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. 21

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Tomorrow, Monday, May 28, a significant number of you take time to honor those who have served your nation as members of its military.  You remember fallen veterans in November, as does Canada.

I think it is well that service and particularly the ultimate sacrifices are respected.  I was asked by one of you the other day on the bus to the U District if I thought two holidays like that might not be glorifying war.  And that if this wasn’t a way of keeping it in the foreign policy arsenal.

I have always felt that service to one’s nation is not just aboutArlington.  I have privately felt that no, we do not celebrate enough those citizens of all ages whose service and sacrifices to and for their communities also makes the fabric of this country as durable as it has proven to be.

Do I think that two holidays promote militarism?  No, I do not.  But they are holidays which make me very sad and I tend to retreat inside myself.  Family and friends understand this and respect my space.

To me, the Sixties were not just about the War in Vietnam.  And fallen comrades were hardly limited to those I saw die inSoutheast Asia.  Most of the people I knew were dedicated Americans who fought and died from the Mekong Delta to MIT to Ole Miss for the rights of all of us to “live long and prosper.”

There are not as many of these “old soldiers” as there once were.  But there are new ones, for war is still with us.  And people still die fighting for their civil rights.

I think that this might change if we paid equal attention to those who work for peace and those who protect it.

For more information on how I feel about this, please go here.  It’s a song by Celtic Woman entitled, “O, America”.


Ushering in what is definitely a new age of space flight, the privately funded Space X unmanned Dragon delivered a half ton of supplies to the International Space Station Friday, some 250 miles over Australia.  For the story, please go here.

The new president of France has declared his nation’s mission in Afghanistanfinished and has promised to have all 1,400 troops home by the end of the year.  The Huffington Post World reports.

Facing the worst job market since WWII, many twenty-somethings are returning to the nest.  And, perhaps surprisingly, it’s often working out for all concerned.  In some cases, it also demonstrates the viability of the extended family as an economic model.  For more on a fascinating look at a return to “old ways,” please go here.


We join Canadians from Sooke to Halifaxin not just mourning the death of explorer Shriya Shah-Klorfine but in celebrating her life, as well.  The Torontowoman died last week descending Mount Everest.  The Canadian Press reports.

A man who apparently attempted suicide by plunging over Niagara Fallslast week did, in fact, survive.  Huffington Post Canada has this story.

Like most nations in these yet economically troubled times, Canada’s job market is changing dramatically and one of the reasons for that is staggering unemployment among its recent college graduates.  Sound familiar?  To see how Canada’s dealing with this, please go here.


We reported earlier this month about student protests in Quebec.  Things are not improving.  Since the strikes against rising tuition costs began three months ago, 2,500 people and been arrested and fined for protest-related violations of provincial codes and municipal bylaws.


Sometimes and I think understandably, when life gets hard, we tend to feel as though we’re alone.  At such times, I turn to the inspiration of others on a tougher road and this one of a child learning to hear after a cochlear implant certainly fits that Good Example.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here.

In what must be one of the better wildlife management moves we have seen in a long time, red-tailed hawk chicks are being removed from their nests too near the runways at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and relocated, in full view of their parents, to nests in a more suitable place.  KING5’s Glenn Farley reports.

There’s been a greater than reported concern about the fate of bees and the impact that has on the web of life they support.  Here’s what one group of folks are doing about that.


We reported back in February about an ambitious contest by the Architecture Foundation of British Columbia for homes constructed from materials available within 100 miles of the sight.  We are proud to announce the winners.


Bone flutes discovered in the SwabianCavesof southern Germany strongly suggest that human beings were enjoying music much earlier than previously believed.  For an absorbing glimpse of our very prehistoric artistic antecedents, please go here.

They can’t see it yet but based upon studies of gravitational pulls and their impact on the orbits of other sub-planetary bodies in our solar system, a Brazilian astronomer has advanced the theory that there may be a much larger planet in our solar system beyond the orbit of Pluto.  For more on this one, yep, check it out here.

A great many people apparently live in cottage style homes and as the international construction industry struggles to meet the dramatically shifting nature of human habitation, it is worth, I think, taking a look at major innovations which cannot help but improve the quality of cottage life.  See related:  Real Homes: Small, Frugal, and Green


Sometimes health news comes packaged with a gender bias I don’t like.  I’m talking about those items which begin with “Things Women Need to Know,” or “Seven Things Men Probably Don’t Know.”  It took both genders for us to get here and it’s both genders clinging together to stay alive on this little blue green spaceship.  So here are facts about men’s health most of us didn’t know and all of us should.

What does the expiration date on food really mean?  What is actual shelf life?  How long will stuff in the ‘fridge actually last before it begins to become another life form?  The answers might surprise you.

Actress and healthy living coach Marilu Henner’s book, Total Memory Makeover: Uncover Your Past, Take Charge of Your Future, has just made the New York Times Bestseller list.  To see why, please go here.

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


Doctors in Scotland have established what they believe is a definite link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer in women.

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


She’s young, articulate, liberal and she recycles.  She belies that climate change is real and her life style is realistically eco-friendly.  Do not, however, call Lisa Curtis or any of the millions like her, “an environmentalist.”  Here’s why.


Our special thanks to the one of you who sent us this link which has all of us here embracing our inner astronomer.  This is outstanding.  Thank you, Magister.


Check out Five Minute Videos.  This is totally the best site we’ve come across to “watch” the news on a coffee break.  This is definitely a Northstar Recommends.


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.


The more paleontologists discover about raptors, those bipedal predators featured so effectively in the American 1993 film Jurassic Park, the gladder I am I wasn’t around when these homicidal maniacs were.  Fossils the size of a coyote have been discovered in southern Utah so now it looks like these extremely cunning creatures ranged in size from a mocking bird to a grizzly bear.  If anyone ever really does clone a couple of these and they reproduce, I am finding a way off this planet because we are all surely doomed.  Yep, for more on this one, go here.

If you like a “cute in the wild” story with a real happy ending, check out how the Columbia Basin pigmy rabbit got jerked back from the brink of extinction by human beings with whom it shares its range and particularly, by a government agency which acted both in response to a plea to save these hand-sized creatures, and to the voices of their own conscience.  It doesn’t get any better than this, at least not in the state of Washington.

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


Here’s how the ultimately affluent intend to survive any planetary disaster which leaves the earth itself intact.  This one totally blew me away and almost makes me wish I had the ambition to become a trillionaire and join these folks in becoming the meek that are allegedly to inherit all this once Judgment as spoken.

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.
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