Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Volume 6, No. 23
Published by
Northstar Media Services
Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor
 Seattle, Washington



Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea  Well, it would seem that the American public is a little upset to learn the extent to which domestic terrorism laws have been used to further the “Big Brother” theme which began long before either President Obama or his Republican predecessor.

Now, thanks to orbiting cameras, those on public buildings and private homes across the land, on signal lights, street signs and other innocuous, less visible sites, and even in the nature around us (eagle cams, for instance), there’s not a square meter on this planet which cannot be Googled up 24/7.

This didn’t just appear out of nowhere.  And it did not sneak up on us.  It’s not part of some multi-generational conspiracy or a Pinky and the Brain type plot to take over the world.

We asked for it.  We wanted to deter crime so we put our public places under surveillance.  So now criminals wear better disguises and execute A Team type operations.  So that worked real good, didn’t it?

We wanted advance warning before another Pearl Harbor, 9/11 or Oklahoma City.  So, in the name of national defense, we gave the government the authority to put groups who might do this under covert surveillance, in the process denying those who were not charged with a crime, their Constitutional right to privacy.

There was a time in this country when neighbors knew one another and looked out for each other.  There was a time in this country when the beat cop was the first line of defense because those he was charged to protect trusted him and depended on him. 

There was a time in this country when America did not interfere in the domestic lives of people in other countries to the extent that those people felt compelled to come to this country and kill several thousand of us in a single day.

And there was also a time in this country when teenagers didn’t engage in peer bloodbaths nor single individuals, the slaughter of an innocent public.

All these cameras have not worked all that well, have they?  And all this surveillance, what has it really accomplished?  Does that possibly suggest that we need to go back to treating one another with more kindness and concern and stop depending on a camera on every corner to protect us from each other?

Until next week, take care and Godspeed, then, eh?  And thank you.  I hope you like this week’s edition.


What city has the largest influx of commuters? I’m absolutely certain the answer will surprise you.

Even though it would seem the obvious thing to do, we are aware that government agencies are often not entirely guided by the sense God gave a Mayfly.  We believe, however, that in this case, they were. National weather forecasters won’t be furloughed after all

Well, this is not going to come as good news to the Amazon Rain Forest, a region already devastated by perhaps the most pernicious creature in the history of life on this planet.  Ecuador Oil Spill Pollutes Amazon Tributary


Afghanistan: Soldier Accused of Killing Afghan Civilians to TestifyAfghanistan Gets Its First Female Pilot In 3 Decades  
Australia: “God’s bathtub,” a lake totally untouched by climate change 
China: China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom China Poultry Farm Fire Death Toll Tops 100Elite in China Molded in Part by Tiananmen

In China, an Empire Built by Aping Apple

Europe Tariff on Chinese Solar Panels Less Than Expected

Chinese President Makes Bridge-Building Trip to Mexico

U.S.-China Meeting’s Aim: Personal Diplomacy

China Seen In Push To Gain Technology Insights

China’s Next Manned Spaceflight Enters Final Prep Phase 

European Union: Record Floods Hit Central Europe, Killing At Least 8Europe Continues Wrestling With Online Privacy Rules  
France: Skinheads Beat French Far-Left Activist Brain-Dead8 Skinheads Questioned In Brutal Death Of French Activist 
Germany: Severe Flooding Cripples GermanyGerman Troops Sent In To Help Flood-Hit Cities 
India: American Woman Gang-Raped In IndiaIndian Police Arrest 3 In Gang Rape Of American Woman 
International: Japan and other nations say no to U.S. wheat, worried about GMOs 
Japan: Abe’s New Steps in Japan Draw Less Enthusiasm Food Fears Persist in Japan 
Latvia: Latvia Steps Toward a Tarnished Prize, the Euro 
Nigeria: In Nigeria, ‘Killing People Without Asking Who They Are’ 
Pakistan: Pakistan’s PM Calls For U.S. To End Drone Attacks 
Russia: Delegates Visit Moscow for Insight on Boston Attack Putin: Russian ‘Game-Changer’ Missiles Not In Syria YetCat Caught Smuggling Cell Phones Into Russian Prison

Dozens Hurt In Moscow Subway Fire 

South Korea: South and North Korea Pave Way for Direct Talks 
Tunisia: Tunisia Puts Topless Activists On Trial 
Turkey: Turkish PM To Return To Country Amid Protests  
United Kingdom: A Suspect Food Warning in Britain Spreads an AlarmEight Bronze Age Boats Go On Display in UK 
United States: A Fight Over Water, and to Save a Way of Life Oklahoma Campus, Ravaged by a Tornado, Draws Attention to Storm Shelters Oklahoma Death Toll Rises To 20

Two Months Later, Arkansans Still Hurting From ExxonMobil Spill

U.S.-China Meeting’s Aim: Personal Diplomacy

Link to Marathon Bombing Rattles City Known for Its Tolerance

U.S. Added 175,000 Jobs in May; Unemployment Rises to 7.6%

Many Rival Nations Surge Past the U.S. in Adding New Jobs

Gulf oil wells have been leaking since 2004 hurricane

Tropical Storm Andrea Races Up The East Coast 


It’s hard to sea, but the globe is still warming

How to tell your 8-year-old about climate change

Warming oceans are killing baby puffins

Video: Climbing Sequoias for Climate Change

Scientists have found “God’s bathtub,” a lake totally untouched by climate change

Sweltering Summers More Deadly For Poor, Minorities


U.S. Secretly Collecting Logs of Business Calls

Verizon Case Offers Glimpse of Vast N.S.A. Surveillance

Electronic Surveillance Under Bush & Obama

Obama Defends Surveillance Programs as Legal and Limited

Administration Says Mining of Data Is Crucial to Fight Terror


Hezbollah and Rebels of Syria in Border Fight

Syrian Rebels Meet Setbacks on a New Front

Syrian Army Deals Major Blow To Rebels

Major Blow To Syrian Rebels

Al Qaeda Leader Calls On Sunnis To Fight In Syria


Turkey Rocked By Protests

Protests in Turkey Reveal a Larger Fight Over Identity

Violence Flares On 4th Day Of Anti-Government Demonstrations in Turkey

Brutal Police Crackdown Against Protesters Continues In Turkey

LOOK: Turks Lock Lips To Protest Public Kissing Law

Fresh Clashes Erupt In Turkey Despite Apology

Turkish PM To Return To Country Amid Protests

Turkish Leader Says Razing of Istanbul Park Will Proceed


Despite their proximity and several centuries of peaceful co-existence, the Dominion of Canada and the United States of America are two separate and distinct nations.  Check out just some of the differences between the two.

What’s next for Canada’s favourite man in space?  What’s Next for Astronaut Chris Hadfield?

Check Out These People You Probably Didn’t Know Are Canadian


This is one of the reasons Michelle Obama is a hero(ine) of ours.  The woman has chutzpah.  The First Lady Refuses to Let a Heckler Go Unscolded

If Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s new mayor pulls this off, it will be one of the most stunning urban decline reversals of my life time.  Pittsburgh’s next mayor sees a green future for the “smoky city”  Bill Peduto says the Steel City is poised for a sustainable revival, thanks to a new generation of Pittsburghers who are pushing for change.

If you think you’re too old for anything you want to do, you might want to take a page from the life of a 102-year-old base jumper.


17-year-old sets out to save the planet, makes the rest of us feel really lame

Breaking the grass ceiling: On U.S. farms, women are taking the reins

Solution Journalism – Something Northstar Has Been Practising For 37 Years

3 Global Cities That Are Doing Bike Shares Right (And One’s in Texas!)

Meet Seattle’s ‘Godfather of Recycling’


The American military high command still doesn’t seem to get it yet.  Joint Chiefs’ Answers on Sex Crimes Dismay Senators

Well, we found the irony in this one a rich mother lode.  I.R.S. Spent $4.1 Million on Conference, Audit Finds

Well, this certainly is not going to enhance the eco-friendly reputation of the rich and foolish.  Facebook cofounder Sean Parker illegally destroys redwoods for fantasy Game of Thrones wedding


Israeli Company Builds Giant Battery To Improve Power Grids  When it comes to power grids, a major issue is the differences in consumption in different times. The solution could come in the form of giant batteries, storing energy during off-peak hours – and releasing them when necessary. To continue reading, click here.

Scientists have discovered a lake that apparently has not been influenced by any kind of climate change in over 7,000 years.  Naturally it’s in the wilds of a place that’s still pretty wild to begin with, Australia.  Why they are calling it “God’s bathtub” is beyond me.  I’ve always thought ~ judging by all the rain in the world ? ~ that the Divine One was probably a fine-minute shower type person.

Sometimes I think that if our species was better at remembering stuff, archaeology would probably be pretty much a spectator sport.  I mean, I think it’s cool that ancient Roman concrete could teach modern builders something.  But if it was that good, why did we forget it in the first place?


Rover Ignores ‘Rat,’ Gears Up For Epic Drive

Mars Water? Curiosity Rover Finds Pebbles On Red Planet’s Surface Likely Shaped by Ancient Running Water

Mock Mars Mission Will Test Stresses of Red Planet Living

Nuking Dangerous Asteroids Might be the Best Protection, Expert Says

How Radiation in Space Poses a Threat to Human Exploration


Humans’ Spear Use Dates Back 90,000 Years, Bone Study Suggests

Treasure in Great Pyramid Awaits Discovery

On the Road in Mobileye’s Self-Driving Car

Science Experiment for Kids: Seeing Your DNA

This is what an ice-free Antarctica looks like

Incredible Technology: How to Explore Antarctica


Well, this week, let’s see how much we know about world history.


Meet Seattle’s ‘Godfather of Recycling’

China’s plastic-bag ban turns five years old

This tiny house uses mushrooms as insulation

Video: Climbing Sequoias for Climate Change

Better than Cyber Utopia: How the Internet Helped Us Create the Sharing Economy

How Two Plant Geeks Grew a Permaculture Oasis in an Ordinary Backyard by Abby

Bike-part vending machines can rescue you from an unexpected breakdown

Bike-part vending machines can rescue you from an unexpected breakdown


Well, it appears that coffee and tea have been a part of our culture for so long now that caffeine withdrawal is a legit mental disorder now

OrCam Will Help The Visually Impaired Read Anywhere  For many people, the simple task of reading a street sign or a restaurant menu is impossible due to visual impairment. Israeli startup OrCam is using sophisticated artificial intelligence to give these people a solution.  To continue reading, click here.

Well, these ought to help out those of us who never have the time to fix a four course meal.  Two Minute, Nine Second Recipes. Really.


Research: Doctors Should Be Trained To Talk About Death

Vegetarians live longer, researchers find

How This Woman Changed Her Habits And Lost 90 Pounds

Researchers Report Shocking New Finding About Food Addiction

The Key To Keeping Your Memory In Tip-Top Shape?

9 Farmers Markets Every Food Lover Should Visit


Researchers Find Reason For Infertility In Cancer Patients And Discover Remedy  Researchers at the Center for Fertility Preservation of the Sheba Medical Center in Israel have recently discovered the reason behind high rates of infertility in female cancer patients and have already begun testing a possible treatment. To continue reading, click here.


Micro Apartments New Trend In U.S.

If Our Gadgets Could Measure Our Emotions

5 Business Tips For The Aspiring Designer

Baby Names Reveal Parents’ Political Ideology

In U.S., News of Surveillance Effort Is Met With Some Concern but Little Surprise

Better than Cyber Utopia: How the Internet Helped Us Create the Sharing Economy


Video: In Performance: Cinderella — The New York Times invited Tony nominees to perform scenes on location. Here, Santino Fontana and Laura Osnes sing a cinematic interpretation of a song from “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”

WATCH: Awe-Inspiring Video Of First U.S. Spacewalk

WOW: 25 Iconic Spacewalk Snapshots

WATCH: Tornado Touches Down In Ontario


Liveblog: Cute animals to look at | Grist

NASA Earth Observatory Home

Outer Space, Space Shuttle & Solar System Videos

LiveScience Best Science Photos of the Week










The Tomatoman TimesSardonic, ironic, sometimes poignantly incisive, this is also one of the longest running human interest blogs on the Net and well worth the read.

Meade’s California Coast is moving commentary and photos by one of that state’s premier photojournalists.  Short, poignant and memorable, it is a tribute to both the craft and the subject.

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News is like a blend of Popular Mechanics, Scientific American and the science pages of the New York Times and the Huffington Post.  I totally geek out when I read these folks.


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. 

Lady canoeists on Lake Washington, a familiar scene in Seattle in the summer

Lady canoeists on Lake Washington, a familiar scene in Seattle in the summer


Summers in Seattle can be among the most pleasurable in the world.  We dry out, for the most part.  It warms up enough for fresh and saltwater sports.  Mayor Schwinn wears shorts when he pedals his bike to work.  And every neighborhood in King County has its annual street fair.  For a more complete look at this to do in Seattle during the summer, yep, please go here.

Well, our neighbor city of Redmond, across Lake Washington from us, has earned a rather dubious distinction.  Check it out here.

Meet Seattle’s ‘Godfather of Recycling’

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


This short video appropriately entitled Maya, the Deer Whisperer, Befriends a Fawn  moved me beyond words.  To know that such untarnished kindness can coexist in a world of such violence also flat out flipping amazes me.

‘Blind As A Bat’ Is Surprisingly Inaccurate, As Researchers Determine The Mammals’ 3D Vision  Studies on the way the brain navigates on a plain have so far focused on two dimensions. Now researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Israel set out to get a better understanding of how the brain processes 3D environments – using fruit bats. To continue reading, click here.

When I was there in 1970, restaurants along the Bangkok waterfront routinely threw their garbage out back of the establishment, where it was devoured by rats, dogs and starving children.  Therefore, this story of a dog saving a newborn baby tossed in a garbage heap does not surprise me, as moving as it is.


Huge Extinct Lizard Named After ’70s Rock Star

Arctic Bacteria Discovered Breeding At Record –15 C

Frankensalmon could breed with trout, produce frankentrout | Grist


Here’s the latest from our friends at the SeaDoc Society, the Pacific Northwest’s premier marine mammal preservation and protection group.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


I knew when we ran that short about curing hunger by more of us eating bugs that I was probably going to regret it.  However, having made one of the stupider editorial decisions of my life, I’m bound to follow up.  Those of you insectivores whose lives are so busy that you don’t have time to cook your favorite cockroach casserole will be delighted to know there is now an energy bar made from some of your favorite culinary carapace life forms.




an exciting seagoing saga of war and rebellion

For a preview, go here:

For the kindle book, ($3.99) at amazon.com.



Got a problem or a project involving the English language?  Want a professional writer and editor who is also a neighbor?  Would you like reasonable rates and a flexible payment plan for such things as manuscript editing or an ad campaign?  Need a classified ad that produces results?  How long has it been since you updated your resume?  We’re all online and by Paypal now, so while we are located in Seattle, we welcome international clients.  Check out our list of services at http://minstrel312.tripod.com  and then email us at minstrel312@aol.com or give us a call at 206-478-9254.

2006 rustyonsteps2    A FINAL WORLD

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, then, take care and Godspeed.  Rusty


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.