Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Volume 6, No. 20

Published by
Northstar Media Services
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
 Seattle, Washington


Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea  Well, last week, a jury delivered the death penalty to a convicted rapist who brutally strangled a female guard at the facility in which he was serving a life sentence.

It was something like 863 days from the murder to the final disposition.  In interviews with family members, I saw real decent people hardening to hate.  They are apparently not going to be truly at peace until the execution is carried out.

In the American judicial appeals process, that can take a long time, particularly when it becomes a jousting contest between the state and defense counsel.  There’s one thing I’ve learned personally about hate.  The longer you carry it, the heavier it becomes.  As Shakespeare knew so well, it can drive you insane.

A truly sociopathic killer is usually also a sadist.  He or she chooses a victim who has lots of people who love them.  That way, when just the one person is killed, the collateral damage is extensive.  That even goes to making the taxpayers victims, as well.  The judicial process is not only long, it’s expensive.

The angst factor needs to be put on the scales.  In cases as clear as this, there needs to be a quicker, more expedient and financially appropriate solution.  The sooner the execution is performed, the sooner the healing can begin.

In cases like this, Lady Justice needs to be as compassionate to the victims as she is fair to the guilty.


Which are the richest countries in the world?  The answer just might surprise you.

Ask Umbra: How would you spend $50 million for the planet?

Well, here’s one I have a hunch is going to generate some mail.  Women who watch more TV have fewer babies


Afghanistan: Afghan Commandos Step Up Their Combat Role

Attack On NATO Convoy Kills 15, Including 2 U.S. Service Members

Bangladesh: 1,127

Global Retailers Join Safety Plan for Bangladesh

As Firms Line Up on Factories, Wal-Mart Plans Solo Effort

China: Chinese Creating New Auto Niche Within Detroit

After a Journalist’s Prodding, China Investigates a Top Official

‘A Long Ride Toward a New China’

Cyprus: Cyprus Gets First Installment of Bailout Funds
Denmark: Danish Teen Makes Incredible Viking Find 
European Union: LOOK: What Europe Is Doing For Its Poorest

European Leaders Grapple With Youth Unemployment

Eurozone Recession Now Longest In Currency’s History 

France: French Lawmakers Loosen Labor Rules in a Victory for the President

In Poor Margins of Paris, New Recipe for Success Is Local 

Germany: Germany Accuses Man of Being Somali Pirates’ Accountant 
Greece: Amid Economic Crisis, Greek Doctors Volunteer For Uninsured Patients 
India: The World’s Largest Democracy Has 3,000 Child Soldier
Indonesia: Slide Show: Training for Mass Production 
International: Mandela Fades Amid Battles Over Who Will Claim Legacy 
Israel: Israel Has Highest Poverty Rate In Developed World  
Japan: Japan’s Economy Growing at 3.5% Annualized Rate

As Japan Courts Growth, Europe Keeps Up Its Love Affair With Austerity

Mexico: Mexico Readies Shelters As Volcano Spews Ash 
Nigeria: Nigeria’s President Gives Military More Power in Struggle Against Militants
Pakistan: Pakistan’s Once And Future Ruler 
Russia: Russia Detains U.S. Diplomat It Says Is C.I.A. Agent

Despite Focus on Spectacle, Russia Hints Spy Case Won’t Disrupt U.S. Ties

South Korea: SKorea’s Bizarre Spy Scandal  
United Kingdom: Fat Burning Power Plant Coming To London

UK Publishes Slave Owner Database  

United States: San Diego Mayor Building Economic Bridges to Tijuana

Cyberattacks on the Rise Against U.S. Corporations

Phone Records of Journalists Seized by U.S.

U.S. Budget Deficit Shrinks Far Faster Than Expected

Coal plants could be linked to thousands of North Carolina suicides

I.R.S. Chief Out After Protest Over Scrutiny of Groups

The Real I.R.S. Scandal

Baffling Rise in Suicides Plagues U.S. Military

A 70-degree weather swing had South Dakotans change from parkas to bikinis in one day

Climate-related disasters cost American taxpayers $96 billion last year

How Many Hurricanes Will 2013 Season Bring?

Deadly storms in Texas produce grapefruit-sized hail

A Black Mound of Canadian Oil Waste Is Rising Over Detroit


Climate Change To Dramatically Shrink Animal Habitats

Mount Everest’s Ice Is Melting

America’s first climate refugees

97 out of 100 climate scientists agree: Humans are responsible for warming

North Pole wanders, thanks to climate change


NKorea Replaces Defense Minister In Power Move

NKorea: Detained American Starts Life At ‘Special Prison’


A Focus on Syria for Obama and Cameron

An Atrocity in Syria, With No Victim Too Small

Death Toll In Syria Likely As High As 120,000

Pressure of War Is Causing Syria to Break Apart

Russia Sends More Advanced Missiles to Aid Assad in Syria


My son when growing up often asked me “Why there was no “kids” day?”  So I always tried to make a special day for just him…and still do.  He is one of the unfortunate ones who was born in December, December 9 which is like two weeks before Christmas.  As a kid growing up when it came time for birthday parties, it was always in a lot of cases…for his friends, that no one cold really afford anything extra as money was being used for Christmas gifts.  I would never put my Christmas decorations up till after his birthday to try and make sure that his “day” was special…not a part of the Christmas season..  Those born in December and those born I think really close to Christmas or before or after as well, I am sure always feel  short-changed.

Rebecca from Virginia

 From our cousins Down Under, The Village restaurant in Potts Point, New South Wales, want you to know that last week, they switched to their Winter menu.  For more information on this one, please go here.  Our thanks to Jamie and Elspeth in Sydney for this one.


Canada’s Man In Space, Chris Hadfield, is headed home after a five-month stint on the ISS.  Chris sent some stunning photos back to earth from the Space Station and used the social media to education millions of us.  See also His Next Big Mission

If a nation’s stature can be measured by the growth of the number of millionaires in its population, Canada is a loon about the size of a 747.

The US Senate says no to border fees.


Polls Spectacularly Wrong As Clark Crushes Dix

Canada Celebrates Star Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s Return to Earth

Raise Rates Now Or Risk Economic Crisis, Canada Told

Canadians Trimming Food Budgets In Face Of Higher Prices, RBC Says

Forty Years of Changing Attitudes in Metro Vancouver


WATCH: For Mother’s Day, This Son Bought His Mother A House

Want To Feel Good About Humanity? Read This

WATCH: Student Fearlessly Rescues Man On Train Tracks


Eleven European Nations Pass “Robin Hood” Tax

Determined kids in small California town push for plastic bag ban

In Poor Margins of Paris, New Recipe for Success Is Local

New York City’s water: Brought to you by Mother Nature

Minnesota Legalizes Same Sex Marriage


Here’s something “We, the People” need to change very quickly.  Phone Records of Journalists Seized by U.S.

The bad news is that the Internal Revenue Service has apparently been haunted by the Spirit of Edgar J. Hoover Past.  The good news is that President Obama is not exactly ecstatic about it.

The U.S. military appears to be baffled by the rise in suicides among those of its soldiers who return time after time after time for extended tours of duty in combat zones.  If the military is at a loss to explain this, it might just point to an intelligence deficiency starting in the Pentagon.  In Vietnam, we called that “brass poisoning”.  It’s most notable symptom is that it robs its victim of the sense God gave a Mayfly.


This one really deserves a special mention.  American televangelist and morning news and commentary co-host Pat Robertson is living proof that if you run your mouth long enough ~ however well-intentioned ~ you’re going to say something that makes even God wince.

This having been said, I like Rev. Robertson even when I don’t agree with him, which, quite frankly, is more than occasionally, I admire his sincerity and he’s never given me any reason to believe he doesn’t have the best interests of all of us at heart.

My jaw dropped when I heard Mr. Robertson tell a woman that the problem with her marriage was that she was ugly.  I didn’t see the show but I understood the point he was trying to make.  Sometimes, spouses let themselves go and become really unattractive to their mate.  So it’s like, that’s something you can do something about so take control.

This idea that a woman’s housekeeping could be a reason for her husband’s infidelity seems a little odd at first.  But I lived with this crazy elderly couple during the Recession who used the disgust factor as one of the weapons with which they lashed out at one another daily.  So I couldn’t totally rule that out.

And this idea that “a man is a man” and that all of us wander is not the dumbest thing Rev. Robertson has ever said.  The Good Lord gifted Pat with a mouth big enough for both feet and a curious passion for the taste of his own toes.

But Mr. Robertson is nothing if not consistent so I interpreted that as just advice to all of us to just make sure we’re keeping a clean house, taking pride in our personal experience, etc. so that if they wander anyway, we totally know it’s not our fault.

I can live with that, however occasionally clumsily phrased.



Mayan Pyramid BULLDOZED For Rocks

New Jersey Hospital Has Highest Billing Rates in the Nation

Crowd Led by Priests Attacks Gay Rights Marchers in Georgia


New DNA evidence strongly suggests that the Minoans of Crete came from Europe, not from North Africa, as heretofore believed.

Where is the oldest water on earth?  The answer just might surprise you.

Well, apparently last March a Big Rock From Space (BRIS) the size of a small boulder (88 lbs or 40 kg) crashed into the moon at 56,000 mph (90,000 kph) and produced a crater 65 feet (20 meters) wide.  The resulting explosion was ten times brighter than any previous recorded.  And this is a place we want to colonize, right?


‘Einstein’s Planet’ Discovered

‘Pumpkin’ Moonship for Private Manned Lunar Landings Passes Key Review

Legendary Apollo Astronaut Joins Moon Flight Firm

Off-World Driving Record Broken

The Top 10 Star Trek Technologies


Earth’s Core Not What Scientists Thought, New Studies Show

Diane Weber Bederman:  First Nations and the Jews: A Common History

Viking History: Facts & Myths | LiveScience

Stunning Byzantine Mosaic Uncovered in Israel

Eternal Flame At Chestnut Ridge Park In Western New York Fed By New Gas Source


Okay, gang.  Here’s a chance to see if you know as much about American history as a California fifth grader.


It’s Not All About CO2:  A Plan To Help Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants

Geoengineering Research:  Never Or Now?

This Ain’t The Onion: Wall Street Journal Urges “More Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide”

Determined Kids In Small California Town Push For Plastic Bag Ban

Nature’s CEO: Mark Tercek Says Conservation Is Good For Business

New York City’s Water: Brought To You By Mother Nature

Utilities Vs. Rooftop Solar: What The Fight Is About

These Cartoon Bears Care More About The Environment Than You Do

America’s First Climate Refugees

This App Helps You Avoid Supporting Monsanto And Other Terrible Companies

A Black Mound Of Canadian Oil Waste Is Rising Over Detroit


What is your body mass index (BMI) and why is that important?  It’s a way to calculate if you’re over or underweight.  Use the calculator to see where you are and if you’re cool, annoy people who aren’t as “BMI correct” as you are.  I ran mine again this morning and it’s 21.5, right where it should be.  Since it’s in feet and inches, here’s a metric converter for those who need it.

Sorry, Jared, Subway food can be just as bad for you as McDonald’s

Kosher salt: Don’t stress about sodium intake (unless you’re an average American)


9 Benefits Of Goji Berry Smoothies

15 Foods That Do And Don’t Expire

10 Ways For Men To Lose ‘Baby Weight’


As Shannon taught me so well, the best way to love (and help) someone battling cancer is to understand what they are going through.  We therefore recommend this moving article on how leukemia restricts the life of a person of 22.

Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


BUSTED: Four Big Myths About Female Attractiveness

Financial Success In Adulthood Tied To Key Skills At Age Seven

Kids these days just don’t care about cars

Is THIS How You Get Gender Equality?

5 Writers’ Well-Loved Getaways

Minnesota Legalizes Same Sex Marriage


Lightning Hits Grand Canyon

WOW: What NYC Would Look Like On Other Planets

Ducklings’ Flying Attempt Is Insanely Adorable

WATCH: Sleeping Baby Tiger!

WATCH: Eagle Steals Fish

Here’s more from our favourite Canadian in Space.  It’s the human species first music video in space.


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.

Pinehurst Pocket Park is typical of the myriad of these neighborhood evergreen oases.  Its semi-secluded nature makes it popular with picnickers and the romantically inclined alike.

Pinehurst Pocket Park is typical of the myriad of these neighborhood evergreen oases. Its semi-secluded nature makes it popular with picnickers and the romantically inclined alike.


Hundreds Speak Out For Metro

Hundreds of people have submitted messages or testimony to the County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee about potential Metro Transit service cuts, with an overwhelming majority calling for new funding to preserve bus service.

The committee has received more than 1,300 comments, either online or from the 350+ people who attended a public hearing last night. Bus riders and representatives of business, education, labor and community organizations spoke at the hearing.

» Read the Council’s hearing wrap-up 

» Visit the Metro Matters blog to see photos and find out what people had to say

» Read the Seattle Times article

» Submit your comments

For the sixth straight year, Seattle has been named the bike-friendliest city in America.

Last week, Seattle observed another annual ritual, the arrival from Alaska of the first Copper River salmon The new arrivals are going for about $60 US a pound.

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

What’s Going On In Seattle?

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


Seattle Weather

Map of Seattle

Seattle City Cams

More Seattle Facts & Figures

KOMO 4 News (ABC)


KING 5 News (NBC)

Seattle Times


It’s been a long time since we’ve published a story as moving as this one about a father introducing his son to bears in their natural environment.

Okay, this is weird, even for us and you guys.  We’ve been talking about those cicadas on the American East Coast?  Here’s what it might look like to these inch and a half little dudes who can’t hurt man nor beast, as they emerge into life for the first time.

And then there were these two bald eagles in Minnesota who, locked in mortal combat about something, managed to survive a crash on a runway of an airport in Duluth.  Aesop, with all due respect, where are you?  I need you now.


Gray whale spotted south of the equator for the first time ever

Kangaroo Attacks Australian Politician

Ape, Monkey Split Revealed

Dog Saves Canada Man In Bear Attack

Elephant Gets Ultimate Revenge On Poacher

Wildlife Bandits: How Criminology Can Fight Poaching


Here’s this month’s Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s monthly newsletter.

Here’s this month’s World Wildlife Fund’s monthly newsletter


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And then there was the recent United Nations report that says that one cure for world hunger is for all of us to start eating bugs.  With all due respect to the French and to seafood crustacean lovers the planet over, aren’t we sort of already doing that?

2013 Face shot 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 minstrel312@aol.com  Until next week, cheers, then, eh?  And stay well.  Rusty 



an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion

For a preview, go here:

For the kindle book, ($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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