Proudly serving North America and the International Community

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2007 – 2014

No. 367

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Framed Rusty

Seattle, Washington



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  We’d like to start this edition by remembering the life and times of American cleric, civil rights activist and Nobel Peace laureate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

My first memories of Dr. King were in front of a black and white television set, watching on the Six O’Clock News as police loosed dogs on him and the civil rights marchers he was leading.

I recall my father cheering and saying that they deserved that and much more.  You can’t imagine how relieved I was to learn, after my mother died, that I was adopted.  And how grateful I was for the good sense not to buy into that nonsense but to wait until I was old enough to punch back before I started debating the equality issue with him.

My point is that bigotry is not genetic.  It is a learned behavior and it is basically defined as the belief that there is one perfect race or ethnic group and if you don’t belong to that one, you are inferior and deserve to be kept in your place.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that we are all children of the same family.  In the pantheon of human emancipation, he was not the first to contend this, nor was he the first to be executed for it.

How many more martyrs will it take until every human being on this planet is free?  I don’t think even God knows that.

But then it’s not up to God, is it?  It’s up to us.

Have a great week, gang.


We don’t usually do this but the House of Northstar has contracted a mild case of “Oscar fever” so we’re going to make three predictions: 

Best Actor – Bruce Dern

Best Actress – Meryl Streep

Best Picture – Nebraska 

Hollywood occasionally succumbs to sentimentality.  Bruce Dern’s Oscar would essentially represent a lifetime achievement award for a film career which included killing John Wayne in “The Cowboys”. 

Meryl Streep is to America what Dame Judith Dench is to the UK and Europe.  Ms Streep’s Oscar, we sense, will reflect the profound admiration of her peers. 

Nebraska is an “American Heartland” and “Father and Son Redemption” film.  These are very popular when Americans are disillusioned with their government and need to be reminded of its roots.


AFGHANISTAN U.S.-Afghan Tensions Increase As Airstrike Kills More Civilians

Deadly Attack At Kabul Restaurant Hints At Changing Climate For Foreigners

AFRICA Senior Libyan Official Assassinated, First Since Qadaffi Era

Tent City In Central Africa Swells As Thousands Seek Safety

Nigerian President Signs Law Banning Gay Marriage, Groups, Meetings; Up To 14 Years In Jail

AUSTRALIA 250 Young Great White Sharks Call Waters Off New South Wales Home

Sydney And Se Sweltering In Heat Wave

2013 Hottest Year In Australia

Australian Government Air Spy On Japanese Whaling Fleet

CHINA Chinese Activists Test New Leader And Are Crushed
EUROPEAN UNION World Bank Is Expecting Widespread (If Still Possibly Turbulent) Growth For 2014

Sluggish Economy Prompts Europe To Reconsider Its Intentions On Climate Change

FRANCE Airbus Led Rival Boeing In Jets Ordered Last Year
GERMANY German Economy Grows At Modest Pace
GREECE Greek Prosecutors Focus On Corruption At The Top
INDIA India Now Polio-Free For Three Years
IRAN Iran Nuclear Deal To Take Effect Jan. 20, Officials Say

Youth In Iran: Inside And Out

IRAQ Scores Die As Militants In Iraq Unleash Attacks
ISRAEL Region Boiling, Israel Takes Up Castle Strategy
NORTH KOREA Let’s Cease The Insults, North Korea Says To South
RUSSIA No One Will Be Targeted At Olympics, Putin Says

Determined To Miss Nothing, Russia Trains All Eyes On Sochi

SPAIN Bailed-Out Bankia Is Symbol Of Spain’s Financial Revival
THAILAND Protesters In Thailand Move To Shut Down Bangkok

Protesters Occupy Bangkok’s Central Business District

Blast Injures Antigovernment Protesters In Bangkok

UNITED NATIONS U.N. Panel Questions Vatican On Handling Of Clergy Sexual Abuse
UNITED STATES New Jersey Decides Not To Run A Gas Pipeline Through One Of Its Last Spots Of Wilderness

New Mexico Ruling Will Allow Doctors To Help Terminally Ill Patients Die

Oklahoma’s Ban On Gay Marriage Is Unconstitutional, Judge Rules

Senate Report Finds Benghazi Attack Was Preventable

Wall Street Rises On Bank Of America Results And Strong Data

U.S. To Limit Use Of Profiling By Federal Agents

As California’s Drought Deepens, A Sense Of Dread Grows

Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Is Struck Down

Chemical Spill Muddies Picture In A State Wary Of Regulations

Navy Training Exercises Will Kill Hundreds of Marine Mammals

Air Force Suspends 34 at Nuclear Sites Over Test Cheating


Polar bear-lesque: The weirdest, sexiest way to confront climate change

This Chart Makes It Painfully Obvious That Climate Deniers Are Ridiculous

2013 Hottest Year in Australia

Major newspaper coverage of climate change plummeted last year

U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly


Obama to Place Some Restraints on Surveillance

N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers

Obama’s Path From Critic to Overseer of Spying

On Spying, Woes of Obama Echo Those of Past Presidents

With Plan to Overhaul Spying, the Divisiveness Is in the Details


Syria Says It Held Talks With Western Spies About Jihadis

U.S. Pledges $380 Million in Relief Aid for Syria

Syrian Opposition Votes to Attend Peace Talks


This could only happen under this flag.  Blame it on the beavers: coal train derailed in Burnaby after heavy rain bursts dam  See also Heavy rain led to CP train derailment in Burnaby (updated with video)

I refuse to believe this cannot be dealt with.  Life and debt in B.C.: Many young people are thinking of fleeing the province to get out of hock

The discovered recently of a 400 year old English coin buried in clay along the coast of Vancouver Island lends additional weight to the contention that Sir Francis Drake actually sailed these waters two centuries before Captain James Cook or Spanish explorers.  Yes, for more, please go here.


B.C. Has Highest Child Poverty Rate In Canada

Fraser Institute Says “Living Wage” Really Doesn’t Offer Much Of A Life

3d Printers Are Coming To Toronto Public Libraries

Victoria Police Urged To Expand Probe Of Woman Who Allegedly Mishandled Donations For Girl Stricken With Cancer

B.C.’S Police Watchdog Investigating Death Of Man Shot By RCMP Officer In Surrey

Canadian Town Is Using Beet Juice To De-Ice The Roads

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

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

Felina:     Samuel, it is late and I have missed you.  Is everything okay, mate of my three lifetimes?

Sam:        I’m fine, Sweetheart.  I’m just looking south at the stars and remembering some.

Felina:     It is a beautiful night, mate mine.  And so many stars.  Even the fallen ones have a beauty all their own, do they not, my love?

Sam:        Aye, Lass.  They do.

Felina:     Tomorrow, “South” celebrates the life of one of those human celestial bodies, does it not?  The one they call “King”.

Sam:        Yes, Felina.

Felina:     A “panther” who cared about lions of all colours.

Sam:        Yep, pretty much.

Felina:     And for that, he was persecuted, executed and became a martyr whose personal example will resonate and which continues to empower today.

Sam:        That’s pretty much the way of it.  While panthers continue to slaughter one another in Africa and lions of other hues cannibalize one enough over much of the planetary landmass.

Felina:     Perhaps we should be grateful that true lions are not human?

Sam:        And that not all stars fall from the sky?  Yes, Sweetheart.

Felina:     And on that note, then, oh sun and moon of my life?

Sam:        On that note, gentle readers, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Felina:     And until next week, may the wind be always at your back.  And may the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.


There is a power and majesty to a good example that transcends all demographics.  What this woman is doing where she lives should resonate profoundly.

Every single individual who had anything to do with this is probably headed for a real cool harp in the Hereafter.  Program to End Homelessness Among Veterans Hits Milestone in Arizona

We thought this was so coolPortland, Oregon’s Food Truck Heaven: How a New Kind of Fast Food Brings Jobs, Flavor, and Walkability


U.S. to Limit Use of Profiling by Federal Agents

This old thing?  San Francisco finds new life for dead threads

How a Fruit and Vegetable Auction in Rural Ohio Helps Appalachian Farmers Thrive

Infographic: 13 Ways Europe Does Food Safer, Cleaner, and Kinder

How Restorative Justice Changed This Colorado Cop’s Views on Prison


This needs to be stopped before it even gets started.  U.S. Navy Training Exercises Will Kill Hundreds of Marine Mammals

The karmic payback for this could very well send these dudes into exile on a distant planet.  Nigerian president signs law banning gay marriage, groups, meetings; up to 14 years in jail

This needs to change.  It is not only a provincial embarrassment, it is a national disgrace.  B.C. has highest child poverty rate in Canada


Here’s something that should give the green automobile industry a boost.  An electric race car has made its debut on a race track on the Las Vegas strip

There is an old legend in my gene pool which suggests that a form of totally aquatic human being has also evolved.  So I found this very interesting.  Ancient fossil shows evolution of fins to feet on Ellesmere Island

Scientists have discovered why birds fly in a “V”.


DNA profile of ancient skeleton rewrites history

Cracks in Arctic Ice Churning Mercury Into Environment

The Rationality Debate, Simmering in Stockholm


A Thousand of These Tiny Windmills Might Power Your Cell Phone

Five of 2013’s most interesting moments in video games

The 10 Most Innovative Companies In The World


Permanent International Colony on Mars Is One Step Closer

LOOK: Spooky ‘Hand Of God’ Spied By Space Telescope

Private Cargo Ship Makes Special Space Station Delivery


Okay, gang.  How much do you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family?

And for others so addicted, here is a 10-question daily trivia we have emailed to us.


Native sun: In the Deep South, a solar farm rises on a former cotton plantation

A Thousand of These Tiny Windmills Might Power Your Cell Phone

This old thing? San Francisco finds new life for dead threads


As just a reminder, frostbite can do more than nip at fingers, toes and nose

Since we like these, this is good news.  Study Shows Pomegranate Reduces Cholesterol And Prevents Heart Disease

We can ALL learn a lot from this, I suspect.  Infographic: 13 Ways Europe Does Food Safer, Cleaner, and Kinder


All About Men: Fountain of Youth for Your Muscles

Lose Weight and Pain Too

January Is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month:  See Why Screenings Are Vital


Highway to Heaven Episode:  A Divine Madness


VIDEO:  Doctor Says Seahawks Fandom Is As Addictive As Drugs

Youth In Iran: Inside And Out

In Age of School Shootings, Lockdown Is the New Fire Drill

Technology Is Not Driving Us Apart After All

After Years at War, the Army Adapts to Garrison Life


SLIDESHOW:  Sierra Club Magazine’s 7 Spectacular Natural Phenomena

LOOK:  Spooky ‘Hand Of God’ Spied By Space Telescope

Humpback Whales Visit Sydney, Australia


AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL — AI has been at the front of every human rights issue and concern since its founding in 1961 by a British attorney.  Without this organization, thousands would still be imprisoned and international justice would yet be a dream.

BACK COUNTRY GALLERY:  BEST NATURE PHOTOS ON THE NET — This nature photographer’s work is the single best I’ve seen outside National Geographic.

BLACK SEA AGRO: AGRICULTURE IN THE BLACK SEA REGION — This region feeds most of the former Soviet Union.  How they tackle issues of concern to their own agrarians deserves to be read by every farmer on the planet.

CREAM MAGAZINE & MILLENNIUM ART GALLERY — We have a relationship with the two Canadian men in Vancouver who own and manage this gallery that goes back over 30 years.   They were the first to publish our mountain lions, Felina and Sam.  Their literary magazine features talent from all over the world and their virtual gallery is a cozy rainy afternoon virtual excursion.

GRITTV WITH LAURA FLAUNDERS is about personal and community empowerment in an environmentally sane world.

HELP END WORLD HUNGER & POVERTY | HEIFER INTERNATIONAL® | HEIFER.ORG — This was recommended to us by a staffer who loves cows and admires the splendid work this particular organization is doing.

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.

OUTSIDE MAGAZINE — This is the comprehensive weekly for the rugged and socially responsible nature sports set, which marginally includes me.  The National Geographic is still the standard here so if NG is a ten, OM is an eight.

THE SEADOC SOCIETY: PEOPLE & SCIENCE HEALING THE SEA — Affiliated with the University of California – Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, these folks are headquartered on a small forested island in the north part of Washington state’s Puget Sound.  They are actively involved in research, education and legislation to protect the marine environment.  Their monthly newsletter is an animal lover’s delight.

SIERRA CLUB — Historically, the Sierra Club has been in the vanguard of the Conservation Movement.  They are very reflective of the mountains for which they are named.

WORLD WILDLIFE FUND — I like the spirit with which these folks pursue the task of protecting life on this planet.  They’re engaging, interactive and educational without being preachy.  They’ve learned early on the power of a good visual and a restrained narrative.  Reading their newsletter is like talking to a naturalist. WRITING FOR PEACE — This is an ambitious project which I think has an inestimable value to those learning about war. These weekly blogs are written by those who have experienced that particular horror.  Because I’ve seen some of the more horrific things they write about, I don’t go there often.  Anyone who still believes that war is better than peace should.


Bertha cropped


Well, by the time we come out on Sunday after church, the world’s biggest earth boring machine will have been down at the bottom of its own 60-foot tunnel for 44 days.  However, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is on the case.  They’re preparing to send workers down to take a look.  First, they’re sealing Bertha off.  Then they’re pumping air into the seal to create a bubble.  Then they’ll be sending crews down in three shifts of four hours each.  Once they get the blades cleaned off, they will be in a better position to decide how to get Bertha either going again or back to the surface for another attempt.  Let’s hope it does not monsoon too much.  If the ground water level rises enough, Bertha could also be at the bottom of a new underground lake.


If you’re thinking of heading out to Whistler or into the Canadian Rockies to hit the slopes ~ as so many of us “born to ski”-ers from the shores of the Salish Sea are prone to do ~ you might want to re-think your destination.  An unusually heavy winter snowfall has heightened the avalanche risk across the province of British Columbia.



 Testament Ad Graphic


It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond her own borders.  A military dictatorship controls the country and life is grim. The Republic is fighting for its very survival and for decades, especially with Latin America.

This is the world of the United States Coast Guard cutter Testament, a cybernetic patrol boat, and her six-person crew.  Her mission, and those of her sister craft, is simple

Quench the rebellion and stop the flow of Americans seeking refuge in Canada. Kill when expedient.  Deliver the survivors to the Bellingham Re-Education Center. 

A simple operational order and one which has served America well.  Until Testament

For a preview:  Go Here

For the kindle book: ($3.99) at


Business Correspondence



Copy Writing


Feature Magazine Articles

Ghost Writing




Online Research





Song Lyrics

Special Projects


Travel Copy



Wolverines have been spotted for the first time on an island off the coast of British Columbia in an adaptation that also has them eating salmon for the first time.  Yep, for more, please go here.

Our resident Canadian cougar is going to love this.  A mama mountain lion and her two cubs were spotted out for a stroll along British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.

We’re sure glad this had a happy ending.  A lost croc was found in Cardwell.  Our thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald.


250 Young Great White Sharks Call Waters Off New South Wales Home

Fears For The Safety Of Dolphins Who Crave Human Company

Black Widow Spiders ‘Twerk’ To Find Mates

Sharks In Australia Are Tweeting To Warn Swimmers


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


No Pants Day goes global.  Ummm, okay, he murmurs, slowly backing out of the room before they realize how totally dumb he thinks this is and confiscate his Levis.


The Northstar Journal is entirely reader-supported.  So if you enjoyed this edition and would like to help out with the next, please go here.  If you’re reading this on our blogsite and would like the graphically enhanced edition delivered to you by email, please so inform us at  Until next week, then, take care, stay well 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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