Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Volume 6, No. 2

Published by

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor

 Seattle, Washington



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, I hope you had a good New Year.  It was very quiet and reflective here.  I enjoy a good party and especially entertaining at home but on some holidays ~ sometimes ~ I really prefer to be alone or with very, very special company, reflecting on the significance of the celebration quietly, somberly, soberly and privately. 

I also believe that how one leaves the old year and enters the next are a good indication of how the next cycle around the sun will go.  I left 2012 sober and arrived in that condition, well rested except for a very contagious cold that was also a factor in why I did not party hearty this season.

In looking beyond the shores of the SalishSea, I notice that Argentina wants the Falkland Islands back.  And this time, it doesn’t look like she’s fooling around.  Her president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, has written an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron “urging” his government to relinquish control.  The outcome of this should be interesting.  My money’s on the angry Argentine lady.

My home and native land seems to have come up with an interesting way to keep the manufacturers of semi-automatic weapons happy, even while banning them domestically.  Yep, ship them off to another country and let them deal with the problems resulting.  In this case, it’s Columbia, a place that needs more weapons of considerable destruction about as much as General George Armstrong Custer needed more of Chief Sitting Bull’s people.  NOT one of your better ideas, guys.

Here’s an annual ritual which makes just about as much sense to me as voluntarily bailing out of a perfectly good airplane or jumping from a bridge into a deep canyon hoping the bungee cords don’t break.  It’s also another behavior which convinces me that profound stupidness is nature’s way of trimming the herd, as it were.

I’m very relieved to hear that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is going to be okay.  She’s one of my heroines, as it were, and I’ll be sorry to see her go, even though I think John Kerry will be an able replacement.  Interviews I’ve read and watched suggest that Ms Clinton needs some time out of the spotlight.  She loves this country as profoundly as anyone who has ever watched the fog roll in off the Potomac, though, and I’m certain her life of public service isn’t finished.

So, it’s been a fun year so far.  I’m profoundly convinced the best is yet to come.  Stay warm, stay dry and stay well, then, eh? 


What have we got to look forward to in the year ahead?  The Atlantic Cities’ Urban Wonk, Kaid Benfield, gives us five stories to watch in 2013.

One of the supreme ironies of politics is that dog and pony shows occasionally backfire and actually accomplish something.  This latest pachyderm and jackass dysfunctional bickering and brinksmanship on the banks of the Potomac may just have produced, according to some experts, the best tax code since 1979.

When I first read the headline “Senate Approves Denali Pipeline,” my eco stress alarm started screaming loud enough to be heard in the next county.  The subhead, “Environmentalists supported bill” made me wonder for a second what planet I was on.  As it turns out, this is one of those rare but marvelous examples of why it’s not a good idea to be a purist or a fanatic about most things.  Or to stress out over a headline designed to get one’s attention in the first place.


Guatemala:  As World’s Biofuel Demand Grows, So Does Hunger in Guatemala

India:  The Unspeakable Truth About Rape In India,  India Gang Rape Case: Murder Charges Filed Against 5 In New DelhiRape Incites Women to Fight Culture in India,  In India’s ‘Rape Capital’ Delhi, Women Turn To Self-DefenseIndia Rape Case: Woman Jumps Off Moving Train To Escape Molesters In BiharSushilkumar Shinde, India’s Home Minister, Calls For Rape Crackdown

International:  12 “Foreign” Stories from 2012 Worth Revisiting

Japan:  New High for Tuna at Tokyo Fish Sale

Latvia:  Used to Hardship, Latvia Accepts Austerity, and Its Pain Eases

Mauritius:  Mauritius Has Banned Plastic Bags to Protect Local Wildlife

Middle East:  In Shift, Israel Lets Building Materials Into Gaza

North Korea:  North Korean Leader Makes Overture to South, Kim Jong Un New Year’s Address: North Korea Leader Urges Peace With South Korea,

Russia:  Malls Blossom in Russia, With a Middle ClassRussian Plane Crash Video Captures Moment Of Impact

Switzerland:  In Mendrisio, Switzerland, Gold Can Be Solid and Liquid

US:  FDA Offers Broad New Rules to Fight Food Contamination155,000 Jobs Added in December – Jobless Rate Is Steady at 7.8%Pinnacles National Monument Shall Become a National ParkYellowstone River Oil Spill: Delayed Response From Exxon Made Matters Worse

Uruguay:  After Years in Solitary, an Austere Life as Uruguay’s President


Why Russia Won’t Help Syria

Syria Death Toll At 60,000, UN Human Rights Office Says

Syria Military Intervention No Closer Despite Rising Death Toll


Best Canada Photos Of 2012 By The Canadian Press

Best Canadian Commercials Of 2012

Canadian Cities With The Best Economies


Highest Paid CEOs In Canada

Aboriginal Women, Children Gather at Peace Arch border rally

B.C. coast tsunami warnings cancelled after 7.5 magnitude massive Alaskan quake


Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Legal in Maine

‘Star Trek’ Director J.J. Abrams Grants Trekkie’s Dying Wish

My Perfect Adventure: Greenpeace International’s Kumi Naidoo

Plastic Bottle Ban In Concord, Massachusetts Goes Into Effect

Car-less in Seattle


It looks like our species’ search for humanity on other planets could take a while longer than even the most learned of scientists have thought.  Apparently there are billions of planets out there which could support “sentient” life.  My hunch is that “they” are going to find us before we found them.  I sure hope they’re a lot kinder to us than the extra-continentals who discovered the Western Hemisphere.  I’d hate to see that kind of poetic justice encompass the planet.

Well, befitting its role as benefactor of all life in the solar system, Old Sol apparently ushered in the New Year with some pyrotechnics of its own.  One of America’s solar-watching satellites caught it all on film as a spectacular solar flare leaped from the sun’s surface.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is legendary for turning out stellar alumni.  Here’s one who has created an American map based on the 2010 census with a dot for every person in the US.


Afghan Genizah Manuscripts Revealing Jewish Presence Unveiled At Israeli Library

FDA says fast-growing salmon would not harm nature

Studying Seemingly Immortal Lichens, in a Place for the Dead


Growing Forests For Health Care

Robert Redford:  Another Looming Cliff of Grave Consequence

Preventive Measures To Prepare For Future Superstorms Desperately Needed


A new study reveals that people at the low end of the obesity scale may live just as long and longer than some who are within their body mass index (BMI).  For more on this one, please go hereTo compute your BMI, please go here.

The health virtues of a tree-hugger mentality have been known and touted by the holistic and naturopathic communities for a long time.  A recent study now confirms that this mindset and culture ~ in the Northwest, where there’s still lots of clean air and water ~ also produces a bumper crop of centenarians, people who live to be at least one hundred years old. 

Since I’m not into promoting the abuse of alcohol, I’m a bit reluctant to recommend these seven foods to eat which can mitigate the impacts of over-imbibing


Breaking Bad Habits in Four Steps

Should I Be Worried About Frostbite?

Dealing with Stress to Lose Weight – Stress from Financial Problems


The Best Recipes Of The Year (PHOTOS)

Trina Read: The 20 Things I Learned About Sex After Baby

America’s Best Taco Spots

Men: Never Too Old for Great Sex

Lifelong Learning – Raising a Child


As the estimated 12 million cancer survivors in America and millions others around the world know, it’s not just about beating cancer.  It’s also about life after that’s been done.  


Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


Advice For 2013 From Pets and Children (Slideshow)

NASA Earth Observatory Images of the Week

Explore the Fascinating Universe of Microbes With National Geographic










Washington State’s minimum wage went up on New Years Day to $9.19 an hour.  That’s two dollars an hour higher than the federal equivalent.

Grey’s Anatomy costar Patrick Dempsey now owns Tully’s Coffee.  He outbid Starbucks for it and said his company plans to keep the Tully’s name.  He also said in a television interview that he’s a real fan of Seattle, has lobbied the film industry to do more shooting here, and will continue to do so.  So, hello, Mr. Dempsey.  Welcome to the ‘hood.

THE TODAY FILE:  “Your guide to the latest news from Seattle and around the Northwest”


Seattle Weather

Map of Seattle

Seattle City Cams

More Seattle Facts & Figures

Komo 4 News (ABC)

King 5 News (NBC)

Seattle Times


Blind Dog And Guide Cat Go On Walks Together

Crews rescue deer from ice in Waltham

In Chad, Hidden Dangers in Guarding Wildlife


Worms Produce Another Kind of Gold for Farmers

Love Cat Videos?

Blind Dog Found in LA Trash Heap is ASPCA’s Dog of the Year


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And then there is this tricycle which has attached to it a “house” that one or two people could actually live in.  Slap a solar or wind powered electric motor on this pup and you’ve got one of the “greenest” mobile homes on the planet.


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.  If you’d like to receive the graphically enhanced edition of this ezine, please email us at minstrel312@aol.com  Rusty

Wrath of the Testament, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available as a kindle book, for $3.99 at amazon.com.  For a preview, go here


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:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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.