decus, integritas, probitas

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Now reaching informed readers in America, Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Russia & Australia

Volume 4, No. 45

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it was real interesting to find out that a major American educational institution managed to keep the homosexual rape of a ten year old boy a secret for over a decade.  Some crimes and some acts of omission defy facile articulation and I am struggling for words to express my outrage, anger, contempt, disgust and pure white hatred of all those involved in this.  So I will try to keep this very simple.

If you hurt a child, you are incarcerated as part of the general prison population so you can experience what it is like to be raped.  If you kill a child, you die in the most economically expeditious manner possible.  Where I live, that is both a short rope, a strong overhead pipe and a folding chair; or a blow dryer in a full bath.


Matthew 18:10   “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

Psalm 127:3  “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Mark 9:42   “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

Luke 17:2   “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.”

Matthew 25:40   “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

One man who walked among us didn’t seem to think so.


As a species, we’ve apparently got about five years to clean up our act or we’re going to face even wilder weather than we have thus far experienced.  That is the conclusion reached by the International Energy Agency, whose report was released inParis last week.

In a decision which could have profound ramifications for the prosecution of sex abuse by the Catholic clergy, the British High Court in London ruled that an English diocese was “vicariously” liable for the abuse of one of its priests and that the victim was entitled to compensation.  Our thanks to Kate Hickey and IrishCentral for this one.

Resistance is building against a proposed pipeline which would convey tar sand oil from Alberta to a refinery in Texas.  In response to pressure from environmental groups and government officials in states along the planned route, the Obama administration agreed to review the project and this will take until after mid-term elections in November.  As we reported last week, Native Canadians are joining environmental activists in attempting to stop of pipeline which would carry Alberta tar sands oil south across the United States to refineries in Texas.


America’s Veterans Day is Canada’s Remembrance Day.  This year, the USgovernment honoured 40 Korean War survivors of the Commonwealth Brigade.  According to CBC NewsCanada:

It’s known as the forgotten war, but some Canadian Korean War veterans were remembered at a special ceremony at the Korean war memorial in Burnaby, B.C., this week.

More than 26,000 Canadians joined the fight against communist forces in South Korea about 60 years ago as part of the Commonwealth Brigade, comprised of British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand troops.

A total of 516 were killed and 1,558 were injured. On Thursday, about 40 of the remaining survivors received certificates of appreciation from the U.S. government for their part in the United Nations campaign.

For more, please go here.


Newly inaugurated Irish president Michael D Higgins  is visiting  Derry (Northern Ireland) as his first official outing.  This appears to be a continuation of the All Ireland policy which two of Mr. Higgins’ predecessors ~ Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese.  

The woman who created the pink ribbon as a symbol of breast cancer and who became a monolithic champion of cancer research herself, died Saturday at her Manhattanapartment.  Evelyn Lauder was 75.  For more on this extraordinarily “Good Example,” please go here.

Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones were among those honored at this year’s Governors Awards in Los Angeles.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here 


Some people are into science and inventors like others are into rock stars.  When these same aficionados also like tattoos and other body art, the results can be pretty interesting, as evidenced in this slide show.      

The Green Evolution certainly seems to be benefiting the entire spectrum of society.  Even the criminal element is embracing it.

We found this real interesting.  Apparently, powerful men are also prolific.  DNA research has established that Niall of Nine Hostages, a famous Irish king, had 12 sons.  These were apparently assiduous swordsmen as well.  There now an estimated three million people of Irish blood or descent who can trace their lineage to this single individual.  If your last name is O’Connor, Flynn, Egan, Hynes, O’Reilly or Quinn, chances are you’ve got royal blood.  There are an estimated 28-million Asians who can say the same thing of Genghis Khan.  Thomas Jefferson, helped bring ten children into the world and they were apparently not shy either.

Apparently, according to fossil evidence trapped in amber, dinosaurs were more colorful than previously thought because of some them had feathers.


Like most of us need more reasons to indulge in chocolate, right?

As another instrument in the war against childhood obesity ~ now an epidemic in North America ~ a panel of doctors appointed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending cholesterol screenings for kids between 9 and 11, and again, from 17 to 21.  

With the busiest holiday season of the year coming up, it’s probably a good idea to take a look at three ways to cope with stress.

Center For Disease Control Disease FAQs Index
Tips and Tools For Staying Young
Weight Watchers:  Calculate Your Body Mass Index


When Shannon, the original third member of the team which publishes this ezine, was undergoing chemo therapy, the worst part for her was losing a full head of lustrous blonde hair and having to grow it back.  Ten years after her demise, researchers have come up with a solution to that.  And yep, to the extent that self-image determines morale, this also nourishes the soul.  What’s extra-cool about this is that the “secret” was “discovered” by a lady cancer patient.  Yep, please go here.

As the results of genetic research make a person’s DNA an increasingly more important factor in their medical care and treatment, this approach is being examined to see if it will work as successfully for cancer patients as it does patients of other diseases and conditions.  It’s called “personalized medicine” and to learn more about it?  Yuppers, please go here

For the young men in all our lives, the need to be familiar with the symptoms of testicular cancer cannot be overemphasized.  It is curable if caught early enough.  For one Marine Iraq veteran, it was not.  And as he battles for his life, he wants the word to go out.  Semper Fi, Sergeant Hernandez.  It is.

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


Apparently the size of one’s carbon footprint is also influenced by how old one is and if they act as old as they are

See also We Have Enough Humans, Thanks.  Why Some Twentysomethings Are Redefining the Family and Nixing the Kids


University of Washington’s Husky Stadium, a venerable Seattle institution and landmark. Photo by Merritt Scott Miller


A venerable Seattleinstitution and landmark is closing for renovations expecting to take 20 months.  For more on which one, yep, go here.

Upcoming Seattle Events

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
Seattle/Lake Washington Eagle Camera



A Year In New York is an absolutely stunning five-minute video by a native Irishman who documented his four seasons inAmerica’s largest city.


Animal Tracks is’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial.  This is a great stress buster for me and a profound pick-me-up if I’m having a “poor me” day.

Baby pandas soak up sun for the first time

FREE VIDEO is for those of us who in whom the Inner Child is still alive and well.  It’s a joyful romp with totally ingenuous music and outstanding video footage, including scenes of trolley cars inSan Francisco.  This one gets fives stars from us. 

NASA Probe To Explore Jupiter is a National Geographic video whose production values I found outstanding.  This is one you might enjoy sharing with the family.

OH AMERICA – Celtic Woman expresses my love forAmerica far better than I have thus far ever been able. 

Winter, A Dolphin’s Tale is the Flipper of this generation and is the true story of a dolphin so snarled in commercial crab trap that her fluke had to be amputated in order to free her.  She was adopted by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where she was fitted with a prosthetic.  The film, starring Kris Kristopherson and Morgan Freeman, is out now and I highly recommend it.


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.

National Geographic Kids Page:  If you enjoy learning about the places, people and things which make life on this planet such a unique experience?

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

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.


NEW Liberty’s Kids is an animated half-hour series on America’s War of Independence.  It features a regular cast, including the voice of Walter Cronkite as Benjamin Franklin, and top Hollywood actors and actresses in guest roles.  What also works so well for younger audiences is the theme song, which is American Revolution rap.  To watch an episode online, please go here.

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.

IrishCentral is absolutely the best commercial source of news, entertainment, politics and all things Irish and hyphenated Irish.

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.

(The) Legacy Project was originally designed as a course teaching students to make appropriate life choices personal and particular to them.  Its exercises have kids answering such questions as what they would like to learn, how would they like to make a living and what they can I do for their community.  What I found remarkable about these exercise is that so many adults these days are addressing these issues as well in order to survive hard times and stabilize in spite of them. is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (HTSA) website.  It contains a wealth of safety and reliability information on motor vehicles.  You can also, as have we, subscribe to an email newsletter which informs its subscribers of all vehicle recalls and the reason for 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 andAlaska. 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.

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


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.

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

Sponsorship ads are another way 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

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.


If you’d like to know why Pacific Northwesterners and Canadians value their salmon so much, please go here for a video of the return of the coho to the Elwah River after a dam there was dismantled.

Share with undersea photographer, explorer and writer Tony Wu, a recent diving expedition to Tonga to count baby humpback whales.  Yep, they’re making a recovery.

Animal Tracks is’s Critter Stuff.  They feature stories of every facet of the creature kingdom from the domestic to the primordial.
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


The same person who loves to surf glaciers in Alaska last week ended up riding what is being called the world’s largest wave.  I have often contended that extreme sports and human population control are fingers of the same loving glove.  The videos accompanying this story have not altered that conviction in the least.

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.

Merritt Scott Miller, writer & editor for hire


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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