an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, August 3, 2014

No. 396

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, I had intended to take a break from the world-saving rhetoric by waxing poetic about a very special place I’m considering as a new home come next spring or summer. It looks like that will need to wait until next week though. Some of you have asked what I really think it will take to bring peace to Gaza.

I think it will take a major shift in attitude on the part of those who bear witness. The Hamas ~ in its strategy ~ is an echo of the Irgun. As dedicated to the creation of a nation for its people as the Israelis were to theirs, their tactics are at least as pragmatic. Their philosophy is as simple and hardly historically unprecedented. Their “human shields” die so that generations might live.

The irony here is rich. The war for Israeli independence was fought by teenagers because there were not enough adult Holocaust survivors or Sabras to do the job alone. Jewish “kids” and young adults from all over the world journeyed to Ysroel prepared to die for a land they had never seen and a dream that has eluded them since the Diaspora.

If any nation on the face of this earth should understand the passion for a homeland and all that such passion embraces, it is Israel. Hamas does not want peace. It wants victory at any cost. I doubt, however, that Hamas speaks for all it claims to represent. It is hard to argue with someone who also holds a gun or a bayonet, regardless of the uniform they wear or the doctrine they espouse.

I remember the surgical precision of Entebbe and more recently, the drone strikes in the War on Terrorism. The killing of civilians and Hamas soldiers will not stop the killing. Taking out the ones who order the killing will. Let THESE die that generations might live.

Since I was asked.

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


If this isn’t the million dollar question of the week, it probably should be. How do you stop a disease like Ebola?

This week marks the American atomic bombing of two cities in Japan in order to end the War in the Pacific. It is worth noting that not since then has any nation exercised this option. I am glad because here is what it is like to be Ground Zero. When time stood still – a Hiroshima survivor’s story

In view of the spate of aerial disasters lately, this seems a fair question to ask. Which is the most deadly airline to fly with?



Karzai Cousin Killed By Suicide Bomber In Afghanistan


Still Torn By Factional Fighting, Post-Revolt Libya Is Coming Undone

Canada Withdraws Consular Staff From Libya As Violence Plagues Country

Somali Woman Killed For Not Wearing Veil  

France Evacuates Expats From Libya

Rwanda’s Unfinished Miracle

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Africa’s Slide Toward Disaster

‘World Freedom Fighter’ Who Wouldn’t Recant Christian Faith While Facing Death Arrives In U.S.

UK Suspends Tripoli Embassy Services


Philippine Rebel Group Opposed To Peace Deal Blamed For Bloody Attack On Villagers

Underground Gas Explosions Kill At Least 24 In Southwestern Taiwanese Port

Gas Suspected In Fatal Blasts That Jolted A City In Taiwan

Landslide In Nepal Kills At Least 8; Hundreds Are Missing


Coalition Announces Training Organisations To Run The Green Army

Fears Of Surrogacy Ban As WA Couple Rejects Baby With Down Syndrome


China Investigates Ex-Security Chief

Religious Leader Who Backed Party Policy In Xinjiang Is Stabbed To Death

Weak Links In China’s Food Chain

China Challenges Canada On Cyberattacks

Imam In China Who Defended Party’s Policies In Xinjiang Is Stabbed To Death


Germany’s Super-Shy Super-Rich

Ryanair Raises Profit Forecasts

Gaza Conflict Seen As Providing Cover For Anti-Semitic Attacks In France

German Group Sues To Block European Banking Union

EU Set To Widen Russia Sanctions

Eurozone Banks More Open To Lending, Survey Shows

Eurozone Inflation Falls To 0.4%

A Test For The European Union

Anti-Semitism Rises In Europe Amid Israel-Gaza Conflict


‘Dozens Trapped’ By Indian Landslide

In India To Meet New Leader, Kerry Seeks Better Relations


Birthright Trips To Israel Continue Despite Mideast Conflict


Brazil’s Unaffordable Homes

Argentina Defaults For Second Time

Hope Dwindles For Hondurans Living In Peril


Russia Offers $110,000 Tor Bounty

Energy Companies Rethinking Russia After New Round Of Sanctions

Russia Bans Polish Fruit And Vegetables


Lloyds Bank To Pay Over $380 Million To Resolve Rate Manipulation Inquiries

Migrant Benefits To Be Tightened

UK To Allow Driverless Cars On Roads

Britain’s Crime Of Complicity

Bank Of England Sets Tough Rules For Banker Bonuses

Cameron Urges Russia-NATO Rethink


Lawmakers Reach Deal On A Fix For V.A.’S Health Care System

Senate Confirms Obama’s Choice To Lead V.A.

Federal Court Blocks Closing Of Sole Mississippi Abortion Clinic

U.S. Economy Grew At 4% Rate In Second Quarter, Beating Expectations

Air Force Calls For Cheaper, Quicker Weapons Development

CIA Officers Improperly Read U.S. Senate Emails, Showed ‘Lack Of Candour’ When Investigated: Report

Reanimating Bertha, The Mechanical Behemoth Stuck Under Seattle

Congress Off For The Exits, But Few Cheer

U.S. Nuclear Deal With Russia Is Derailed As Tensions Rise


Inside The Pope’s Private Gardens



The Power Of Climate Change Fiction

Religious Conservatives Embrace Proposed E.P.A. Rules

California Drought Reaches A Terrifying Milestone


S Leone Declares Ebola Emergency

Nations Intensify Efforts To Suppress Ebola Outbreak In West Africa


Experts Reach Site Of MH17 Jet Crash

MH17 Crash Investigators Get To Work


Tunnels Lead Right To The Heart Of Israeli Fear

Loss Of Shelter And Electricity Worsens A Crisis For Fleeing Gazans

Arab Leaders Silent, Viewing Hamas As Worse Than Israel

Israel Calls Up Another 16,000 Reservists Amid Intensive Fighting

Adam: Gaza’s Children Need Our Help


Tears, And Anger, As Militants Destroy Iraq City’s Relics


Chinese Hackers Break Into National Research Council Computers, Canadian Spy Agency Says


Banned Munitions Still In Use, Report Says

Photo Gallery: Syria’s Abandoned Children


Enmity And Civilian Toll Rise In Ukraine While Attention Is Diverted

Coordinated Sanctions Aim At Russia’s Ability To Tap Its Oil Reserves

Banned Munitions Still In Use, Report Says

A Test For Ukraine In A City Retaken From Rebels

Ukraine Leaks Stalin’s ‘KGB Secrets’

Ukraine Rebel Admits ‘Executions’


Paying Ransoms, Europe Bankrolls Qaeda Terror


When is this kind of thing finally going to stop? Government hid report of mercury poisoning: First Nation

For the first time in 15 years, Canadian crime rates have not risen. For a list of the Dominion’s safest cities, yuppers, please go here. See also: Canada’s Most And Least Safe Cities

I guess if we really need to be good at something, this is as good as anything, right? Uh Huh. Canada Sets Oyster-Shucking Record


We didn’t realize it, but our college buddy, the outdoor writer and political commentator Meade Fischer, has been creatively busy on YouTube. If you like a little satire and humour with an edge, you’ll totally love these. Meade Fischer on YouTube.


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

Sam:        Felina, you’ve either been up way too late or that insomniac rooster down in the valley is up before the bats and the owls punch out.

Felina:     Good morning, mate of my three lifetimes and I am sorry if I awakened you.

Sam:        Sweetheart, in the 175 years or so all told you and me have been hangin’ out together connubially, it’s not really sleep for me when you’re not there with me.

Felina:     Oh Samuel, that is so sweet. And I know, Dear.

Sam:        You’ve been watching what’s been going on beyond the valley, haven’t you, Lass?

Felina:     Yes. There are cats in Gaza too.

Sam:        Except it’s not the cats in Gaza you’re studying on.

Felina:     It is not the cats in Gaza who are fighting.

Sam:        No, Sweetheart. But your other favorite species is.

Felina:     They are killing themselves over a piece of hot, arid, parched land less than a tenth our hunting range and about the size of the American state of New Jersey.

Sam:        Aye, Felina, they are. And they have been doing it for a very, very, very long time. Doesn’t that suggest something to you?

Felina:     Be careful, Samuel. I am Canadian. I am not stupid.

Sam:        Sweetheart, I know that. But it’s also not going to help if you get so angry you can’t tell friend from foe either. Roughly translated, oh sun and moon of my life, I’m one of the good guys. So you might try backing off the hammer just a little.

Felina:     Samuel, I just wonder sometimes if at the root of all this violence is not something so primal that it is beyond human solution.

Sam:        When any species has been so up against it that the only time they are not afraid is when they are killing one another. Like the human soldier so terror-stricken so often that whenever he is afraid, he reaches for a weapon.

Felina:     Yes. Thank you.

Sam:        Not a problem. But if that is true, Sweetheart, then watching it happen is not going to do any good either. Let their own kind bear witness to this opera of slaughter and mayhem. Not all dogs go to Heaven and not all species survive. And the one sweet note in all that cacophony is that while they are busy annihilating each other, they are too busy to murder us.

Felina:     I could not have expressed it better myself, mate mine.

Sam:        Sure you could have, Lass. I just got there first. 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.


Deciding Whether Another Species Is Helping Or Hurting Human Being In The Area Is An Unenviably Tough Job. We Applaud This Decision.

This Is Why, When I Can Afford It, I Shop Here. At Patagonia, The Bottom Line Includes The Earth

Hopefully, both closure and justice will come of this. No Longer Ignored, Evidence Solves Rape Cases Years Later


This is a chilling question. How many men are pedophiles?

I have lived in this community and I have a very, very difficult time understanding how this could have happened. Artistic director of White Rock Players’ Club was convicted of sexual assault in 2009 — and the theatre group knew about it

This should be a source of national shame. America’s ‘inexorably’ botched executions


It’s not bad enough that they drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road in Great Britain. Look what else the Crown is letting happen. UK to allow driverless cars on roads

We are profound proponents of electric bicycles and here is yet another reason why. Witness the birth of the Copenhagen Wheel.

This is a little scary. Mysterious Lake Appears In Middle Of Desert


In Church Attics, Clues To The Private Life Of Early America

8 Endangered Species Making Epic Comebacks

Here is a Map Showing the Richest Person in Each State in America


Viewing Earth From Space

Moon DeformeEarly In Its History, Study Shows

NASA Rover To Make Oxygen On Mars


Don’t Blink: Drone Technology Shrinks Right Before Your Eyes

Recent Air Disasters Spur Call For Airlines To Live-Stream Aircraft Data

Broken Robots ‘Learn To Keep Going’


This Week in Science: Quantum Cheshire Cats, a Loving Octomom and a Lemon-Shaped Moon


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.


Utility To Pay Coal Ash Spill Victims $27.8 Million

Senate Budget Chair: Climate Costs Are Too Damn High!

The Zoo of the Future Looks Amazing

Seized Greenpeace Ship Departs Russia

The Great Colorado Weed Experiment


I think every parent should read this. The truth about smart drugs

It’s about time to start taking a serious look at this, I suspect. How do you stop a disease like Ebola?

Sometimes the most salient news does not make the front page. Fist bumps spread fewer bacteria than handshakes or high-fives


Fear Of Ebola Breeds A Terror Of Physicians

Preventing Injury Around The Campfire: Safety Tips For Summer Campers

Cutting Your Cancer Risk*


Where Ancient Burmese Beauty Balm Competes With Modern Cosmetics

A Landlord’s Dos And Don’ts

Why Is All The News Bad?

A New Walk For Peace In Europe

Canada’s Greatest Hidden Rail Trip

Londoners Launch Campaign Urging People To Talk To Lonely Strangers

‘The Boreal Feast’ Celebrates The North’s Wild Ingredients With Recipes, Stories

The Future Of Driving Has No Driver

Cracking Your To-Do List


We’ve collected what we consider the most wholesome, family-oriented and genuinely humorous comic strips we could find on the Net. They include: Adam@Home, Calvin & Hobbes, Emmylou, For Better or For Worse, Foxtrot Classics, Garfield, Get Fuzzy, and Peanuts. Either click the banner or this link.


Aircraft Carriers, Wake Surfing And More In Our Videos Of The Week

50 Stunning Aerials That Will Make You See The World In New Ways (PHOTOS) Read More

Photos: 15 Places To See Before You Die

Oxford, Behind The Lens



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 amazon.com 


Business Correspondence



Copy Writing


Feature Magazine Articles

Ghost Writing




Online Research





Song Lyrics

Special Projects


Travel Copy





One Of The Things I Truly Love About The BBC Is Their Fine Hand At Understatement. Dinosaurs’ Extinction ‘Bad Luck’ — Dinosaurs Might Have Survived If The Asteroid That Wiped Them Out Had Hit The Earth A Few Million Years Later Or Earlier, A New Study Suggests.

I am not a fan of insects but I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this. A Bug’s Life: Extraordinary Images Capturing Nature At Its Freest

It kind of surprised me that people eat these things but apparently the practice needs to stop. Pangolins are being eaten into extinction


Florida Preserve Lets Visitors Hang Out With Wolves

Baby Deer Freaks Out When Belly Rub Stops

Bear Saves Drowning Crow — And Doesn’t Eat It


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Hitchhiking Robot Begins Cross-Country Trans-Canada Adventure, Today, Sunday


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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