Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Volume 6, No. 26

Published by

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott (Rusty) Miller – Editor

 Seattle, Washington


Peace Arch, Douglas, BC – Blaine, Washington

Peace Arch, Douglas, BC – Blaine, Washington


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  We are proud and honored to wish Canada a happy 146h birthday Monday.  She is one of Northstar’s parents.  America, who celebrates her 237th birthday on Thursday, the fourth of July, is, of course, the other.

Though we have occupied the same continent for about six hundred years now, we are two distinct nations.  Canada took one path to independence.  America took another.

Canada remained a “colony” for much longer.  What she produced was intended for an empire, not a developing nation.  And because she was a member of the mighty British Commonwealth, her young men and women “served at the discretion of the Crown.”  If the Maple Leaf flag were to fly over all the graves of her children lost in battle or international rescue, there is not a place on this planet that modest emblem would not be seen.

Americans came from other world empires but with every intention of building their own.  Britain did not have nearly the hold over the international nature and character of “the Colonies.”  The Crown consistently underestimated the intelligence, resourcefulness and passion for self-determination of her American subjects.  She treated them as she did her other colonials and that spelled the beginning of the end of the Empire itself.  It also set an example for the subjects of monarchs all over the world and after Waterloo and the Crimea, the Crown was very, very tired.

Because they came of age differently, America and Canada also ~ to me ~ have distinct national characters.  Americans paint with a bigger brush and a bolder stroke.  Adventure ~ direct or vicarious ~ is still a burning passion with them.  It has pervaded every aspect of their civilization, of their society.

It has also taken them to the moon and other very interesting places.  It has made them at times the enfant terrible of the international community.  At other times, it is why they were the only thing standing between all of us and a maniac’s Final Solution.

Americans are a most interesting species to observe; particularly when it comes to beating their own drum a bit too loudly and, arguing among themselves about things even more absurd than how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

They seem to display a particular penchant for dubious public discourse.  In the name of striking for common ground ~ and in language far pithier than even that of Nero’s Rome ~ they proceed to call each other every possible biological combination except another child of God.  And this, some of them of them stolidly assert, is consensus building.

When their president Abraham Lincoln suggested that a house divided against itself could not stand, he obviously did not truly understand the nature of the creatures with whom he was dealing.  When their nation is in peril, when one of their communities has suffered a major disaster, and when other places in the world have a dramatic need for them, Americans stop bickering, set aside their tools, close up shop and pitch in to help where they are needed most.

Canadians are more reserved, quieter and less inclined to court the favors of divine providence.  They are the second largest nation in terms of land mass but 36th in total population.  Canada’s average density is 3.4 per square kilometer/9.1 per square mile. 

In contrast, the United States is the third largest nation in both land mass and population.  America’s average density is 31.9 per square kilometer/82.7 per square mile.  With Canada’s population at around 36,000,000 and America close to 332,000,000, it means that America has slightly less land and over nine times the people.

Much of Canada, then, is still wilderness and vast expanses where there are no human beings.  So if Canadians from Victoria to Halifax seem to act as if they know one another, chances are there’s a friend, relative or distant family member they have in common.

Canada does not have the ethnic diversity that the States does.  Her population is comprised of British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%.

The United States uses a slightly different breakdown:  white 79.96%, Hispanic 15.1%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)

Many inferences can be drawn from data.  What is most important to me is that Canada and the United States have not only shared the same continent for all this time, but a common border.  They are also two very separate and distinct countries which have been living in peace beside one another longer than any other two nations on the planet.

Happy birthday guys and nice going.

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


Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional because it prevented the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages by those residents of states in which they are legal.  In my opinion, the language of this decision was far broader because it affirmed not only the equality of gays and lesbians but the vital role they do, in fact play, in every aspect of American society.  The Northstar Journal fully endorses the decision of the Court and recognizes its wisdom in these regards.

It has been a long watch at Northstar as we pray for the recovery of Nelson Mandela.  I have studied some the history of the nations and tribes of the African continent.  I am particularly familiar with South Africa and apartheid.  I recently watched the film Invictus and was reminded of how well President Mandela has served each and every one of us.  As much as he is needed ~ as much as I yet need to be inspired by his personal example ~ I know he will ascend gracefully.  Heaven is not so perfect a place, I suspect, that it cannot use another diplomat and another soul capable of Divine forgiveness. 

The American presidential administration’s decision to spy on its own citizens has had dramatic repercussions around the world.  Germany, an ally since the Marshal Plan and especially since Reunification, is apparently no longer a fan.  It seems most Germans are not real high on domestic surveillance.  With the Gestapo and the SS as historical precedents, this is not surprising.


AUSTRALIA ‘Recycled’ Rudd Takes Back Power As Australia’s PM
BRAZIL Public Rage Catching Up With Brazil’s Congress
CHINA Copter Crash Kills 19 as Flood Rescue Efforts Strain Indian Air Force

Standoff in China Drags On for U.S. Man Held by Workers

Three Chinese Astronauts Land After Record-Breaking Spaceflight

Chinese Firm Is Charged in Theft of Turbine Software

Violence in Restive Chinese Region Prompts Crackdown

Ghana’s Crackdown on Chinese Gold Miners Hits One Rural Area Hard

GERMANY Germany Probes Model Airplane Terrorist Attack Plot
INDIA At Least 1,000 Dead In Indian Floods

Mass Cremation For Hundreds Who Perished In Indian Floods

INDONESIA Indonesia Formally Apologizes For Smoky Haze
IRAN PHOTOS Iran Burns 100 Tons Of Drugs In Annual Ceremony
QATAR In Surprise, Emir of Qatar Plans to Abdicate, Handing Power to Son
PAKISTAN Pakistani Premier Says Government Intends to Charge Musharraf With Treason
RUSSIA Russia Rejects U.S. Demand For Snowden
TURKEY Obama, Erdogan Discuss Turkish Protests
UNITED KINGDOM The Queen’s Getting A Pay Raise?
UNITED STATES The Reason Behind Alaska’s Crazy Weather

Supreme Court Bolsters Gay Marriage With Two Major Rulings

Boston Bombing Suspect Is Indicted on 30 Counts

For Gay Immigrants, Marriage Ruling Brings Relief and a Path to a Green Card

VATICAN Cleric and 2 Others Arrested in Vatican Bank Inquiry



Americans Among Least Concerned About Major Global Issue, Poll Shows

American Atlantis: Sea-Level Rise Means Miami Is Doomed

Obama Makes History With Unprecedented Climate Speech

Gore: ‘Best Presidential Address On Climate Change Ever’

Environmentalists React To Obama’s Words

Less Pollution May INCREASE Hurricanes?


Mandela’s Condition Is Reported to Deteriorate to ‘Critical’

Nelson Mandela In Critical Condition

Obama, en Route to South Africa, Says He Bears Message of ‘Profound Gratitude’ to Mandela

Unable to Visit With Mandela, Obama Honors His Legacy


N.S.A. Leak Puts Focus on System Administrators


Snowden, in Russia, Is Said to Seek Asylum in Ecuador

Offering Snowden Aid, WikiLeaks Gets Back in the Game

China Said to Have Made Call to Let Leaker Depart

Russia Defiant As U.S. Raises Pressure Over Snowden

Report: Snowden Not On Cuba Flight

U.S. Rebukes China, Russia and Ecuador Over Snowden

Offering Snowden Aid, WikiLeaks Gets Back in the Game

Putin Rules Out Extradition for Leak Suspect in Russia Airport

Obama: I Won’t Be Scrambling Jets To Get Snowden


War Death Toll Hits 100,000

Sending Missiles to Syrian Rebels, Qatar Muscles In


Here’s yet another opportunity to “relocate” the federal government.  DEATHMATCH:  Pick The New Capital Of Canada

Not that we’re noted for being especially exciting to begin with but if you’re really down with dull, you might just want to know what the most boring city in Canada is

And as if we needed yet another reason to wean ourselves off fossilized fuels, Calgary floods trigger an oil spill and a mass evacuation


These women deliver food from farm to table by bike, in minutes  A vegan bicycle maker and two organic urban farmers walk into a bar … (Hint: Yep, it’s for real, and nope, it’s not in Portland.)

We’re glad this happened.  On behalf of the heterosexual community, I’m sorry it took so long and cost so many so much.  U.S. Supreme Court DOMA Decision Rules Federal Same Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional

L.A. launches nation’s largest solar rooftop program  The program will pay residents for excess solar power they produce on their roofs, with the aim of generating enough to power 30,000 homes.


Well, this makes me real proud to be living in “the Lower 48.”  Americans Among Least Concerned About Major Global Issue, Poll Shows

And as someone who has been a part of the struggle for human rights in this country for over three decades now, this comes as real good news.  (NOT)  Key Part of Voting Rights Act Invalidated


Well, we’d like to welcome China’s three astronauts back to earth after what is being called “a record-breaking” space flight.  For such a relatively late entry into this international race for the stars, the RedRepublic is making impressive gains on the rest of the pack.

For over 35 years, NASA’s Voyager 1 has been expanding our knowledge of the solar system.  Now, she truly is going where no probe has gone before.

Well, here’s a scientific discovery worth passing along.  Utensil type has surprising effect on how foods taste, study shows


Europe Tests Re-Entry Tech for Reusable Spaceship

Aerospace Merger Means Big Savings for U.S. Government, Company Says

Found! 3 Super-Earth Planets That Could Support Alien Life

NASA Launches Sun-Watching Telescope to Probe Solar Secrets


Video: Sailing by the Sun

Cave Art Reveals Ancient View of Cosmos

WATCH: Freaky ‘Robo-Ape’ Takes Tilt-Table Challenge


Okay, let’s see how much you know about Canada.


Indonesia Formally Apologizes For Smoky Haze

Obama Makes History With Unprecedented Climate Speech

Gore: ‘Best Presidential Address On Climate Change Ever’

Environmentalists React To Obama’s Words

Less Pollution May INCREASE Hurricanes?

L.A. launches nation’s largest solar rooftop program


For those of you who suffer from hot flashes, this should come as good news.  F.D.A. Approves a Drug for Hot Flashes

The Obama administration has taken its war on childhood obesity to school vending machines, snack bars and campus stores.  This is one of Michelle’s great crusades and we are pleased that she is doing so well with it.

Check out these five foods for better skin


Here are 9 Ways to Prevent Cancer


Cancer:  What You Need to Know

American Cancer Society

Canadian Cancer Society


Survivors Recall Nazi-Led Raid On Polish Village

Video: Sex for Science

Only 5 percent of men worldwide use condoms despite public health campaigns, so the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is joining the effort and issuing a challenge.

Couple That Spent 70 Years Together Ends Life The Same Way

Making Hurricane Preparedness Fun…and Delicious

Arizona Is Fertile Ground for New York Matzo

California Couples Line Up to Marry After Stay on Same-Sex Marriage Is Lifted


LOOK: It’s Take Your Dog To Work Day!

Bunny Is A Parkour Master

Video: Sailing by the Sun

PHOTOS: Supermoon Brightens Sky


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 virtual tour of the Northstar Gallery, please go here.

Summer has arrived in Seattle and this swimmer near the Arboretum is taking full advantage of temperatures reaching into the high 80s F/30s C

Summer has arrived in Seattle and this swimmer near the Arboretum is taking full advantage of temperatures reaching into the high 80s F/30s C


This is not a good time to go in the water at Lake Washington’s Matthews Beach.  For more on why, please go here.  Nice catch, PJ, and thanks.

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 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


Being a total fan of these magnificent leviathans, I am of course delighted to report that humpbacks are alive and thriving in the Salish Sea fka the Puget Sound.

And since I am also a horse person, I was impressed by a recent discovery which strongly suggests this species got its start about two million years earlier than has been previously thought.

It is rare but not unheard of for an animal in a zoo to escape.  But in some 30 years impersonating also a wildlife reporter, I cannot recall an animal trying to break into one.

Two Rare Albino Humpback Whales Spotted on Yearly Migration  An albino humpback whale was spotted with an all-white companion on the whales’ annual migration to the Great Barrier Reef for their mating season.


LOOK: It’s Take Your Dog To Work Day!

WATCH: Abused Street Dog Finally Finds A Home

Aww! Touching Rescue Of Ducklings From Drain


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And then there were the two dozen tourists who thought it would be really cool to holiday out on a Baffin Island ice floe.  The mini expedition was going fine until the 30 mile/48 km chunk of ice and snow detached itself from the larger land mass and headed out for the Arctic Ocean.  Canadian Forces affected rescue with no loss of life or injuries.  These are tax Loonies at work, in this case saving the lives of two dozen recreational Jack London or Robert Service wannabes.  They’d have been a lot smarter if they’d just filled a big swimming pool with ice, turned the air conditioner on high and invited friends.  And if the pool started to move, as they sometimes do in California, Alaska and Seattle, they could just pull the plug.  It would be just as dumb as a holiday on an ice floe but it would not cost Canadian taxpayers money better spent promoting poutine as the cuisine of choice among the Maple Leaf’s culturally discriminating.





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



 2013 May  by George front porch of PJ's CroppedThe 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.
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