Proudly serving North America and the International Community

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2007 – 2014

No. 372

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Seattle, Washington

Rockwell Figure of Speech


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Public forums ~ regardless the venue ~ can be very interesting sometimes.  I might be a dilettante in these regards but I’m also a people person so I sample several.  The observations I make, then, are drawn not from one but to one degree or another, from all.

One of the things I find quite remarkable from a consensus building perspective is the political polarization.  It’s like when that topic comes up and it does like Australian brush fires, rational thinking is invariably the first casualty. 

If people in a coffee house, tavern or pub, on the radio or in an Internet chatroom cannot be objective about the opposition and see the good they have to offer, how can they then criticize those they have elected for being similarly disabled?

It saddens me to see my fellow Americans in such disarray in these regards.  It seems that frustration is as endemic to the political process as fermentation is to wine.  But given too much and Vin Rose turns into white vinegar.

Historically, it seems that when citizens of any nation become too dependent on government, government generally lets them down.  If that doesn’t ignite a violent revolution, it generally produces more community self-reliance. 

No matter how much “You Are There,” communications technology produces, vicarious/virtual experience in these regards will not substitute for having neighbours over to discuss a common problem.

It also puzzles me that the problems keep being remunerated.  Everyone seems to need to make sure everyone else understands how bad it is out there right now.  Hello?  I share this planet with you?

Why aren’t Americans as a people more solution-oriented?  That’s a trick question because even though I don’t think the mainstream media covers them well enough, there are people out there with solutions that work.  Most of them are simple and can be replicated from the family level on up.

Has it become easier to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune than it is to accept personal responsibility and do what every American in their heart knows takes to build a strong and resilient nation?

The plain fact is that Americans have written that particular book better than any nation on the face of the planet.  Maybe it’s time, as well, that Americans themselves take another look at that book.

Have a good week, gang.  And thanks for the ear.



Here’s what a small town in rural America looks like after a massive oil spill.  It’s a video and it is graphic.

Here’s real good news (not) and a connection with climate change we totally did not expect.  Climate change is going to cause 1.3 million extra burglaries before 2099

I’m glad to see that a man considered to be among the most vicious and powerful in the world has been recaptured after a decade on the run.  Talented, this particular drug lord and as elusive as a cockroach in a blackout, his incarceration is not expected to impact the cartel he ran.  As long as there are customers for illegal substances, there will always be those to provide.  The Sinaloans apparently specialized in heroin and marijuana.


AFGHANISTAN Afghan President Orders Changes To Draft Law Following Claims It Would Hurt Women’s Rights
AFRICA Celebrations, And Unease, In Libya On Anniversary Of Uprising

South Sudan’s Forces Clash With Rebels Near U.N. Base

AUSTRALIA Indonesia Baffled By Australia’s Response To Reports Of Spying On Shrimp Spat

North Korea Arrests Christian Missionary From Australia

War Memorial Pays Tribute To Animals That Served In Conflicts

Cyberbullying Back In Spotlight Following Dawson’s Death

Australians Getting Heavier, New Heart Foundation Data Shows

CAMBODIAN Getting Stares On The Streets Of Cambodia: Buses For The Masses
CHINA Corruption Inquiry Focuses On China’s Top Security Officials
EGYPT In Egypt, A Chasm Grows Between Young And Old

Egypt Prosecutor Charges 4, Including 2 Israelis, With Spying

GEORGIA Former Prime Minister Of Georgia Convicted Of Corruption
GERMANY Merkel Backs Plan To Keep European Data In Europe

German Leaders Meet With Ukrainian Opposition Leaders

German Village Resists Plans To Strip It Away For The Coal Underneath

INDIA Indian Court Commutes Death Sentences To Life In Prison For 3 In Rajiv Gandhi Assassination

From India, Proof That A Trip To Mars Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank

After Farmers Commit Suicide, Debts Fall On Families In India

IRAN Iran’s Judiciary Closes A New Pro-Government Newspaper


Indonesia Baffled By Australia’s Response To Reports Of Spying On Shrimp Spat
ITALY Party’s New Leader Agrees To Form Government In Italy
JAPAN Japan’s Growth Slows, Raising Concerns About Obstacles That Lie Ahead
LATIN AMERICA Venezuelan Opposition Chief Surrenders, But Not Without A Rally
PAKISTAN Pakistan Suspends Taliban Peace Talks Over Killings
RUSSIA Russia Could Build A Train That Would Connect New York To Paris
SPAIN Spain, Land Of 10 P.M. Dinners, Asks If It’s Time To Reset Clock
THAILAND Europe And U.S. Threaten Sanctions Over Kiev Bloodshed
UNITED KINGDOM Victory For Scientologists: Wedding To Go Ahead In London

Floods Could Be Linked To Climate Change, Experts Warn

Experts Warn Winter Storms Are Eroding Britain’s Coastline 10 Times Faster Than Normal

UNITED STATES In Diluting Measure To Ban Gay Marriage, Indiana Shows A Shift

Weekly Applications For Us Unemployment Benefits Decline Slightly To 336,000

Investigators Looks At Landing System And Pilot Fatigue In August Crash

Us Announces Ambitious Strategy To Tackle Wildlife Crime


Obama Wants To Spend $1 Billion On Climate Adaptation

Tough Act To Follow: 50-Year-Old Civil Rights Law Still The Environmental Justice Standard

Steyer May Spend $100 Million To Push Climate Cause In Midterms, But Polluters Will Spend More

When Rush Holt Retires, The House Will Lose A Scientist And An Environmental Advocate

These Are Dark Days For The Arctic — Literally

Climate Change Is Going To Cause 1.3 Million Extra Burglaries Before 2099

In New Pacific Trade Talks Leak, “Climate” Becomes The Unmentionable


U.N. Orders Both Sides in Syria to Allow Humanitarian Aid


Protesters Vacate Kiev’s City Hall In Deal For Amnesty

Ukraine: Opposition Lawmaker, Medic Say 3 Protester Have Died In Kyiv Protests

German Leaders Meet With Ukrainian Opposition Leaders

13 Dead As Mayhem Grips Ukrainian Capital

Kiev Protesters Set Square Ablaze To Thwart Police

Kyiv Sees Deadliest Day Yet In 3 Months Of Protests: Medic Says At Least 70 Protesters Dead

Ukraine Puts ‘Extremists’ on Notice After Deadly Clashes

Obama Issues Pointed Warning to Ukraine Government

Europe and U.S. Threaten Sanctions Over Kiev Bloodshed

Ukraine Leader Strains for Grip as Chaos Spreads

As Deaths Rise in Kiev, So Do Fears Ukraine Will Use Troops

European Union Imposes Sanctions in Ukraine Crisis

Political changes come fast and furious in Ukraine(Photo Gallery)

70 killed in Kyiv: report

Ukraine Leader Agrees to Deal Amid Move to Free Archrival

Ukraine Has Deal, but Both Russia and Protesters Appear Wary

Despite Deal, Ukraine Remains Deeply Divided And Volatile

What’s Inside Ukraine’s Newly-Signed Agreement To End Crisis?

Ukraine protesters take control of capital in what president calls ‘coup’

Ukraine’s Leader Flees the Capital; Elections Are Called

Out of a Broken Promise And an Old Fight: Chaos

Growing Support, and Tea From Young Women, Embolden Kiev Street Fighters

Archrival Is Freed as Ukraine Leader Flees


Canadians do not ignore the plight of someone like this.  Daphne Bramham: Cries for help from homeless straight-A student

Or this one.  Missing Halifax woman’s family appeals for help

Welcome to the 21st Century, little Canadian-type persons.  Canadian tykes now better at computers than bike-riding, name-writing or shoe-tying


Chief Stewart Phillip In Auto Accident

Fed Study Says Education Can Combat Low Public Confidence In Justice System

Winter Storm Blasts Atlantic Provinces With Heavy Snow, High Winds

Time To Get Rid Of ‘Old Boys’ Network’ At West Vancouver Police Detachment

Where Door-To-Door Delivery Ends First

‘Massive Avalanche’ Closes Coquihalla Highway Amid Worst B.C. Slide Conditions In Decades (Update)

Sarah Burke’s Ashes Spread In Sochi Halfpipe

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.

Sam:        I smell popcorn, Felina.  And your buddy Arnie is speaking in a language which does not sound like American, Canadian, English, French or Quebecois.

Felina:     I would be delighted to have you join us, Dear.  Arnold is talking to this relative in this place whose name sounds like either a cough or a sneeze.

Sam:        Our television set has a relative in the Ukraine.  Oookay.

Felina:     Quite so.  The Yoo-KRANE!

Sam:        Gezundheit, Sweetheart.

Felina:     Thank you, mate of my three lifetimes.

Sam:        You’re also almost out of popcorn, right?  You want me to make a sandwich for Arnie?

Felina:     That is so considerate of you, my rugged rapscallion.  There is a salad in Amana for Arnold. 

Sam:        Arnie’s on a diet?

Felina:     One of your sandwiches would feed a village of starving humans for a fortnight, darling.

Sam:        We eat big where I come from.

Felina:     And that is why you are such a handsome ne’er do well.  You did not just eat “big”.  You ate well.

Sam:        But too well for a television set on a diet.

Felina:     Yes, mate of my three lifetimes.

Sam:        Gotcha and by the miracle of time lapse photography, viola.  A bowl of popcorn for the foxy feline and a tossed green salad with low cal Ranch for the electronic device on a diet.  I assume you’ll finish what your cyborg buddy does not.

Felina:     That would be an astute assumption, yes, my love.  Sometimes Arnold’s eye is bigger than his stomach.

Sam:        That was good, Felina.  I didn’t even see that one coming.  However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Calamity Joan and Wild William Hitchcock of digression.  And the Wyatt Urp of the smooth segue.

Sam:        Sweetheart, we really need to hire an editor who is not related to us.

Felina:     We need to hire an editor who is not related to you, my darling.  But then we would need to pay more than salmon and a guarantee never to eat them.

Sam:        Relatives sound cheaper.  And possibly tastier.  However…

Felina:     Quite so.  Samuel, I have been studying for months on this place that sounds like a sneeze.  They once rode horses and terrorized other humans for leagues and leagues around.

Sam:        Yep, they were called Cossacks.  And they were eventually subdued by others and experienced much anguish and suffering before they became their own country again.

Felina:     They have such beautiful music and dance.  And wave upon wave of the plants humans use to make bread and feed the source of their milk and steaks.  They seem like such nice humans, actually.  It saddens me to see them suffer so.

Sam:        It will pass, Sweetheart.  These human aggregates called nations are like the young of any species, including our own kittens.  Some learn the easy way, some learn the hard way.  The ones who survive, simply learn.

Felina:     This You-KRANE will survive, then?

Sam:        Yep,  Lass.  They will.

Felina:     That makes me very happy.

Sam:        It does me too, Sweetheart.  And on that note, then, Felina?

Felina:     On that note, Gentle Readers, until next week, may the wind be always at your back and the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.


This is so cool.  Pharrell is making jeans out of recycled ocean plastic

Here’s another idea whose time has clearly come.  Finnish reindeer now have glowing antlers to protect them from cars

When America does something cool, sometimes it winds up here.  US Announces Ambitious Strategy to Tackle Wildlife Crime


Brilliant Teen Publishes Paper On Saving The Climate With Ammonia-Fueled Cars

Aboriginal Girl’s Efforts To Overcome Bullying Make Her ‘Facebook Famous’

Tiny Houses for the Homeless: An Affordable Solution Catches On


This is NOT a good idea.  Cigarette Ads Return to British TV in a Cloud of Vapor

Just like Ira Hays, this should be a national shame.  Nestled Amid Toxic Waste, a Navajo Village Faces Losing its Land Forever


Variety is nothing, if not the spice of life, eh?  Facebook now offers more gender options in user profiles

One of the down sides of fish farming is that it puts stress on the aquatic web of life if the fish are carnivorous.  For the last decade ~ it turns out ~ this problem has been quietly addressed by both the American government and the aquaculture industry.  Yep, for more, go here.  And yep, I totally enjoyed this one.

This will probably take some personal adjustment.  The virtual physician’s assistant will see you now.


Border’s New Sentinels Are Robots, Penetrating Deepest Drug Routes

REALLY? Enormous Elevator Could Take You To Space

Why Don’t We Have Space Elevators?


Competition Fierce For Sales Of Unarmed Drones

This Amazing Washing Machine Uses Virtually No Water

A List Of Favorites From A Man Who Knows His Apps


From India, Proof That a Trip to Mars Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

Israel To Launch Satellite To Monitor Crops From Outer Space

Is THIS The Rocket That Will Take Us Into Deep Space?


Okay, gang.  How much do you know about the Ukraine?

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

Merriam-Webster Online offers a short battery of games to improve one’s spelling and vocabulary.  They are short, timed and the scores are ranked by age group.  These are also activities you can share with friends and family.  In my house, learning together is also considered cool.


Meet The Smart Farm You Can Control With A Smartphone

World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Won’t Expand Because Of Birds

Turn California’s Drought Into A Game With The Water-Saving Equivalent Of Flappy Bird

A Cat Sums Up The Week’s Green News?


If this doesn’t move and inspire you, you need to go back to Oz and ask the Wizard for a heart.  Cancer survivor planned surprise wedding for a year without groom’s knowledge

See what Canadian Olympic athletes consider their particular “breakfast of champions.”

Here are five things you should know about your heart.


What It Takes To Become An Olympic Athlete

A Good Time To Relax

Israeli Company Grows New Bones From Patients’ Fat

Stop Using Ultrasound To Determine Sex Of Fetuses, Urge Doctors, Radiologists

Artificial Muscles Created At UBC Are 100 Times Stronger Than A Human’s: Study

New B.C. Research Lays The Groundwork For Personalized Cancer Treatment


Encouragement: Pass It On


In Diluting Measure to Ban Gay Marriage, Indiana Shows a Shift

Small Towns in Southwest Fear Loss of Cherished Train Line

Video: Meat and Potato Skillet Gratin


Butterflies Put On Dazzling Display Of Colour

Video: Protecting The Square

10 Most Popular Stories From Sochi


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.

NEW DICTIONARY:  We were asked to give this new online dictionary a try.  We already use Merriam-Webster and have that on our browser’s tool bar.  M-W is linked to a medical dictionary and an encyclopedia.  When we need to cite the source for a definition, etc., M-W also packs the gear.  That having been said, this new dictionary is great for everyday writing, editing and email correspondence.  It is simple, extremely user friendly and was obviously designed by people who use these tools themselves.  Yep, check it out here.

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.


The Space Needle, from the south shore of Lake Union in the Wallingford neighborhood.  Photo by Merritt Scott Miller.

The Space Needle, from the south shore of Lake Union in the Wallingford neighborhood. Photo by Merritt Scott Miller.


Each of us experiences a place differently, I think.  When I see a headline like the above, I’m going, “relative to what?”  My reality of Seattle is that it is a solar system of very caring communities orbiting around one of the most picturesque downtown cores of any city on the West Coast south of Vancouver, BC.  To me, there is in headlines like the above, as well, the implication that one cannot love causes and neighborhoods both.  In Seattle, most of our “causes” start at that level.  I nonetheless found this article very interesting.


Whether you’re a native or a visitor, if you’re as nuts for Mexican food as I am, you’ll want to know where to find the best and least expensive tacos.  Go here and try not to drool.  It’s not good for the keyboard.
















Photo courtesy of WSDOT


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




Here’s a chance to wrap yourself in total cute.  Watch: Fun-loving goats play on metal sheet(Video)

This is proof that if you like all creatures great and small, you can actually learn from some of them

This is the type of interspecies cooperation which suggests to me that human beings really do belong on this planet.  Fishing rope cut from endangered whale off US Georgia coast


The World Wildlife Fund’s monthly newsletter is a Northstar Five-Star Favourite.  To find out why, go here.

Check out the latest Great Backyard Bird Count and real some real cool articles on birds.  Yep, this is a Northstar Five-Star.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


This might be real handy to know.  ‘The Antarctic Book Of Cooking And Cleaning’: Nourishing Recipes From The Coldest Continent”

2013 Face shot with glasses  A FINAL WORD

Since several of you have asked, yes, the Northstar Journal is non-profit and entirely supported by its readership.  It costs about 25¢ (twenty-five cents) U.S. per reader to produce.  If you would like to toss a quarter in the can, please go here

If you are 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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