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. 18

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Downtown Seattle, May 1, 2012. Photo Courtesy of KOMO 4 News

Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea  Well, as I’m writing this, it is Wednesday, May 2, 2012 and I am watching the Seattle local news.  What dominates the headlines THIS morning is the damage done yesterday, during May Day celebrations, to downtown businesses and public buildings.  KING 5 is showing me people who don’t live here smash windows, destroy storefronts, disrupt traffic, intimidate pedestrians and shoppers, confront police and otherwise pretty much destroy any sympathy I had for the causes these flipping loons represent.

I mean, maybe where you live (although I seriously doubt it) but not where I do, the following works as a sure prescription for positive change. 

Go in a group to one of the safest and most amiable cities in the world.  Make sure it is also one of the greenest and one of the most ardent supporters of local manufacturing and agriculture for a local consumer base.  Especially rejoice if its police department is under fire because that is another opportunity for mayhem and to destroy the credibility of another symbol of monolithic industrial totalitarianism.

Once you get there, blend into the local demonstrators and then at a strategic moment, change into black clothing and ski masks (in a public place with lots of cameras, by the way) and, with clubs and other implements of destruction, start punishing local businesses and citizens for supporting monolithic industrial totalitarianism.  Then go back to the same public place and change back into civilian clothes so the cameras can make sure they got you in both costumes.  Then leave before arrests are made based on the video footage.

Think of all the friends you’ll make among locals like me.  Imagine the donations that will come pouring in.  See in your mind being so totally cool that people across the nation will even want to know where you got your very rad tattoos.

And next May Day?  Do us all the supremest of favors?

Stay home?


The US economy experienced modest gains in April.  This apparently has some experts worried but it has been our experience that as long as more jobs are being added than lost, progress ~ however like that of an uphill garden snail ~ is still being made.  For details, please go here.

The bad news is that Greenland’s glaciers are indeed losing ice.  The good news is that the rate is much slower than previously thought.  The in-between news is that the planet’s oceans are still expected to rise four inches by the end of this century.  Yep, for more, please go here.

Unemployment in the Eurozone rose to a record high of 10.9 percent.  For more on this, please go here.  Also see related under this week’s Northstar Forum, Neil MacDonald Examines Why Europe Is Broken.


If the income gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” does not narrow, British socio-economist Richard Wilkinson contends, Canadawill become a much ruder and mean-spirited place to live.  This is what he told the editorial board of Huffington Post Canada in a recent interview.

Affordable housing is as intrinsic a concern in Vancouveras it is any other major city in the nation.  It has become particularly important to one former elected official and for perhaps the most poignant and personal of reasons.

The student strike against rising educational costs in Quebec’s provincially funded post secondary schools went ultra-visual last week when protestors marched in little more than their birthday suits and undergarments.  I’m almost embarrassed to suggest this, but for more and an interesting slideshow, please go here.


Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, a personal hero and role model of ours, recently held a roundtable discussion at The Huffington Post’s offices to address water contamination challenges, the upcoming documentary “Last Call At The Oasis,” and her newest endeavor to combat health concerns around the world.  For a fascinating look at true dedication in action, we more than invite you to go here.

Goats doing good works seems to be this ubiquitous and occasionally disconcerting subtext of my life.  Here is yet another example of what I’m talking about.

Whoever said the good die young or that nice people finish last was probably speaking more from personal experience than objective observation.  At 102, Bea Cohen has been giving all her life and she shows no signs of slowing down now.  This lady has more “go for it” than the Eveready Battery bunnyMeet Ms. Cohen here.


Which nations have the fastest average Internet access?  The answer might surprise you.

Would you like to know how scientists predict the impacts of global warming and how they model them?  Check this out, then.  This is a definite Northstar Recommends.

What do all of the blue-eyed people in the world have in common besides that?  According to new research, we could all be related.


Each of us, I suspect, handles stress in a slightly different way.  Some people meditate.  Some take prescription drugs.  I clean house (and yeah, I’m a dude).  And unfortunately, some of us who really shouldn’t, eat.  Check out Tricks to Avoid Emotional Eating

Are you proud of your hair and want to keep it healthy?  Try these 8 foods, then.

If you knew, God forbid, that your death was imminent?  What would you like to do before the crossing comes?  Duncan Penn discusses.

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


There is a new vaccine which shows great promise in keeping post-chemo therapy patients cancer-free.

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


With the Eurozone’s unemployment rate at a record 10.9 percent, Neil MacDonald Examines Why Europe Is Broken.


The good news is that after a trans-Pacific voyage, a semi-crated Harley Davidson motorcycle found landfall on a remote British Columbia, Canada beach.  The even better news is that the owner of said vehicle has been found.  Yep, for more, go here.  And our thanks to Serena and David in Nanaimo for this one.

Yet another study seems to confirm that if human beings do not reach a happy median with material lifestyle expectations, sooner than later, the haves and the have nots will definitely have one profound thing in common.  Neither of them will be here.  Yep, for more, go here.  And our thanks to Diane and Carin in Queens, for catching this one for us.


Hubble Telescope Marks 22nd Anniversary Of Launch Into Space (PHOTOS)

Meerkat mania at Point Defiance Zoo

Lion Tries To Eat Zebra-Striped Toddler At Oregon Zoo


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.


Next time your pet scratches itself, just be glad he’s not like Dino, on the FlintstonesThe fleas on dinosaurs were HUGE.

It is well-documented that I am not a fan of sharks.  In the days when I still skindove, I was coming out of a grotto and encountered a Devonian about as big as I was coming in.  I zoomed out with the speed of a Mark IV torpedo, hit the surface and proved that our beloved Jesus was not the only person in history ever to have walked on water.  I did the 100 yard surf dash and didn’t stop until I got to some small town in Arizona.  So I envy people who can do this stuff with sharks.

Ever dream of a home where the buffalo roam?  Move to Montana.  The bison are back.

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


We meant to bring this one to you when it first broke but some other even stupider things came to our attention first.  This is about a Taliban “commander” who, after learning there was a $100.00 (that’s right, one hundred dollars) reward for his capture, turned himself in.  That was weird.  What I thought was even stranger?  Before they took him into custody?  They PAID this guy the reward.  Yep, here’s where we got this one

Well, that’s about it for this week.  As a final word, The Northstar Journal is supported by contributions from readers like yourselves so if you enjoyed what you read here and would like to toss a dollar or two in the pot, as it were, please 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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.