an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, July 13, 2014

No. 392

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, here’s something I never expected. The start of the legal marijuana trade in my state is making national news and not just for one morning but for several. Most of those reporting this are not users of the herb itself and the mechanisms that worked well for Colorado were largely ignored here. So here’s a window from the inside looking out.

The State Liquor Control Board issued over 20 licenses statewide. The distribution was weird because Spokane, with a considerably smaller population and located on the other side of the Cascade Mountains, got four. Seattle got one. The LCB also issued 12 growers licenses, an absurdly insufficient number.

This was a dog and pony show for the hemp culture. Marijuana has been easier to obtain in this city for the last 22 years than hard liquor was when it was sold only in State stores. The quality varies but is generally good to excellent. The price of twenty dollars a gram has remained the same for two decades.

Marijuana is a benign and quietly ubiquitous part of the culture. There are no evil drug dealers trying to seduce kids with it, like there is in the narcotics trade. The economics involved are not pyramidal for the most part. Nobody becomes millionaire raising or selling marijuana. It’s just not that kind of orientation, at least not here and not in the Northwest in general.

It is also not, by and large, a law enforcement problem because unlike narcotics, very few users of marijuana become so addicted to it that it forces them to steal. It’s also not something you can binge out on like beer at a frat party. No matter how raunchy or regal, if you smoke enough of it, you’re just going to go to sleep. So it’s not like there are potheads on the street reeling around stoned, aggressive and looking for trouble. Again, it’s just not that kind of orientation.

In Seattle, as well, the police are a lot more understanding about some crimes than they are about some others. They’ve never clogged the courts busting pot “dealers” unless the behavior has been so outlandishly obvious that it assumes the characteristics of public menace. which is not good for the tourist trade.

Yes, they will land on it hard if it is involved in the commerce of methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, etc. As in most cities, those involved with these substances are not people you’d want camping in your backyard overnight. They traffic in human misery and getting kids addicted to their wares is part of the way they do business.

I’m neither a proponent nor an opponent of marijuana. I am dead set against narcotics. They do not belong in any community. But since I live here, in Seattle, they definitely do not belong in mine.

If you talk to most of us on the greener side of the fence, that’s pretty much the consensus of it. And the reason it has not become epidemic here is because while we are probably among the most polite people on the planet south of Canada, we are also close to the land. Sometimes we do not put axe blades on axe handles.

The decision to enable the retail sale of marijuana in this state really hasn’t changed very much. Once the novelty of being able to walk into a store and buy it wears off, it will be back to normal and most of those who use it will buy it from someone who sells enough to pay for his own with some extra for Friday night.

That, then, is the reality behind the headline news. Thanks for the ear, gang. Have a great week, eh?


Sometimes, it is the “little things” which catch our attention. I am not a tunnel person. I didn’t like them in San Francisco. I am not a fan of them in Seattle. And it will be a very cold day in a hot place before I will ever put myself in the place of these European commuters. Eurotunnel power fault stops train

It looks like the verdict is finally in on this one. As a subsistence gardener for years, I totally concur with the findings of this report. Study of Organic Crops Finds Fewer Pesticides and More Antioxidants

According to a newly published report by the United Nations, only four of today’s 30 largest cities will be in wealthy nations by the year 2030. Yep, check it out here



Ground Battles In Afghanistan Contribute To Surge In Civilian Casualties, U.N. Says

John Kerry Aims To Help Afghanistan Navigate Post-Election Crisis

Afghan Candidates Agree Vote Audit


Gruesome Attacks In Kenyan Villages Kill More Than 20

Gruesome Attacks In Kenyan Villages Heighten Fears Of A Nation On Edge

East African Court Of Justice Rules Out Construction Of Serengeti Super Highway

VIDEO: Japan Typhoon Winds ‘Up To 175 Kmph’

Powerful Typhoon Lashes Japanese Islands Of Okinawa

Myanmar Court Sentences Journalists To 10 Years Of Hard Labor In Prison

Mandalay’s Chinese Muslims Chilled By Riots


‘Sexist’ Slogans On Campervans Spark Internet Backlash

Australian Islamist Preacher’s Wife Denies He Is A Terrorist

What We Know About The Tamil Asylum Seekers Detained At Sea

Islamic State Listed As Terrorist Organisation By Government

Brisbane Records Coldest Morning In 103 Years


China Dismisses New Claim Of U.S. Computer Breach

China ‘Admits’ Trading In Tiger Skins


Sarkozy, Plagued By Accusations, Sees Left-Wing Plot To Destroy Him

German Industrial Production See Largest Drop In Two Years

In Bulgaria, Corruption And Mistrust Turn Promise Into Pain

Russia Urges Bulgaria To Resume Building Gas Pipeline

Stock Markets Fall Amid Trouble At Bank In Portugal

Video: Barcelona’s Cannabis Culture

Across Europe By Tractor


An Epitaph For India’s ‘Appalling’ National Car

India Unveils ‘Budget For Growth’


In The Colombian Rainforest, An Experiment In Community-Driven Climate Protection

Fleeing Gangs, Children Head To U.S. Border


Suspects Arrested In Death Of Palestinian Youth, Israeli Police Say

Beating Of Palestinian-American Boy Caught On Video

6 Israelis Held Over The Killing Of Palestinian

Killing Of Palestinian Youth Puts An Israeli Focus On Extremism

U.S. President Barack Obama Calls Israel Revenge Killings ‘Dangerous Moment’


Russia Urges Bulgaria To Resume Building Gas Pipeline

Snowden Asks Russia To Extend Asylum


Bank Of England Leaves Key Interest Rate Unchanged

Former Head Of Church Of England George Carey Changes Mind On Legalizing Assisted Dying

Charity Seeks 10,000 Volunteers For ‘Great British Beach Clean’

Scotland Could Host UK Spaceport

UK Clean Air Goal Missed By 20 Years


Testing Ground For A New Detroit

Still-Divided Washington State Readies For Start Of Recreational Marijuana Sales

U.S. Banks Curtail International Money Transfers

US Airport Checks Target Electronics

Cooperative Organic Farming Takes Root In Kentucky

New T.S.A. Rules For Electronics On Flights Bound For U.S.

A California Oil Field Yields Another Prized Commodity

Court Blocks Arizona Policy Of Denying Driver’s Licenses To Some Immigrants

As New York Landlords Push Buyouts, Renters Resist

What’s Behind The Flight Of Children To The U.S.?



Meet The One Creature That Isn’t Bothered By Climate Change

Changing Climate At Root Of ‘Utterly Unprecedented’ Summer Flood

Forget Potato Salad — Fund This Science Project And Help Cure The Climate

Toronto Will Feel Like North Miami By 2100: Climate Change Report


Israeli Strikes Kill Gaza Militants

Israel Calls Up 1,500 Troops As Tensions Mount With Hamas

Israel Steps Up Offensive With Deadly Gaza Bombings

By Phone And Leaflet, Israeli Attackers Warn Gazans

Israel And Hamas Trade Attacks As Tension Rises

Deaths Rise In Air Strikes On Gaza

Gaza Deaths Spike In Third Day Of Israel Air Assaults

Egypt Silent As Neighbors Wage Battles

Death Toll In Gaza ‘Reaches 100’

Means To An End: What Can Israel And Hamas Gain From Latest Fighting?


Water Supply Key To Outcome Of Conflicts In Iraq And Syria, Experts Warn

Kurdish Leader Calls For Iraqi Premier To Resign

Iraq Sending Some 4,000 Volunteers To Bolster Government Forces In City West Of Baghdad


Germans Demand U.S. Response To Spy Allegation

Germany Demands Top U.S. Intelligence Officer Be Expelled

Second ‘Suspected Spy’ In Germany

Officials Defend N.S.A. After New Privacy Details Are Reported

N.S.A. Records Detail Surveillance Of American Muslim Leaders

Russian Arrested In Guam On Array Of U.S. Hacking Charges

Chinese Hackers Pursue Key Data On U.S. Workers

Ethical Concerns Raised By Workers At Canadian Spy Agency

Chinese Businessman Is Charged In Plot To Steal U.S. Military Data


Water Supply Key To Outcome Of Conflicts In Iraq And Syria, Experts Warn


Ukraine President Hails ‘Turning Point’ As Troops Capture Pro-Russian Rebel Stronghold (With Video)

Ukraine Military Finds Its Footing Against Pro-Russian Rebels

Ukraine To Besiege Regional Capitals

Ukraine Rebels Are Retreating For Last Stand

VIDEO: Families Begin To Leave Donetsk

Shadowy Rebel Flexes Iron Fist In Ukraine Fight

Anticipating A Showdown, Ukraine City Empties Out

Gains Of Ukraine Forces Come At A Price For Civilians


Officials Defend N.S.A. After New Privacy Details Are Reported

Guilty Verdict In Misbahuddin Ahmed Terror Trial


This is sure good news. Economists see grounds for optimism when jobs data unveiled

Under “It Is About Flipping Time,” Toronto Slipping Close To Open Rebellion Against Rob Ford

Let’s hope the Crown tanks this alleged human being. Former Canadian diplomat linked to pedophile ring in UK


Military Descends On Southern Manitoba To Fight Flooding

Canadian Senators, Mps In Israel Go To Bomb Shelter Amid Air Raid Sirens

Western Provinces Sign On To Provincial Free Trade Initiative

Life Is Most Expensive In Vancouver, But Canadian Cities Drop In Worldwide Ranking

Canadian Fighter Jets To Help Patrol Edge Of Russian Airspace

Pot Activist Jodie Emery To File For Liberal Candidacy



Dear Mr. Miller:

 Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 2464, National Bison Legacy Act, which is currently pending in the United States Senate.  I appreciate knowing your views on this matter. 

In the Senate, this legislation falls under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. While I am not a member of that Committee, I want to assure you that I will be following the progress of this bill and will keep your views in mind if this or related legislation comes before the full Senate for consideration.

 Again, thank you for contacting me.  I hope you will continue to keep in touch.


Patty Murray

United States Senator


Hello, Mishka:

Thank you for sharing your experience. Unfortunately as we found out in Ukraine, the edge from peace to war is quite easily to be crossed and the way back is hard.

Living just 250 km away from East, unrest territory makes to become a philosopher and grateful for the quietly and routine of an ordinary day. I cannot blame people most of them have now a mess in thoughts I would rather say its politician mistakes led to this situation. Possibly a presence of a third party like ‘blue berets’ could save the situation. Or I don’t know hoping somehow it be solved

And yes neither soldiers no citizens need war. Hoping freedom of speech will be one day untouchable everywhere in the world.

Yours, Olya

Cougars Corner

Sam:        Happy lunch, Felina.

Felina:     Thank you, my love, for such a regal repast, my rapacious rapscallion.

Sam:        Yep and not a problem, Lass. Catsup and love make any meal fit for the Queen of the Deep Reaches. I am glad Your Majesty approves.

Felina:     She does indeed.

Sam:        I think it’s kind of sexy when you talk about yourself in the third person like that. It’s like making love to two female cougars at the same time.

Felina:     And that has a certain appeal to you, does it, Samuel?

Sam:        All of a sudden, skating on this particular frozen pond is losing its appeal.

Felina:     I have been told it does that when the ice begins to thin. However, we digress.

Sam:        I was kind of hoping we had reached the intersection of that road and decided to turn left instead of right.

Felina:     Nice try, love of my three lifetimes. It might help to remember how often such a tactic has worked in the past.

Sam:        It might also make me want to throw myself off the top of Mount Rainier.

Felina:     And go to the Hereafter from America? Samuel, surely you jest. Their Pearl Gates make Ellis Island look like an express lane.

Sam:        Good point and back to your original.

Felina:     Thank you, Dear.

Sam:        I am a cougar who lives for superlatives, am I not?

Felina:     By your rather eclectic definition of the term, quite so.

Sam:        And am I not mated to the Queen of the Deep Reaches and the fairest feline in all the land?

Felina:     You are.

Sam:        Then would it not follow that since I have the best, that two of the best would be even better?

Felina:     That, my love, was slick.

Sam:        Thank you very much. I got lucky again, didn’t I?

Felina:     Ireland is the poorer for it, yes.

Sam:        Then 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.


He keeps getting cooler all the time. Pope Francis Asks Victims of Sex Abuse for Forgiveness

Now THIS is the California for which I sometimes get nostalgic. A California Oil Field Yields Another Prized Commodity

I thought this was really cool and with all due respect, especially since it is Canadian. General Electric Wants To Clean Up Oil Sands, CEO Jeff Immelt Says


This absolutely must stop. Oil sands pollutants contaminate traditional First Nations’ foods: report

We have to come up with a better alternative. Both of these options are lethal. Opioid Use Increases After Oxycodone Crackdown

Lords, what did we do to deserve this? Rob Ford’s sobriety coach kicked a protester, cop says


Cruel To Take Health Care Away From Refugee Claimants

Former Canadian Diplomat Linked To Pedophile Ring In UK

Psych Drug ER Visits Total Almost 90,000 Yearly In U.S.


I thought this was a little weird until I thought back in history some. Why Mars needs a bill of rights

As A Dedicated, Enthusiastic And Active Romantic, I’m Looking Forward To This.Get Ready For A Summer Full Of ‘Supermoons’

I’m glad to see this even though it gave me a “Duh, ya think?” moment. When did we just discover that when something gets really dirty, it takes paid professionals to clean it up? Envisioning Profit in Environmental Good Works


Seas That Glow Like Stars

Fossils Reveal Biggest Flying Sea Bird: ‘Creature From Fantasy Novel’ Had Wingspan Taller Than A Giraffe

Neighbors Transform Abandoned Mall Into A Giant Aquarium


Russia’s Angara Rocket ‘Makes Debut’

Lift-Off For British Demo Satellites

Skylon ‘Spaceplane Economics Stack Up’


Sniffer Dog Finds Child Abuse Images

Need To Charge Your Phone While Herding? There’s A Donkey For That

IBM Wants To Invent The Chips Of The Future, Not Make Them


Photosynthesis Pics, Inconvenient Chickens, and Faraway Stars


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.


What Type Of Environmentalist Are You?

In The Colombian Rainforest, An Experiment In Community-Driven Climate Protection

Forget Potato Salad — Fund This Science Project And Help Cure The Climate

Cowboys, Hunters, And Enviros Team Up To Fight Natural Gas Drilling

Cooperative Organic Farming Takes Root In Kentucky


Read it and weep, folks. Worst Spring Allergy Cities of 2014

Here Is Something Which Could Dramatically Alter Human Sexual Relations: ‘Remote Control’ Contraceptive Chip

This Is A Fantastic Idea. Monkey Medicine: The Mother Whose Books Help Children Tackle Fear


Vegetarians Live Longer, Pollute Less and Live Longer

Desmond Tutu Backs Assisted Dying

Sweet Love: How Can I Cut Down On Sugar?


Silencing The Office Oversharer

Best Way To Make Cycling Safe?

Want To Empower African American Kids? Give Them Bikes

Nine Films That Were Banned

Should Germans Read ‘Mein Kampf’?

Seven Stages Of Movie Stardom

Esquire: 42-Year-Old Women Are Still Sexy


The BBC’s Most Stunning Images Of The Week

The BBC’s Week In Pictures

Rescuers Free Beached Whale Watch01:01




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’ll bet this doesn’t happen a lot.Caiman Caught In Toronto Pond

I thought this was totally cute. WATCH: Here’s What Makes Little Seahorses Go ‘Grrr’

As most of you know, I am not a fan of bugs. But I thought this was really cool. Ben Gurion Researchers Find Scorpions To Be Master Architects


How To Help A Stranded Whale Or Dolphin –Wildlife Magazine, to celebrate the arrival of summer, is running a four part series on cetaceans. In the first part, Sarah Dolman From Whale And Dolphin Conservation tells us what to do if we find a live dolphin or whale stranded on the shore. For more, please go here.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Sheer madness? Free solo climbers skip the ropes and safety gear to scale vertical walls of rock using nothing but nerves of steel (with video)


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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