an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, July 27, 2014

No. 395

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. I have been informed by the people I live with that if I say, “It’s been another interesting week,” one more time, I can camp out in the backyard for the duration of this linguistic affliction.

We heard from Olha, our dear friend in the Ukraine and that is always good. She writes:

I always tried to be delicate in my replies to you as for Ukraine. It’s my land that my ancestor Cossacks defended from external enemies for centuries. My grandfathers protected the railway of my city.  And still love this country despite all that’s now happening here. I know good intentions were a basis for a change, but also we all know and now can witness where good intentions can actually lead. Yes you are right that geopolitics talks are not worth our attention as its all in vain.

What I can’t stand is that manipulating with patriotism that is now happening. Yes it’s quite useful to have free army of patriots defending interests of oligarchs. But sorry I pass. I think every person can decide how to love own country and any steps big or small are appreciated. But when young men who never took weapon in their arms are forced to participate in these games…sorry, Im so much tired of all speculations.

Politicians put all responsibilities to the shoulders of soldiers instead of do (ing) the work themselves. I respect those who dared for their ideals to fight. What I do not respect is the commanders who fight their own peaceful people making so called “indiscriminate bombing” no one even counts how many citizens became casualties.

 That’s so easy to put responsibilities on what’s happening here on somebody other shoulders. I’m as you half Russian so possibly that is why my perception of situation is much more complex and vision is much more deep. At that I’m not going to justify. We all are equal in the eyes of God no matter of our nationality, life experience, wealth or so called success. I don’t much believe in borders and flags maybe because I was born in the country that does not exist anymore so can witness that all geography is temporal.

What is important for me is human values that don’t have nationality either.

Many of you readers ~ particularly those from nations not in North America ~ know the truth and integrity of Olha’s words because they could easily be your words. As long as voices like hers (and yours) remain alive, even places which fly no flags will, as well. And as someone very very close to me and an Auschwitz survivor once wrote:

As long as there is life, there is hope. And as long as there is hope, there is life.

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


We found this absolutely fascinating and I suspect most of you will, as well. Robot ‘Deleted’ Techie’s Cancerous Tumour

Our hearts go out to the town of La Prairie in Canada’s Quebec province. Her Honor died a week ago this Sunday after she stepped on a wasps nest while gardening and being stung to death.

Consumer Reports magazine slammed the fast food industry pretty hard earlier this month. We thought it only fair to present an opposing point of view. Hold the Regret? Fast Food Seeks Virtuous Side



Taliban Making Military Gains In Afghanistan  


Rival Militias In Libya Fight To Control Tripoli Airport

Hometown Of Nigeria’s Kidnapped Girls Under Siege, At Least 11 Parents Dead

‘Apostasy’ Woman Flies Out Of Sudan

Record Sentence For Rhino Poacher

Facing Escalating Violence, U.S. Evacuates Staff From Its Embassy In Libya

Death In Nigeria Shows Ebola Can Spread By Air Travel


A Child Of The Slum Rises As President Of Indonesia

Wife Of Canadian Teacher Detained In Jakarta Pleads For Husband’s Release

A Troubled Outlook For China-Japan Ties

In Ferry Deaths, A South Korean Tycoon’s Downfall


Latest News In New Zealand’s War Against Invasive Rodents

Search And Work To Keep Dole

Security Fears Force AFP Officers To Delay Mission To Mh17 Crash Site

Victorian Couple Killed On Mh17 Remembered In Memorial Service

Grieving Australian Parents Visit Mh17 Crash Site


Quarantine Over China Plague Death

China Detains Five Over Meat Scandal

China’s Energy Plans Will Worsen Climate Change, Greenpeace Says

In Scarred Chinese Tibetan City, Devotion To Sanctity Of Life

Fisher: With China’s Rise, The Clock Is Ticking On America’s Unchallenged Supremacy Of The High Seas


France Jails Pro-Palestinian Rioters

Is This The Best City For Expats?

Spanish Unemployment Below 25%

European Court Censures Poland Over C.I.A. Rendition Program

E.C.B. Says It Has Been Hacked In Apparent Blackmail Attempt

Ukraine Crisis Is Testing E.U.’S Resolve

EU Sets 30% Energy Savings Target


Indian Tiger Conservation Receives A Boost From Frontline Support Training

Text And Ride In India


Three Israeli Women Nab Top Spots In ’22 Most Powerful Women Engineers In The World’ List

Israel’s Outspoken Envoy Is Wise To U.S. Ways

Amid Outcry Abroad, A Wealth Of Backing In Israel For Netanyahu

Effort To Secure Malaysia Airline Crash Site Falters In Eastern Ukraine


US. Weighs Giving Refugee Status To Youths In Honduras

Jailed Venezuela Opposition Leader Goes On Trial For Inciting Violence During Street Protests


Russia: Grain Yield Can Exceed A 100-Million Mark


Antitrust Regulator To Examine British Banks

Reading The Future Of Scotland In The Stars

Who, What, Why: Is It Worth Lightning-Proofing UK Homes?

Sorted Food, A Cooking Channel, Is A Youtube Hit in Britain


Mapping Waterworks Beneath Canada-U.S. Border May Help Avoid Water Woes

Arizona Takes Nearly 2 Hours To Execute Inmate

Violent Attacks On Homeless In Albuquerque Expose City’s Ills

Most Migrant Children Released Into Care Of Relatives

Bill To Legalize Unlocking Cellphones Passes Congress



Algerian Jet Missing On Sahara Route

Weather Suspected In Air Algérie Plane Wreck; 116 Are Feared Dead

French President Says No Survivors In Air Algerie Crash

Second Black Box Found


China’s Energy Plans Will Worsen Climate Change, Greenpeace Says

Mediterranean Fish Seen In North Sea

Fur Seals Feel Climate Impacts


Kerry Says Russia Trained Separatists To Use Antiaircraft Missiles

As Anger Rises Over Crash, Malaysian Government Is Reluctant To Assign Blame

Complete List Of Passengers And Crew On Flight MH17

More Bodies Possible At Ukraine Crash Site, Forensics Officials Say

Despite Anger Over Downed Jetliner, Europe Shies Away From Sanctions On Russia

Bodies Of MH17 Victims Leave Ukraine On Dutch, Australian Planes

New Satellite Imagery Shows MH17 Crash Site

A Column Of 40 Hearses Meets The Victims Of The Malaysia Airlines Crash

More Bodies Of Flight 17 Victims Sent To Netherlands As Efforts To Secure Wreckage Stepped Up

Ukraine Disaster In Search Of An Investigation

Effort To Secure Malaysia Airline Crash Site Falters In Eastern Ukraine

Dutch Government: 1st Victim From Flight 17 Disaster Has Been Identified


In Hospitals Across Gaza, Scenes Of Chaos And Grief

Hamas Gambled On War As Its Woes Grew In Gaza

Globe In Gaza: Crossing No-Man’s Land, Dodging Fire On The Way Out

Un Warns Of Israel Gaza ‘War Crimes’ And Condemns Hamas Rocket Attacks

Turkey Can Teach Israel How To End Terror

Gaza Death Toll Climbs Amid Efforts To Reach Ceasefire Agreement

In Gaza, At Least 16 Die At U.N. School Used As Civilian Shelter

In West Bank, Hamas Is Hailed For Its Fight Against Israel

Huge Protests In West Bank Over Israeli Offensive In Gaza

Israel Extends Cease-Fire In Gaza, A U.N. Request Rejected By Hamas

Hamas Announces New Gaza Ceasefire

Hamas Confirms Ceasefire Watch

Israel: Truce Bid ‘An Opportunity’ Watch

Heavy Fire In Gaza Watch

Numbers Behind The Conflict

Women And The Conflict

Who Are Hamas?


Iraqi Leaders Elect Former Foe Of Hussein As President

Bound By Bridge, 2 Baghdad Enclaves Drift Far Apart


In A Syrian City, ISIS Puts Its Vision Into Practice

Isis ‘Overruns’ Syrian Military Base

A Syrian Rebel Advance Off The Battlefield: A Longer-Lasting Battery For Missiles


Ukraine Prime Minister Resigns, As Kiev Moves Toward Elections

Canada Imposes More Sanctions Against Ukrainian Rebels

As Ukraine Forces Make Headway, Russia Is Said To Step Up Role

Pentagon Plan Would Help Ukraine Target Rebel Missiles

Ukraine Prepares Offensive In Hopes Of Retaking Rebel Stronghold Of Donetsk


Canada Deports 20 Members Of Hungarian Human-Trafficking Syndicate. Right on, countrypersons mine. Did Hell take them back?

Why Is Canada’s Bee Population In Rapid Decline?

Given Our Aversion To Cages And Tanks, We Are Definitely Glad To Read This. Whales And Dolphins In Captivity At Vancouver Aquarium Being Debated At Park Board Meeting


Seven B.C. Jobs That Redefine What ‘Hard Work’ Really Is

Police Identify 21-Year-Old Regina Man Found Dead At Pemberton Music Festival

MH17: Foreign Affairs Minister Baird Discusses Airline Tragedy, Seeking Justice

5 Canadians On Missing Air Algerie Flight

Sweeping Report On Police Use Of Force Makes 84 Recommendations Following Sammy Yatim Shooting

Portrait Of Aboriginal Leader Sells For $7.5 Million


Rusty, lots of whales out of Moss landing. I turned and saw one coming straight at me, and I managed to get a second or two video as he drove below me, inches from my kayak, his wake almost dumping me. Fun stuff.

Meade Fischer

Pacifica, California

Fun stuff for you, Fischer-san. I don’t go swimming with anything big enough to eat me for lunch if it’s in a bad mood. Rusty


She’s Canadian. He’s American. Here’s what we look like from a puma’s perspective.

Felina:     Samuel, would you mind so very much, love of my three lifetimes, joining Arnold and I in the den. He is showing me something very unusual.

Sam:        Not a problem, Sweetheart. And I’m assuming you and our talking television set a spot of brunch, as you folks say in Ottawa and stuff.

Felina:     Actually, my love, it is a spot of tea and I have not heard that expression since I was a kitten.

Sam:        So a lot’s probably changed in a couple, three years, right?

Felina:     Samuel Alexander, you are an absolute delight, my rapacious rapscallion. You know all the shortcuts to my heart.

Sam:        Well, with all due respect to that part of your anatomy, your heart’s not the part of you I was aiming at. However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Simon & Worcester of Digression. And the John Deere of smooth segues.

Sam:        And through the miracle of digital legerdemain and with the rest of the anchovy and rainbow trout pizza we had for breakfast, viola! Okay, who’s the weird dude in the funny looking boat out in the middle of some ocean?

Felina:     His name is Meade Fischer and he is an outdoor writer in this Kingdom of California. That is the Pacific Ocean and he is paddling a kayak.

Sam:        Ah, the one our esteemed publisher calls, “He Who Swims With Big Fish.”

Felina:     Our esteemed publisher can be extremely hypocritical, considering the company of cutpurses, scoundrels and assorted ne’er do wells with whom he has allied himself since his god was wearing shirts and playing with a hoop and stick.

Sam:        Since I only understood half of that, I’m hoping it was the half that goes with trout and anchovies. A great pizza is a terrible thing to waste.

Felina:     It means that our Rusty is as crazy as this human who goes swimming with killer whales. Watch this.

Sam:        Whoa. Okay, Felina, I agree. This is totally insane. Isn’t this the same university friend who is half Russian and was wont occasionally to imbibe deeply of the grape, walk along the beach at night, and sometimes yell at the Creator.

Felina:     While his friend Rusty was out in the desert shooting at defenseless jack rabbits from the back of a motorcycle.

Sam:        They were not defenseless. They shot back, as a matter of fact.

Felina:     Of course they did. We are just fortunate they were no better a shot than he was.

Sam:        There you go. If all human wars were waged by people who could not hit the broad side of a barn with a piece of heavy equipment, they might just get discouraged enough to give peace a chance.

Felina:     Peace, as a destination, can be approached on many roads.

Sam:        Now that was totally Zen. I love it when you talk profound.

Felina:     Then perhaps we should finish this conversation someplace other than the den?

Sam:        Totally no argument there, Sweetheart. 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.


This is our kind of elected official. Want a Word With the Mayor? You’ll Find Her in the Bike Convoy

Feeling a bit down and need a little inspiration to lift your spirits? Blind singer learns visual art of conducting a choir

Out of the mouth of babes, then. “I Want You to Live In My House”: How U.S. Kids Are Welcoming the Central American Child Refugees


One CEO’s Anti-Jerk Campaign

Empathy And Elephants: What I Learned From Talking To My Kids About Poaching

Peace Corps Volunteers In Their Own Words


It’s not like this hasn’t been done before but it’s never a good idea. Senator’s Thesis Turns Out to Be Remix of Others’ Works, Uncited

I wonder what Tex Mex food tastes like in Hell. Swindlers Target Kin Of Migrants

Someone very wise once told me that even a bad example can be created to serve a good purpose. I sincerely hope Kira was right in the case of this Maple Leafed Moron. ‘His buffoonery is dangerous’


I definitely want one of these. (Dear Santa…) The geek-chic folding bike

This makes sense. The next big thing in computer hardware? “Smart Garbage”

Sometimes I have the imagination of an 11-year-old. So this totally freaked me out. Terrifying New Tyrannosaurus Fact Revealed: They Hunted in Packs


Odd Objects Reveal Ocean Secrets

The Atlantis Of The East

Four-Winged Dinosaur Found In China

Voyage To Unlock Arctic Secrets

‘Fluffy’ Dinosaurs Were Widespread


A Record-Setting Alien World

The Five Greatest Space Hacks

Rosetta’s Comet Seen In Close-Up

NASA Seeks Aid With Earth-Mars Links

Inmarsat Delayed By Rocket Failure

Ukraine Crisis Sends A Chill Into Orbit

Gecko Sex Satellite ‘Not Responding’


Mobileoct: The Incredible Social Startup That Uses Mobile Phones To Detect Cervical Cancer In Third-World Women

A Smartwatch Of The Distant Future


This Week in Science: Double-Scoop Comet, Laser-Crushed Diamonds and J.Lo’s Mite


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.


China’s Energy Plans Will Worsen Climate Change, Greenpeace Says

Canadian Activists To Lug Jugs Of Water To Detroit In H2O March

Too Many Political T-Shirts? 6 Ways To Repurpose Them

Carbon Concerns Over Wood Burning


This should make a lot of people either happy and/or hopeful. ‘Exciting’ drug flushes out HIV

We share this with poignant memories of just how good a sirloin, t-bone, rib-eye or Porterhouse can taste. Your Love Of Steak Is Hurting The Planet

If This Keeps Up ~ And We Hope It Does ~ Human Beings Won’t Need To Worry About Growing Old As Long As The Parts Store Stays Open. Scientists Develop Robotic Fingers


The Future Of Robot Caregivers

Skin Care Products Backed By Science

Seattle Children’s Garden Project Helping Kids Eat Their Vegetablesadd To Reading List


Is The Future Of Tim Hortons Coffee-Flavoured Beer And Decadent Treats?

Calgary Fertility Centre Refuses To Help Create ‘Rainbow Families’

How To Make A $50,000 Potato Salad… For Real

How To Learn While You Sleep

Living In… Istanbul

New Alternative To Nursing Home Living

A Celebrity’s Welcome In Italy For De Blasio

Solve One Problem, Create Another

7 Parenting Tips For A World That Harms Women

Gay Marriage Went From Unthinkable To Inevitable. Here’s What It Means For The Change You Want To See


Lots Of Whales Out Of Moss Landing

  1. com Top Images From Around The World

UW Robotic Gliders Deploy For Arctic Ice Studyadd To Reading List

New Photos Of Wolf OR-7’s Pups, Mate



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 Bellingham Re-Education Center.

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 love stuff like this. How Scottie dogs became a symbol of Scotland

This Is certainly promising. New Technology Could Save Blue Whales From Being Hit By Ships

Anecdotally, we’ve known this for years. It is still very uncomfortable to see the connection pretty well proven. Wildlife loss link to child slavery


It’s Time To Stop Your Cat From Being A Serial Bird Killer

Insider’s Guide To Aging A Whale Or Dolphin

Scotland’s Top Wildlife

Bats ‘Fly By Polarised Light’

Seals ‘Feed’ At Offshore Wind Farms


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


This may possibly be the weirdest thing we’ve published in some while. But if it happened to one, as John Donne pointed out some while back, we’re all vulnerable. So best we know how this one survived it. Man who had stroke in his bathroom survived on toilet water for seven days


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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