Proudly serving North America and the International Community since 2007

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Volume 6, No. 33

Published by

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Seattle, Washington


gunboat diplomacy


Hi again from the shores of the Salish SeaI’ve just finished reading a good essay examining an aspect of America’s foreign policy I’ve heard referred to down the years as “gunboat diplomacy” and “neo-colonialism.”

What that essentially means is that top level American government officials decide who is going to rule the rest of the world.  If they don’t agree with the leader of another nation, they take him or her out.  If they do agree with them, the leader of another nation can be sadistic, deranged and delusional.  He will still be supported.

This essay points out, as well, that this really hasn’t worked out very well for the citizens of America, who by and large have nothing to do with setting or implementing foreign policy.

But we ~ American citizens ~ do pay for it and we started paying for it, with all due respect, before 9/11.  And the largest single reason it happened was that citizens in Other Countries got tired of American government interference in their domestic and foreign affairs.

Were they entitled to do what they did at the TwinTowers?  That is a moot point in an enterprise which has but one “rule” and that is to kill more of them than they kill of you.  If you do that often enough, maybe your country will be left alone to settle its own destiny.

As much as anyone can, I regret the War on Terrorism.  I see what four tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and other places young Americans in military are fighting this war is doing to an entire generation.  War certainly was not kind to mine.

But then the purpose of War is not to be kind.  It is simply to kill.  As long as we who finance that war with our taxes and our children permit it, War will continue to do that.

And it does it very, very effectively, doesn’t it?


A new United Nations report – compiled by an international group of scientists ~ confirms that our species is contributing significantly to global warming and that if it continues at its present rate, the oceans of the world will rise three feet/.9 meters by the end of this century.

Well, those who blame their current problems on a youth squandered on sex, drugs and rock and roll can’t blame one of those substances.  Norwegian researchers confirmed what others have suspected for a long time.  There is no link between the use of hallucinogenics and mental health issues.

When one thinks of inventors, the gender is most often male.  Here are eight reasons why it should not be.


AFGHANISTAN An Afghan Poet Shapes Metal and Hard Words
BRAZIL A Blunt Chief Justice Unafraid to Upset Brazil’s Status Quo

Central Bank Acts to Strengthen Brazilian Real

CHINA 6 mind-boggling facts about farms in China
EUROPEAN UNION One More Sign for a Turn to Growth in Europe
INDIA A Summer of Troubles Saps India’s Sense of Confidence
ISRAEL Israeli Eco-Home Wins Big At International Solar Decathlon In China

Israeli Firm Brings Green Sewage Pipes To European Countries

ITALY A Call for Aid, Not Laws, to Help Women in Italy
JAPAN 300 Tons Of ‘Highly Radioactive’ Water Leaks From FukushimaFukushima Nuclear Crisis Escalates To Worst Level In 2 YearsRace Against The Clock: Radioactive Groundwater Under Fukushima Nears Sea
KOREA, NORTH North Korea Agrees to Talk About Reunions for Families
NEW ZEALAND New Zealand Passes Law Allowing Domestic Spying
PAKISTAN Musharraf Charged With Benazir Bhutto AssassinationPakistani Officials Seize 100 Tons Of Bomb-Making Materials
RUSSIA Cosmonauts Break Record for Longest Russian SpacewalkWorld’s Largest Owl Exposes Health of Russia’s ForestsWATCH: Bears Rescued From Russia Floods Via Helicopter

Russia Backs UN Probe Of Alleged Gas Attack In Syria

UNITED KINGDOM Britain Detains the Partner of a Reporter Tied to Leaks

Outcry Grows Against British Housing Plan

UNITED STATES Carwash Managers Held in Immigration Raids

Secret Court Castigated N.S.A. on Surveillance

Soldier Sentenced to Life Without Parole for Killing 16 AfghansMilitary Jury Convicts Army Psychiatrist on All 45 Counts in Fort Hood RampageWitnesses to History:  The March on Washington, DC, 50 Years Later Risk at Coast From Fire at Yosemite




What’s wrong with gorgeous Lake George? Scientists wire it up to find out


Egypt Security Kills 36 Held in Its Custody

Leaving Military Aid Intact, U.S. Takes Steps to Halt Economic Help to Egypt

Dozens Of Muslim Brotherhood Detainees Killed

Israel Quietly Maintains Ties With Egyptian Army

Saudi Arabia Promises to Aid Egypt’s Regime

Egypt in Tumult as Court Orders Mubarak Freed

European Union Sets Emergency Session on Suspending Aid to Egypt

Only Essential Travelers Remain, Warily, in Egypt

Mubarak Freed From Prison, Placed Under House Arrest

Algerians Look at Egypt, and Recall Their Own Nightmare

Egypt Widens Crackdown and Meaning of ‘Islamist’


Livni: Israel Will Make ‘Dramatic Decisions’ In Peace Talks


Syria’s Refugee Crisis Worsens

1 Million Refugee Children Have Fled War-Torn Syria

Russia Backs UN Probe Of Alleged Gas Attack In Syria

Syrian Kurds Find More Than a Refuge in Northern Iraq

Russia Urges Syria to Cooperate in Chemical Weapons Inquiry


Check out what these famous Canadians earn.

This is something I know readers from Sooke to Halifax have been waiting for.  It looks like now, with Verizon looming in background, wireless prices are dropping.

The new federal health minister, Rona Ambrose, promised a new era of hands-on, proactive involvement in making sure every Canadian has a health plan they can afford.  She spoke this week at a Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA) annualconvention in Calgary.


Ottawa pressures Cairo to release arrested Canadians

Toronto Officer Charged In Yatim Shooting

Trudeau reignites legalization debate with admission to smoking marijuana

Harper says Trudeau pot revelations ‘speak for themselves’

So Trudeau smoked pot. At least he’s honest

In Canadian first, native woman becomes head of RCMP division

octo 3 frame





She’s Canadian.  He’s American.  Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.

Felina:      Samuel, I am reading this story Sun Unleashes Another Solar Storm Aimed at Earth.

Sam:        Oookay…

Felina:     And I have a question.  Actually, I have two questions.  But the answer to the first might negate the need for the second.

Sam:        Then from your mouth to the Creator’s ear, Lass.

Felina:     Aye, but to your ear first.  And if you cannot explain this, then we will ask the Divine One.

Sam:        Gotcha.

Felina:     Thank you, Samuel.  What puzzles me is this.  What did humans do to get the Sun so mad She aimed a solar storm at them in the first place?  And why are they apparently still doing it?

Sam:        Ummm, Felina, that headline is a little misleading?

Felina:     Excuse me?

Sam:        You know how they’re always “humanizing” (shudder) things not like them?

Felina:     Ah, their quaint habit of slandering that which they do not understand or which clearly does not enjoy their society.  Yes, I am familiar with it.  So the Sun is not really angry with them.

Sam:        Not when I run the numbers, Felina.  Human beings are among teeming billions of life forms on Gaia.  Gaia is a very modest planet tucked into a very simple solar system at the remote edge of a rather minor galaxy in a magnificent universe which has no beginning, no end and no boundaries.

Felina:     So even if the Sun was a good archeress, She would have to be rather extraordinarily good.

Sam:        She would have to be as good as the One Who created Her, yep.

Felina:     Thank you, Samuel.  I feel a lot better.

Sam:       Not a problem, love of my life.  And on that note, then, Felina?

Felina:     And on that note then, Gentle Readers, may the Creator bless and keep you.  Unitl next week then, eh?


The human capacity for courage and self-sacrifices never ceases to amaze me.  WATCH: Elementary School Bookkeeper Single-Handedly Prevented Mass Shooting.

Here’s a chance to help a very dedicated young veterinary student find a home for a puppy whose owner ran an ad on Craiglist threatening to kill the animal if it was not adopted by the end of the day.  Even if you’re not in the Columbia City, Missouri area, it sure wouldn’t hurt to tell her how cool you think what she did is.  Her email address is lizzy314314@gmail.com

Rather than let them swim for it or drown, officials in a part of Russia that is flooding airlifted two marooned brown bears to safety.  Some 20,000 human beings have also been evacuated from the storm savaged region.


This has got to stop.  Native Canadian women and children are apparently being sold into sexual slavery at Great Lakes ports.  A researcher for the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition said that according to those she has interviewed, this practice has gone on for generations. 

See also: 
The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade
Adam Hochschild: We Can End Slavery—Again

As if this family has not been through enough, Rehtaeh Parsons’ Father Says He Received Death Threat.  Whenever I read about people who do this, I seek parallels in the other life forms on this planet.  I have never been able to find any.  So I think that perhaps Hell is not as big as I thought.  I personally would like to see people who commit these unutterable acts of cruelty buried there and fully conscious that from now until the end of forever, their life is confined to a coffin on a remote and desolate plateau in Hades where Satan does not rule nearly as effectively as Eternal Silence.

I’m one of those individuals who believes that sports ~ like life itself ~ should be about being the best you can be, not the best steroids, cosmetic surgery or your press agent can make you.  Apparently not everybody feels that way.  A new study indicates that doping is more widespread in track and field than previously thought.

crossing guard


Realizing ~ as so many of us are these days ~ that if we wait for our respective national governments to save us from the consequences of greenhouse gases (GHG) and our own greed, we are doomed, the World Wildlife Fund throws out this challenge to each of us to clean up the planet community by community.  To pick up that particular gauntlet, yep, please go here.


Experiments being conducted in quantum physics could lead to warp (faster than light) space travel in this century.

On Mars, the rover Opportunity, Curiosity’s “older sibling,” is setting up winter operations at a place on the Endeavour Crater called Solander Point.  It will continue its exploration at this new site, which faces north, the direction of the most sun in Martian winter.  The golf-cart sized explorer landed on the planet in 2004.

NASA’s Global Plan for Space Exploration Gets an Upgrade — Twelve international space agencies, including NASA and the European Space Agency, published a Global Exploration Roadmap; outlining plans and joint goals in space exploration.


Student Contest Launches to Aid Private Manned Mission to Mars

Cosmonauts Break Record for Longest Russian Spacewalk

Moon’s Dirty Little Secret Sparks Mission

Photos: NASA’s 2013 Astronaut Class in Pictures

‘Iron Man’ Exoskeleton Could Give Astronauts Superhuman Strength


Pipe Dream? 3D-Printed Model of Hyperloop Created

Huge Iron-Rich Plume Discovered Beneath Atlantic Ocean


NASA Resurrecting Old Space Telescope to Hunt Asteroids

COOLEST SCIENCE STORIES OF THE WEEKThe Hyperloop transportation system, surviving a brain-eating amoeba and North America’s oldest rock art are just the beginning or our cool science stories this week.


Okay, gang.  How much do you know about inventors and their inventions?


Annie Leonard: How to Be More than a Mindful Consumer

Israeli Eco-Home Wins Big At International Solar Decathlon In China

Israeli Firm Brings Green Sewage Pipes To European Countries

These surprisingly beautiful paintings are made from coal sludge

Race Against The Clock: Radioactive Groundwater Under Fukushima Nears Sea

Mountain Grown: Appalachia’s New Local Food Economy


If your body mass index (BMI) is over 25, you are male and you are younger than 55, too much coffee can kill you.  That is among the findings of a recent study which followed 40.000 people over 17 years and took into consideration a variety of other factors.  Yep, for more, please go here.

Well, here’s something we’ve known for years.  Empathy is a physical trait, not just a state of extreme compassion.  Really caring people are made that way.

By the same token, it looks like sociopaths are also made that way and according to this article, entitled 11 Signs You May Be Dating A Sociopath, 1 in 25 Americans is one.  I thought enough of this article to break it out and share it with my family as a basic life tool.

For those of us fortunate enough to live close to an ocean or a sea, seaweed is as versatile a “salad green” as anything out of an Iowa pea patch garden.  Whether it’s actually a superfood or not is largely a matter of subjective definition.  If you can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound after eating it, it is probably very healthy but it will not make you Wonder Person.


Michaela On Her 63-Pound Weight Loss: ‘Being At A Healthy Weight Has Changed Everything For The Better’

Lyme Disease 10 Times More Common Than Estimated


September is Cancer Awareness Month.  Let’s Go the Distance to Find a Cure for Childhood Cancer

Cancer:  What You Need to Know
American Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society


Texting Your Feelings, Symbol by Symbol

Resisting the Siren Call of the Screen

Video: Blackberry Crumb Muffins

LOOK: Tipping Practices Around The World

Children Lost in War Zones and Disasters Find Their Families With An App

What French Women Can Teach Us About Sex & Love

LOOK: 11 Animals That Mate For Life

How do submarine crew members live? Take a look


Watch this video of Louisiana’s 24-acre sinkhole swallowing a grove of trees

Earth Waves at Saturn in Colossal NASA Collage (Photo)

Best Space Photos of the Week – Aug. 18, 2013 — From a new star explosion to the possibilities of the hyperloop, don’t miss these amazing space photos of the week for Aug. 18, 2013.

Pizza Thief Pooch Caught ‘Red-Sauce-Handed’

WATCH: Funny Robot Delivers Applause-Worthy Comedy

‘One Way Astronaut’ Film Follows Aspiring Mars Colonists


Image of the DayA gallery of amazing photos from around the world – and above it! Our Image of the Day archive features stunning pictures of nature and space.

Liveblog: Cute animals to look at | Grist

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.

Looking west from Capitol Hill

Looking west from Capitol Hill



Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn this past week launched an effort to ban guns from the city’s retail businesses.  He has the support of some of the members of the Chamber of Commerce and the state’s anti-gun lobby. 

It’s legal in this state to wear a sidearm and to carry one concealed, if you have a permit.  So he does not have legal precedent working for him.  He’s also a long way from his native Boston and naïvely believes he’s addressing a culture of gun violence.

Hello?  This is WashingtonState, Mike.  You know, the one north of Oregon.  Guns are part of a culture which once included Conestoga wagons, China Clippers, mule-drawn plows and streetcars powered by horses.

It remains, this state, mostly rural in character.  People fish and hunt not just for recreation, but for sustenance.  East of the mountains, guns are used to protect livestock from predation and as a certain response to a lunging rattler, a diseased deer or a cornered cougar or bear fighting for its life.

Putting a sign on your business forbidding firearms on the premises will not stop someone from concealing a weapon and then pulling it out and bathing the establishment in blood.  If you want that kind of protection, you better get a metal detector and frisk every customer at the door.  Oh, and you do know that they can make plastic weapons which can elude a metal detector, right?

This is time, money and energy focused on a largely symbolic effort that will accomplish nothing except, perhaps, give some people a false sense of security when they patronize gun free businesses.

I’d personally like to see all these resources committed to a responsible program of firearms education and ownership.  I agree with a waiting period and background checks for sidearms and for automatic weapons.  And I totally support legislation stiffening the punishment for crimes committed while in the possession of a gun.  I’d also like to see bigger budgets for those law enforcement agencies faced with a high incidence of crimes involving firearms.

What I am totally opposed to is legislation which empowers the ruthless and the unstable while depriving potential victims of the means to defend themselves, their families, their property and their communities.

THE TODAY FILE:  “The latest news from Seattle & around the Northwest”
What’s Going On In Seattle?
Seattle Restaurant Guide
Here’s the 10 day forecast
Seattle Weather
Map of Seattle
Seattle City Cams
More Seattle Facts & Figures
KOMO 4 News (ABC)
KING 5 News (NBC)
Seattle Times


Well, here’s another reason for not swimming in America’s Potomac River.  Apparently, sharks do too.  The real kind.

Here’s another opportunity to die of cute.  WATCH: Orphaned Lamb Makes An Unlikely Friend

And in case you missed it under GOOD EXAMPLES, here’s a chance to help a very dedicated young veterinary student find a home for a puppy whose owner ran an ad on Craiglist threatening to kill the animal if it was not adopted by the end of the day.  Even if you’re not in the Columbia City, Missouri area, it sure wouldn’t hurt to tell her how cool you think what she did is.  Her email address is lizzy314314@gmail.com


WATCH: ‘Things Cats Teach Us’ Video Reminds Us That Cats Are Awesome

LOOK: 11 Animals That Mate For Life

Penguins Thrived in Antarctica During Little Ice Age

LOOK: The Most Adorable Veterinarians In The Country



cornell logo



August 22, 2013

Your support for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is making a real difference for bird conservation—highlighted in recent news carried by The New York Times and the Washington Post

Just a few days ago, the Times ran a story about the eBird phenomenon, how our technology enables tens of thousands of birders (maybe you too!) to monitor the health of bird populations in real time. They called it crowdsourcing for birds. We say it’s a powerful movement that puts bird conservation in the hands of bird watchers, scientists, and decision-makers.

For example, the 2013 State of the Birds report used eBird data to document how some of our most vulnerable and at-risk bird populations rely on America’s farmers and ranchers to steward valuable habitats for birds. My recent editorial in the Washington Post brought attention to the critical importance of a conservation-friendly Farm Bill.

The State of the Birds, eBird, and everything else we do at the Cornell Lab is made possible thanks to passionate people like you who care about birds and who are helping us to break new ground in conservation. Thanks again for your support.

Best regards,

John W. Fitzpatrick, Director
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Living With Wildlife
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And then there was the dude in Windsor, Ontario, Canada who chugged eight beers and swam across the Detroit River into the United States.  Local governments and the federal agencies of both countries appear not to be taking this as an attempt at domestic terrorism, illegal immigration or a one-Canadian invasion of America.


The August wallpaper from our favourite outdoor photographer is now available. 




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. 



Some of the best relationships include sharing what you love with the ones whom you love.  ~ D.A.G.




To subscribe to this Thought of the Day, contact Amy at SpringggRain@aol.com

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, 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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