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. 23

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Seattle, Washington

Merritt Scott Miller, Editor

Dennis William Steussy, Associate Editor

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  As most of you know, this publication does not make a habit of covering politics in America, Canada or any of the other flags we reach.  First, we don’t have the person power to do it well.  Second, other publications do it much better than we could even if we did have a larger staff.  Third, if there’s one thing sure to alienate and polarize an international readership, it is to suggest that one candidate or political party has all the answers and to assume an advocacy position in these regards.

But we’ve been getting a great deal of mail around this subject so with your indulgence, I’d like to make a couple of things real clear. 

We’ve never seen an American president or Canadian prime minister the country could not survive.  We have never seen a political party or faction that set out to destroy a nation.  In a democracy or a democratic republic, it is the consensus builders who seem to accomplish the most.

We’ve also learned that ridiculing an individual, party or position is not the way to win the hearts and minds of the constituency.  When I worked for the Yamhill County, Oregon Board of Commissioners as their public information officer, I was asked to put together a campaign for a road improvement levy.

Then, like now, money was scarce.  But that winter, we’d seen a family home destroyed by fire and a beloved matriarch killed because emergency services could not reach the structure in time.  Bad roads were cited as the cause.

So what we did was simply present to the constituency the basic facts of what the proposed levy would cover, what it would cost and how it was to be amortized over several years.  We further broke it down into what it would cost each citizen ~ man, woman and child ~ in the county.

We set up a pie chart and graph in the lobby of the County Courthouse, issued three press releases to the McMinnville News-Register, the Salem Statesman-Journal and the Portland Oregonian.  And that’s all we did.

Simplistic?  Perhaps.  Successful?  Imminently.  We trusted you folks, the voters, to make up your own mind in these regards and for the first time in 75 years, Yamhill Countypassed a road improvement levy.

History suggests that human beings get the kind of government they’re willing to pay for and that they really want.  They cannot ~ in the long run ~ be bullied, flim-flammed or coerced into accepting something they do not feel is in their best interests.

So thank you for the mail but no, The Northstar Journal does not intend to engage.  American coins bear the motto “In God We Trust.”  With no disrespect to the Almighty, we place our trust in you.


One thing we’re learning about climate change is that it does not impact uniformly.  To see what individual states in Americacan expect in the years to come, please go here.  See also:  Climate Change Will Boost Wildfires Across North America and Human-Induced Ocean Warming Study Addresses The ‘Dominant Role’ Of People

Which nations among the G20 are best and worst for women?  The results might surprise you.

Our congratulations to China for a successful launch of their Long March Rocket yesterday, Saturday, June 16.  Welcome to the Space Age, guys, and nice going.

In honor of Father’s Day, we thought you’d like to learn about six inventors who worked with their own children.


Two weeks ago, we shared the economic rankings of some 366 metropolitan and 576 micropolitan areas in the United States.  Here is a list of 11 states with the strongest economies and why they were ranked that way.


During World War II, in NAZI concentration camps, the place where inmates sorted out the possessions of those gassed and at great personal peril diverted some to camp undergrounds, was called Canada House.  At that to the 25 reasons why I think Canada rocks.

Canada’s already improving economy got another great boost earlier this month.  Aerospace manufacturer Bombardier inked a contract with Warren Buffet’s private jet company, NetJets, Inc. for 275 Challenger business jets.  The deal is apparently worth almost $10-billion.  Nice going, guys.

The some 12,500 owners of Canadian built 2012 Honda Civics might want to start watching their mailboxes.  The auto manufacturer wants to inspect each one of them for a potential problem with the left driveshaft.  It apparently may not have been pressed into the CV assembly properly.  Yep, for more on this one, please go here.


In order to further reduce greenhouse emissions, the California Department of Water Resources will, next year. stop purchasing electricity from a coal-fired electrical generating facility in Nevada.  For more on this one, yep, go here.

Liu Yang this weekend became China’s first female astronaut and even as we “go to press,” she’s orbiting the planet.  Wave to her as she passes over your village, town or city.

We were extremely gratified to learn that one of our personal heroines, Myanmar’s champion of democracy, Aung San Suii Kyi, is now making a European tour.  This is the first time in 24 years she’s visited Europe and we understand she’s getting a tremendous reception.


I have very ambiguous feelings about genetic engineering because I don’t think we know nearly enough about inter-species reactions and the role even malevolent creatures play in the planetary web of life.  So it will be very interesting to see what happens now that scientists at the University of California Irvine have created a mosquito which could stop those insects from spreading malaria.

A popular American insurance commercial uses the phrase, “so simple even a cave man could do it.”  Apparently when it comes to the arts, they were so engaged far earlier than previously thought and that 45,000 years ago, there were Rembrandts, Picassos, Matisses and Van Goghs among both Neanderthals and Cro Magnons.  I found this New York Times article absolutely fascinating.

One of the things we find absolutely fascinating is the history of technology.  It provides an appreciation for how far we’ve come and suggests what might be possible as we evolve.  Therefore, we’re delighted to share with you Huff Post Science’s This Week in Science History.

Short Takes:

Fuel Cells Could Power Your Neighborhood

World’s Largest Telescope, European Extremely Large Telescope, Gets Green Light

Who’s funding the green energy revolution?


Here’s one that ought to shatter another stereotype.  Recent research reveals that women actually use more technology than men.

There is probably not a person on the planet who, at one time or another, does not enjoy snacking.  Here are five tips for healthy snacks that won’t add extra inches to the waistline.

Here’s another reason to walk at least a half hour a day, guys.  It helps prevent erectile dysfunction.

Short Takes:

Sleeping Together: Why Catching Zzzs Together Improves Your Health

Increase Foreplay: 7 Tips To Improve Your Sex Life

Summer Sun Safety: What Is Your Sun IQ?

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


Walking a half hour a day, in addition to the positive impact on systemic health, can also help prevent prostate cancer.

This is not going to come as real good news to the truck drivers among you but it’s probably best shared nonetheless.  The World Health Organization has determined that diesel fumes pose a greater cancer risk than second-hand nicotine smoke.

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


One of the ways we sample public opinion on a variety of subjects is by dropping in on Internet chatrooms and watching the interaction.  We have noticed lately that there seems to be an increasing fear of growing older, despite advances in medical science and the proliferation of life-sustaining health information.  We were, therefore, amazed, delighted and inspired to learn that American actor Kirk Douglas, 95, has just published another book and is also a blogger.  If you’re looking for inspiration in these regards, we invite you to read Mr. Douglas’ latest posting, We Are Spartacus.


Asteroid Vesta’s Surface Features Revealed In Colorful New NASA VIDEO

ISS Photos: NASA Astronaut Don Pettit’s Stunning Long Exposures Of Night Sky

Smothers Brothers – 03 – Yo-Yo Man – YouTube

Jedi Kittens Strike Back


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.


Here is undoubtedly one of the best (if not unintentional) examples of how one species can help save another.

We should probably preface this with a small warning.  If you are bat-phobic, you probably will not want to see this video of one of these creatures whose tongue is longer than its body.  For those of you, however, who live for weird, this is a trip.

Millions of years ago, when Earth was richer in oxygen than it is now, life was on a much grander scale.  There were flying insects as large as hawks and fleas the size of giant cockroaches.  What happened to them?  The answer just might surprise you.

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


Help us celebrate Father’s Day with Tom and Dick Smothers.

Well, that’s about it for this week.  As a final word, The Northstar Journal is one hundred percent supported by readers like you.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute ~ however modestly ~ to the next, please go here and with our thanks.

Take care, stay well and God Bless.


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

The Northstar Journal is a subsidiary of Northstar Communications, which also includes Northstar Media Services, The Northstar Gallery and Wrath of the Testament.  For more information, email us 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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