Proudly serving North America and the International Community

2007 – 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

No. 379

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Our hearts go out to those impacted by that horrendous motor vehicle accident on Interstate Five in Northern California.

For those of you unfamiliar with the topography, I-5 is the major south – north highway on the American West Coast and links Mexico and Canada. The accident took place in the SacramentoValley near a farming community not far from the river which gives the valley its name.

I am very familiar with the setting and as a former newspaper reporter, I have covered tragedies almost as horrific as this one. Those involving kids are the most haunting and this one even more so because these adolescents were on their way in a bus to visit a college to which they had all been accepted.

It also involved fire and circumstances no one on that bus could have predicted. It s doubtful we will ever really know what caused the Federal Express truck and trailer traveling in the opposite direction to cross the grassy median and slam into those kids.

In a world raging and roaring with violence ~ where slaughter is like a bloody perpetual motion machine ~ there may be no rational reason for singling this particular tragedy out.

However, grief does not need justification. It only needs a reason. This is a good one.


This will come as good news to millions. Breast Cancer Drug Shows ‘Groundbreaking’ Results

Which countries have the youngest and oldest first marriages? The answer just might surprise you. See where your country ranks.

Do You Live in the fattest city?



Afghanistan’s Vote

Number of Election Complaints ‘Almost Nothing,’ Afghanistan Says

For Afghan Journalists, Election Brings a Sense of National Duty


Nigeria, Africa’s Biggest Oil Producer, Dogged By Fuel Shortages

Rwanda Commemorates 20 Years Since Start Of Genocide

Rwanda School Helps Orphans Move Beyond Horror Of Genocide By Teaching Unity

Ebola Virus: A Grim, African Reality

A Green Revolution, This Time For Africa


Royal Chat: Farewell New Zealand, Hello Australia

As It Happened: Warnings Over Flooding As Tropical Cyclone Ita Hits Cairns

Tony Abbott Meets Chinese President Xi Jinping

Coke Shares Drop As Market Loses Its Fizz

Cyclone Ita Compared To Tracy, Larry And Yasi

As It Happened: Cyclone Ita Hits Far North Queensland


U.S. Tries Candor To Assure China On Cyberattacks

China’s Embrace Of Foreign Cars

During U.S. Defense Secretary’s Visit, China Showed Military Might And Frustrations

China Takes On Big Risks In Its Push For Shale Gas


Europe’s Many Jobless See Little Light Yet From Glimmers of a Recovery

After Slide, Rich Nations Now Lifting Growth, I.M.F. Reports


In French Premier’s Blend of Socialism, Conservative and Centrist Notes

In France, a Move to Limit Off-the-Clock Work Emails


Germans Loosen Their Purse Strings

UN Climate Report Balances Science And Politics


Greece Dives Back Into the Bond Market


Indians Start Voting In World’s Largest Election

Wish for Change Animates Voters in India Election

A Primer on India’s Parliamentary Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party Emphasizes Infrastructure and Jobs in Manifesto

Wish for Change Animates Voters in India Election

A New Source of Jobs for India’s Rural Women? (Hint: It’s in Your Shampoo)

Coalition-Building Season in India


The World Goes to the Polls


Nuclear Talks With Iran Need ‘Intensive Work,’ Envoys Say


Israel’s Latest Invention: The Heart-Shaped Cucumber!


New magnitude-6.6 quake shakes Nicaragua; buildings face demolition

From Boom to Rust, Lavish Projects Are Languishing in Brazil


Xenophobic Chill Descends on Moscow


Turkey Keeps YouTube Block Despite Court Rulings


Britain Increasingly Invokes Power to Disown Its Citizens


More Deportations Follow Minor Crimes, Records Show

Cities Are Fighting Income Inequality

Legal Settlement Aims at Ending ‘Segregation’ of Disabled Workers

Banks Ordered to Add Capital to Limit Risks

Report Finds a Los Angeles in Decline

Number of Bible Skeptics Rises in U.S.

G.M. Suspends 2 Engineers in Switch Inquiry


Pope Francis Gives Candid Sermon On Palm Sunday



Global Warming Scare Tactics

10 Places To Visit Before They’re Gone: A Bucket List For A Warming World

Can Celebrities And Prime-Time TV Make Americans Care About Climate Change?

UN Climate Report Balances Science And Politics


Israel Warns Palestinians but Leaves Way Open for Talks


Profiling Rules Said to Give F.B.I. Tactical Leeway

Russia Didn’t Share All Details on Boston Bombing Suspect, Report Says

U.S. Denies It Knew of Heartbleed Bug on the Web

Obama Lets N.S.A. Exploit Some Internet Flaws, Officials Say


Warily, Jordan Assists Rebels in Syrian War

In Jordan Town, Syria War Inspires Jihadist Dreams


Pro-Russian Activists Declare Ukrainian Region Of Donetsk Independent, Call For Referendum

Ukraine’s Jews Dismiss Claims of Anti-Semitism

U.S. and NATO Warn Russia Against Further Intervention in Ukraine

In Eastern Ukraine, a One-Building, Pro-Russia Realm Persists Despite Criticism

Satellites Show Russia Mobilizing Near Ukraine, NATO Says

Mystery Surrounds Death of Fiery Ukrainian Activist

Pro-Russia Ukrainians Are Promised More Power, but Remain Dubious

Ukraine blames ‘Russian aggression’ for unrest in cities of Donetsk, Slovyansk


10 things you should never do at a road check: A Victoria cop’s naughty list. Some of these are so incredibly dumb they’re also hilarious.

With world economy on edge, Finance Minister Joe Oliver faces huge challenges at G20 meeting On the other hand, who better to handle it, eh?

This should make our beef a lot more attractive to the “green marketplace.” Canada phasing out antibiotic use in livestock


Former Head Of Alberta Military Base Demoted, Added To Sex Offender Registry

Oil Industry Now Canada’s Biggest Source Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Did Canadian build faulty armoured trucks for U.S. military?


Olya, a Ukrainian writer and marketing manager, shared with us in our April 6, 2014 edition, a brief account of what it is like to live in that country now. After we published it, she wrote to thank us. Editor’s Note: Olya does not object to her last name being used or her email address. Until things settle down there, the Northstar Journal is not publishing either.


Happy Friday, Mishka.

Your letter was touching. Must have been hard for you to first acknowledge that things are not like you perceived before. Having Russian roots hoping you don’t share world hysteria of Russians as for me quite strange thing. But maybe because of having many international friends and at the same time Russian connections all I see the people mostly the same and there is no need to fear each other and continue cold wars. Hoping somehow mentality it will change and Russians will stop perceive West as trying to destroy the nation itself (maybe you heard about Thatcher and Brzezinsky quotations that cannot stand for humanity). And hoping West stop consider Russians as uncontrolled barbarians. Maybe that is a mission of Ukraine – to associate West and East- to find compromise accepting to all. To find ways how to show the Western world view to Russians and how to show the worldview of Russians to the Europeans and Americans. Of course there have been lots of mistakes and bad examples of failed friendship in the past but there is always second chance- it’s only be possible if grounded on sincere actions, trust and human values first of all. If the world is ready for this…

Happy Friday, Olya:

Thank you very much for such an eloquent response. No, it was not hard at all for me to acknowledge that things are not like I perceived before. I am a journalist and I do not assume or presume. I discover. And while I respect my European roots (Russian and Irish), I am North American and I too consider myself a member of the International Community. I believe in a world with flags but not borders. I agree that it is time that nations stopped quarreling and it is long past time for all of us to see one another as who we are and not as history has portrayed us or as the media casts us today. I believe the Ukraine could provide this opportunity. I think the world is watching to see if democracy and self-determination are more important than influence. I pray that it is. Mishka

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:        Good morning, Sweetheart. Beautiful day out there

Felina:     Good morning to you, mate of my three lifetimes. It is indeed a beautiful day. The sky is blue like the high mountain lakes and there is still snow on the higher peaks.

Sam:        And the air is so clear we could see Russia and China in one direction.

Felina:     And the rest of Canada and France in the other, quite so.

Sam:        If we were inclined to look in those directions instead of south to the Land of Eternal Contradictions.

Felina:     This is their Rite of Spring and I find it absolutely charming that they should call it Earth Day.

Sam:        Earth is easier to pronounce than Gaia, who is also female and offensive yet to so many of them.

Felina:     On Earth Day, the ones who come up here to celebrate remind me of what my mother and father told me about the earliest of them.

Sam:        Way back when they first started walking on two legs and before their arms shrank so their knuckles would not drag the ground, yep.

Felina:     They were apparently much more a part of the natural order than the one they have created and tried to impose. Mother told me that they spoke one language as different from ours as ours is from theirs, but which all understood.

Sam:        The humans call that “telepathy,” Felina.

Felina:     Telepathy, quite so. Thank you. And arpothetic.

Sam:        They could feel the joy and sadness of the rest of us, yep. Very empathetic, sounds like.

Felina:     They could speak to the Wind and sometimes the Wind listened.

Sam:        Ultra—empathetic, yep.

Felina:     They walked with the wallaby and boxed with the kangaroo.

Sam:        And roamed with the bison and knew the color of every bird’s eggs.

Felina:     They took only what they needed and when they died, they returned it.

Sam:        Perhaps even more remarkable, they have lived here 40,000 years and most of that time, at peace with one another.

Felina:     Then you do understand why I so love watching them down in the meadow, dancing and singing and celebrating their one-ness with Gaia and the life She provides?

Sam:        Baby, I am definitely down with it.

Felina:     Excuse me, Samuel Alexander?

Sam:        Felina, I think it is fantastic that they celebrate and I love it that you enjoy watching them.

Felina:     Thank you, Dear. That is what I thought you said the first time.

Sam:        If it wasn’t, it should have been.

Felina:     Your gracious apology is accepted, my rapacious rapscallion.

Sam:        Cool, whew and thank you, Lass. So on that note, then, Felina?

Felina:     On that note, Gentle Readers, Happy Earth Day. 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.


Cinderella rode to the ball in a pumpkin so this works for me. This beautiful tiny house looks like an orange and was built for less than $9,000

This is yet another reason for admiring this elected official. Vancouver Mayor: “End whale and dolphin captivity

This is what it’s all about. Dear Tooth Fairy: B.C. principal writes a happy ending for little girl who lost her tooth — twice


$500 Tip Left For Spokane Business Owner Whose Wife Is Battling Cancer

Rwanda School Helps Orphans Move Beyond Horror Of Genocide By Teaching Unity

A Crack In The Laptop’s Screen (And In Customer Service)

In California, Saving a Language That Predates Spanish and English

The Toddler Who Survived, and a Cop Who Became Mom

Reclaiming the Words That Smear


Why does this not surprise us? Sigh. Mayor ‘belligerent’ at Air Canada Centre (again)

The karmic payback for this one is going to be monumental. Poachers Attack Beloved Elders of California, Its Redwoods

I’m beginning to wonder if there is a city in America where this is not going on to some degree. The List of Shame seems to be growing longer all the time. Justice Dept. Accuses Albuquerque Police of Excessive Force


G.M. Documents Reveal Years of Talks on Defect

Accusation in Montana of Treating Rape Lightly Stirs Unlikely Public Fight

Man sucks a woman’s toes at Walmart and goes to jail


For some reason, this kind of freaked me out a little. Scientists grow noses, ears and other body parts in laboratory

This one did too, but for a different reason. I appreciate automation as an extension of the species. I get really nervous when I think we might be giving them sentience. We are not the most stable creatures on the planet and if we transfer our neuroses to “beings” made of steel and re-entry proof polymers, we better have a whole new field of psychology to deal with them. And when I read about a robot with ‘soul,” I think that tomorrow is here.

I found this kind of ironic. EVs are getting fake engine sounds, because they’re so quiet it’s dangerous


How Would You Like Toilet Paper Made From Jellyfish?

Lab-Grown Vaginas And Nostrils Work, Doctors Report  

A Talk With Simon Head, Author of ‘Mindless: Smarter Machines Are Making Dumber Humans’


Space Station Computer Outage May Require Spacewalk, Delay Monday’s Supply Launch

As If The Ozone Hole Weren’t Enough, Now There’s A Hole In The Troposphere

This Astronaut Went to Space, Went Blind and Returned to Earth


Hackers Lurking In Vents And Soda Machines

Experts Find A Door Ajar In An Internet Security Method Thought Safe

Users’ Stark Reminder: As Web Grows, It Grows Less Secure


Okay, gang, how much do you know about earth?

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.


Washington State Senator Patty. Murray Seeks Oil Train Safety Assurances

Invest In The Sock Exchange—And Other Ways To Join The Sharing Revolution

10 Places To Visit Before They’re Gone: A Bucket List For A Warming World


World Health Day: 5 ways to guard against vector-borne illness

New website aims to help seniors recognize, combat and conquer depression

Sidestepping the Biopsy With New Tools to Spot Cancer


Vaccination and your child

Laughter – or massage?

This week in health: Oral Health Month, keeping feet happy, and more


Celtic Woman – A New Journey


The Capitalism of Catastrophe

Best, Brightest and Rejected: Elite Colleges Turn Away Up to 95%

Ingredient of the week: Eggs — This week’s collection of recipes includes Croque Madame Muffins, Green Tarts and more

Parenting the Non-Girlie Girl — Girls who dress as pirates for Halloween are spunky. Girls who dress as Darth Vader make people uncomfortable.

Hillary Rodham Clinton stumped by six-year-old’s question: Is it Madam or Mrs President?

Tiny House Living, Off the Grid? Here’s How to Do it in Style 

Video: Quinoa Salad for a Crowd

Bookstores in Seattle Soar, and Embrace an Old Nemesis: Amazon.com

Who Are Hit Men?

Raising a Moral Child


Canada.Com’s Photos : Top Images From Around The World.

Adorable Sleeping Animals (PHOTOS)

Berry College Eagle Camera

Video: This Week’s New York Times Movies



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





I can tell you from personal experience that the more scientists learn, the smarter this particular bird will appear. Like an expanding galaxy, there literally are no limits to their intelligence. Video: ScienceTake: Those Clever Crows

Even for where I live, this is weird. Alligator evicted from Ocean Shores apartment

This is certainly good news. ‘Threatened’ Steelhead trout filling Hood Canal River in Washington State.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


For some reason, this freaked me out a little. Robots Teach Robots to Beat Them at Pac-Man


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

The Northstar Journal endorses the following:

Amnesty International

Black Sea Agro: Agriculture In The Black Sea Region

Cream Magazine & Millennium Art Gallery

Grittv With Laura Flaunders

Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News

Outside Magazine

The SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Sierra Club

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace

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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