decus, integritas, probitas

Winner of Two Hersh Best Read On The Net Awards

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

Volume 5, No. 17

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea  I’ve just finished reading a very moving story about an Ontario, Canada girl who decided that instead of presents for her birthday, she wanted the money donated to wildlife preservation.

That kind of heart comes from good parenting and sibling support, so of course Winter Slade’s mother and four siblings thought it was totally cool and helped her explore a specific project or cause.  Winter chose the pine marten, an endangered species where she lives.

This would probably be one of the best real life feel good stories of the new century were it not for the reaction of the mothers of some of Winter’s friends.  Several of them thought it was a stupid idea and a couple of those flowers of flipping parenthood sounded off within earshot of Winter.  The child heard and burst into tears.  Big time.

I am outraged about this for two reasons.  First, this is not how Canadians of any age treat one another.  Second, this was an attack by adults intended to hurt a child. 

In the name of God, what kind of adult sets out to deliberately abuse a child?  I know and so do all of you.  They are the kind of adults that we fear most as parents and prosecute with such devotion as citizens when they have committed injury upon the youth of our nation.

I’m glad people rallied around Winter Slade.  I am incensed beyond belief that this child was hurt.  A self-correcting universe can be very grateful that it is God who sits in judgment of these women now and not me.

Winter Slade is not just an exceptional 7 year old child.  She is an exceptional human being and would be at any age.  How we treat such very special people says a great deal about us as a society.

It says a great deal more, I suspect, about our fitness and place among the other creatures, great and small, with whom we share this planet.  Winter, I’m sorry they hurt you, Lass.  But you showed them and I’m real proud.


It comes as no surprise that intelligence analysts have determined that the “missiles” North Korea displayed so prominently in a massive parade recently were probably less of a threat to the world than the fumes from a Cuban cigar on a crowded winter bus.  For yet another escapade in the life of a mouse that roars, please go here.

Now that it appears that Pakistan and India both have successfully tested a medium range intercontinental ballistic missile with nuclear warhead capabilities, we are so strongly reminded of the question American comedic pianist Tom Lehrer asks in his classic Who’s Next?

The US Senate Intelligence Committee has concluded that what is now being called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques but which the non-euphemistically inclined know better as “torture,” does not work.  Reuters News reports


We have French food.  We have Italian food.  Do we have Canadian food?  Check out the Maple Leaf’s 50 best restaurants and decide for yourself.

Behind a modest improving national economy in 2011, Alberta led the provinces, followed very closely by Saskatchewan.  For more on this report from Statistics Canada, please go here.

Which ten cities in Canada are growing the fastest?  Find out here.


The Institute for Economics and Peace has rated the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area the third safest metropolis in the United States.  It trailed first place winner Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Massachusetts and Edison, Brunswick, New Jersey respectively.  To see how other communities in America rank, check out the full report here.

Clare Squires, of Leicestershire, England, died one mile from the finish line of the London Marathon.  Her dedication inspired contributions of more than $500,000 from Internet users.  For more on this truly inspiring young woman and what she was running for, please go here.

In a city known throughout the west for them, Seattle is getting another community garden and wait until you see where this one will be sited.  Yep, go here.


Robots will soon be mining asteroids, if James Cameron and a consortium of other private investors and Silicon Valleyenterprises have their way.  For more on this one, please go here.

Just as Cro-Magnon Man (us) has hunted other species out of existence, so too might the first hominins have been responsible for the demise of such heavyweight predators as the saber toothed tiger.  For a remarkable glimpse at a prehistoric struggle for survival, please go here.

With the continued evolution in technology, materials and design, building “green” is actually becoming more cost effective than conventional, non-environmentally appropriate structure construction.  The Atlantic Cities reports.


Most of us know how important calcium is to our system as a whole.  For me, that means about a quart of milk a day, which I totally enjoy.  But what about the lactose intolerant or those who just plain don’t like the taste of “moo juice”?  Here are several other sources and some of them might surprise you.

In nourishing families, everybody helps everyone else stay up for the game, as it were.  Here are five self-esteem boosters for kids and for the inner child in each of us.

Want to add an erotic flavor to your love life?  Try these kitchen tips to seduce.

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


Scientists have developed a hand-held device which is being touted as the smallest cancer detecting device in the world.

Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society


Is it realistic to think that we can wean ourselves off nuclear fission while fighting climate change?  Germany is about to find out.  The one nation with the most yin and yang experience with atomic energy, Japan, is considering following the European giant’s example.  The Washington Post Editorial Board discusses.


The Space Shuttle Enterprise lands in New York.

Saturn Stars In ‘Outer Space,’ Short Film Made From Cassini and Voyager Images


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.

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.

Foundation For A Better Life produces 15 – 90 second inspirational videos equaling ~ if not surpassing ~ the video vignettes produced by Hallmark, Folgers Coffee and Campbell Soup.  Three I’d recommend right off the top are Concert, The Class Room and Spirit of America.

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

National Geographic Video Page is the diversion the doctor ordered If you’re looking for a video experience that will definitely take you out of wherever you are and you don’t mind your reality coming at you in relatively short bursts (about long enough to keep a fussing child occupied).

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.

Word Games:  Merriam Webster has a totally creative menu, including a daily vocabulary quiz where you can see how you rank with people your age, younger and older.


His name is Fred and he's a neighbor who dines on what we put out for the birds and other creatures in the micro-wildlife sanctuary we created on the roof. Photo by MSM

One of Washington State’s more popular climbing places, Deception Crag, is off limits since a peregrine falcon’s nest was discovered atop it.  Biologists are asking climbers to stay off it until the nestlings are fledged early this summer.  Yep, for more, go here.

The sacrifices made in the name of love are hardly unique to the human species.  Consider what the male praying mantis and some spiders go through in the name of afterglow.

Here’s a gallery of what Paw Nation considers the strangest looking creatures in the world.  See how many you can identify.

Living With Wildlife
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals


How would you feel if you were out hunting with your partner and they shot you because they mistook you for a wild boar?  My wife, God Rest Her Soul, would have had met applying for citizenship on the couch.  To see how this lady handled it, yep, go here.

Take care, stay well and God Bless.

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller

Writer/Editor For Hire

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



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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