an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, June 15, 2014

No. 388

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor

Ralph, the Northstar Geranium

Ralph, the Northstar Geranium


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it was another interesting week and it included this headline which I thought was ironic and which I am afraid might also be true.  The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth

Okay, let’s take a look at this assertion.  Who again profits the most from war again?

Mostly people who make stuff to kill other people, kind of like General Motors, but with intent.  And then there are the clothiers of the Apocalypse.  Outside of war and law enforcement, there’s not too much use for body armor.

Then there are the people who make the medicine to treat the wounded and the prosthetics to replace the parts war has a habit of ripping off a human being.

Let’s not forget all the ships, planes and trucks that deliver the supplies of death.  And the people who refine the fuel and machine the parts.

Then there are the doctors, therapists, hospital administrative staff and security guards to tend and care for our wounded warriors in such tributes to medical efficiency as the hospitals the Veterans Administration runs.

And finally, there are the soldiers themselves, some of whom would be in jail, on welfare or channeling their fighting spirit in ways our society has deemed inappropriate.  Without war to kill off these human beings who are not considered fit to live in our society but certainly qualified to die for it, there would be a lot more people nuzzling up to the public trough.

In a society which preaches humanitarian values but perpetuates practices which systematically destroy human beings for the sake of a Toyota or two in every teepee, war is apparently not an evil scourge of our species these bleeding hearts tell us it is.

War is simply a way of insuring the continued prosperity of those who survive it.

Now, having said that, it’s time to chat with Ralph, my geranium.  Flowers don’t even have a word for this insane practice.


Two studies take a look at how much safer roads would be if robots drove.

We are certainly glad to read this and we concur with the findings that motivated it.  Health Officials Call for More Fish in Diets of Children and Pregnant Women Even though climate change and over-fishing by some countries is reducing the piscatorial population, aqua-culture (fish farms) could supply the increasing need and put unemployed people in a lot of countries to work conserving and improving the two greatest natural resources our species has on the planet.

This saddens me but it does not surprise me.  A new study attributes 10,000 more suicides than originally thought.



‘Friendly Fire’ Strike Kills 5 Special Operations Soldiers In Afghanistan

Technocrat To Populist, An Afghan Transformed

Abdullah Abdullah Moves Toward Center Of Afghan Power

Afghans, Looking Ahead To U.S. Withdrawal, Vote With Guarded Optimism


Namibia Accused Of Allowing Elephant Hunting To Gain Local Political Support

A German Rebel In South Africa


Borders A Source Of Tension In China-India Ties

China Accuses Japan Of Aggressive Airborne Acts

Wild Cattle Thought Extinct Discovered In Cambodia’s Siem Reap Province ››

15 People Arrested In Hong Kong Ivory Seizure


Tasmanian Forests On Agenda At World Heritage Meeting

Calls To Vaccinate Against Meningococcal Ahead Of Winter

Abbott Reaffirms Support For US Actions On Iraq

Climatologist Warns El Nino Weather Pattern Looming

Army Chief Slams ‘Global Disgrace’ Of Gender Gap


Campaign To Crack Down On Fringe Sects In China Worries Mainstream Churches

Banks Fear Missing Collateral In China


At Swearing-In, Sisi Vows To Lead An ‘Inclusive’ Egypt

Egyptian President Apologizes To Woman Sexually Assaulted During Inauguration Celebrations


Traffic Snarls In Europe As Taxi Drivers Protest Against Uber

Tax Breaks For Apple And Starbucks Investigated By E.U.


A Remark In France Is Assailed As Racist

France Rail Strike Halts Many Trains


Germany Storms Leave 6 Dead; Travel Delays Linger

Merkel Cites ‘Threats’ In Warning To Cameron

Germans Spend Vacations At Wind Farms And Solar Arrays Because, Duh, They’re Germans


Greece Wars With Courts Over Ways To Slash Budget


Peres, At 90, Is Ready To Leave The Israeli Presidency, But Not To Retire


Photo Gallery: Argentine Gaucho Is Self-Taught Horse Whisperer


Palestinian Premier Says New Government Lacks Power In Gaza


Moscow Court Sentences 5 To Prison For Contract Killing Of Journalist


South Korean Police Raid Church Compound In Hunt For Owner Of Sunken Ferry


From Untended Farmland, Reserve Tries To Recreate Wilderness From Long Ago


Rift Deepens Over Claims Of Infiltration By Islamic Extremists In British Schools

UK Tree Planting Falling Far Short Of Targets To Ensure Future Biodiversity

Rare European Butterfly Seems To Be Making A Home On UK’s Sunny South Coast

BBC Journalists Made OBEs By Queen

Storms Leave Hundreds Without Power


Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s Controversial Foreign Minister, Elected President Of UN General Assembly


Eric Cantor Defeated By David Brat, Tea Party Challenger, In Primary Upset

Hurricane Cristina Just Set A Scary Record

Efforts By Colleges To Curb Assaults Focus On Fraternities

F.C.C. Begins Investigation Into Quality Of Internet Download Speeds

Fraternities Are Focus Of Measures To Reduce Assaults And Misconduct


At Vatican, Day Of Prayer With Focus On Uniting

U.S. Bishops Seek To Match Vatican In Shifting Tone



Six Ways Climate Change Is Changing Your Seafood (And What To Do About It)

Canada ‘More Frank’ About Climate Change, Harper Says

Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Lose Hope On Climate Change

Red States Pump Out More Carbon Pollution Than Blue Ones

So Much Artic Ice Has Melted, We Need A New Atlas

Climate Change Threatens America’s ‘King Corn’


Islamic Militants Seize Sections Of Iraq’s Second-Largest City

Sunni Militants Drive Iraqi Army Out Of Mosul

Exhausted And Bereft, Iraqi Soldiers Quit Fight

The Group That’s Building A Caliphate

Iraq Authorities Determined To Recapture City Overrun By Militants, Governor Says

Iraq Militants, Pushing South, Aim At Capital

Iraq Said To Seek U.S. Strikes On Militants

U.S. To Help Battle Iraqi Insurgents But Offer Little Support To Beleaguered Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki

Iraqis Who Fled Mosul Say They Prefer Militants To Government

Iraqi Shiite Cleric Issues Call To Arms Against Sunni Militants

U.N. Warns Of Rights Abuses And Hundreds Dead In Iraq Fighting

Iraqi Shiite Cleric Issues Call To Arms

Seeing Their Gains At Risk, Shiites Flock To Join Militias

Beleaguered Iraqis Court Iranian Mastermind Of The Shiites Who Fought The U.S.

Video: Iraq’s Factions And Their Goals

Rebels’ Fast Strike In Iraq Was Years In The Making


After Bergdahl Briefing, Senators Still Doubtful On Prisoner Swap

Bergdahl, Back In U.S., Is Treated At Army Medical Center


Second Chinese Army Unit Implicated In Cyberattacks

Spying Heats Up In Melting Arctic As Countries Vie For Energy Wealth


Syrian President Bashar Assad Declares Amnesty For Prisoners As Civil War Rages

Syria Suicide Bombing Puts U.S. Face On Jihad Video


Russia And Ukraine Meet On Natural Gas Pricing Dispute

Fisher: Stop The Charade About Russian Meddling In Ukraine

Ukrainians Find Jobs And A Slice Of Russia In Arctic Norway

Russia Sent Tanks To Ukrainian Separatists, U.S. Says


Terrorists Attack Airport In Pakistan, Killing 13

A Bold Counterpunch Shows Taliban’s Lasting Strength

Taliban Attack Pakistani Airport Again Amid Military Raids Taliban Attack Pakistani Airport Again Amid Military Raids

Second Drone Strike In Pakistan Suggests Freer Hand For U.S.


In last week’s edition, we shared our thoughts on violence against our youth, in reaction to an incident at SeattlePacificUniversity earlier this month.  We invited you to respond and you did.


Regards your column, yes it needs to stop. Now I’m considering the why of it, and here are my initial ideas. There are people among us who are near the tipping point, emotionally, financially, socially. We live in a world that is increasingly filled with pressures, to make more money, to have more things, to have meaningful relationships, to navigate an increasingly crowded and feverishly busy world. We have to pressures; we have the tools, and one by one those near the tipping point tip. Perhaps it’s time for society in general to stop, take a deep breath, sit down and simply think.  Based on what I saw on 60 Minutes last night. We don’t take care of the mentally ill any longer. They’re on the street, doing the best they can, and when the mess up, they end up in jail, which has become the de facto mental ward these days. Add to that, you can be crazy and still buy a gun. Perhaps our society really does have a problem.

Meade Fischer, Pacifica, California

Editor’s Note:

Meade Fischer is a professional educator, former municipal elected official, journalist and ocean-class kayaker who has authored several books on natural recreation opportunities in Northern California.  He is also the associate editor emeritus of The Northstar’s great-grandfather, Rapline, when we were an offset monthly publishing out of Sacramento, California in the late Seventies.


I think Meade has a point about people in our society who reach their pressure points.  Now, I would like to hear how he thinks we can recognize these people and get them the help they need before they explode.

I think the lack of a comprehensive plan on how to deal with people who are mentally ill in our society and having money to fund some program and not having some basic gun safety standards and ownership rules continue to set up the situations that happened at SPU and UC-Santa Barbara over the last few weeks.

People who have diagnosed mental issues, should not be allowed to have guns or buy guns.  People with diagnosed mental issues need to be able to get the support they need from our society.  No one, but our military personnel and some of our police force needs guns that shoot more than five rounds at a time.  Until we are willing to say enough is enough we will continue to see these tragic shoots continue in the United States.

There are lots of good reasons why the Brady Law worked and needs to be brought back and expanded.  The NRA and the gun lobby shouldn’t be able to hold hostage our society and government.  I’m hoping that the college students around the country will take up this issue and tell the established parties to get it together or give up, because this isn’t the type of society we want to have now or in the future.

Dennis William Steussy, Des Moines, Washington

Editor’s Note:

Dennis Steussy is a professional educator, civic leader and father.  He is also this publication’s associate editor and the editor of my novel, Wrath of the Testament.


If it was not for the serious implications of this, it would almost seem like a Movie of the Week.  Military, Airports On Alert As Quebec Sees Second Jailbreak Involving Helicopter

The answer to this might surprise you.  Aging in Canada: How well are we treating our elders?

Who Are The Most Overrated And Underrated Canadians Of All Time?  You decide.


Canada ‘More Frank’ About Climate Change, Harper Says

B.C. Teachers’ Union Votes To Authorize Full-Scale Strike, Could Call One Next Week

Immigration Minister Defends Move To Strip Offending Dual Nationals Of Canadian Citizenship

Supreme Court Delivers Crucial Win For Online Privacy Rights

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:     Good morning, love of my three lifetimes.  Happy Father’s Day.

Sam:        I smell salmon.

Felina:     You do indeed.

Sam:        And I don’t hear any of our errant offspring in the kitchen, destroying it to fix me something as inedible as it is well-intentioned.

Felina:     You make me smile and of course not.  They only did that once quite a long time ago, actually.

Sam:        Some “only once’s” linger in the mind for the rest of one’s natural life.

Felina:     Then it is a good thing that your life is anything but natural, is it not, oh sun and moon of my life?

Sam:        Natural is a relative term.

Felina:     So are kittens, even when they are all grown up and living happy and productive lives away from a father who insults Quebec and a mother who forgives him for it.

Sam:        I’m not going to win this one, am I?

Felina:     You have as much chance of that as a glacier does during global warming.

Sam:        In that case, I shall break my sword over my knee and fight no more forever.  So who is making the salmon?  You don’t cook.

Felina:     It is from Solomon’s Salmon Salon.

Sam:        Ah, the Triple S.  Gotcha.

Felina:     Our first daughter is dating one of their delivery persons.  He wants to get on your good side so this is a Father’s Day present.

Sam:        Salmon from a suck up.  Cool.  Not as cool as the veterinarian she was dating but for salmon, I would do almost everything.

Felina:     For salmon, you would sell out the planet and every life form on it to invading aliens with fins and a crafty smile.

Sam:        Not very flattering but alas, also very true.

Felina:     So enjoy your baked Chinook, my love.  The rest of the litter will be by this afternoon for pizza and the pleasure of your patronage.

Sam:        I can handle that.  And on that note, then, Felina?

Felina:     On that note, Gentle Readers, Happy Fathers Day.  And 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 is so cool.  Detroit Automakers Pledge $26 Million to Help Save City’s Art

Despite opposition by the taxi industry, we still think this is a good idea.  With Uber, Less Reason to Own a Car  I take a cab on special occasions and to impress people but I also take the bus and ride share because I enjoy the company and the opportunity to network in person.

Under “Better late than never,” Fraternities Are Focus Of Measures To Reduce Assaults And Misconduct


How Slain Mountie Saved Newborn’s Life

Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, And Vietnam Join Forces Over Illegal Turtle Trade ››

International Whaling Commission Challenges New Zealand Government To Save Maui’s Dolphins


Lord, sit on my tongue now.  V.A. Audit Finds Long Waits for Care Are Widespread

This dude wasn’t just dangerous.  He was incredibly stupid.  Alleged Seattle campus shooter went off meds because he ‘wanted to feel the hate,’ prosecutor says

Here we go again, gang.  G.M. Recalls Camaros for an Ignition Switch Defect


Red States Pump Out More Carbon Pollution Than Blue Ones

Sex crimes increased at U.S. colleges, universities even as overall crime declined: report

Children in Irish care homes used as vaccine ‘guinea pigs’

14-year-olds hack BMO ATM using manual found online


I thought this was cool but I still remember that meshuggeneh computer HAL in Space Odyssey 2001.  If one of these pups fails… Controlling Your Smart Home With One Hub

The British are preparing to break the world land speed record and they’re putting a 1,000 mph Norwegian rocket on wheels to do it.

If this is true, there might just be life of another form here.   Vast Hidden Ocean Discovered Deep Under Continent


Genetically Modified Mosquitoes May Help Wipe Out Malaria

Genetic ‘Adam & Eve’ Uncovered In Surprising New Study

Are Science & Religion Compatible? What Controversial New Survey Says


NASA’s ‘Flying Saucer’ Mission Hopes To Launch By Late June

Beautiful ‘Beast’ Spotted In Amazing Detail

Will Extroverts Be Excluded From Mars Missions?

Calling Back A Zombie Ship From The Graveyard Of Space


Finally, An Electric Car That Crushes All The Others (Literally)

Cloud Computing: A Special Section

Former B.C. Mountie, Vancouver Doctor Invent Roadside Marijuana Breathalyzer


Four Reasons To Love Obama’s Power Plant Rules, And Three Reasons Not To

Your Clothes Dryer Is A Huge Energy Waster

Germans Spend Vacations At Wind Farms And Solar Arrays Because, Duh, They’re Germans


This is not good news.  Over 29 million Americans have diabetes: CDC

Here are nine health mistakes some of us make in the morning.

This is encouraging.  B.C. Study Tests Vitamin D Against Cancer


Highly Effective New Drugs For Hepatitis C Jostle For Market Share

Threat Grows From Liver Illness Tied To Obesity

When Mammograms Lie: How Cancer Can Sneak Past Our Greatest Screening Techniques


Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass – El Presidente


Minimum Wage: Who Makes It?

Science: If you live near a park you’re more likely to be happy. 

Your Clothes Dryer Is A Huge Energy Waster

US teens smoking, drinking less, texting behind wheel more

Video: The Not-So-Smart Home


Startled Carriage Horse Runs Around Central Park Before Getting Corralled (With Video)

What’s In It: Domino’s Smart Slice

Dramatic Helicopter Rescue At Yosemite National Park Captured On Video

Stunning Light Displays at Vivid Sydney (PHOTOS)


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



You’ve got to love this.  Car detour helps baby toads cross busy road

Well, this might seem a little odd unless one remembers that their ancestors were there first.  Photos: Black bear found in NE Portland

Sometimes I think things like this could only happen where this did.  Video: roe deer rescued in East Sussex after scoring own goal


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

Crustaceans Experience ‘Anxiety’

Frog’s Tongue Lifts Own Body Weight


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Racing Cranky Camels in Australia


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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