Proudly serving North America and the International Community

2007 – 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

No. 380

Northstar Media Services

Rusty Miller – Editorukraine map


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. As I write, I have just finished reading a New York Times article slightly mis-headlined U.S. and Russia Agree on Pact to Defuse Ukraine Crisis But as the NYT is quick to add, The foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, Ukraine and European Union reached an agreement in Geneva after more than five hours of talks.

I found the piece very informative and also realistic as I understand the diplomatic process. The first step is to get those involved to the table to talk about it and this is a promising first step. What I did not appreciate was President Obama’s observing, “I don’t think we can be sure of anything at this point,” he said, but there is a chance “that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation.”

With all due respect, Mr. President? Is that not the purpose of diplomacy in the first place? And if diplomacy does not “de-escalate the situation,” are you suggesting it is time to send in the Marines again? A chance, Mr. President? How about the best shot we’ve got at it?

The other thing that has bothered me about this is the vilification of Vladimir Putin. The entire power structure of Russia is still based on over a thousand years of autocratic rule. Putin is another tsar and he rules at the discetion of the power structure that put him there in the first place. All he has essentially belongs to the state and if the state chooses, they can strip him of it all and send him to the Gulag.

And Russia, for all its relatively recent Europeanization. remains true to the Tatars who first brought order to the steppes and the fertile plains of the Ukraine. Saving face is very important to Russian leaders. And being tough is the single most important trait a leader in Russia can have. If Putin appears to be backing down, he’d better be able to justify it as a geo-political chess move. The fact that he has lasted as long as he has in this often precarious office suggests that he knows the board.

I so totally wish outside intervention was not necessary but if it is, I am glad the European Union is also involved. Diplomats in many of those countries are not political appointees chosen for their campaign contributions but people who have risen through the ranks of the foreign service, know the culture of the country and are fluent in its language(s). They have also been doing it much longer than America has and often without gunboats the size of the USS Missouri to back them up.

I have said from the start that the Ukraine deserves to decide her own destiny. So it will be interesting to see if those involved in this pact of which she is also a member agree. And for some reason, I cannot help wondering what America would have been like if, instead of fighting for its freedom, the First Continental Congress let the super powers of that era ~ England, France, Spain and Portugal ~ decide how the people of this new nation should live.

If there is a conscience left at all alive in the world, the Ukraine will remain free to choose her own destiny. And if there is a god in Heaven, may She be listening now.

Editor’s Note: We would also like to take this opportunity to wish our readers of all faiths the fullest measure of the holiday(s) they are now celebrating.


Sometimes this planet reminds me of what an Irish setter puppy does after a good bath. That having been said, our prayers are with those affected. Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital; no immediate word on damage or casualties

There is not a species on this planet which turns on its young like ours. Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd online blackmail case

For so many reasons, this did not need to happen. Vice principal rescued from sinking South Korean ferry found hanging from tree



Nigeria Blast Kills Dozens As Militants Hit Capital

Death Toll In West Africa Ebola Outbreak Rises To 121

Kenya’s Wide Net Against Terror Sweeps Up Refugees


Byron Bay Bluefest Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Everest Avalanche Won’t Deter Australian Teenager From Record Attempt

Father Bob Maguire Turns To Hip Hop In Bid To Tackle Homelessness

Former NSW Premier Neville Wran Dies


In China, A Big Jet Becomes A Status Symbol

Lucrative Stardom In China, Using A Webcam And A Voice


European Parliament Approves Laws On Banking Overhaul

European Car Sales Strengthen On Manufacturer Incentives


Twin Shocks Shake Foundation Of German Power


Hungary’s Central Bank Seizes Bold Strategies


India’s Top Court Passes Verdict Recognizing ‘Transgender’ As Third Gender

Video: India At A Crossroads


Most G-7 Nations Still Trying To Recoup Lost Jobs

U.N. Struggles To Stem Haiti Cholera Epidemic


Iraq Shuts Down The Abu Ghraib Prison, Citing Security Concerns


South Korean Government Says Nearly 300 Missing Hours After Ferry Sinks, At Least 3 Dead

Ferry Pilot Was Navigating Perilous Waterway For First Time, Prosecutors Say


Video: Brazil Tracks From Boom To Rust

After Fire, Picturesque Hills Of Chilean Port City Are Left In Ruin

String Of Earthquakes Keeping Nicaraguans On Edge, Sleeping On Streets


Russia Economy Worsens Even Before Sanctions Hit


In Slovakia, Real Lottery Prize Goes To Tax Man


Turkey Greets Twitter Delegation With List Of Demands


Leaner And More Efficient, British Printers Push Forward In Digital Age

British Government Seeks Lift From Economic Data

SOPA Defeat Haunts Efforts To Rein In Illegal Copying, British Official Says


US Autism Estimate Increases To 1 In 68 Children

In Many Cities, Rent Grows Out Of Reach

Flooding Swamps Vermont, Maine, Upstate New York, Michigan And Eastern Canada

The Tornado East Texas Never Saw Coming ? And Why They May Not See The Next One

U.S. Goes To War On Global Illegal Fishing

U.S. Plans Military Drills In Eastern Europe

Leveled By Landslide, Towns Mull How To Rebuild


Pope Francis Draws 150K To Easter Sunday Prayers For Peace In Ukraine, Syria And Nigeria



Climate Efforts Falling Short, U.N. Panel Says

U.N. Climate Panel Warns Speedier Action Is Needed

M. Sanjayan On What It’s Like To Live Dangerously In Search Of Climate Change

Nobel Laureates Condemn Keystone As Climate-Change Trigger


U.N. Rights Chief Condemns ‘Rampant’ Torture in Syria

After Delays, Syria Completes Another Shipment of Chemical Arms

U.N. Official Condemns Use of Torture in Syrian War


Ukraine President Asks For Un Peacekeepers In East Of Country

Ukraine Forces And Pro-Russian Militants Battle Over Local Police Station

U.N. Cites Abuses In Crimea Before Russia Annexation Vote

Acting President Says Military Has Restored Control Over Airport In Eastern Ukraine

Nato Alliance Increases Military Presence On Eastern Border To Counter Russian Threat

Citing Russian Moves, NATO Plans New Deployments

Ukrainian Steel Baron Turned Governor Seeks Peaceful End To Revolt


University of Calgary struggles to come to terms with tragedy. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

This is not good news. Canadians facing near-record gasoline prices

One of those responsible for Rehtaeh Parson’s suicide is being charged with a related crime. If I was this lad’s father, I would be mad at God for not giving me a human child.


BC Town Votes Against Pipeline And Terminal

Report Finds Over 60 Per Cent Of Female Inmates In Canada On Psychiatric Meds

Pet Alert: Metro Vancouver Coyotes Chasing Extra Food For Their Spring Pups

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, Felina, it looks like this is another morning when I get to guess who is coming to breakfast? There is some weird stuff on the table today.

Felina:     Quite so, love of my three lifetimes. Have I ever told you about my cousin, Jeremiah, the Jewish Jaguar?

Sam:        Nope, Sweetheart. I think I would have remembered the biggest cat in this hemisphere, especially if it spoke with a Latin American accent and wore a yarmulke.

Felina:     That is probably because Jeremiah is not from down there. He was born in Florida.

Sam:        Where his folks went every winter on vacation.

Felina:     Precisely.

Sam:        And his parents were probably from a borough in New York City, like Brooklyn or the Bronx, where there are lots of other Jewish jaguars.

Felina:     Actually, I believe it was this place called Trampled Bush.

Sam:        Ah, of course. I should have remembered. There are lots of very large orange and black spotted cats of the Jewish faith in Trampled Bush.

Felina:     Yes, Dear.

Sam:        And nobody really notices that they aren’t exactly human Hebrews.

Felina:     After the Diaspora, those of the Jewish faith learned how to assimilate themselves into any culture which accepted them. They became quite good at it, as I understand.

Sam:        Apparently at least in Trampled Bush, a borough of New York City.

Felina:     The Big Orange is noted for its cultural diversity and for its tolerance of same.

Sam:        The ladle of the great melting pot, so to speak.

Felina:     Your eloquence makes me smile, my rapacious rapscallion.

Sam:        Okay, that made the cave spin.

Felina:     You are my knight of a thousand delights, Samuel.

Sam:        And thank you also for reminding me I can still blush. However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Thelma and St. Louis of digression. And the Samuel Pecking Paws of the smooth segue.

Sam:        And we await this huge leopard look-alike to eat food I’ve never seen before in honor of what essentially amounts to Jewish Independence Day.

Felina:     Yes, precisely. If the mate of my three lifetimes has no objections?

Sam:        Felina, not only do I have no objections, I would be honored to share our cave and our table with your cousin, Jeremiah the Jewish Jaguar. And on that note, then, Sweetheart?

Felina:     On that note, we would like to wish those of our readers of the Jewish faith a most excellent Passover. 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.


When it comes to standing up and being counted, the citizens of this Northwest Canadian town stand second to none.

This sounds like a real good idea. Huge New York Development Project Becomes a Data Science Lab

Here’s someone who makes a good role model. M. Sanjayan on what it’s like to live dangerously in search of climate change


Here’s A Wind Turbine You Can Toss In Your Purse

How A County (Shire) In California Produces More Power Than It Uses

Capitalism and the Dalai Lama


By the Numbers: Should big-brained marine mammals be kept in captivity? Of course not. What have they done to deserve life in prison?

The various law enforcement and security agencies in the U.S. monitor the lives of millions of Americans who don’t even jaywalk. How in the world then, did they miss this guy? Bullets, Blood and Then Cry of ‘Heil Hitler’

The Devil’s got the bridal suite waiting for this one. Utah Garage Cleaning Turns Up Boxes of Suffocated Infants


New Western Outlaw: The Bee Rustler

OR Oil Train Shipments Jump 250 Percent In 2013

A 12-Year-Old’s Trek of Despair Ends in a Noose at the Border


The more I read about this, the cooler it got. Bend It, Charge It, Dunk It: Graphene, the Material of Tomorrow

Now this is ambitious. With Purchase of Drone Maker, Google Sees a Fleet of Satellites

Scientists Find ‘Just Right’ Planet and if we left today traveling at the speed of light, it would only take 500 years to get there.


Western Canada’s R & D Boom Aids A New Generation Of Archaeologists

Bikers, Walkers Make For Healthier Cities

Neanderthal Puzzle Finally Solved With Help From DNA


Astronauts To Reveal Troubling Findings About Asteroid Strikes

Supply-Laden Rocket Finally On Its Way

Doomed Probe Bites The Dust


Ten Future Technologies Made In Israel

Weibo, a Chinese Answer to Twitter, Prices Its Offering at $17

A Swarm of Ant-Sized Robots, at Your Service


Okay, gang, how much do you know about Passover.

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.


Wind Turbines, The New Icon Of Pacific Nw Landscape

Conventional Farmers Drop Their Plows In Favor Of Conservation

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Dropped 3.4% In 2012

Your Lawn Can Help Slow Climate Change

Here’s A Wind Turbine You Can Toss In Your Purse

Nobel laureates condemn Keystone as climate-change trigger

Obama Wants Private Companies To Use Solar

Ditching your electric company


Cancer: What do you know? ~~ Test your knowledge by taking our quiz.

Looking past calories: Approach to dieting evolves ~~ The calorie counting that defined dieting for so long is giving way to other considerations, like the promise of more fiber or natural ingredients.

Four of nine women who received transplanted wombs trying to get pregnant ~~ A Swedish doctor says four women who received transplanted wombs have had embryos transferred into them in an attempt to get pregnant


Obstacle course offers new twist to staying fit

Older fathers linked with many psychiatric troubles in kids

Disney movies unlocked autistic son’s emotions: dad

New Cancer Study Says E-Cigarettes Are Still Bad For You

Israeli Researcher Makes Important Brain Cancer Discovery After Mother Dies Of The Disease

For Diabetics, Health Risks Fall Sharply


One Tin Soldier – Coven – 1970s Cartoon version


AARP’s Mission For Life Reimagined

Photos: Top Images From Around The Globe

Here Are Several Good Reasons For Being A Morning Person.

These Biologists Created A Gorgeous Film About African Glaciers

Think You Know What A Farmer Looks Like? Think Again.

The Underground Railroad Was One Of America’s First Co-Ops: A Black History Tour Of Cooperative Economics

Work Less, Live More


For those of us who missed it, Photos of a Blood Moon: First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014 Wows Stargazers

Female in Gaza

Raw footage captures ice moving at breakneck speeds on Quebec river


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



Here’s a chance to die of cute. Check out these three Bengal tigers born in the Buenos Aires Zoo.

Here’s another reason to be careful wading, swimming or SCUBA diving in the oceans of the world. Video: Killer Sponges

Here’s another splendid example of inter-species cooperate and makes me glad I’m one of them involved. Swim to Sea? These Salmon Are Catching a Lift

Living With Wildlife
BBC’s wildlife finder
National Geographic Daily News – Animals


We now know what snow-kiting is. After watching this, so will you.

2013 Face shot with glassesJUST A REMINDER

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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