Proudly serving North America and the International Community

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2007 – 2014

No. 375

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

Seattle, Washington


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  In the United States alone, there are 43 million people of Irish ancestry.  Australia and Canada certainly have their share, as well.  Perhaps no other nationality in Europe has influenced history more than the transplanted sons and daughters of the shamrock.

There is, therefore, little or nothing I can add that is not already known, except perhaps this.

One of the most popular songs on St. Patrick’s Day is “Wearin’ of the Green”.  Read the lyrics and take them literally.  And remember that as savage and as brutal as her repression was, Erin was hardly alone in these regards.

I’m half Irish and I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a day of remembrance for all those nations who so valued freedom that they fought until they either got it or could fight no more.

With that in mind, then:

Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?
The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!
No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen
For there’s a cruel law ag’in the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”
I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand
And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”
“She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen
For they’re hanging men and women there for the Wearin’ o’ the Green.”
“So if the color we must wear be England’s cruel red
Let it remind us of the blood that Irishmen have shed
And pull the shamrock from your hat, and throw it on the sod
But never fear, ’twill take root there, though underfoot ’tis trod.
When laws can stop the blades of grass from growin’ as they grow
And when the leaves in summer-time their color dare not show
Then I will change the color too I wear in my caubeen
But till that day, please God, I’ll stick to the Wearin’ o’ the Green.

And for your listening and viewing pleasure and Courtesy of Edison Records, we proudly present Ms Marie Naelle.

Thanks for the ear once again and have a good week, gang.



This could well be the economic and environmental salvation of Europe.  And anyone else who emulates it. Tech Incubators Focus on Keeping Europe Green

Bison who leave the grounds of Yellowstone National Park will no longer be subject to slaughter, the Montana State Supreme Court decided last week.  For more on this landmark victory for compassionate wildlife management, please go here.

I personally think this is a good idea.  Billionaires with big ideas are funding American science in the wake of dramatic government cutbacks of support of same.


AFGHANISTAN 2 Star-Crossed Afghans Cling to Love, Even at Risk of Death

Warlord Who Tamped Conflicts as Afghan Vice President Dies

Reflecting on wins, losses as Canadian troops prepare for Afghan pullout

Canadian military involvement in Afghanistan formally ends; army set to leave

AFRICA Nigerians Ask Why Oil Funds Are Missing

Islamist Militants Carry Out Deadly Raid on Nigerian Prison

AUSTRALIA HMAS Melbourne crew welcomed home after Middle East deployment

Tony Abbott not telling the full story on Alcoa and the carbon tax

Drone fleet to be based in Adelaide

BANGLADESH Safety Flaws Found in New Inspections of Factories in Bangladesh
CHINA China’s Disturbing Defense Budget
FRANCE High Levels of Pollution Spur Paris to Action
HONG KONG Hong Kong’s Shaky Democratic Future
INDIA Indian court confirms death sentence against four men in fatal gang rape
INTERNATIONAL International Bus Driver Appreciation Day is March 18, 2014
JAPAN After Fukushima, Utilities Prepare for Worst

Video: Lessons From Fukushima

LUXEMBOURG Out of the Shadows, a Tech Hub in Luxembourg
MYANMAR Ban on Doctors’ Group Imperils Myanmar Sect

For Myanmar Muslim Minority, No Escape From Brutality

UNITED STATES Little-Known Health Act Fact: Prison Inmates Are Signing Up

Use Of Public Transit In U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Report

Lac-Mégantic Mayor Demands U.S. Action On Oil Train Safety

Americans’ Support For Keystone Falling, Poll Finds

In 2 East Harlem Buildings Leveled By Explosion, Lives Entwined As In Bygone Era

Fracking Halted At Ohio Site Following Earthquakes

U.S. Inches Towards Canadian Values, But Big Gaps Remain


These artists will take you on a journey to the melting Arctic

Gold-medal skier Ted Ligety raps with a snowflake to save winter

Americans respond to climate change by yawning at it, poll finds

What these historical kings and marauders can teach our leaders about climate change


When There Is Something to Report Besides Speculation, We Will


Daunting Tests Await Admiral Named N.S.A. Chief

Snowden Urges Tech Industry to Protect Customers

N.S.A. Nominee Warns Cyberthreats Will Only Increase

Feinstein Publicly Accuses C.I.A. of Spying on Congress

Gillian Shaw: Cyberwarfare expert cancels Vancouver talk over fear of abetting terrorists


Report Cites ‘Devastating Toll’ on Health of Syria’s Children


A Kiev Question: What Became of the Missing?

Why Poland Cares So Much About Ukraine

Night train to Sevastopol, crossing enemy lines into Crimea

Canadian Immigration Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Promise Ukraine’s Jews They Will Not Be Abandoned

Russian Oligarchs Fear Economic Casualties if Ukraine Crisis Escalates

Ukraine’s Ousted Leader Urges Military to Resist New Government

Russia rejects claims that Ukraine facing threat of ‘full-scale invasion’

Ukraine’s Interim Leader Seeks Aid in Washington

Leading Ukraine, a Technocrat Encircled by Problems

On Ukraine, Merkel Finds Limits of Her Rapport With Putin

Russia Massing Military Forces Near Border With Ukraine

In Ukraine, Many See Polish Economy as a Blueprint

Ukrainian Billionaire Arrested in Austria

Video: Crimean Tatars Face Uncertain Future

Mood in Crimea darkens after Russia announces snap military exercises


I do not think I have ever been prouder of Canada than I am now.  Immigration and Foreign Affiars Ministers Promise Ukraine’s Jews Will Not Be Abandoned

It’s that time of year in Vancouver again.  Meet the wild neighbours: Critters causing urban uproar in Metro Vancouver

II live in Seattle but I can still get three Canadian channels on broadcast television (BTV)  At present, that’s less than five percent of the BVT spectrum here and about 15% of my viewing.  So I have no problem with the idea of having 35% Canadian content from which to choose.  Canada Challenges Erotic TV on Level of Domestic Content


Women’s Day In Canada: Much To Celebrate, Much More Work To Do

The Half-Million Dollar Club: See Who Ranks On The Public Sector’s Highest-Paid List

Survivors Of Childhood Cancer Call For Specialized B.C. Treatment Centre

Harper Announces Free Trade Agreement With South Korea

Reflecting On Wins, Losses As Canadian Troops Prepare For Afghan Pullout

Canada A Player In Project To Track Airliners By Satellite

Officers Move To Restrict Montreal Protest Against Police Brutality

Bulk Carrier Runs Aground Off Newfoundland, All 23 People Rescued

First Nations On Quebec Sovereignty Debate: We Decide Our Own Future

Operations Resume At Halifax Port After Short-Lived Radiation Scare

Cylinders Carrying Radioactive Material Dropped At Port, No Leak Detected

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:        Okay, little dude, what are you doing here and why are you dressed like that?

Felina:     Oh Samuel, it is quite all right.  This is Conar the Chipmunk From County Clare.

Sam:        Ummm, ooo-kay.  And his mom dressed him like that?

Felina:     Samuel, be nice.

Sam:        I’m sorry, Felina, he looks like he ate a Leprechaun and then stole the little elf’s clothes. 

Felina:     I will concede that he is not a fashion plate by our standards.

Sam:        But why do I have this feeling that where he’s from, especially among the other chipmunks from CountyClare, this is probably all the rage?

Felina:     Quite so.  You are very astute, my carling.  In Erin, our guest is actually the epitome of suavity and sophistication.

Sam:        How come the little pipsqueak can’t speak for himself then?  Not that I’d necessarily believe a word he said.

Felina:     He speaks only Irish.  He understands several languages but his tongue knows only the one.

Sam:        Irish Chipmunk.

Felina:     Yes, mate of my three lifetimes.

Sam:        That would also explain the bowl of green acorn mush, sunflower seeds and horse chestnuts on the kitchen table then.

Felina:     Yes, my dearest one.

Sam:        So he’s here to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with us? 

Felina:     Yes, Samuel.

Sam:        This little stripey faced rodent in elf clothes, who cannot speak English Chipmunk.  How, exactly, is this going to enhance the party?

Felina:     He is a fantastic dancer.  And his voice is like a lark’s song, Samuel.  When he sings, my heart soars to Ireland.

Sam:        Felina, your family has been Canadian since Hudson’s Bay.

Felina:     But my heart belongs to Ireland, my love.

Sam:        At least on St. Patrick’s Day.

Felina:     Yes, darling.  And the rest of the year it belongs to you.

Sam:        Well, when you look at it that way, maybe we should all belong to someplace else, once a year.

Felina:     Indeed and what a marvelous idea, my clever and rapacious rapscallion.

Sam:       I have no idea what half that meant but it sounded nice so thank you very much.

Felina:     It means I think you are so studly I cannot see straight sometimes

Sam:       I’m that good, huh?

Felina:     Good eats your dust and even The Best cannot keep up with you.  You are Felis Fantasticus.

Sam:        Well, that made the whole cave spin.  And so on that note, Felina?

Felina:     On that note, Gentle Readers, from Samuel, myself and Conar the Chipmunk From County Clare, Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  Until next week, then, may the wind be always at your back and the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.

chipmunk leprechaun


This had to have taken a lot of guts.  New Colorado State Prisons Director Spends 20 Hours in Solitary

This is good news.  More Americans ride public transit

Finest kind to Canada’s “thin red line”.  RCMP dog handler carries lost man on his back to safety


Seattle City Council urges stop to oil train permits

Un till: An Iowa farmer finds that less (plow) is more (profit)

This Couple’s Love Story Is One For The Ages


This is sooo far beyond stupid.  U.S. Agrees to Allow BP Back Into Gulf Waters to Seek Oil

Good luck selling this one to the world.  U.S., Rebuffing U.N., Maintains Stance That Rights Treaty Does Not Apply Abroad

This absolutely must change.  Why Black Women Die of Cancer


It’s called “Dropcam” and apparently it is a way to communicate with one’s pet by remote control.  I hope it works.  If I was a dog and heard my “masters voices” coming out of something that looked like a rock, I would lift my leg and run away.  If I was a cat, I would not come within nine lives of one of it.  In my opinion, this is a sophisticated surveillance device more appropriate the nursery, the classroom or the penal system.  Check it out for yourself.   Video: You Talking to Me?

Milk lovers of the world, rejoice.  Dairy tale: New tech could turn small farms into the land of milk and money

We knew this was coming and we are delighted to see it.  Dutch architects use 3D printer to build Amsterdam canal house


Rare Diamond Reveals Earth’s Interior is All Wet

450-Million-Year-Old Marine Creatures ‘Babysat’ Their Young

Mini Arctic T. Rex Relative Discovered

New Clues to How Native Americans Colonized Americas


Live From Space Is Reality TV At Its Best

Planned Probe To Become Fastest Spacecraft Ever

Sex In Space? It’s Complicated

After Looong Stint In Space, ISS Crew Returns Home


Here’s A Way To Prevent Gas Explosions And Help The Climate Too

New Robot Fish Swims Like the Real Thing

Why Your iPhone’s Battery Life May Be Worse Than Normal

Canadian Kids Can Navigate A Tablet Before They Can Tie Their Laces: Report


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

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.


Video: Lessons From Fukushima

Use Of Public Transit In U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Report

House Republicans Just Passed A Good Environmental Bill, Believe It Or Not

Thanks To These Sweet Posters, Green Habits Have Never Looked Cooler

Seattle City Council Urges Stop To Oil Train Permits

Why Green Change Is Hard: Lessons From The Front Lines Of Marriage Equality


Since we devour this stuff by the fin and gill, we thought this was pretty cool.  Fish can be fast, healthy and delicious

This comes as very good news to millions.  FDA approves first medical device to prevent migraines  See also:

Health Canada is definitely on top of this one.  Testosterone use growing amid new safety concerns


Many get it wrong when it comes to tooth-brushing technique

B.C. NDP backs call for cancer survivor clinic

Are You Orderly? Imaginative? How Personality Affects Health


‘Spirit of America’


Savouring cinnamon — Recipes for Cinnamon Biscuits with Honey and Currants, Tomatoey Braised Lamb Shanks

To Keep Teenagers Alert, Schools Let Them Sleep In

Should You Live In A Tiny House?

A Happy Life or a Meaningful One—Do We Really Need to Choose?

The Best (and Worst!) Words to Put on Your Resume


Toronto’s Fashion Week to preview new cool-weather styles for fall and winter

Video: Crimean Tatars Face Uncertain Future

Video: This Week’s Movies: March 14, 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.


Photo by Matthew Brown – Associated Press

Photo by Matthew Brown – Associated Press


People living in Seattle don’t want oil trains coming through town.  That’s the message sent this week by the City Council.  Spokane and Bellingham passed a similar resolution urging Governor Jay to stop issuing permits that permit this.  Nice going guys.  With a March monsoon and Bertha still stuck, a derailed oil train would just about cap the flipping madness.  Yep, for more, go here.


International Bus Driver Appreciation Day is Tuesday, March 18.  For an opportunity to praise these mostly unsung heroes and heroines of mass transit, please go here.




Photo courtesy of Canadian Forces Command

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






We totally enjoyed this one.  Meet the wild neighbours: Critters causing urban uproar in Metro Vancouver

And sort of in the same vein, all of us wildlife watchers are going to love this.  Map shows wide range of wolves in Washington

This is a great animal rescue story.  Tangled up in garbage, sea lions rescued near Vancouver


Watch A Pangolin Play In The Mud Like A Puppy

‘Hundreds’ Of Dolphins Play In Wake Of West Vancouver Search And Rescue Boat (With Video)

New Robot Fish Swims Like the Real Thing


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s monthly newsletter this month is fascinating.  One of the articles I especially enjoyed was how global warming is shifting the range of different species.

This month’s Great Backyard Bird Count newsletter features a global map of species distribution, photo contest winners, an article on how climate change affects distribution and an excellent essay on why counting birds is important.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


I thought this was a little extreme.  Chicago River Dyed Green For St. Patrick’s Day.

2013 Face shot with glasses  A FINAL WORD

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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