an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, July 6, 2014

No. 391

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor

UN Peace Dove


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. I hope it has been a good week for you and that our Canadian and American readers had a good First and Fourth respectively. We appreciated the Happy Independence Day wishes we received from a dear friend in the Ukraine. There was enough irony in it to mine for a millennium.

The emails and Instant Messages we receive from you folks are always gratifying and as real an experience as connecting over a handshake or a hug. For reasons as fundamental as a respect for your privacy, we don’t publish them very often. But sometimes we do talk about them and yep, this is one of those times.

To the several of you who wondered how we managed to slide past Canada Day and America’s Independence Day without significant comment, we realized that there are 13 other countries on our mailing list who also have an annual celebration of national birth. We’re an English language weekly magazine sited in North America but you guys are an international readership.

I also made a conscious decision some years ago not to over-celebrate those events orchestrated by “bombs bursting in air,” which is also why we’ve made so little mention of the anniversaries of great wars or history-turning battles. The simple fact is that I hate war as much as I love peace and for reasons not entirely philosophical.

When two of the young people in my life were serving in Operation Desert Storm, I was working at a major aircraft company on a military project. I cannot remember a single night when I did not pray and have nightmares nonetheless. My days were spent cringing every time the telephone rang and for days on end, I refused to look at my postal mail.

Millions of parents around the world have been going through this since the dawn of recorded history and I think it’s time it stopped. If there’s nothing this modest magazine can do to end this insane practice, the least we here at the Northstar Journal can do is stop enabling it. And that’s a decision we reaffirmed recently as a team.

And finally, I really do need to turn you onto something cool. I’m not a Smartphone type person but everybody I know is. A small Ukrainian online start up has invented an application which makes online shopping almost as easy as changing channels with the remote and as interactive as social media allows. Check it out here and let me know what you think.

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


Check out America’s most and least walkable cities. This is the source report in .pdf format.

Where are the hardest places in America to live? The answer just might surprise you.

It is very interesting to me watching the price of a human life fluctuate with the ebb and flow of the economy and corporate ineptitude. G.M. to Offer at Least $1 Million for Each Ignition Switch Death



Unarmed Drones Aid U.N. Peacekeepers In Africa

African States Agree Ebola Strategy

India To Provide Four Free Vaccines

Senegal Prime Minister Toure Sacked


Rare Cranes Spotted In Northern Myanmar

Japan Announces A Military Shift To Thwart China

Video: Hong Kong Challenges Beijing

Presidents Of China And South Korea Reaffirm Push For North Korean Denuclearization

Buddhist-Muslim Mayhem Hits Myanmar’s No. 2 City

In Myanmar, The Euphoria Of Reform Loses Its Glow


The Racist Video That’s Shocked Australia

Morrison To Visit Sri Lanka Amid Silence On Fate Of Tamil Asylum Seekers

Rolf Harris Sentenced To More Than Five Years’ Jail

Tamil Asylum Seekers ‘Already Tortured’ By Sri Lanka (Video)

Australian Market Matches US Gains Amid Dearth Of Local News

Worst Mortgage Delinquencies Sit On Cities’ Outer Fringes

Digital Disruption Could Cost Australian Banks $27 Billion A Year


China’s Hurdle To Fast Action On Climate Change


Video: The Bomb Collector Of Ypres

French Ex-Leader Questioned In Graft Inquiry, Imperiling Comeback Hopes

European Union Reduces Cellphone Roaming Charges

With Detention Of Sarkozy, France Laments Presidency’s Faded Grandeur

Poland’s Culture War Rages On

B.C. Ferries Awards Contracts For Three New Ships To Polish Yard

German Proposal Seeks To Sharply Curtail Fracking

Italy Accuses Germany Of Undermining Its Economic Efforts

Belarus: Restoration of waterway between Black Sea, Baltic Sea via…

UK Economy ‘To Beat France By 2020’


5 Detained In India After At Least 22 Die In Building Collapses; Dozens Trapped

Rescuers Pull Out 6 Survivors From Rubble Of Collapsed Apartment Building In India

West Courts India In Hopes Of Arms Deals


Brazil Turtle Conservation

Cybercrime Scheme Aims At Payments In Brazil


Israel Mobilizing Forces Around Gaza

Refugee Camp For Syrians In Jordan Evolves As A Do-It-Yourself City

Tensions High In Jerusalem As Palestinian Teenager Is Given A Martyr’s Burial


Photographs: To Be A Russian


Britain’s Strange Identity Crisis

Google Alerts British News Outlets About Deleting Their Links

London Transport Regulator Says Uber Can Legally Operate

Ex-News Of The World Editor Sentenced To 18 Months For Phone Hacking

Google Reinstates European Links To Articles From The Guardian

Scottish Independence: A Layman’s Glossary

Rolf Harris Sentence To Be Reviewed Amid Claims It Is Too Lenient


Boom Meets Bust In Texas: Atop Sea Of Oil, Poverty Digs In

U.S. Accuses T-Mobile Of Overbilling

Map: Where Women Represent

Stephen Gaskin, Hippie Who Founded An Enduring Commune, Dies At 79

Court Rules That New York Towns Can Ban Fracking

U.S. Economy Added 288,000 Jobs In June; Unemployment Rate At 6.1%

Dow Closes Above 17,000 As Stock Rally Outpaces Economy

Prescription Overdose Deaths In Florida Plunge After Tougher Measures, Report Says

Still Further to Go on Land Mines


Vatican Won’t Give All Abuse Papers To Australian Royal Commission



Hacking The Climate: The Search For Solutions To The World’s Greatest Challenge

China’s Hurdle To Fast Action On Climate Change

Arctic Birds Nesting Earlier To Catch Advancing Springs


Iraq Says Russian Experts Have Arrived To Help Prepare Jets For Fighting

Foreign Forces Ready To Defend Interests In Iraq

Kurdish Officials Seek More Autonomy In Any Deal With A New Government


Many Sharp Turns In Bergdahl’s Path To Army


New N.S.A. Chief Calls Damage From Snowden Leaks Manageable

Privacy Board Backs N.S.A. Program That Taps Internet In U.S.

German Man Arrested As Spy Implicates U.S.


Refugee Camp For Syrians In Jordan Evolves As A Do-It-Yourself City

Britain Expands Syria Border Aid


Ukraine Rebels Abandon Key Cities

Ukraine Crisis: News Analysis By The BBC


Pakistan Army Begins Ground Assault On Militants

Pakistan Approves Sweeping Antiterror Bill, Prompting Warnings From Rights Groups

Obama’s Blueprint For Fighting Terrorism Collides With Reality In Iraq


I can think of few who deserve this more. Chris Hadfield named to Order of Canada, will release Canada Day song

This was a lot of fun this past Canada Day. Interactive quiz! How Canadian are you?

I thought this was interesting. Canadian Anti Spam Law Whips Up a Storm of Last-Minute Messages


8 Canadian Stereotypes, Eh

Manitoba Declares State Of Emergency As Floodwater Surges, Seeks Help From Military

Lac-Megantic Mourns One Year Later

Cougars Corner

Sam:        Hi, Sweetheart, Happy Breakfast. What are you looking at on the Tablet?

Felina:     Good morning, love of my three life times. The Lox Person just made a delivery. It is in Amana.

Sam:        And if memory serves, our refrigerator loves smoked Chinook.

Felina:     She actually prefers sockeye.

Sam:        She’ll eat tuna in a pinch, Felina.

Felina:     Quite so. The Lox Person billed our card for King salmon, however.

Sam:       Good choice. However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Wild Willy Rooster and the Calamity Jean of digression. And the Louise Lamour of the smooth segue.

Sam:        Which brings us back to “do,” a deer, a female deer.

Felina:     Delightful, Samuel. Darling, what are polls and why are they so important?

Sam:       You mean like the ones that rate a national leader at any given point in time?

Felina:     Yes, my love. There are so many and often they do not agree. Yet they all claim to represent the voice of the people.

Sam:        Which might suggest that the people have many voices, not unlike the choirs in their places of worship.

Felina:     If this is true, Harmony. thy name is Cacophony, Samuel.

Sam:       Sometimes it just depends on who they talk to, Sweetheart.

Felina:     And apparently what time of day, what day of the week, in what kind of weather and how their favourite professional sports team did most recently.

Sam:        That would definitely be the cumulative voice of their species, when asked, yep.

Felina:     I seem to recall something in their theological literature that mentions an attempt to build a stairway to where they believe the After Life begins. Apparently they did speak in one voice then.

Sam:       Yep, but it was a very whiney, needy, “please love me despite the fact that I sleep with my neighbor’s wife, covet his cow and sass my parents” kind of voice.

Felina:     So the Creator decided She didn’t want them up there until they acquired the resonance of puberty.

Sam:        Yep. I figure that’s why She named it “the Hereafter” and not the “Here and Now.”

Felina:     So these polls are pretty much babel?

Sam:       If their President Obama didn’t think so, he’d probably have lemming’d off a cliff by now.

Felina:     He does seem to understand something that eludes so many of his species.

Sam:        Yep. The Hereafter is not a destination. It’s a dimension and you’re not going to be invited into it until you’re housebroken.

Felina:     Which does not quite explain why all dogs go to Heaven. But it certainly would explain why all humans do not, at least on the first attempt.

Sam:        Yep. The Hereafter’s not perfect but dogs are a lot easier to housebreak than humans.

Felina:     And there are none of these poll things in the Hereafter either.

Sam:        Nope, Sweetheart, there are not. 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.


We agree with this, totally. First Nations, First Dibs, Says Canada’s Supreme Court

Say what you want about her, we definitely admire her style. Merkel Heads to China to Keep Alive ‘Golden Decade’ of Deals

This is encouraging. As Numbers Grow, Single Women Emerge as Political Powerhouse


Olympian Clara Hughes Ends Cross-Canada Mental Health Ride On Parliament Hill

European Union Reduces Cellphone Roaming Charges

At Zingerman’s, Pastrami And Partnership To Go


This person belongs in a jar of formaldehyde on a dusty shelf, sentient and aware of being totally and eternally alone. Broadcaster and entertainer Rolf Harris guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault

If every Californian in the state is not profoundly ashamed of this, they should be. I only lived there for awhile and I am. The Town Where Immigrants Hit a Human Wall

I am glad my mother is not alive to see this. She would say that when one makes war on children, one becomes what one most adamantly protests. And that would have been saying it very nicely. Autopsy Suggests Palestinian Teenager Was Burned to Death After Abduction


Diocese Of Kansas City-St. Joseph To Pay For Failure To Report Abuse

U.S. Accuses T-Mobile Of Overbilling

Going Without Water In Detroit


This is good news. NASA Launching Satellite to Track Carbon

This guy sounds like just what NASA needs. Meet The Brazen Scientist Who’s Taking Over NASA’s High-Powered Climate Lab

This could just provide an important piece of one of the most puzzling mysteries in aviation history. 1937 photograph could help solve mystery of aviator Amelia Earhart’s disappearance


Newly Discovered Dinosaur Called The ‘Chicken From Hell’

1,600 Year-Old Antarctic Moss Back From The Dead After Being Thawed

Scientists Discover Tiny Cousin Of T. Rex


Smile! Satellites Can See Your Illegal Fishing From Space

Second Try Puts Carbon Observatory Into Orbit

‘Space’ Balloon Sets New World Record


Why Computers Won’t Be Replacing You Just Yet

Who’s The Greatest Mathematician Of Them All?

Web Users In Hawaii Hunt Invasive Plants


Neanderthal Poop, World Cup In Orbit, And Webcam Eaglets In Peril


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.


Going vegetarian can cut your diet’s carbon footprint in half

Cool Roofs Offer A Salve For Hot Cities — And The Climate, Too

China’s Hurdle To Fast Action On Climate Change

Stephen Gaskin, Hippie Who Founded An Enduring Commune, Dies At 79

Court Rules That New York Towns Can Ban Fracking

Four Ways to Build a Bee-Friendly Neighborhood

German Proposal Seeks To Sharply Curtail Fracking

How To Prevent Summer Blackouts


We agree with this in principle but please check with your health care provider to make sure it works for you. Going Vegetarian Can Cut Your Diet’s Carbon Footprint In Half

Are you a “workaholic,” or simply hard working? Yep, the answer just might surprise you.

Not only is it not that good for you, but apparently it really does not taste very good. Sorry, Ronald. If it’s any consolation, Burger King and Jack in the Box did not fare (pun intended) much better in this latest Consumer Report.


The Price Of Prevention: Vaccine Costs Are Soaring

In Human Cloning First, Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adults

Canadian Researchers Explore Best Practices In Treatment Of Childhood Obesity


Eleven Untranslatable Words

Map: Where Women Represent

Public Transit Still Isn’t Safe For Women — But We Can Change That

Paying Employees To Stay, Not To Go

Children Of Same-Sex Parents Healthier And Happier New Australian Study Suggests

About Those Presidential Polls


Top Images From Around The World

The Wildebeest Migration

The World’s Most Stunning Bridges


 Testament Ad Graphic


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



I’m pretty sure this doesn’t happen every day, even in Alaskal

This is reassuring. Emperor penguins can relocate to beat global warming

Kangaroos use their tail as a fifth leg, according to a Canadian – Australian study published recently in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters.


Studying What Lures Turtles to a Tarmac at Kennedy Airport

Four Ways To Build A Bee-Friendly Neighborhood

SeaDoc banner

HERE’S THE SEADOC SOCIETY’S JULY 2004 NEWSLETTER. Articles this time include:

Why do harbor seals swim upside down when foraging?

Scientists close in on sea star wasting disease

Marine mammal video for kids

Salish Sea Conservation in Focus trip

SeaDoc’s newest collaborator is 6 years old

Harbor porpoise stranding update

This is another excellent edition by a group of scientists, office folks, and interns living on a small island in Washington’s SalishSea fka the Puget Sound.


Help one of America’s greatest symbols, the bison, re-establish itself on that nation’s northern plains. This is a petition from our good friends at the World Wildlife Fund. Please go here.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Watch a pilot land a fighter jet vertically onto a stool on a boat


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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