an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, June 22, 2014

No. 389

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor

Chevolet Impala


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.   Well, this is a little disconcerting.  In Another Blow, G.M. Recalls 3 Million More Defective Cars   And unfortunately for me, the spate of headlines like this has flicked the light switch on my Closet of Secret Shame.  Gentle readers, please don’t hate me.  I have owed several Chevrolets.

The best of them was an Impala that was built back before someone figured out that if you make something that lasts for a long time, you won’t sell as many.  Once the concept of planned obsolescence metastasized throughout the economy, recalls have been more the norm than the exception and GM, Toyota and others are not alone in these regards.

I still gravitate to stuff that lasts.  Recycling is one way that concept manifests itself in the House That Northstar Built.  We’re probably putting a dent in the Tupperware industry but so much of what food comes in makes perfectly good containers for other stuff.  What we don’t use, we wash and put out in the blue bin ~ which the City of Seattle empties once a week ~ so it can be used again in another incarnation.

I’m the same way with rainwater and my own private garden.  You wouldn’t think water would be in short supply in Seattle and it’s not, this spring.  But I was raised in a place where droughts were chronic so to me, it’s just not natural to watch rain falling and not into at least a bucket to wash sox in.

We also don’t use the clothes dryer as much as most households.  On good weather days, we have a place out back to hang the wash.  When it’s raining, there’s a place in the laundry room to do that.  You can wash a load the night before and by the time you get home from work the next afternoon, it’s ready to wear or stow away.

Yesterday, thanks to Super Glue, I resurrected two pair of shoes that would have cost me nearly $75.00 to replace.  We have sugar cans for things like that so when one is full but the money isn’t needed, it gets spent on something else.  My friend Anna is visiting next month so instead of shoes, this money is going into a picnic on Lake Washington, renting a canoe and going out for Mexican food after.

I’m looking for another vintage car to restore.  I have this dream of a copper 1964 Ford Mustang rag top with a mid-sized six in it.  I’m not real high on fossil fuels but until electrics can compete in aggressive traffic, I’m stuck with the best one I can find.  Like many of my friends in Seattle, car ownership does not mean the vehicle is in constant use.  Metro is still a cheaper and more relaxing way to get around the city.   And any errand within a mile of the house, like grocery shopping with knapsacks, is a good excuse for a nice walk.

I’m also saving up for a Nissan Leaf and 3,000 miles or so of extension cord.  I promised Anna a Travels With Mishka trip across Canada next summer and the True North doesn’t quite yet have charging stations from Vancouver to Halifax.

Thanks for the ear, gang.  Have a great week, eh?


Here’s headline news for sure.  It looks like the International Space Station is getting its first coffee making machine.

I thought this was absolutely priceless.  Hillary delightfully surprised by Glee star visitor at her book signing.  Mutual admiration since revealed.

Those Seeking Asylum In Australia Have An Interesting Choice And It Is An Option They Have Had For Over A Decade Now.  Paying Asylum Seekers To Return Home ‘Standard Practice’



Afghan Candidate Alleges Voting Fraud By Karzai And Aides


Extremists Attack Hotels, Police Station In Kenyan Town; 48 Dead

Kenyan Leader Blames Domestic Foes, Not Shabab, For Attacks


China, Trying To Bolster Its Claims, Plants Islands In Disputed Waters

Myanmar Wetland To Be Protected By The Country’s First Eco-Tourism Initiative ››


Bishop Pushes For Greste Release Ahead Of Verdict

Former Hostages Urge Peter Greste To Keep Hope Alive

Mums Back At Work ‘For As Little As $3.50 An Hour’

Vandals Spray Swastikas On Ukrainian Church In Sydney

Little Chance Of Finding Missing Mt Isa Miner Alive


China’s Clampdown On ‘Evil Cults’

Relatives Shed Assets As China’s Leader Fights Graft

China And Greece Sign Major Deals


Egyptian-Canadian Journalist Tells Cairo Judge TV Network Is Not To Blame For Turmoil In Egypt, Iraq


UK PM To Urge Juncker Vote


Greece And China Sign Major Deals


Indian Factory Workers Kill CEO, Beat Manager With Iron Rods After Their Hours Are Increased

India Blames Environmental Activists For Its Economic Problems


Netanyahu Says Three Were Taken By Hamas


Assessing Fukushima Damage Without Eyes On The Inside


Supreme Court Repels Argentina Over Defaulted Debt

As Demand For Education Rises In Brazil, For-Profit Colleges Fill The Gap

Brazil heads a host of countries significantly reducing rainforest destruction


Lebanon Detains 17 Said To Be Islamist Militants


Russia Learned Nothing Of Value From Canadian Spy Jeffrey Delisle: Envoy


Spain’s New King Felipe VI Swears Oath As Head Of State


Britain Says It Is Ready To Reopen Embassy In Iran

Black-Winged Stilt Chicks Hatch In Southern England For First Time In 27 Years ››


Population Shifts Turning All Politics National

As Justice Department Scrutinizes Local Police, Cleveland Is Latest Focus



We’re Massively Underestimating Climate Costs, Experts Warn

This Is How Much America Spends Putting Out Wildfires

Icebergs Decimating Sea Life In Antarctic Shallows

Ponds ‘Predict Arctic Sea-Ice Melt’


Militants Claim Mass Execution Of Iraqi Forces

Obama Pushes Iraqis To Mend Sectarian Rifts

U.S. Plans To Evacuate Many Embassy Workers

Thousands Of Iraqi Christians Flee Homes As Terrorists Seize Land, Commit Atrocities; Many Say They’re Not Going Back

U.S. And Iran Signaling New Joint Effort In Iraq Crisis

Sunnis And Kurds On Sidelines Of Iraqi Leader’s Military Plans

Iraqi Militants Capture Northern Town Of Tal Afar Near Syrian Border

Iraq Insurgents Reaping Wealth As They Advance

Top Shiite Cleric In Iraq Urges Inclusive Government

The Danger Of Mission Creep In Iraq


British Spy Agencies Are Said To Assert Power To Intercept Web Traffic


Evacuating Children Along A Dangerous Ukraine Route

Gazprom Cuts Russia’s Natural Gas Supply To Ukraine

Putin ‘Supports’ Ukraine Peace Plan


In Drive Against Militants, Pakistani Airstrikes Hit Strongholds

U.S. Captures Top Suspect In Benghazi Siege, Pentagon Says

A Brazen Figure In Benghazi Holds An Attack’s Secrets

U.S. Defends Prosecuting Benghazi Suspect In Civilian Rather Than Military Court

17 Said To Be Islamist Militants Held In Beirut For Suspected Assassination Plot


This is so cool.  Canadian Researchers Take Part In Global Project Exploring The ‘Little Engines’ Of The World’s Oceans

This is certainly something of which to be proud.  Stanley Park Named Best Park In The World By TripAdvisor (With Photos)

This, however, is not.  Rats Ride Green Wave Into Vancouver’s Downtown Core

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, this is a new photograph on our mantle.

Sam:        Yep, it came in this morning’s post, Lass.

Felina:     He looks very distinguished.  Is the other one his daughter?

Sam:        Nope.

Felina:     She looks intelligent despite the mane to her waist.  She is his assistant, then?

Sam:        In a manner of speaking, yep.  I’m gettin’ hungry for some salmon eggs on a fern.  Want some with me?

Felina:     She is his mate, is she not, Samuel Alexander?

Sam:        Well, since you asked.

Felina:     And this distinguished but elderly cougar is perhaps related to you?  I thought I have met or have been told about all of your very ‘interesting’ family.

Sam:        I sort of left him out until the time was right.

Felina:     I see.

Sam:        Because I knew how you’d react.

Felina:     So you decided to surprise me, thinking perhaps that my attitude would be mitigated by ambush?

Sam:        It was more like I was hoping and praying you wouldn’t totally lose that calm, cool, collected poise which makes you such an outstanding Canadian and also a role model for your gender and your species.

Felina:     You worked on that for awhile too, didn’t you?

Sam:        Yep, I did.

Felina:     I was just not prepared to discover that I have a salacious relative by marriage.

Sam:        Not everybody can be a solicitor or a saint, Felina.

Felina:     Which, precisely, is he?

Sam:        My Uncle Mishka for a long time was the Protector of his part of the forest, where he comes from.  He was mated to someone I believe he loved almost as much as I love you.  An avalanche sent her Home and for many years, he shared his cave with her memory.

Felina:     Ah, I see.  But sometimes, memories are not enough.

Sam:        No, Felina, sometimes they are not.

Felina:     She does not look that young, actually.  And he does not look so old after all.

Sam:        I expect they meet somewhere in the middle.

Felina:     When are they coming to visit?

Sam:        Whenever you tell them it’s cool.  You are, after all, the keeper of the cave.

Felina:     I think I would very much like to meet them.  So I will send forth the word.

Sam:        With drums, flags and flourishes of trumpets.

Felina:     Our woods shall resound with my regal invitation.

Sam:        The Queen has spoken.

Felina:     She has indeed.

Sam:        Cool and most excellent.  And on that note, then, 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.


I love it when a corporation goes totally cool.  Starbucks to Provide Free College Education to Thousands of Workers

Now THIS is what I expect from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Finest kind, guys.   Five Children Rescued, More Than 150 People Arrested In Nationwide Child-Porn Sting

We loved reading about this.  Clintons honoured by Wildlife Conservation Society


Presbyterians Vote To Allow Same-Sex Marriages

World’s Largest Marine Protected Area To Be Created In Pacific

Us Sets Up Honey Bee Task Force


Let no one wonder why some of us say, “Never again.”  A Retiree, 89, Is Held in Deaths at Auschwitz

If I mess up big time and end up going to the Bad Place, I hope it’s not the same part of it these people are headed for.  V.A. Punished Critics on Staff, Doctors Assert

These folks are on a roll, a downhill roll.  In Another Blow, G.M. Recalls 3 Million More Defective Cars


India Blames Environmental Activists For Its Economic Problems

Vandals Spray Swastikas On Ukrainian Church In Sydney

General In Sex Case To Retire With A 2-Rank Demotion 


It’s not like we didn’t expect this, right?  (Think HAL, Space Odyssey 2001)  As Robotics Advances, Worries of Killer Robots Rise

Considering the rough time these little dudes and dude-ettes have had in this century, this is an idea whose time has definitely come.  US Sets Up Honey Bee Task Force

This is a definite break in one tradition while establishing a new one which should sound the century.  Nice going, chopper guys.  Harley-Davidson Tests Electric Bike


Swarm Mission Makes Magnetic Maps

Mountain Blasted To Build Telescope

Rosetta: Icy Quarry Coming Into View 93


How To Put A Human On Mars ~ Concept For Putting The First People On The Red Planet

Mars Mission Concept Explained

What Would First Person On Mars Say?


Pepper Spray Drones Put On Sale

New Emojis Developed For Smartphones

Camera Boat Maps Japan Tsunami Coast


The Earth Observatory’s mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models.


India Blames Environmental Activists For Its Economic Problems

Demand The Right To Know About “Bomb Trains”

First Nations: ‘When We Say No, We Mean It’


Check out the Sierra Club’s earth-friendly, skin-saving sunscreen list.

I really enjoyed this one and sent it to family and friends when I found it.  Here are Five Signs That You Are Going To Make It.

This is one of those stories that makes me wonder if there is not a lemming in the human wood pile.  Humans Addicted To Sunlight, Despite Cancer Risk


Ride To Conquer Cancer Team Remembers The Young G-Man

Study Matches Lung Cancer Drugs To Patients’ Gene Profiles

Exercise Can Boost Memory In Young And Old


Supermarket confusion: You got served

Breastfeeding: Good for babies, the environment, and justice, too

Map: Seattle Renters Go It Alone

Are You Suffering From Rushing Woman’s Syndrome? (With Video)

What Does It Mean to Be American? ~ Feel free to highlight a story or observation that clarifies what being American means to you in the comments section of this article.

New Offering For Job Seekers: Fewer Embarrassing Social Media Photos


Nine Amazing Lessons From Nature To Inspire Your Everyday Life

Top images from around the world

More Top Images From Around The World

Watch: Black bear gives joggers a scare near Fort McMurray

Video: Reasons To Fall In Love With Oregon


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



We thought this was definitely cool, considering its proximity to the House of Northstar.  Beekeepers are breeding a race of super bees at the Seattle airport

This reminded us of a bad 1950s science fiction film.  Giant bullfrogs have invaded British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province.

It’s hard not to like this guy when he does stuff like this.  Obama doubles global marine reserves


Film Shows Amur Tiger Swimming Across Russia’s Border To China ››

Wild Yak Mothers Found To Be Higher Climbers Than Their Male Counterparts ››

Bird Flu ‘Danger Zones’ Mapped

World’s Oldest Cat Dies Aged 24


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Video: The Man Who Took His Cabbage For A Walk


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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