Proudly serving North America and the International Community

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2007 – 2014

No. 373

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Seattle, Washington

Uncle Sam mad


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  At this writing, the situation in the Ukraine remains ominously uncertain.  The Northstar Journal supports the Black Sea Co-Op and we have several friends in that deeply troubled nation from which we have not heard in almost a month now.

At times like these it is hard not to wonder if history will not repeat itself.  The global economy is still uncertain.  It is questionable whether we are winning the war on terror.  Neither Russia nor the United States is internally stable and America is, in fact, scaling back the size of its military.

What becomes of nations like the Ukraine, struggling to decide its own fate, as many of us believe it is the right of individuals, communities and nations to do?  And what can we or should we do to help them?

As limited as the resources of this publication are, we have written our friends in the Ukraine, letting them know that if it becomes necessary, we will help them find sanctuary in Canada or the States.  We are small but I suspect we are not alone in these regards.

I quite frankly also pray that both Russia and the United States miraculously find themselves deciding that with all the other problems to be solved and issues to be resolved, they will let these people alone and for once, stay out of it.

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



Apparently parents are getting the message.  In the last decade, obesity has dropped 43 percent among American kids aged three to five.  Yep, for details, please go here.

In what is another victory of humanity over fear and prejudice, Washington state’s Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law one of two similar bills extending educational benefits to students living here “illegally” (as defined by federal statute).  California, New Mexico and Texas have all enacted similar legislation.  For more, please go here.

Considering how important these little dudes (and dudettes) are to the planet, we think this is an excellent use of tax dollars.  Feds will help honeybees find food


AFGHANISTAN Warlords With Dark Pasts Battle in Afghan Election
AFRICA Islamist Militants Blamed for Deadly College Attack in Nigeria
AUSTRALIA Ministers To Hold Monthly Talks With PNG Over Refugees

Thousands Gear Up For Clean Up Australia Day

Parade Marks End Of Active Involvement In Afghanistan Conflict

BANGLADESH First Companies Give to Fund for Victims of Bangladeshi Factory Collapse
CHINA Many In China Can Now Have A Second Child, But Say No

As Rest Of Economy Weakens, Chinese Exports Surge

A Guy In China Is Trying To Sue The Government Over The Terrible Smog

EGYPT In Surprise Announcement, Egypt’s Interim Prime Minister Says His Government Has Resigned
EUROPEAN UNION European Union Approves Tough Rules on Electronic Cigarettes
LATIN AMERICA Venezuela Is Divided Even on Its Death Toll

Venezuela Accuses Intelligence Officers of Murdering 2

Slum Dwellers in Caracas Ask, What Protests?

RUSSIA Hundreds Who Protest Sentencing in Moscow Are Detained
TURKEY Turks Are Glued to a Sensational Drama, This One Political

Turkish Leader Disowns Trials That Helped Him Tame Military

UNITED STATES Hagel To Propose Cutting Army To Smallest In Decades As Part Of 2015 Budget Plan

Holder Sees Way to Curb Bans on Gay Marriage

Arizona’s Governor Vetoes Bill on Denying Service to Gays


Watch the Arctic’s Oldest Ice Melt Away

Carbon dioxide pollution just killed 10 million scallops


Ukraine’s interim authorities issue arrest warrant for missing president, reportedly in Crimea

Russia’s Prime Minister Medvedev questions legitimacy of new Ukrainian authorities

Ukraine Parliament Moves Swiftly to Dismantle President’s Government

How It All Began: A Cold War Battle Heats Up

Acting Officials in Ukraine Seek Stability and Ousted Leader

Fresh From Prison, a Former Prime Minister Returns to the Political Stage

Kremlin Says Ukrainian Instability Threatens Russian Interests

Putin orders massive military exercises amid tensions over Ukraine

Baird to lead Canadian mission to help Ukraine tilt toward West

As Putin Orders Drills in Crimea, Protesters’ Clash Shows Region’s Divide

Russian parliament allows Putin to use military in Ukraine

With Military Moves Seen in Ukraine, Obama Warns Russia


Once again, we proved we are the best hockey players on the planet.  Canadians worldwide take in Olympic men’s hockey gold medal win over Sweden

Why does this keep happening?  Crews work to clean up diesel fuel after CN derailment in Montreal

We are not a fan of these folks.  We did not like them in California.  We did not like them in Oregon.  And certainly after four of them stomped a man to death in front of his son in BC, we do not like them.  So this is good news because it means the Crown has decided they don’t like them either.  Hells Angels selling assets before they’re seized


Authors Of Roadside Guide Say B.C.’S Landscape Can Be Read Like A Book

Arctic Nations Meet As Melting Sea Ice Opens New Fishing Frontiers

After G20 Summit, Flaherty Vows Action On Unemployment

Judge Slams Bank For Firing Employee

Vancouver’s Switch To Low-Carbon Utilities Will Likely Cost Taxpayers

The Future Of Tim Hortons Revealed

Ottawa Says Cdns In Ukraine’s Crimea Region Should Leave While Still Can

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:        Sweetheart, it’s time to come to bed.  You can’t stay up forever waiting.

Felina:     Someone must, Samuel, and it seems there are so few of us.

Sam:        Lass, this might be one of our shortest performances on record.

Felina:     Samuel Alexander, mate of my three lifetimes, if the Ukraine becomes a meal for either the bear or the eagle, I doubt very seriously whether I will be much in the mood to communicate to this species, in any form.

Sam:        I understand that, Felina.  It was not easy during Kosovo or the Nisqually Quake.

Felina:     If this happens, perhaps humans will ask why we took our stand on this. 

Sam:        I know why I have.  You’ve cared about this species in spite of themselves for some while now.  You’ve appealed to the Divine on their behalf and you’ve done half an online vaudeville act for several years now.

Felina:     And yet…

Sam:        Felina, I love you more than life itself but there is a time when caring too much is not good.  And perhaps not so healthy for those who care but not quite enough.

Felina:     The Ukraine must survive, Samuel.

Sam:        Trust this errant species one more time, Felina.  And yes, if the Ukraine does not survive, we have nothing more to say.  But in the meantime…

Felina:     Quite so, mate mine.  Keep reminding them and pray to the Creator.

Sam:        Then on that note, 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.


To me, this is as much about political integrity as it is the enfranchisement of gays.  Arizona’s Governor Vetoes Bill on Denying Service to Gays

And in the same vein, Holder Sees Way to Curb Bans on Gay Marriage

This is another of those stand up and cheer stories.  Fight The Funk: This Woman’s Fight Against Garbage Fumes Became A National Crusade


At the moment, I can think of no worse example than what Russia is doing where this particular bear clearly does not belong.


Okay, this is weird.  WHAT Was Found On Mummies’ Necks?

Is this, in fact, Evidence Of Life On Mars?

United States Navy Boot Camp in San Diego, California was not like this.  WATCH: Gladiator School Unearthed, Recreated


Buy this gizmo, and you’ll only ever need one candle for the rest of your life

WATCH: Physicist Proposes Peculiar Plan To Protect ‘Tornado Alley’

Medieval Discovery May Help Solve Long-Forgotten Mystery


Okay, gang.  How much do you know about food?

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.


Fight The Funk: This Woman’s Fight Against Garbage Fumes Became A National Crusade

Recycled Plastic Doodads Make Instant Divided Bike Lanes

Carbon Dioxide Pollution Just Killed 10 Million Scallops


Here’s a question I haven’t asked myself in some while.  But I won’t deny that I haven’t wondered, as I look at the world around me.  Do Hellish Beliefs Bring Psychological Harm?

Cabbage is not one of my favourite food groups but I have eaten it, prepared by a woman who was also an eloquent liar and probably the best meal makeup artist in the business.  Ingredient of the week: Cabbage

This will probably be validation for some of us and a guilt trip for some others.  It was a bit of both for me.  What Healthy Diets Have in Common


Highway To Heaven — The Last Assignment


Bicycle pizza cutter lets you bring your love of bikes to the table

Why Women’s Stories Matter

13 Ways Europe Does Food Safer, Cleaner, and Kinder

Threat of rain fails to dampen Mardi Gras celebrations


Watch the Arctic’s Oldest Ice Melt Away

Questions No One Knows the Answers To

NASA’s Planet-Hunting Kepler Spacecraft – A Gift That Keeps On Giving


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.


big bertha from Oregonian


In this whimsical scenario set in Seattle in 2019, Bertha is the feature exhibit in a museum dedicated to the foolishness of this majour waterfront project.  It is satire at its most sublime and if you are as frustrated as many of us are about this, it will definitely provide a much needed laugh or several.  Yep, for more, please go here.


And as one might suspect, they are not taking it well.  KING 5 has this story.
















Photo courtesy of WSDOT

Photo courtesy of Canadian Forces Command


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 amazon.com 




Business Correspondence



Copy Writing


Feature Magazine Articles

Ghost Writing




Online Research





Song Lyrics

Special Projects


Travel Copy





Here’s good news.  Oregon’s wolf population continues recovery

Here’s another reason to love cats.  What Calico Cats Can Teach Us About Obesity

Well, now that I know this, I feel a lot better.  Turns Out There’s A Good Reason Goats Smell So Bad


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


5 Weird Facts About the Oscars


The Northstar Journal is non-profit and entirely supported by its readership.  To express your appreciation with a dollar for the sugar 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 minstrel312@aol.com 

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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