Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Volume 5, No. 46

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor

 Seattle, Washington



Well, hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Today, Sunday, November 11, the United States, Canada and Australia pause to honor those men and women who gave their lives in service to their nations in time of war.  Originally, in America, it was known as Armistice Day, in commemoration of the cessation of hostilities at the end of the First World War.  Now this holiday is called Veterans Day; and in Australia and Canada, Remembrance Day.

While I firmly believe that any sacrifice such as this should be thus revered, I too am a veteran of one of my nation’s wars.  I have some idea of the cost of this often tragic institution.  I have memories which will never go away.  I have fallen comrades who will never return.  They were good people, individuals who yearned to survive and contribute in other ways besides doing their job on the killing fields.  They left behind families, loved ones whose lives will never be complete for the losses suffered.  These young women and men also left behind nations poorer for their absence.

In a recent New York Times editorial headlined The Permanent Militarization of America, Aaron B. O’Connell ~ an assistant professor of history at the US Naval Academy, a Marine reserve officer and the author of a book entitled “Underdogs:  The Making of the Modern Marine Corps” ~ wrote:

Uncritical support of all things martial is quickly becoming the new normal for our youth. Hardly any of my students at the NavalAcademy remember a time when their nation wasn’t at war. Almost all think it ordinary to hear of drone strikes in Yemen or Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. The recent revelation of counterterrorism bases in Africa elicits no surprise in them, nor do the military ceremonies that are now regular features at sporting events. That which is left unexamined eventually becomes invisible, and as a result, few Americans today are giving sufficient consideration to the full range of violent activities the government undertakes in their names

I agree with Professor O’Connell.  I believe it is time for a re-consecration to the institution of Peace and an annual celebration of the living and what they have done for the nations they serve.


Not surprisingly, the suicide rate in America has increased dramatically since the 2008 Recession, according to an article published last week in the British medical journal, The Lancet.  The rise from 1999 – 2007 was small but steady.  But it nearly quadrupled since.  For more on this, please go here.  For The Lancet article, in PDF form, please go here.

Which country in the world is the most prosperous this year?  The results might surprise you.  The Northstar Journal has readers in all of the top ten though and nope, sorry, but the United States did not make the list.  For more, yep, go here.

One of the most heinous crimes on the face of the planet is the abuse of a child.  By the same token, one of the most tragic things that can happen to someone is to be wrongly accused of it.  It’s much worse when such allegations make the national media.  This happened to an elected official in Great Britain.  To his credit, the director of the BBC accepted responsibility for it and resigned.  Yes, for more, please go here.


Egyptian Vigilantes Crack Down on Abuse of Women

Global crop protection market to reach USD71.3 billion in 2018

Russia – Big plans from meat giant

Polish snails take on Paris

Gunman Who Shot Giffords Sentenced to 7 Life Terms


Will “Frankenstorm” Hurricane Sandy End Climate Silence?

Global Temperature Rise Could Reach 10 Degrees Fahrenheit By 2100

The Power of Bicycles in Disaster Recovery – Neighborhoods

Assessing Sandy: Are electric cars a better bet in emergencies?

Hurricane Sandy Proves Payphones Still Useful

Hottest Year On Record In The U.S. Might Still Be 2012, Despite Cooler October


Is the Great Canadian Dream worth it if 90% of the nation’s young people striving for it are stressed out?  For more on this, please go here.

The Bank of Canada has put a new spin on “plastic.”  The new polymer $20 bills have arrived.  And on a more somber note, their release was timed for Remembrance Day.

Americans are not the only ones concerned about whether Congress and the Executive Branch can get their proverbial act together in time to avert another and much deeper Recession.  For more on this one, please go here.


House Prices Canada: What $1 Million Will Buy You Across The Country

Canadian Hemp Trading Alliance Says Production To Double Within Next Few Years

Vancouver approves transportation strategy aimed at getting more people out of their cars


When an American soldier and combat veteran quietly informed a friend that he could no longer go on and intended to commit suicide, that friend alerted the creator of a Facebook page dedicated to veterans.  That individual swung into action and before it was over, a score of others came to the rescue.  Yes, for the details, please go here.

After this last election, the Colorado State Legislature decided that gender-preference was not a criteria for political office.  Mark Ferrandino is now Speaker of his state’s House of Representatives and the first gay male to so serve.

Monday, November 12, Oregon will mark the 100th anniversary of that state’s granting women the right to vote.


Climate change warrior McKibben takes activism on the road | Local News

102-Year-Old Woman Still Drives Her 82-Year-Old Car

Portland sustainability chief admits ‘Portlandia’ isn’t really a parody


Murder charges have been brought against a German woman accused of being the last member of a Neo-NAZI cell which has a decade-long history of killings, bombings and robberies across the nation.

In 2010, at a formal dinner at a base in Nova Scotia, Canadian military personnel allegedly performed a skit that was racial in nature.  A video was leaked to the CBC, which in turn informed Canadian Forces high command.  Those involved are currently under investigation.  For more, please go here.

The director of the American Central Intelligence Agency and former commanding general of US forces in Iraq has resigned after an FBI investigation revealed he was having an extra-marital affair with his biographer.  This comes shortly before Congressional hearings on the bombing of the US consulate in Benghazi.  Now that David Petraeus has resigned, he will not be required to testify.  For more, please go here.



The story about the Alabama utility crew being turned away is not true. Here’s the correct story: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57544237/ala-utilities-our-crews-not-turned-away-from-n.j/ Also, if you click the link that you originally posted, it says that the story was “updated.” So it may have been wrong originally.

Please note that there have been electrical workers from Mississippi here in Pennsylvania helping restore power, and everybody up here is very grateful to everyone who is helping us pull out of this disaster. Philadelphia-area singer/songwriter Lisabeth Weber, who lives in part of the area that was really badly affected, wrote a tribute song to the electrical workers entitled “Trouble Man.” http://youtu.be/slyW9FZMJ9s                                    Rochelle in PA


Well, geneticists have determined where Otzi, the Stone Age farmer whose mummified remains were discovered in the Italian Alps in 1991, came from and they have a good idea who some of his modern day relatives might be.  To see if you’re one of them, yep, please go here.

Scientists are getting much closer to explaining why the Mayan civilization died out as mysteriously as it did.  What they are discovering should serve as a stern warning to every climate change denier on the face of the planet today.

Extraterrestrial life may be much closer than scientists have heretofore believed.  Yep, for more, please go here.


Shenzhou 10 Spacecraft, China’s New Manned Spaceship, Planned To Launch In June 2013

New Human Moon Missions May Be Announced Soon By NASA, Expert Says

World Population Explained: Do Dead People Outnumber Living, Or Vice Versa?

Bloodhound Project: Land Speed Record Competitors Vie For Fastest Car


Editor’s Note:  Mars Rover Curiosity has been busier than the Energizer Battery bunny so to keep up with the little dude, we’ve creating this special shorts section.  Go, Curiosity.

Curiosity Rover Team Shifts Back To Earth Time After Using Martian Sols

Curiosity Self-Portrait: Mars Rover Stitches Together Spectacular New ‘Selfie’


Winter is generally a season of reduced sunshine and the Vitamin D we absorb from the sun.  Here are three organic sources for it Chances are, you’re already eating them.  You probably just need to it eat.

Researchers at the OregonHealth & SciencesUniversity believe they have made a discovery which could mean new life for those suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) and other damage to the brain.  Yes, for more, please go here

Are you a workaholic?  Find out here, okay?


Study: Exercise may stave off early Alzheimer’s

Resilience Is Key to Longevity: 3 Ways to Bounce Back from Adversity

Can Beer Help Your Bones?

What to Tell Your Doctor When You’re Sick


Tips for reducing your risk of breast cancer

Aspirin And Cancer: Pill May Treat Types Of Colon Cancer, Study Finds

Cancer – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment of Cancer – NY Times Health Information

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


The nature of incarceration as a deterrent to criminal activity has been debated almost since time immemorial.  In most countries, a person who slaughtered 77 people would either be executed or imprisoned under conditions so marginally humane that death and Hell would come as a welcome relief.  But for one mass murderer, life behind bars is much different and yet he’s complaining.  To see what Norway’s Anders Breivik is whining about, please go here.


In an earlier edition, we told you about the world’s skinniest house, in Warsaw, Poland.  We thought you’d like to see some photos of it.

NASA Galaxy Animation: Star Cluster’s Birth, Growth Seen In Computer Model

For an absolutely fascinating look at how giant dinosaurs were able to get airborne, please go here.









All photos used in Seattle Scenes, unless otherwise noted, were taken by the editor.  For a visual tour of the Northstar Gallery, please go here. 

Seattle looking north

It does appear that inexpensive, easy to use solar power is coming to Wallingford.  Yep, check it out here.

That giant boring machine which is going to be used to dig the tunnel to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct is slated to arrive early next year.  Here’s what it looks like.


Seattle Weather

More Seattle Facts & Figures

Komo 4 News (ABC)
King 5 News (NBC)
Seattle City Cams
Map of Seattle
Seattle Times


For the last two weeks, it was salmon and roads.  This week, it’s about how a beaver dam can cause some real problems for the local human population which it holds back torrential rains, then breaks and delivers three acres of mud and debris to the roadways.  For me, including a look at the little bucktoothed engineer whose construction project caused the problem in the first place, yep, please go here.  And our thanks to the good folks at Seattle’s King 5 News for this one.

If you like sharks and enjoy swimming with them, you’re going to love this story about two divers who got up front and personal with some Great Whites.  The photos with this are incredible.

Aggressive barred owls are forcing the closing of some Washington state parks.  To see what’s motivating this behavior and what you can do to minimize your risk of antagonizing these feathered predators, please go here.


Hank the Cat comes in third in Virginia Senate Race

Long-Haired Persian Cat, Reginald, Takes A Bath In Viral Video (VIDEO)

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


There’s been a pervasive theory in some circles that this planet was invaded by a reptilian species from another galaxy.  If you want to get the sox scared off yourself, check this out.  But don’t say you were not warned.  On a Freak Out Scale of one to ten, this is like about a 20.


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.  Rusty



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




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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