an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

No. 387

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor

Uncle Sam mad


Hi again from the shores of the Salish SeaIt has been an interesting week where I live. At one of the most unlikely places in all of Seattle, one small Christian university student was killed, three others injured and a national hero made of one who stopped the shooter ~ who had no affiliation with Seattle Pacific University ~ from reloading his shotgun so he could continue his graduation memories slaughter.

I am very reluctant to spend too much time with this because it seems like somewhere within the web of nations you folks as readers represent, something like this happens far too often.

This is the second time within several years it has landed on my doorstep.  I once lived in the neighborhood where this last one here occurred and I enjoyed taking lunch with students on the lawns around this very small but picturesque college.

I have been trying since long before I became a journalist to understand why things like this happen.  I know I am hardly alone in that regard.  I’m sorry, but that really doesn’t help a lot.  It seems to me that for as long as this has been going on, someone should have figured out how to stop it.

I can only look at the environment and what I’ve deduced about that isn’t going to be of a lot of comfort.

We are a very insecure species now.  Part of what we’re afraid of is seems to be that what we’ve done when we’ve decided to throw the rule book away will come back on us.

That makes trust and cooperation a bit tough.  It also sponsors a bastioning attitude where we seek to protect our children for as long as we can from a world we sense has finally become a place, too gentle to live among wolves.

We spend millions on security and when our kids turn 18, we send some of them to war, several times.  And when our economic system becomes too overburdened trying to replace a prosperity most of us never really knew, we blame our elected officials for not doing enough for these children in armor we have sacrificed for a level of comfort far in excess of the planet’s ability to support it.

There is not one among you we reach who has not, in some way, been impacted by senseless violence.  I know this because, for the most part, I have built this modest publication one reader at a time over three years as a monthly when Shannon was still with us, and with Associate Editor Denny Steussy, seven now as a weekly.

As hard as it is to say this, then, these tragedies happen because we have not made it important enough to stop them.  When we make them important enough to stop them, they will.  You know that.  I know that.  And we all know it is not rocket science.  These are our children we’re talking about here.

Please, join us in doing whatever it takes to make the tears we shed now matter to those who still shed them in the Hereafter.  We might just discover that climate change is also a matter of giving angels less to weep over, eh?

Thanks for the ear, then, and have a good week.


Sooner or later, the pendulum on this one is going to stop swinging behind the belated realization that extremes of this kind at either end of the spectrum are not good for any life form, including ours.  Skinny does not equal happy

This is the best analysis of its kind I have read in a very long time.  I just wonder how many heads it is going to fly over among those stampeding to judgment.  U.S.-Taliban prisoner swap: Five points the critics are ignoring.  See also:  The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl and President Obama Was Right

We join our friends in the Ukraine in hoping that their new president is permitted to be all that he can be.  It certainly looks like he’s off to an appropriate start.  Ukraine Leader Sets Out Peace Plan



Afghan Presidential Candidate Abdullah Abdullah Escapes Assassination Attempt


Nigerian Sect Kills Villagers Along Border

Boko Haram Militants Slaughter Hundreds In Nigerian Villages

In South Sudan, A Ghost Of Wars Past: Child Soldiers


Missing Japan, Balanced In Brazil

North Korea Detains 3rd American In New Threat To Relations With U.S.


Australia Post To Cut 900 Jobs: Reports

Abbott Holds Bilateral Talks With French President

Crocodile Attacks Man On Boat In Kakadu Billabong

Abbott Tours Western Front Ahead Of Talks With Hollande

Plibersek Raises Questions Over PM’s Meetings In US


China Escalating Attack On Google


European Central Bank Takes A Radical Step

Europe’s Central Bank Gets Serious About Fighting Deflation

Europe Gets Negative Interest Rates. What Does That Even Mean?

U.S. And European Job Markets Take Different Paths


France Surrenders To Practicality, Pays People To Bike


Indian Police Use Water Cannons Against Rape Protesters

Upscale Dairies Grow In India, Promising Safer Milk


Israel’s Actions Measured As World Recognized Palestinian Government


With Nuclear Talks Sputtering, U.S. And Iran Plan Meeting

Urged To Multiply, Iranian Couples Are Dubious


Singing Nun Wins Italian TV Talent Show


Missing Japan, Balanced In Brazil

Colombia To Set Up Truth Commission


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Swears In Unity Government


In GPS Battle, Russia Sets Restrictions Of Its Own


Spanish King Juan Carlos To Abdicate In Favour Of Son, Crown Prince Felipe


Scots Are Divided Over Independence, And Its Economic Costs

Cohen: Churchill’s Indispensable Daughter

Gallery: Queen Elizabeth’s Speech A Display Of Pomp And Power

Vodafone Reveals Direct Access By Governments To Customer Data


E.P.A. To Seek 30 Percent Cut In Carbon Emissions

Administration Defends Swap With Taliban To Free U.S. Soldier

Ground Search For Six Climbers Who Likely Died On Mount Rainier May Not Start For Months

Obama, In Warsaw, Pledges Solidarity With Eastern Europe

This Is How Little It Costs For States To Go Renewable How Much Cleaner Will Obama’s Climate Rules Make Your State?

G.M. Inquiry Cites Years Of Neglect Over Fatal Defect

American Southwest Heating Faster Than Rest Of Nation

U.S. And European Job Markets Take Different Paths

U.S. Added 217,000 Jobs In May; Unemployment Rate Remains 6.3%

Youths Facing Deportation To Be Given Legal Counsel


CLIMATE CHANGE Dead Heat: Climate Change Brings Killer Heat Waves The World Is Yours: Kids Take The Lead In The Climate Fight Here’s How Enviros Plan To Push For Stronger EPA Climate Rules American Southwest Heating Faster Than Rest Of Nation


N.S.A. Collecting Millions Of Faces From Web Images German Spy Agency Comes Clean About Not-So-Secret Sites Internet Giants Erect Barriers To Spy Agencies Vodafone Reveals Direct Access By Governments To Customer Data


Hagel Celebrates Bowe Bergdahl’s Release In Surprise Afghan Visit

Lesson For P.O.W.’S Father: Men Sometimes Do Come Back

As Bowe Bergdahl Heals, Details Emerge Of His Captivity

Bergdahl Was In Unit Known For Its Troubles


Reading In Public Becomes A New Form Of Resistance In Thailand Thailand Protesters Who Display Hunger Games Salute Could Face Arrest, Military Leaders Warn THE UKRAINE G-7 Meeting Snubs Vladimir Putin But Sends Clear Signal To Russian President To Co-Operate In Ukraine Crisis With Group Of 7 Backing, Obama Gives Russia One-Month Ukraine Deadline Obama And Putin Meet Briefly Over Ukraine Signs Of Informal Diplomacy On Ukraine As World Leaders Gather Poroshenko Takes Ukraine Helm With Tough Words For Russia Ukraine Leader Sets Out Peace Plan WAR ON TERROR Prisoner Trade Yields Rare View Into The Taliban

Nigerian Television Becomes Front For U.S. In Terrorism Fight

U.S. Quietly Backs Nigerian TV Channel To Counter Terror Group


If this suspect is convicted, justice ~ long overdue ~ will have been served.  Man arrested eight years after aboriginal woman Myrna Letandre was murdered in Manitoba

This is not good news.  Unemployment rates in Canada rise

All of Canada mourns.  Video: Memorial to fallen RCMP officers in Moncton

SHORTS Harper Heads To Poland Before G7 Meeting Five Canadian Cities Tearing Up Asphalt To Help Reduce Flash-Flooding Risk

West Van Couple Accused Of Causing Landslide With Illegal Landscaping Work

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.

Felina:     Samuel, is that you out there? Sam:        If it’s not, Felina, we have company you did not warn me about.  It smells a little like your brother Simon.  You sure good old lox and bagel breath isn’t hanging around here where I can’t see him? Felina:     My love, he is family.  Try to show a little respect. Sam:        Sweetheart, I thought a little respect is exactly what I was showing.  However, we digress. Felina:     We are the Olivia and Hardy of Digression.  And the Great Marco Magellan of the smooth segue. Sam:        Which is to say, yes, Felina, it’s me out here. Felina:     Perhaps you would care to join Arnold and I in the den?  Arnold would appreciate it if you could make him a tuna fish sandwich on rye with a pickle. Sam:        Dill or sweet? Felina:     One moment, love of my three lifetimes, and I will ask him. Sam:        Cool.  When our talking TV set makes up his mind, let me know.  And what about Arnie’s best buddy?  The usual? Felina:     I think today I will be daring and try one of those tuna fish sandwiches. Sam:        That’s what I love most about you, Sweetheart.  You live for danger. Felina:     Quite so and look who I chose for a mate, the only cougar in Canadian history to be barred from the province of Quebec for insulting the humans who live there in both languages. Sam:        That was not an act of courage, Felina.  It was just a tough room and I bombed big time. Felina:     You bombed like PearlHarbour, my love. Sam:        Well, look at it another way.  They loved me in the Kootenays. Felina:     Those mountains are very remote.  For entertainment there, humans talk to their toes and watch wallpaper fade. Sam:        Two perfectly good hobbies that don’t involve drugs, firearms, loud music, air pollution or the kind of creativity that constantly makes the Creator wish She had put a little more thought into the pot She was stirring when She made them. Felina:     Samuel, that was absolutely delightful!  You make me laugh and that is, quite frankly, so scintillating. Sam:        Cool.  I got called another name I don’t understand and cannot pronounce, but it didn’t come out with a snarl so I’ll take as a compliment. Felina:     When you make me laugh, you turn me on and make me want to ravish you with all the passion of our three life times together. Sam:        Okay, that I understood. Felina:     Arnold would like a dill pickle with his tuna sandwich, my rapacious rapscallion. Sam:        I’ll bring one of each, just in case our 47 year old television set decides to live on the edge too.  Now, was there any specific reason my presence is requested? Felina:     I love you and being with you makes me very happy. Sam:        Well, those are the two most important reasons in my life. Felina:     It is such a lovely morning, shared shoulder to shoulder. Sam:        It is indeed, Lass.  And on that note, Felina? Felina:     On that note, Gentle Readers, until next week, then, may the wind be always at your back and may the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.


This sounds like Seattle making a city park out of a gas works.  Converting a Run-Down Yonkers Power Plant Into an Arts Complex

Considering the bad press this country has been receiving for its treatment of women, this is nice to hear.  Upscale Dairies Grow in India, Promising Safer Milk

The Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington is offering all veterans and active duty personnel free admission to a new documentary on D Day.

SHORTS Supreme Court Declines To Halt Or Same Sex Marriages The World Is Yours: Kids Take The Lead In The Climate Fight University Student Disarmed Gunman After Seattle Shooting: Police In Some States, Emissions Cuts Defy Skeptics Youths Facing Deportation To Be Given Legal Counsel


God is weeping for these 800 children and Satan is rubbing his hands in gleeful anticipation of the arrival of those responsible.  Bodies of nearly 800 children found in septic tank at former orphanage in Ireland

This is sooo totally not cool.  Prehistoric Art Vandalized

This is disgraceful.  Naked photos, ‘raunchy’ humour cited in U.S. Navy probe of ex-leader of Blue Angels flying team


I found this very encouraging.  This wind turbine will power your apartment without keeping you up at night

I’m going to ask Santa Claus for one of these if I’m still good by December 24thMeet Pepper, the emotionally aware robot

Here’s one my surfing and SCUBA diving cousin on the Great Barrier Reef ought to just love.  There’s an app and website now that can track the movement of sharks around the world.

INNER SPACE Wave Energy Finally Gets Its Day In The Water Off The Oregon Coast Mekong River Basin Named Biodiversity Hotspot ›› Researchers Race To Save Coral In Miami OUTER SPACE Science At NASA Headline News Huge ‘Fuse’ Sparks Solar Eruption

When It Comes To Space Travel, Things Are Looking Up

TECHNOLOGY This Is How Little It Costs For States To Go Renewable Crazy Contraption Turns Cow Poo Into Clean Water, Fertilizer, And Natural Gas (Ahem) Brain Zapping: The Future Of War? 


Wave Energy Finally Gets Its Day In The Water Off The Oregon Coast How Much Cleaner Will Obama’s Climate Rules Make Your State? Is A Greener Oil Industry Possible? David Poritz Thinks So In Some States, Emissions Cuts Defy Skeptics


I found this really informative, even though I’m a cow-confirmed.  Are You Drinking The Wrong Milk?

This is encouraging.  Doctors use immune therapy against cervical cancer

I loved these as a kid and this year, I’m making my own.  A handful of pumpkins seeds is a great mega stress buster.

We suspect this is not a good commentary on the pace at which we still feel it is necessary to live to feel good about ourselves.  The rate of strokes among younger people is on the rise.

I am very proud of The True North after reading that a Canadian team has found the root causes for 148 rare childhood diseases

SHORTS Early Chemotherapy Extends Lives Of Men With Prostate Cancer, Study Finds 10 Life-Saving Facts You Need To Know About Melanoma The Best Yoga Moves For Looking Your Best From Behind Canadian Team Finds Root Causes For 146 Rare Childhood Diseases YOUTUBE “JUST TO FEEL GOOD” STUFF Amistad Soundtrack – 01 Dry Your Tears, Afrika


Supreme Court Declines To Halt OR Same Sex Marriages To Lure Bostonians, New ‘Pop-Up’ Bus Service Learns Riders’ Rhythms Seattle Wins $15 Minimum Wage—Will Your Town Be Next? For Some Retirees, A Second Act Is Easier Than Expected Hero In Seattle Shooting Getting Married; Social Media Site Urges Readers To Buy Him Gifts


Talking Cows Take On Factory Farms—Matrix Style Oregon wolf OR-7 is a dad

Wow: Space Telescope Takes Its Most Awesome Photo Ever

Space Telescope Spies Planet’s Awesome Light Show

Performing Without Net: Stars Of Youtube Take To The Stage


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.  Real reason koalas hug trees.  Apparently it is not because they need a place to rest.  What their bodies are actually doing

Guess who is now a parent?  Oregon wolf OR-7 is a dad

This is one of the reasons so many of us love living on the shores of the SalishSea aka the Puget Sound.  Video: A killer of a whale encounter

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s monthly newsletter is now available.  Articles in this one include:  Learn to Bird by Ear With New “Bird Song Hero”,Flyways for Flyweights: How Migrating Songbirds Use Weather to Their Advantage and their monthly Which Species Is This? 

The SeaDoc Society’s monthly newsletter is now available. Articles in this one include:  In the water with coastal cutthroat trout, Mapping the Pacific flyway and an introduction to their dedication summer staff, Intern invasion.  The SeaDoc Society is an adjunct of the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and they are headquartered on one of San Juan Islands in the SalishSea fka the Puget Sound.  They are one of the most ingenuously proactive groups in the creature protection field and we are honored by their society.

SHORTS Game Of Thrones Author Unveils Unique Plan To Raise Money For Wolves Rhino Horn Smuggling Ringleader Jailed For 70 Months US, Not Just Mexico, Revealed As Responsible For Decline In Monarch Butterflies RELATED LINKS: Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals


And yes, under the heading of, “Just about the time you have seen everything,” Imprisoned B.C. killer suing government for losing lingerie photos of his wife


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


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