church (through worship, fellowship, and study) and while engaging in service and striving to walk in his ways. It’s also good to explore beyond human-built walls, within the miracle of God’s creation, appreciating not only its big beauty (the vistas) but also the details of Earth’s wondrous variety of life. Among the cornucopia of plants and animals, or while appreciating the beauty of seashores, sunsets, and stars, we contemplate not only God’s timelessness, but also our own mortality. Surrounded by circles of life, we inevitably think of our own life and death . . . and life again. Within nature, the sights, sounds, feelings, odors, and tastes of being suffuse our senses. We see that the great I am (who obviously likes life and variety of life, since he made so much of it) accomplishes life via complex webs of large-and small-species interactions in countless niches. Ecosystems are how God does life. We thank God for the spark he put inside us, that we’re able to comprehend the preciousness of this blue-green Earth and of our time on it. We ask for his wisdom and love (which so manifestly comprise the one who engineered this miraculous biosphere) to be within us to guide our stewarding of nature. Church, the word, fellowship, and service are important, and so is regularly getting out into the garden, where we can be one-on-one with our creator. There, while thinking and praying, surrounded by miracles, we may learn some of his love, wisdom, glory, and life. — MRM
The Coffee Oases in Kitsap County, created by David and Cindy Frederick, provide refuge, hope, and work skills for youth, many of whom are from troubled homes or who are in troubled situations. Dave died recently, and celebration of his life will be on 24 July 2021 at 2 p.m. at Crossroads Neighborhood Church [7555 Old Military Rd NE, Bremerton, WA 98311]
To learn more about David and Cindy and about Coffee Oasis, please go to the following newspaper articles and announcements: