Volume 4, Number 36

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seattle, Washington

Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor


 Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  We received quite a few emails asking if we have ANY explanation for the destructive weather which is disrupting millions of lives and killing hundreds of thousands all over the planet.  The simple answer to that question is, “Yep, we do have an explanation.”  We haven’t shared it until now because ~ first, we had not been asked ~ and second, we know some of you are NOT going to like what we’ve concluded. 

Mother Earth is a work in progress ~ like all other living organisms ~ from birth to death.  And in the same way that all of the rest of us are hosts for a variety of lesser creatures down to the micro-organism level, she too provides human beings a place to live.  To me, the earth is a woman because she gives life to so many.  She has her own personality.  She interacts with her planetary peers.   

When I was in high school biology, I learned two terms.  One was symbiotic, which is healthy and predominantly the way of it.  The other was parasitic.  When a relationship swings from the former to the latter, it then becomes a dynamic struggle between the host to throw off the parasite and the parasite to burrow in even deeper and cause more destruction.  Either way, the parasite eventually perishes for when host is gone, so is the parasite’s food source. 

The bad news is that humankind’s relationship with the planet has gone from the symbiotic to the parasitic.  Mother Earth is fighting back.  We don’t really have a lot of choice.  If we don not stop destroying our “host” planet, we will eventually kill her and ourselves in the process. 

That is where all this bad weather is coming from and why. 


In addition to commemorating the tenth anniversary of what has simply come to be known in history as “Nine One One,” those of us with ties to Japan are marking the six month anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami which struck the northeastern part of that nation of islands, broke open a nuclear power plant and turned Fukushima prefecture into a disaster area with a radiation zone.  For an unforgettable look at their “recovery,” please go here

The Medicare Fraud Task Force has indicted 91 people, including health care providers, for Medicare Fraud.  The MFTF conducted operations in eight cities and said that the defendants allegedly defrauded the government (us taxpayers) of about $291-million.  That’s about 93¢ for every man, woman and child alive in the US today.  Nice going, guys.  This is how I like to see my tax dollars at work. 

Eighteen people have perished this year in Yosemite National Park, making that recreation area the most dangerous in the United States.  But has this 1,171 square mile/3,034 sq. km premier natural destination in fact, itself actually become more lethal?  Of course not.  More people are visiting and more people are doing stupid things like jumping fences and falling into rivers above some of the highest waterfalls in the world, or insisting on treating the native bears as real time Yogi Bear and Boo Boo.  Yep, for more on this one, go here

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is making $700-million available to help build, expand and improve community health centers across the country.  These centers provide care to America’s low-income Americans.  Last year, they employed more than 131,000 staff.  These funds made are expected to create thousands of additional jobs nationwide 


Kids in British Columbia are more likely than any other province or territory, to pack a lunch to school, according to a recent Heart and Stroke poll.  Those conducting the study were not able to say whether this was a good thing or a bad thing but sagely concluded that it depended on what was in the lunches from home.  None of the respondents was critical of the lunches served in Canadian schools and the pollsters concluded this was just the idea that parents had more control over what their kids ate.  Allegedly.  And assuming there’s no lunch swapping.  One family we personally spoke with suggested that if at all possible, parents should go to their kids’ school website and see if the cafeteria menu for the coming week is posted.  If it is, then the family can sit down and see if it’s either necessary or cheaper to provide home lunches.  Our thanks to Bonnie and Rick in Kelowna.  Oh and Kristi and Colleen, their kids.  Also see: How to pack a perfect lunch for kids – Canadian Living 


Victoria, British Columbia, Canada’s 15-acre Dockside Green may very well be the greenest in the world.  To take a virtual walk through it, please go here

We’d say that an electric vehicle charging station which itself is solar powered is definitely a step in the right direction and Seattle just got one. 

Since we also reach people who hire others, we think it’s a great idea when someone in the media gives 5 Reasons to Hire Qualified Unemployed PeopleThere is also a link to 72 companies in the United States which discriminate against the unemployed and may face federal sanctions in the near future.  To our shame, two of them are in Seattle. 

During hard times ~ and it looks like these are going to stick around awhile longer ~ creative income generation (aka out of the box thinking) can actually sometimes make the difference.  Consider the story of one 2007 University of Pennsylvania graduate and aspiring comedian.  He went to New York City, made the rounds, but could not find work as a laugh master.  So, he decided to take his craft to Central Park.  He is now bringing down about $100 a day there.  Yep, for more on this one, including a video of him in action, go here


Another electric car will soon be appearing on the streets of Seattle.  It will join the Nissan Leaf and the quasi-electric Chevrolet Volt.  This one is manufactured in Ontario, Southern California.  It can zip around on a 115-volt Lithium battery at a top speed of 65 mph.  It can be charged on a 110-volt house circuit or 220 and has a connection for any J1172 public charging station.  It is called the Wheego LiFe.  

For as long as they have been studied, how to accurately predict the intensity of a hurricane has largely eluded the scientific community.  To understand why and what is being done to bridge this critical knowledge gap, please go here

Well, in their constant quest for extraterrestrial life, some scientists are attempting to create simple life forms in laboratories right here on earth.  One of them has come eerily close to doing that and what he “manufactured” is evolving.  If you have kids or office mates into this sort of thing, go get them and then go here.  The video that goes with this is excellent


Childhood obesity affects an estimated one of every three children in the US today.  September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.  To see what you and your community to save some of this country’s greatest natural resource, please go here. 

Staying young is really a matter of having a game plan.  For a good one, please go here

Tips and Tools For Staying Young
Weight Watchers:  Calculate Your Body Mass Index 



Here is yet another good reason for eating at least one leafy green salad a day.  Strong medical evidence suggests the foliates in this instant meal help prevent colon cancer.  Yep, for more, please go here. 

Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society
Cancer Research Journal
National Cancer Institute (American)
Fighting Breast Cancer: Breast Cancer Survivor Stories
Science Daily:  Health & Medicine News 



To join us in remembering in remembering 9/11, please go here

I am inspired in all aspects of my life, by superlatives.  Even though I’m not competing with anyone but the best in me, stellar examples redefine the best I can be.  They also remind me during hard times that I am not alone and that we’ve all survived tougher times than this.  I have a small video library of performances which inspire me and I’d like to share one here.  It is the Supreme Court scene in Amistad, where John Quincy Adams, played brilliantly by Sir Anthony Hopkins, literally defines who, as Americans, we really are.  Yes, please go here


NEW has a comprehensive email directory of American federal and state elected officials and government agencies.  You fill in two or three blanks, hit Enter and you’ve got what you need to offer support or air a grievance. 

Celtic Woman is The Northstar Journal’s favourite musical performance group.  When it is inspiration in a song we seek, they invariably provide it and they look as good as they sound.  The production values of their performances, whether at the Helix in Dublin or on a television stage in Adelaide, are flawless.  Perhaps most endearing for me is that these Irish ladies are totally ingenuous, and totally free of pretense or posturing.  They have a global following and for a sampling of why, please go here. 

(The) Clearwater Marine Aquarium inFlorida is the home of Winter, the rescued dolphin who was fitted with a prosthetic fluke and continues to amaze marine lovers the world over by her recovery.  The CMA is in the marine mammal rescue business for real, both as a public amusement site at which they also take care of a variety of species, and on the web as well.  Their videos and other information also make for a nice “educational” experience to share with others. 

Irish Newsletter is an outstanding pocket source of Irish life, politics and times.  Particularly well written are their news snaps (shorts) which ~ according to friends of mine inErin ~ literally tell it like it is.  While theRepublic ofIreland’s population is only about 4.5-million, there are an estimated 80 million people of Irish descent worldwide and email version of this reached 50,000 of them.  

Sightline Daily is the bestPacific Northwest source of environmentally friendly news we’ve encountered yet.  They draw from newspapers and National Public Radio sources throughout the American west, northwest, Western Canada and Alaska. 

Yes magazine is the editorial hammer of the Green Movement and the most deeply rooted, informative, insightful and magazine on the Net. 


We mentioned that we can keep chickens in Seattle. These belong to one of my neighbors. She says the eggs are not as cheap as the ones at the local supermarket but she has an idea her hens are a lot happier. Photo by MSM


Well, as of September 1, the fine for over-parking jumped from $39 to $44.  The City expects to generate $2-million from this increase.  Now, the price of a parking ticket inSeattle is higher than inMiami,New Orleans, andBoston and inline with those inNew York,Chicago andSan Francisco. 

Population:                            612.000
GreaterSeattleArea               3,707,400
Area:                                     84 sq mi/217 sq km
Density:                  7,286 people per sq mi/2,821 per sq km
Annual Rainfall:                      36.2 inches/92 cm, ranking it 41st in rainy US cities
More Seattle Facts & Figures
Upcoming Events
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera 



Games and puzzles are not only a fun way to take a break but they’re also good mental exercise.  They do for the brain what a regular workout for the body.  So if you need a good reason to take a coffee break on the Northstar Journal, there’s a good one.  MSM 

Vocabulary Quiz:  Take this 10-word daily test and see how you rank with people your age, younger and older. 

Daily Crossword:  This one from Universal has two levels.  It is extremely easy to use and it has some features like music and clues that we thought were pretty cool. 

Other Word Games:  Merriam Webster has a totally creative menu. 

Tank Hunter – This puts you behind the controls of a tank on a vast battlefield in which everything from small tanks to big ones to invisible ones is shooting at you.  Definitely the best game play of its type I have personally encountered. 


Rusty Miller – Writer/Editor For Hire for everything from business letters to data entry to editing and proofing, to speech writing and special projects, you’ll find it here at negotiable rates.  I don’t consider any request too small and I don’t take on any that are too large.  For a full list of services and more information, please go here

The Northstar Gallery features photography ofSeattle available as postcards, computer wallpaper and workspace art.

 The Northstar General Store is a truly unique online shopping experience and reflects what you, the readers, have said interests you the most.  Whether it’s a specialty food item for that proverbial someone who has everything else or just to browse with some discretionary capital to spend on a whim, you’ll find everything from quality camping gear to interesting CDs, DVDs and books to totally fun and otherwise useless toys, women and men’s apparel and a wide variety of other items and wares you simply will not find under a single roof anywhere else on the Net.  And by shopping here, you help us pay our bills.  To enter and check it out, please click the picture of the store above. 

Sponsorship ads are another way The Northstar Journal generates operating capital.  These begin at $5.00 a week for a simple small logo and web page link.  Ads more elaborate than that are negotiated and charged on an individual basis.  For more details, email us at

Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available for $3.99 at 


Well, there is absolutely no way I could have missed this one, especially after seeing it on The Today Show.  This New Jersey couple taught their Siberian Husky to say, “I love you.”  Uh huh.  Right.  Except that they really did.  And the dog says it with feeling.  How come more humans can’t be taught to do that? 

Well, here’s something I didn’t know.  If you’d like to see beavers in action in the wild without leaving the city limits, there’s a Seattle nature group that can make that possible.  They have a swamp right on Lake Washington where nature’s engineers are alive and well.  They offer canoe tours, which include guided talks by naturalists familiar with the Puget Sound esosystem.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here

You guys heard about the moose in Sweden that got drunk on old (fermented) apples and got stuck in a tree, right?  No, I am NOT making this up.  Apparently this is a real problem in this part of Scandinavian in the Fall.  Drunken moose.  Oookie dokie. 

Oceana:  The National Geographic of the World’s Oceans
How to Behave Around Bears
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera
National Wildlife Magazine
Go Northwest:  Northwest Wildlife Websites
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals



Stealing someone’s identity is kind of like picking their pockets.  NOT a smart thing to do it to a cop, a wise guy or a prosecuting federal attorney.  There is some poor fool out there right now laughing his/her butt off even as the blade of the guillotine of karma is about to descend.  Yep, for more on this one, go here.   See related:  3 charged in credit-card-skimming operations 

And this one definitely belongs under either “Dumber That Dirt” or “What was he THINKING?”  Seattle city employee to be fined for driving city car to casino (and then speeding back to attend an ethics meeting. 

Well, that’s about it for this week.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here.  For a quick way to respond to what you’ve experienced here, yep, go here

Take care, stay well and God Bless


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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