Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Volume 6, No. 14

Published by
Northstar Media Services
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
 Seattle, Washington
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (Courtesy of and cartoonist William Medeiros)

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
(Courtesy of and cartoonist William Medeiros)


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, for this past week, I’ve been watching this sabre rattling leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.  Several things strike me about this.

Mr. Kim is a hereditary successor at a time in history when most royalty in the world does not actually lead the country, except by moral example.  Given that his grandfather and father also ran the nation, “dynasty” is probably an appropriate term to use here.

Though educated in the West (in Switzerland), he was raised in an extremely insulated environment.  The youngest of three brothers, he is the son of his father’s consort.  Sheltered, protected, “educated” and prepared to do one thing and one thing only (lead a nation), he is very likely less in touch with the rest of life on this planet than the average North Korean rice farmer or factory worker. 

His is a nation slightly smaller than the state of Mississippi, with a population of about 24-million, which would make it, behind California and Texas, the most populous state in America.  By any standards, he is still very young to be leading it.

Mr. Kim, therefore, needs to prove not only that he can do job, but that his father made the appropriate choice, just as his grandfather did when he chose his father, who was the oldest brother. 

My sense is that he also fully appreciates that he is politically vulnerable, particularly to a military coup de etat.  He has some new war toys to play with and he’s back on the international playground with the big kids now. 

He can fire missiles at countries he doesn’t like, just like all the other really cool nations of the world can and often threaten to do.  It’s no longer a human wave thing.  Now, he has the capacity to kill by remote control. 

What may very well be Mr. Kim’s ultimate undoing is his lack of realistic perspective.  America has enough firepower within a few minutes of every industrial center in his country to disable it very quickly.  The United States also has drones that could eliminate Mr. Kim and his family before the first of any Pyongyang launched missiles ever left their launchers.

If I could, I’d offer Kim Jong Un a very large cup of Chill Out and an all expenses paid vacation to Disney World.

He really does need to find out just how small a world it really is after all. 


Well, if ever there was a story of the power of intent, it’s got to be this one about an eleven-year-old girl who joined a protest against the use of coyote fur by an apparel company which, in turn, met her with security guards instead of industry spokesmen.  It appears she rather intimidated them.  In all fairness, though, the company’s reaction was understandable.  It was a Canadian eleven-year-old girl, after all.  Yep, for more, please go here.

It’s been a real interesting week for the scientific community, I’ve noticed.  This project for mapping the human brain so it can be imprinted onto a super-super-really super computer is catching on.  And if you need something profound to worry about, here’s what our species faces over the next several billion years.  In what could be a major advancement in the War on Cancer, biomedical scientists have found a way to transistorize a human cell and control its functions.  Nice going, folks. We see at least a Nobel and a movie at least one of these.

Here’s yet another reason for all of us to exercise our minds more and try to avoid those substances and behaviors that are not good for it.  The cost of caring for dementia patients is anticipated to double by 2040.  That’s as things stand now, without doing anything about it.  That’s a national health care bill Generation Y will be picking up.  That in itself strikes me as unfair.  There are fewer of them; times are economically much harder; and with climate change on top of persistent wars and genocide somewhere on the planet, they’ve got a lot more to deal with than the Baby Boomer generation did at their age.  Yep, use it or lose it.  But don’t make someone else pay for the choice.

Northstar ExtraThere’s a surveillance system out now, developed by Microsoft and in place in New York City, which is credited with lowering the crime rate by linking some 3,500 cameras with license plate readers, other public and private security devices and the computer database of the NYPD.  The City of New York is marketing it to other jurisdictions for 30% of the gross sales and it is predicted to become very popular.  It sends an Orwellian chill through me though because it seems to answer the question of how much personal privacy are we willing to surrender in order to be safe.  If Seattle finds it necessary to go back to 1984, we’ll be moving ourselves and this magazine further north and a bit west.


Afghanistan: Hardships in Afghan Refugee Camps – Photographs

Taliban Assault on Afghan Compound Leaves Dozens Dead

Five Killed in Year’s Deadliest Attack on Americans in Afghanistan

Afghan Debt’s Painful Payment – A Daughter, 6 

Brazil: American Woman Gang-Raped and Beaten on Brazilian Transit Van 
China: Pressured by China, Apple Apologizes for Warranty Policies

In China’s Urbanization, Worries of a Housing Shortage

Beijing Opposes U.S. Rule on Technology Imports

Rare Chinese Porpoises Dive Toward Extinction

Beijing Flaunts Cross-Border Clout in Search for Drug Lord

Festival’s Resurgence Has Chinese Sending Manna to the Heavens

Airports in China Hew to an Unswerving Flight Path 

Egypt: Egyptians Struggle as Wary Tourists Stay Away  
European Union: Unemployment in Euro Zone Reaches a Record 12% 
France: French Return to Century Old Tradition:  Goats for Lawn Mowers

Uproar in France on Foreign Bank Accounts Deepens 

India Indian Court Decision Protects Inexpensive Drugs For the Poor 
Iran: Nuclear Talks With Iran End Without Accord or Plans for Another Round 
Japan: Japanese War Games Warning to China About Disputed Islands

Japan Stimulus Plan Unleashed, TSX Set To Rise After Steep Loss

Fukushima Cooling System Fails For Second Time In A Month 

Kenya: Kenya Sees Some Violence After Vote Is Upheld 
Myanmar: Ethnic Rifts Strain Myanmar as It Moves Toward Democracy 
North Korea:: See SHORTS Below 
South Korea: South Korea Takes Steps to Stimulate Housing Market

Tensions Over North Korea Rattle the South’s Economy and Its Foreign Investors 

Pakistan: A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood 
Russia: Russia Begins Selectively Blocking Internet Content

Russia’s Plan to Reconnect to the Moon

Moscow Tries to Reinvent Itself as Financial Hub 

Tibet: Fatal Landslide Draws Attention to the Toll of Mining on Tibet 
Turkey: Attacks on Elderly Armenian Women in Turkey Awaken Fears 
United Kingdom: A Slice of London So Exclusive Even the Owners Are Visitors

Multiplying the Old Divisions of Class in Britain

William And Kate’s Reported Renovation Plans For Anmer Hall 

United Nations: UN Arms Treaty First Aimed at Global Sales 
United States: Is America Losing Its Innovative Edge to China?

Federal Judge orders Washington state to fix culverts blocking salmon

Arkansas Attorney General Launches Oil Spill Investigation

Exxon Cleaning Up Arkansas Canadian Crude Pipeline Spill

Hanford Nuclear Waste Tanks Could Explode, Agency Warns

Crucible of Change in Memphis as State Takes On Failing Schools

Sandbag Season Has Fargo Thinking of a Better Way

Connecticut Passes Nation’s Strictest Gun Law In Wake Of Sandy Hook Massacre

Increased Restrictions on Guns Pass Legislature in Maryland

Jobless Claims Rise By 28,000 To 4-Month High

Pipeline Spills Stir New Criticism of Keystone Proposal 


North Korea Nuclear Facilities At Yongbyon To Be Restarted

North Korea Vows to Keep Nuclear Arms and Fix Economy

Supreme People’s Assembly, North Korea’s Parliament, Meets Amid Nuclear Tension

North Korea: Nuclear Tension Mounts, Amid Parliament Meeting

North Korea Blocks Workers From South at Border

U.S. Speeds Missile Defense to Guam After North Korea Bars South’s Workers

North Korea Seen Moving Missile

North Korea Approves Nuclear Attack On U.S.

North Korea Nuclear Threats Still Far From Being Backed Up

U.S. Defense Against North Korea

Detecting Shift in Beijing, U.S. Makes Its Case on North Korea


As Banks in Cyprus Falter, Other Tax Havens Step In

Calculating Impact of Cyprus’s Bank Bailout

Cyprus Finance Chief Resigns


Citigroup: Renewables Will Triumph And Natural Gas Will Help |

Even Doubters Want To Prepare For Global Warming

Americans Want More Renewable Energy And More Climate-Change Prep

Climate Change Is Slowing Down Our Marathon Times

Ice That Took 1,600 Years to Form in Peru’s Andes Melted in Only 25


A Wary Easter Weekend for Syrian Christians

Grave Robbers and War Steal Syria’s History

Video: Destroying Syria’s Past


Where is the absolute worst place to work in Canada?  The answer probably will not surprise you.

Statistics Canada says that the while the job market is improving, it appears that low level service positions are the main reason why.

Was Canada better off with private banks and commercial currency?  Here’s a historical look back.


This story is about a town which got leveled by a natural disaster.  But refused to die.

When India’s supreme court denied Novartis a patent, while it essentially protected its own generic drug industry, it also helped thousands of suffering poor.  India is one of the major sources of relatively inexpensive medicine to fight HIV, cancer and other related diseases.

Legislatures in Connecticut and Maryland have passed tough new gun laws.


60 Seconds With Pogue: Cellphone Billing

Competitive Robotics: Bringing Excitement Back to the Classroom

Restorative Justice Programs Take Root in Schools


This one would probably better fit the Dubious category, if we had one.  One major American university is using a new software program which scores essay examinations.  The professor is totally out of the loop.  Check it out and let me know if you think this is good for the species or whether it’s just a lit-tle on the Orwellian side.

Four hospitals in Canada’s Ontario province and one in New Brunswick are under investigation for administering watered down chemotherapy drugs to their cancer patients.  Yes, for more on this, please go here.

Even in the midst of the 2007 Recession, with bank failures and bailouts, pay for the members of the board of directors of those financial institutions continued to rise.  Yep, for details, please go here.


Chinese scientists have created the lightest substance on earth.  If a human being was made of it, they would weigh around 1/40th of a lb or 1/100th of a kilogram.  Yep, for more, please go here.

Once the world’s fastest computer, the Roadrunner is being deactivated.

The legendary Pluto’s Gate, the ancient Greek portal to the Underworld, has been discovered.  For details, please go here.


Russian Moon Robots Program Shows Nation’s Renewed Interest In Lunar Exploration

Comet ISON PHOTO Captured By NASA Spacecraft

Jupiter’s Moon Europa May Have ‘Spikes of Ice’


Violin Science: Stradivari, Guarneri Aimed To Mimic Human Voice

Trove of Neanderthal Remains Found in Greek Cave

Lechuguilla Cave Bacteria Could Be Source Of New Drugs


Okay, gang.  Here’s a chance to see how much you and those you hang out with know about the universe with this quiz on the moon.  I hope you do better than I did on this.  I got 6 out of ten right.


Hanford Nuclear Waste Tanks Could Explode, Agency Warns

Shaggy Lawn Mowers Back in Paris – Centuries Old Tradition Revived

Pipeline Spills Stir New Criticism of Keystone Proposal

Arkansas Attorney General Launches Oil Spill Investigation

Exxon Cleaning Up Arkansas Canadian Crude Pipeline Spill

Craig K. Comstock: Chilling Out Globally

Why Solar Power Stocks Are Still Earthbound

Keystone XL Stirs Montana Farmer’s Climate Change And Crop Concerns


Researchers have now determined that the fat acquired from over-eating and a sedentary lifestyle does, in fact, have an intelligence of its own and a life of its own.  It also has a plan.  Once enough of it is in the body, fat sets out first to take total control and then to destroy.  The morbidity rate among the obese strongly suggests that ~ unopposed ~ it does that very effectively.  It can, however, be defeated.  For more, please go here.

We know stress can kill us if we’re not careful.  What else do we know about stress?  Or think we do?

Here are ten healthy snacks you can eat on the go.


Sexual Dysfunction: How Men And Women Can Treat Common Sexual Problems

Get Rid Of Wrinkles: 13 Ways To Reduce The Signs Of Ageing

How to Get Happy: Seek a ‘Meaningful Life’ | Happiness & Optimism | LiveScience

Judge Orders F.D.A. to Make Morning-After Pill Available Over the Counter For All Ages

What’s the Best-Tasting Energy Bar?

Bad Hair Or Nails? These Foods Could Be To Blame


Real Age Health Videos


Fracking, a dubious industrial practice at best, also comes with an increased risk of cancer.


Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


Should kids be allowed to choose their own rewards and punishments?  That’s a question being posed to readers by the New York Times’ Room For Debate this week.  I personally think that giving kids those sanctions is a lot like letting the inmates run the asylum.  To see how others feel and to weigh in on this yourself, please go here.


Ten Ways To Tell If You Are Ready To Date Again

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Remembered By Holocaust Survivor

Green Spaces Simulate Meditation

Charlie Haughey’s Vietnam War Photos Rediscovered (Photos)

Street-Smart Seeds: How To Grow A Garden That Feels At Home In The City

Why Innovators Get Better With Age


Slide Show: ‘Photography and the American Civil War’   This exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art examines an early intersection of photography and political history.  Warning:  Some of these are battlefield photos and are quite graphic.

Shaggy Lawn Mowers in Paris, France

Tomb Sweeping Festival in China

Images: Tsunami Boat Ecosystem


NASA Earth Observatory Home

Outer Space, Space Shuttle & Solar System Videos

LiveScience Best Science Photos of the Week










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.

Traffic islands like these, which are also mini-parks, are one of the ways Seattle is dealing with high speed through its neighborhood.

Traffic islands like these, which are also mini-parks, are one of the ways Seattle is dealing with high speed through its neighborhood.


This is in response to a recent auto v. pedestrian family accident in our neighborhood.  We strongly suggest that while the geography is specific to Seattle, the issue it addresses is not and the advice offered is applicable to this situation in general.  Rusty

Brianna McDonald from Wedgwood said:

Hello Neighbors:

I attended the Ravenna-Bryant Community Association meeting last night. It was an informative meeting and well attended by members in our community, SPD, SDOT, HarborviewMedicalCenter, Seattle City Attorney’s Office, and local leaders.

The most important take-away I took from this meeting came from Dr. Beth Ebel, Director, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center. She identified statistics regarding the fatality rate of pedestrians associated with vehicle speed.

Speed Fatality Rate

20 MPH 5%

30 MPH 40%

40 MPH 85%

50 MPH 100%

I found these statistics to be startling as well as informative. Upon learning this information I know I will double check my speed especially when children and pedestrians are present.

SDOT reported in 2012 that about 17,000 vehicles use 75th Street each day with most vehicles traveling at the speed of 37 MPH!

SDOT also reported that four children have been hit by cars this year around EcksteinMiddle School. These children were not hit by drunk drivers and they were not hit in 75th…which is why they are all still alive, but it points to the bigger issues at hand. This is not just an issue on our arterial streets. This is happening everywhere in our community.

We are only speeding to the next stop light or stop sign when we speed on our neighborhood and city streets, while putting people at risk. What is a life worth?

Please take these statistics, your speed and distractions into consideration the next time you drive. We share our roads with drivers, pedestrians, and bicycles alike. We need to work together to create safer roads for everyone.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Brianna McDonald

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


Here’s the 10 day forecast, courtesy of the good folks at our CBS affiliate, KIRO 7.


What’s Going On In Seattle

What’s Going On At The Library?


Seattle Weather

Map of Seattle

Seattle City Cams

More Seattle Facts & Figures

Komo 4 News (ABC)

King 5 News (NBC)

Seattle Times



To the cry of “Save the Tiger,” we can also add, “Save the Cheetah.”  A century ago, there were an estimated 100,000 of them in the wilds.  Now, there are less than 12,000 and they have become extinct in 13 countries.   This is due primarily to a loss of habitat as Third World nations industrialize.  There are 280 captive cheetahs in zoos across the United States.  These, many born in captivity, are vulnerable.  The fastest land animal, they are also perhaps the most skittish and they do not breed well in these facilities.  These are the Sergeant Joe Friday facts.  The good news is that they can be saved.  Habitat can be set aside; interest in the fate of these magnificent creatures can be expressed by visiting sites and making comments.  If you hit a good pull tab, or win at Church Bingo, throw a little of that to their causeFor more information, we urge you to go here.  (At the end of this fascinating article is a real cool Huffington Post baby animal slide show.)


The SeaDoc Society Monthly Update

The Cornell University Avian Program Monthly Update

Live Fish Found In Likely Tsunami Debris

Ancient Life Form Breathes Rocket Fuel Ingredient


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And then there was the man in Estonia who returned a borrowed book 69 years late.

Bust with glasses







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’re reading this on our blogsite and would like the graphically enhanced edition delivered to you by email, please so inform us at  Until next week, cheers, then, eh?  And stay well.  Rusty


WRATH OF THE TESTAMENT, an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion, is now available.

 Business card


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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