Proudly serving North America and the International Community

Sunday, March 9, 2014

2007 – 2014

No. 374

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Seattle, Washington



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  As the fate of immigrants in America continues to ebb and flow, I offer this chapter of a novel in progress.  The setting is an American senator defending himself against charges of not being American enough.  Think just a little of “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.”

Yes, I will respond to my esteemed colleague, since I understand this issue has been raised in committee.

He is right.  I was not born in this country.  He is also correct in noting that my parents were not citizens of the nation in which I was born.

And as I am sure this esteemed body is aware, if that data is fed into a demographic computer, it could be used to support the contention that the immigrant population is not a stable one.  And the conclusions of that could be used to profile for ethnicity, religion, political party, etc.

Despite his being as powerful as I am small, I still do not think that is going to work for the senator.  And I’ll tell you why.

First of all, I may not have been born here but I am not stupid.  America is a land of little guys like me and mine.

As I look around this room of American senators, I see lots of people who weren’t born here or who were just a couple of generations back.  We continue to be a melting pot, anti immigration legislation notwithstanding.

I don’t define people by traditional lines but I do respect those other cultures who respect mine.

In my case, to paraphrase Benjamin Disraeli, while my esteemed colleague’s ancestors were eating lichen and mushrooms in some primeval forest, mine were having lox and bagels with the priests in the Temples of Solomon.  And on Dad’s side, my folks have been fishing since before Moses sailed down a river in Egypt in a wee reed boat.

I am the sum of two people, and all those who came before them.  They were good people and I am too.

Now, the senator can make a career out of hate.  He can get downright creative about it and he probably will. 

But it’s not going to change the most important thing.  He can call me anything he wants.  He can start another Holocaust.  And if the members of this august body allow him, he might possibly get away with it.

It certainly would not be unprecedented and America is no more invulnerable to that than any other nation has been, despite our conceits to the contrary.

I’m an American now and still from where I was born.  I’m also a member of the world community and that voice, too, will be heard.

In the end, if he persists, all the senator’s going to do is hurt a lot of people, including his own family.  He will most certainly lose his constituency because people in his state do not put up with this.  That’s what his hate’s going to buy him. 

And what is that most important thing my esteemed colleague and all his hate cannot change?  He cannot change who I am.  Even I could not do that and I will admit there are times when I have wished I could.

I don’t begrudge the senator his feelings.  Where I’m from, you don’t kick a man when he’s down.  And you don’t judge a man’s soul because that’s not up to you, it’s up to God.  I suspect God probably does a lot better job of it than any of us, then, eh?

If this august body does not want me here, it better tell me real tell me real soon.  If it does, then please protect me from esteemed colleagues like this one.

Thank you, Gentlemen.  I now call for the vote

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



If you really want to understand what is going on in the Ukraine, go here.

Apparently viruses can survive 30,000 years in the permafrost.  A giant one was discovered in Siberia recently.  Scientists say that if this one could live under those conditions, a host of others ~ including those harmful to prehistoric humans and to us, their descendants ~ could, as well.  For more, please go here.

We hope this works.  EU’s 28 Leaders To Decide On Sanctions Against Russia Over Ukraine Conflict


AFRICA U.S. Takes Training Role In Africa As Threats Grow And Budgets Shrink Tunisian President Decrees End To State Of Emergency In Place Since January 2011 Revolution

Niger Extradites A Son Of Qaddafi To Libya, Saying He Didn’t ‘Stay Quiet’

AUSTRALIA Thunderstorms Produce Fantastic Skies Over SydneyCyclones To Bring Heavy Rain To North Queensland

Sculpture At Sawmillers Opens On Sydney Foreshore

Lack Of Women In Parliament Impacts On Major Women’s Issues: Commissioner

CHINA China Calls Stabbing Rampage At Rail Station A Terrorist Act Train Station Rampage Further Strains Ethnic Relations In China

Families Left Vulnerable In China’s Housing Market, Study Finds

1 Dead, 12 Missing Following Blast At Chinese Chemical Plant That Makes Explosives

EUROPEAN UNION An E.U. Plan That Could Work For Cameron EU’s 28 Leaders To Decide On Sanctions Against Russia Over Ukraine Conflict
INDIA World’s Biggest Arms Importer, India Wants To Buy Local
JAPAN Obama, Japanese PM Discuss Ukraine, Call Russian’s Actions A Threat To International Peace
LATIN AMERICA The Macho Cops Of Honduras
PAKISTAN Taliban Move Brings Halt To Airstrikes In Pakistan
RUSSIA For Russian TV Channels, Influence And Criticism Russia’s Move Into Ukraine Said To Be Born In Shadows

Why Russia Can’t Afford Another Cold War

Why The Crimea Matters So Much To Russia

UNITED STATES Hundreds Arrested At Anti-Keystone March At White HouseHolder And Republicans Unite To Soften Sentencing Laws

Suicidal Tendencies Are Evident Before Deployment, Study Finds

U.S. Job Gains Likely To Allay Anxiety After A Dismal 2 Months

California Town Scrambles To Save Its Water Supply

As General’s Sex Assault Trial Opens, Accuser Says She Was Bullied


El Niño Returns?

Current Events: Antarctic Climate Change Is Messing With The Motion Of The Ocean

America Could Soon Face More Days Of Extreme Rainfall

California Town Scrambles to Save Its Water Supply


C.I.A. Employees Face New Inquiry Amid Clashes on Detention Program


Ukraine In Maps

Ukraine Turns To Its Oligarchs For Political Help

At U.N., Russia Points To Ultranationalist Threats In Ukraine

Top Russians Face Sanctions By U.S. For Crimea Crisis

As Obama And Netanyahu Meet, Ukraine Becomes A Focus Of Conversation

The Myth Of A Divided Ukraine

As Prime Russian Trading Partner, Germany Appears Crucial To Ending Crisis

Markets Fall As Impasse In Ukraine Intensifies

World Markets Bounce Back On Hopes Ukraine Tensions Will Ease

In Kiev, Kerry Takes Russia To Task And Pledges Aid Package

A Rational Response To Ukraine’s Crisis

White House Slaps Visa Restrictions On Russian Foes Of Kyiv Gov’t In Reaction To Crisis

Canada To Send Observers To International Ukraine Mission For Crimea

Senior U.N. Envoy Threatened At Gunpoint In Crimea

U.S. Seeks To Reduce Ukraine’s Reliance On Russia For Natural Gas

Crimea Approves A Secession Vote As Tensions Rise

For First Time, Kremlin Signals It Is Prepared To Annex Crimea

Obama, Japanese Pm Discuss Ukraine, Call Russian’s Actions A Threat To International Peace

U.S. Declares Crimea Referendum Illegal, Imposes Visa Restrictions, Sanctions

Paris talks on Ukraine end with promises of more dialogue


This is absolutely outrageous.  Former Mountie, minor hockey coach charged with sexually assaulting 8 boys in 3 provinces

Supreme Court upholds sexual assault conviction in condom sabotage case  Outstanding!

Our prayers are with all those onboard.  Malaysia Airlines loses contact with plane carrying 239 people, including 2 Canadians


Ukraine Faces Tories With Unprecedented Foreign Policy Challenge

Medical Pot Too Popular For Feds To Handle

In His First 100 Days, Montreal Mayor Surprises

Hillary Clinton Talks Ukraine, Women’s Rights In Vancouver Appearance

Vancouver Police Department to feds: We won’t enforce new pot law

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, would you mind joining Arnold and I in the den?  I am sorely vexed.

Sam:        Gimme just a sec, Sweetheart.  I’m polishing off the last of the sacrificial salmon.

Felina:     Arnold says he would not mind so much if you brought him some too.

Sam:        Not a problem.  And what our television set doesn’t eat, you’ll finish, just to be tidy and stuff.

Felina:     Quite so.  You know me so well, mate of my three lifetimes.

Sam:        Oookay.  Fixing a bagel with lox for a 30 year old television set named Arnie.

Felina:     Arnold, Dear.

Sam:        Yeah, him too.  And sauntering down the cave to the entertainment center and sitting down next to the most beautiful cougar in all of creation.

Felina:     Our respective mothers excepted, of course.

Sam:        Maggie Mountainlion and Felina Concolouris Elizabeth Regina, respectively.

Felina:     You are so handsome when you roll those names off your golden tongue.  It almost makes me forget I mated the most rapacious rogue in all of Christendom and the Cat World.

Sam:        I’m that good?

Felina:     You are a force with which to be reckoned, my handsome rapscallion.

Sam:        Cool.  Be nice if I understood both halves of what you just said but I can live with the fifty percent I did get.  However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Abbott and Hardy of Digression.  And the Laurel and Costello of the smooth segue.

Sam:        We have GOT to stop hiring relatives to check our scripts, Felina.

Felina:     In a more perfect world, my love, we could afford more than nepotism.  But at least there is an organic necessity for it sometimes.  This that Arnold and I are watching, makes no sense to me.  What in the world is “immigration reform”?

Sam:        It’s the herd mentality in action, Sweetheart.  The big herd in America is afraid of the other herds who want to come here and graze.

Felina:     When there is more than enough grass for everyone if everyone filled only their own stomach, that behaviour is utter nonsense.

Sam:        And then there’s the genetic guilt theory.

Felina:     Which suggests?

Sam:        These present herds weren’t the first here.  They came upon herds that had been here for thousands of years, living mostly in harmony, and certainly as one with the land.

Felina:     And in school, we learned that the new herds essentially destroyed the older ones, took their land, robbed the soil of its very soul and then moved westward, for new pastures to pillage and burn, figuratively speaking.

Sam:        That’s pretty much what happened, Lass.  Literally and figuratively.

Felina:     Somebody should give them a big spanking.  And they just better get over themselves because it does not look like these new herds will stop coming.  Perhaps it is time to strike for a better peace than has been made in the past.

Sam:        Before all the grass is gone.

Felina:     Yes, Samuel, before all the grass is gone.

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.


These are the US Senators in my Congressional delegation and I am very, very proud of both of them.  The power team of Cantwell and Murray

I think it is so cool when a large corporation does something like this.  Comcast Indefinitely Extends Low-Cost Broadband for Poor Families

This is one of the reasons I’m such a fan of hers.  Cantwell wants old tanker cars out fast


Beaverton, Oregon Now Runs All Of Its Municipal Operations On Wind Generated Electricity.

Teenage Defender of First Nations Rights Becomes Literal Superhero

Meet the Ambassadors from Canada’s Indigenous Fossil Fuel Resistance


As long as this flickers anywhere on the planet, from Bogalusa to Bangkok to Biafra, this will happen.  Rise in Bigotry Fuels Massacre inside Myanmar.

This cannot possibly bode well for a new generation.  Young Using E-Cigarettes Smoke Too, Study Finds


I’m kind of surprised this wasn’t tried sooner.  Drought-plagued California tries to drink the ocean (hold the salt)

This should be interesting to followIron Maiden singer will fly around the world in a giant hybrid airship

I found this absolutely fascinating and I hope our readers in the UK take it in.  Rethinking the Vikings: New exhibit seeks to flesh out the raiders who redrew the map of the ancient world


The Rolling Robot Will Connect You Now

Video: Wearables: Beyond The Wrist

Photos: Wonders Of Wood — Winners Of The 2014 Wood Design Awards

Foreign Influx Gives Annual Tech Event An International Flavor

Remember That Famous Study About Obedience To Authority? Here’s How Stanley Milgram Got It Wrong

Discipline With Dignity: Oakland Classrooms Try Healing Instead of Punishment


Okay, gang.  How much do you know about immigration to the United States?

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.


Living without plastic tests Victoria woman

How to make natural gas more climate-friendly

New York could turn its trash into giant floating compost islands

Here’s what to do with all that extra CO2 you’ve got hanging around


Here’s good news for millions around the world.  Rare Gene Found to Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes

Here are five things you should know about your liver

There is an old principle in nature which certainly seems to apply in this case.  No matter how high you fly, you still have to land.   Study links teen energy drink use to depression, addiction


Is a high-protein diet really as bad as smoking?

Older fathers linked with many psychiatric troubles in kids

Mighty mushrooms — Mushrooms boast levels of heart-healthy potassium on par with a banana. 


The Irish Tenors Isle Of Hope Isle Of Tears Ellis Island – YouTube


Missions Signal A Growing Role For Mormon Women

Troubles At Women’s Prison Test Alabama

Deal Would Allow Gays To March In Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Cities Mobilize To Help Those Who Resist Gentrification

Cabin Fever: Are Tiny Houses The New American Dream?

It’s Official: People Around The World Really Are Eating More And More Alike

Perfecting The Potato Roll: Recipe From My Irish Table

Video: Curtain Call | Paris Fashion Week

It’s Unclearly Defined, but Telecommuting Is Fast on the Rise

The Radical Homemaker Turns 40


Photos: Top images from around the globe — View the best photographs from hot spots around the world. 

Thunderstorms Produce Fantastic Skies Over Sydney

Video: As Chic as Paris

Video: This Week’s Movies: March 7, 2014


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.




Well, that mammoth tusk uncovered during construction excavation downtown recently is getting its day in the sun.  Check it out here.


As anyone who has lived on this side of the mountains knows, the Skagit River floods out several times a year, regardless of how wet the rest of the state has been.  The Washington Department of Transportation(WSDOT) has come up with a unique way to mitigate this recurrent “natural” disaster.  Yep, for more, please go here.
















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





These big hams have obviously seen a certain Coca Cola commercial.  Polar bears near Churchill, Manitoba pose for Google’s Street View

Here are words definitely to live by.  Please don’t knit a sweater for a penguin

If you take your wildlife as seriously as we do here, this site will absolutely make your day.  It has links to “critter cams” all over the world.  Our thanks to Wildlife Travel magazine, to whose newsletter we just subscribed.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


South Korea wants to put endangered species in gigantic bubbles 


The Northstar Journal is non-profit and entirely supported by its readership.  If you would like to contribute, 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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