Proudly serving North America and the International Community

Sunday, March 23, 2014

2007 – 2014

No. 376

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  One of the things I’ve learned from life and certainly as a journalist is that tragedy has an unerring instinct for being relative.

This past week, a television news helicopter crashed, killing both occupants and critically injuring an occupant of a car the chopper landed on as it burst into flames.

The journalism community in Seattle is a small and non-competitive one.  As KING 5’s Joyce Taylor pointed out, there’s a very small turnover not only here but in the state in general.  Broadcast people in particular come for the lifestyle, often turning down positions in larger markets like New York, Chicago or Atlanta.

English cleric John Donne contended that what happened to a single individual “happened” to us all.  I happen to subscribe to that notion myself.  These two media people were good, decent people.  They were dedicated professionals who treated their viewers like family.

On a larger stage, they were good examples of what journalists and support staff can and should be.  They were good professional role models and you didn’t need to be from here to see and appreciate that.  These people would have been liked anywhere in the world where truth and gentility abide in the same pew.

They will certainly be missed.  They will never be forgotten.

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



This is the biggest travesty of justice I’ve seen in years.  General Is Reprimanded, but Spared Jail, in Misconduct Case

This may explain why it has been so difficult to identify wreckage that could be from Flight 370.  Rescue expert reveals challenges of search for possible MH370 debris

This actually explains a great deal too.  Cold Man in the Kremlin


AFRICA Nigerian Army Facing Questions as Death Toll Soars After Prison Attack
AUSTRALIA Rescue expert reveals challenges of search for possible MH370 debris

Queensland to introduce laws against fatal punches

Victoria urged to ditch law allowing shock therapy on children

CHINA China’s Rapid Growth Hits the Brakes
FRANCE Paris bans cars, makes transit free to fight air pollution
IRAN Iranian Ship, in Plain View but Shrouded in Mystery, Looks Very Familiar to U.S.

In Iran, Hopes Fade for Surge in the Economy

JAPAN Warily Leading Japan’s Nuclear Reawakening
SWITZERLAND Swiss Confront the Costs of Curbing Foreign Labor
UNITED KINGDOM Wave of Sexual Abuse Allegations for Private Boys’ Schools in Britain   

 British Budget Outlines Higher Growth and Help for Savers and Retirees

Britain Fines Former Credit Suisse Trader Over Bond Manipulation

UNITED STATES Navy SEALs board, take control of tanker used to make oil sale from militia-controlled port

In Poland, Biden Promises Allies Protection

TV News Helicopter Crashes in Seattle, Killing at Least Two

Budding Liberal Protest Movements Begin to Take Root in South

Toyota Is Fined $1.2 Billion for Concealing Safety Defects


Please, scientists: Tell us how you really feel about climate change

Two-thirds of Republicans think the media exaggerates climate change

White House gets geeky on climate problem


Leaked File Details U.S. Phone Monitoring Abroad

Revelations of N.S.A. Spying Cost U.S. Tech Companies


Syrian Government Forces Seize Town in a Deep Blow to Opposition

Israeli Strikes on Syrian Army Sites Raise Concern About Entanglement


Crimea Votes Overwhelmingly To Join Russia

Putin Reclaims Crimea For Russia And Bitterly Denounces The West

Dependence On Russia Is Likely To Leave Region’s Economy In A Precarious State

Integrity For What’s Left Of Ukraine

Ukraine Bows To Russia’s Crimea Annexation, Announces Plans For Mass Troop Withdrawals

Separatist Movement In Eastern Ukraine Loses Its Mojo


I could not help loving this.  Watch: Canadian doctor schools U.S. senator on health care

This is probably long overdue but I’m glad they’re doing it now.  Canada Explores G.M. Link to Accidents

This is also why Canadians believe in global warming.  Arctic shipping a balance of risk and reward

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:        Felina, I believe your attention is required at the front door.  There’s a Flowers R Us delivery snowcat chugging to a stop in the clearing.  And some humans in white fur are putting boxes on their backs.

Felina:     Ah then, very good.  My contest prize has arrived. 

Sam:        They liked your “Spring in a Box” slogan, then?  Hang on.  Apparently, six boxes worth.  Six very large boxes.  And just in time for spring, right?

Felina:     Quite so and absolutely.  Cesar Augustus had declared the date that all the flowers must show themselves and be counted.

Sam:        And all hail to this long dead Roman king.  And his census of flowers.

Felina:     Indulge me, mate of my three lifetimes.  It has been a long winter.

Sam:        And the meadow is still several paws deep in winter’s white mantle.

Felina:     Precisely, Samuel.

Sam:        It’s like, “Where have all my flowers gone?”

Felina:     Yes.

Sam:        That’s what’s in those boxes that those really athletic young humans are leaving on our front porch, isn’t it?  Spring in a Box.  And why there’s all those weird lights in the den.  Unless Arnie’s having problems with his one eye I have also not been told about.

Felina:     Arnold is fine, Dear.  He misses Spring too, my love.

Sam:        Our television set misses Spring.  And here all this time, I thought Arnold was really into all this abominable ice and snow.

Felina:     Well, actually, Arnold is a television for all seasons.

Sam:        He’s just partial to flowers, in any season.

Felina:     Oh Samuel, you do understand.

Sam:        Of course.  We probably have the only television set in history that also eats lox, bagels, pizza and salmon.  And lets you finish whatever this child of cathode ray tubes cannot.

Felina:     Precisely.

Sam:        Well, then bring on Spring in a Box..  And 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.


I don’t know of too many people who ride bicycles in the dark but for those who do, this sounds like another idea whose time has definitely arrived.  This bike glows in the dark when headlights hit it

It is definitely time for this one.  Inventor of World Wide Web calls for digital bill of rights to safeguard against surveillance


Tell Us: Will You Turn Off Your Lights March 29?

Every year, people, companies, buildings and cities around the world participate in Earth Hour by turning off their lights. This year millions of people, thousands of cities and hundreds of iconic buildings such as the EmpireStateBuilding and the Space Needle will participate by going dark for Earth Hour. With this simple act, we make a big statement: The world’s environmental issues don’t have to overwhelm us. We can tackle them, one hour at a time. Turn out your lights for Earth Hour on Saturday, March 29, at 8:30 pm and show your commitment to a better future. Sign up today to tell us you’re participating!


We’ve been watching this evolve and heartily approve.  Start-Ups Aim to Conquer Space Market

Scientists could clone the 34,000-year-old woolly mammoth  Okay, just one question?  Why would they want to do this again?

This will also help understand why Flight 370 has been so difficult to find, despite all the “eyes in the sky”.  ‘The Technology Is Out There,’ but Satellites Don’t Track Jets


Climate change could bring ancient moss back to life

Video: A Constellation of Satellites

Detection of Waves in Space Buttresses Landmark Theory of Big Bang


Bill Maher says you aren’t an environmentalist unless you care about overpopulation

Please, scientists: Tell us how you really feel about climate change

Two-thirds of Republicans think the media exaggerates climate change

White House gets geeky on climate problem


This week in health: Your body on weed, health care smackdowns, and more

Can’t remember when your tetanus shot is due? Now your Smartphone can

The science of sneezing apparently actually is one.


San Francisco’s Castro district is putting in rainbow crosswalks

Celebrity skiing: Sir Richard Branson indulges in B.C. heli-skiing (with video)

Surviving and Thriving in a One-Monitor World

Small Museums


Dolphins and orcas delight wildlife watchers in Vancouver and Squamish (with videos)

Photos: Top images from around the globe

Photos: Glorious spring arrives in Vancouver


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 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




Business Correspondence



Copy Writing


Feature Magazine Articles

Ghost Writing




Online Research





Song Lyrics

Special Projects


Travel Copy



Dolphins and orcas delight wildlife watchers in Vancouver and Squamish (with videos)

Behold the immortal jellyfish.

Check out’s cutest animal photos and yep, die of cute.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


This could be developed into a pretty scary movie, in my opinion.  Robot takes on top-ranked ping pong player


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 

We may be offline for a couple of weeks due to some technical difficulties at this end.  I can always be reached at 206-478-9254.

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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