Proudly serving North America and the International Community

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2007 – 2014

No. 377

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor

oso mudslide


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, last week it was the death by helicopter crash of a beloved television photographer and his pilot. This week, it is a mudslide which so far has claimed 18 and national attention.

When this first happened, on March 22, I was afraid it would unleash the Hounds of Mediaville which feed their readership’s appetite for hate by looking for scapegoats, straw dogs and other profound symbols of blame, packaging this garbage as journalism to be eagerly consumed by the metric flipping ton.

In the Pacific Northwest, we do not do that and it has not been done, for the most part. We are doing what we do. And what is that, exactly? First, we gather our information from several sources. Second, we suspend our cynicism and watch how people involved in such disasters handle themselves. Third, we familiarize ourselves with disaster mitigation and relief and when those steps are also being taken, as they are in the Oso Mudslide, we let our readers know that too.

We also reflect on that trait in some natures which compels those who know the risks involved to gamble. For 18 people in the North American Cascade Mountains, the hillside finally paid off. As tragic as that is, it certainly did not start with the people of Oso, Washington.

Our hearts go out to all those impacted. And most certainly, our prayers.


We were not surprised to learn this. When you’ve got very little, sometimes your vices are all you have, regardless of how self-destructive those might be. Smoking Proves Hard to Shake Among the Poor

Which airport in North America has ~ for the fifth consecutive year ~ been ranked the best on the continent by Skytrax World Airports Award? The answer just might surprise you.

General Motors has expanded its recall of vehicles with faulty ignition systems by another 971,000 world-wide and 824,000 in the United States.


AFGHANISTAN Credibility Of Afghan Vote In Doubt As Observers Flee Violence

Taliban Attack Election Panel Headquarters Before Afghan Voting

AFRICA Rwanda Reaches For New Economic Model
AUSTRALIA Australia’s Guantánamo Problem

Andrews Announces $115m Extension To Homelessness Agreement

Airborne With The Raaf In The Search For Flight Mh370 Australian Lawyer Representing Asylum Seekers Forced To Leave Png

Annual Minimum Wage Battle Kicks Off

CHINA After Reports On N.S.A., China Urges End To Spying

China Export Restrictions On Metals Violate Global Trade Law, Panel Finds

China Export Restrictions On Metals Violate Global Trade Law, Panel Finds

Chinese Man Given Death For Serial Rapes Of Underage Girls

EGYPT Hundreds Of Egyptians Sentenced To Death In Killing Of A Police Officer

General Who Led Takeover Of Egypt Will Run For President

EUROPEAN UNION European Banks Feel Effects Of Crimea Crisis, With Austria Bearing Brunt
INDIA Judge In Mumbai Gang-Rape Case Slams Tests Used On Victims
JAPAN Japan To Let U.S. Assume Control Of Nuclear Cache

Japanese Death-Row Inmate Released After 48 Years In Jail

INDONESIA Indonesia Candidate Tied To Human Rights Abuses Stirs Unease
LATIN AMERICA Venezuela Takes Steps To Ease Curbs On Currency

Protesting In Venezuela, With Antipathy Toward Cuba’s Government

POLAND Poland Urges NATO To Beef Up Presence
Three Presidents And A Riddle Named Putin

Russia Is Ousted From Group Of 8 By U.S. And Allies

Vote By U.N. General Assembly Isolates Russia

Putin Calls Obama To Discuss Ukraine, White House Says

UNITED KINGDOM Hurrah! UK ‘Warmer Than Spain’ This Week (Well, Some Of It)

Scottish Independence Means ‘Walking Out Of The UK Pound’

Michael Gove’s ‘Outrageous Waste Of Money’ Is Causing Quite A Stir

Clowntroversy: Clowns ‘Face Extinction’ In The UK

Angry Tailgater Abuses Driver, Karma Makes Him Crash

UNITED STATES Beneath Cities, A Decaying Tangle Of Gas Pipes

Amid Wave Of Pro-Gun Legislation, Georgia Proposes Sweeping Law

Drug Suspects In U.S. Eyes, But Free In Mexico

Christie’s New Woe: Court Rules He Illegally Dumped Climate Protections

U.S. Reports Modestly Better Economic Growth

Obama Meets With Saudi King In Effort To Mend Ties

Magnitude-5.1 Earthquake Shakes Los Angeles Area, Over A 100 Aftershocks Follow

VATICAN U.S. President Barack Obama And Pope Francis Hold Historic First Meeting


Scientist Makes Beautiful Little Video Of Climate Change On Washington State’s Olympic Coast

Climate Change May Make Mudslides More Common


Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Crashed In Indian Ocean: Malaysian Pm

U.S. Law Firm Plans To Sue Boeing, Malaysia Airlines Over Missing Plane

First Person Perspective: Sailing Through The South Indian Ocean Where Flight 370 Went Down

Search for Lost Jet Is Complicated by Geopolitics and Rivalries


Death Toll Rises to 16

In Ocean of Mud, a Plea: Leave Me and Find My Wife

After Mountain’s Collapse, Uncertainty and Loss

Deadly Mix of Loose Sediments and Heavy Rain in Washington

Mountain That Roared Down Turns Into a Tomb of Debris


N.S.A. Breached Chinese Servers Seen as Security Threat

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

Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection

After Reports on N.S.A., China Urges End to Spying


Qaeda Militants Seek Syria Base, U.S. Officials Say


Obama Assures NATO but Says Force Won’t Be Used in Crimea

Malaysia Releases Details of Last Contact With Missing Plane

IMF agrees $14-18 billion bailout for Ukraine

Vote by U.N. General Assembly Isolates Russia

Tymoshenko Says She Will Run for President of Ukraine

Putin Calls Obama to Discuss Ukraine, White House Says

Few Signs of War Plans in Russian Border Town

As Diplomacy Steps Up, Ukraine Candidates Narrow


We could not agree with this more. Crimea crisis has shown Harper at his best

None of us REALLY expects this to be more than frustration for the canines and good exercise for the birds, right? Canadian government to hire dogs to scare geese away from experimental farm

Say hello to the Man From South of The Border. Bruce Heyman, new U.S. ambassador to Canada, sworn in, ready to move north


What a crummy day in Halifax

Harper meets with Merkel; Ukraine crisis to be key item on their agenda

RCMP descend on native community on central coast to keep the peace in herring fishery row

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, would you mind a whole lot explaining to me, Sweetheart, what Arnie is doing out on the back porch?

Felina:     Arnold, Dear.

Sam:        Yeah, him too. Okay, to rephrase the question, what is our television set doing out on the back porch?

Felina:     It is so he can see better. He also said that he “needs the rays”.

Sam:        I thought we took care of that washing his one eye every day. And what exactly is so important to see that he needs to park out in the sunlight on the American side of our granite abode?

Felina:     He is looking at that mountain slide in that human place called Oso, mate of my three lifetimes.

Sam:        Ah, gotcha. And I’m sorry, Princess. I should have known.

Felina:     The world is a busy place, mate mine. And I know you do not share my love of them.

Sam:        Felina, plain fact is that as much as I love you, there’s not enough room for them.

Felina:     Most of the time.

Sam:        Okay, most of the time. I didn’t wish that mud on them, Sweetheart. And I am sorry it happened.

Felina:     I am sure you have your opinions about this, though. You generally do, oh sun and moon of my life.

Sam:        We get paid to have opinions, Felina. But my self-preservation instincts are kicking in big time and I am not going there.

Felina:     You are as wise as you are rapacious sometimes, Samuel. But if you were the heroic type, instead of such a delightfully unmitigated scoundrel, what would you have to say about this?

Sam:        I’m sort of darned if I do and double darned if I don’t, this time, aren’t I?

Felina:     You are about to be hoisted by George Peppard.

Sam:        That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

Felina:     Then your only recourse is quite clear, isn’t it, my dashing do-er of dubious deeds?

Sam:        Okay, here goes. Just remember, this time you flipping asked, Felina.

Felina:     I shall, Samuel Alexander.

Sam:        The whole hill was built on gravel and clay the receding glaciers left behind. At the bottom of the hill is a river that has been cutting into that big pile of Ice Age slag for a long time now. It has also been raining the French and frogs for several weeks.

Felina:     So this was clearly a disaster in evolution.

Sam:        Yes, Sweetheart. I feel real bad for the human beings who died. But the planet is a living creature herself and still growing. It was nobody’s fault this happened.

Felina:     But perhaps if more human beings understood that Gaia lives?

Sam:        It would not stop these acts of nature, Lass.

Felina:     Sometimes, it really seems like the only thing one can do is pray and light a candle.

Sam:        And maybe to accept that sometimes even the wisest fall to the weather, Lass.

Felina:     I think perhaps Arnold does not need the sun as much as he claims.

Sam:        Perhaps not, Sweetheart. And on that note, then, Felina?

Felina:     On that note, Gentle Readers, to all those of you in Oso, we offer a candle and a prayer. Until next week, may the wind be always at your back and may the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.


If you’re looking for the inspiration of kid power, check this out. What Kids Can Do

We definitely approve of this. White House Unveils Plans to Cut Methane Emissions

This wins a “better late than not” award. B.C. hands over records of 4,900 First Nations children who died during residential school period


We absolutely and totally agree with this. Egypt’s Miscarriage of Justice

After this goes to court, GM could end up making go-carts. Carmaker Misled Grieving Families on a Lethal Flaw

This is what happens when punishment and rehabilitation are not balanced. U.S. Accuses Rikers Officer of Ignoring Dying Plea


This was fun. Interactive Feature: Can You Spot the Liar?

This could set tourism back a bit. Guess what the white in Hawaii’s white sand beaches is made of? If you enjoy Diamond Head and vacationing on Oahu, you probably do NOT want to know so don’t go here.

This was just dumb enough to be really interesting. WATCH: Here’s What Happens When You Set Off 150 Mouse Traps


Pint-Sized Predator Unearthed Way Up North

Dino-Killing Asteroid Had Devastating Effect On Ancient Oceans, Study Suggests

Discoveries Challenge Beliefs On Arrival Of Humans In North America


Secret Space Plane Shatters Record

Looks Like Pluto’s Got A Buddy Out There In Space.

Watch Live: Rocket To Launch International Crew To Space Station


Are Google Glass Wearers Just A Bunch Of Glassholes?

A New Facebook Lab Is Intent On Delivering Internet Access By Drone

Why Don’t Aircraft Black Boxes Upload Data In Real…?


Okay, gang, if a landslide was to occur in your neighborhood, would you know what to do?

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.


Scientist Makes Beautiful Little Video Of Climate Change On Washington State’s Olympic Coast

Here’s how rooftop gardens can empower women and tame population growth

Recycling One Aluminum Can Will Power a Laptop for More Than Five Hours

Borrowed Time on Disappearing Land


We sort of suspected these were not as healthy as they have been touted to be. Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes

We certainly agree with the poignant commentary. Scare Tactics Over Foreign Drugs–Frightening people risks leaving them without the medicines they need

We found this very informative and very validating, too, since we’re already doing a lot of this. Down-to-earth advice about healthy eating


Tattoo Ink Can Camouflage Melanomas, Experts Warn

Morning-after pills work poorly in women weighing 165 pounds-plus:

Calculate Your BMI – Standard BMI Calculator


Watch the ‘Encouragement’ Pass it On Commercial – Boy plays piano |


Video: Tips for Women Asking for a Raise

Why Race Has Everything To Do With Who and How I Teach

Land on Go, Collect $400? Monopoly Invites New Rules

You Can’t Bounce Off the Walls If There Are No Walls: Outdoor Schools Make Kids Happier—and Smarter

Soul Food That’s Vegan and Healthy? A Cooking Remix Made in Heaven

Video: Bill Cunningham | French Evolution

Hardy Divers in Korea Strait, ‘Sea Women’ Are Dwindling


Vancouver Sun’s Top Images From Around The Globe

Jazz singer Esperanza Spalding and company sings for justice for those held at Guantanamo Bay. This is chilling.

Scientist Makes Beautiful Little Video Of Climate Change On Washington State’s Olympic Coast


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 BellinghamRe-EducationCenter.

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 


Don’t read this on an empty stomach, okay? Can we eat our way out of the invasive carp problem?

If this works out, we humans may be learning a lot more about ourselves than we can comfortably live with. Apparently there’s a computer that can translate one of the dialects of dolphin.

This couple raises sled dogs in Manhattan. Video: Vows: Leader of the Pack


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Street artist creates amazing 3D tribute to Space Invaders


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

Until next week, then, take care, stay well and Godspeed.




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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