an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, August 10, 2014

No. 397

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, I sure hope it’s been cooler where you live than it has been and will be for awhile here in Seattle. When one is accustomed to milder temperatures, 87F/30.5C is uncomfortable. And both to save on utilities and because up until now, an air conditioner is a major expense used maybe 14 days out of 365, the house I live in does not have one.

At times like these, I get homesick and lonesome for a place not far from here that is smaller, quieter, greener and more temperate than Seattle has become. It is not an affluent community but it is quietly prospering. Employment is scarce for outsiders, as it is anywhere in Rural America. My income, though modest, is government protected and the result of working since the age of 16. What I earn above and beyond that does not depend on the local economy and takes nothing away from it.

This place not far from here is a place where a man who has become too gentle to live among wolves can leave the pack behind and exist simply and quietly among good neighbors. It is a quiet fishing village which attracts spring and summer tourists down a quaint Main Street of antique stores, import/export shops, ethnic restaurants, a legendary tavern and a place which serves seafood so succulent that if St. Peter ever walks among us again, he will surely dine here.

It is also a place where a man can pick up a few extra bucks or goods to barter by doing things like splitting firewood, helping a fisherman on his boat, filling in when one of the members of the Chamber of Commerce needs a temporary office person.

The land itself is good for subsistence gardening, which I thoroughly enjoy. I am not an expert at it but I can grow the things I like to eat. My diet is very simple and consists mostly of potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic, fish in any form except sushi, turkey and once in a great while ham and bacon. And still less often, red meat. When I can afford it, which is seldom, I oink out on pizza and Mexican food and in lieu of a good place to get either, I can make both. Someone very close to me won prizes at a state fair for her chili. I learned a lot in her kitchen.

In all, it is a good place for a man embarked on his fourth and final act; and for a man who has much to do to provide for his family in perpetuity. It is a good place, as well, for the reaffirmation of faith in the intrinsic and inherent goodness of our species. Most of all, it is a good place for a man weary of living among wolves.

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


If you are at all inclined to over-worry, you should not read this. The Internet knows where your cat lives and you should be worried

Maybe it’s just me but if there are that many people the government considers a threat to the nation, maybe it is time to look at why so much discontent. This is starting to remind me of the days when a paranoid narcissist ran the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Secret Papers Describe Size of Terror Lists Kept by U.S.

Which American city is the friendliest, according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine? Congratulations, Charleston, South Carolina. Which is the unfriendliest? Sorry, Newark, New Jersey. For the other nine in each category, yep, go here.



Slain General In Afghanistan Was Quietly Effective Leader, Known For Technical Skill


Libya’s Spectacular Democratic Failure

In Libya, Parliament Convenes Amid Battles

Nigeria Army ‘Atrocities’ Uncovered

Tunisia, In Political Transition, Fears Attacks By Citizens Radicalized Abroad

African Leaders Sit Down With American Investors

From Apartheid-Era Jail Cell To The Bench In Pistorius Case

Video: Boko Haram Kidnapping Tactics, Explained


100 Passengers Feared Dead After Ferry Capsizes In Bangladesh

Divers Fail To Find Bangladesh Ferry That Capsized

Bangladesh Begins Manhunt For Owners Of Capsized Ferry

Sake With Your Burger? Japan Is Looking West To Save A Tradition

Historic Day’ For Cambodia As Khmer Rouge Leaders Sentenced To Life

Outrage Builds In South Korea In Deadly Abuse Of A Soldier


New Zealand Fishing Boat Hauls In Surprise Catch: Small Plane With A Body

Government Deserves Praise For Dropping 18C Changes: Pyne

Australia Offers US Help Aiding Iraqi Refugees

Australians To Help Fight Canadian Wildfires


Video: Shadowy World For Chinese Surrogates

Race To Rescue China Quake Survivors

China Tells Microsoft Not To Interfere With Antitrust Inquiry

China To Ban Coal In Beijing By 2020 In Bid To Fight Pollution

In China, British Investigator Hired By Glaxo, And His Wife, Are Sentenced To Prison

A View From The Sea, As China Flexes Muscle


Germany Blocks Delivery Of Military Parts To Russia

In Portugal, Banco Espírito Santo Patriarch Humbled Amid Bailout

Calm After A Bank’s Collapse In Portugal Could Signal Eurozone Resiliency

Italy Falls Back Into Recession

Militant Jewish Group Confronts Protesters In A Tense France

Russia Bans Food Imports From EU

Turkey’s Premier Tries To Keep Power, As President

An Epicurean Village Is Too Rich For Some Paris Appetites


India Shaken By Case Of Muslim Men Missing In Iraq

Cashew Juice, The Apple Of Pepsi’s Eye


Israel Claims to Have The Mastermind Behind Jewish Teens’ Murders


Venezuela To Close Border At Night

Colombian Rebels Attack Oil Field


A U.S. Journalist’s Arrest Points To A Power Struggle In The Leadership Of Iran


Russian Gang Said To Amass More Than A Billion Stolen Internet Credentials

Putin Urges Economic Retaliation For Sanctions Over Ukraine Conflict

Russia Bans Food Imports From Canada, U.S., EU

The List: What Russia Has Banned


In China, British Investigator Hired By Glaxo, And His Wife, Are Sentenced To Prison

Crime Writer Signs Deal To Advertise On Jerseys

Britain’s Drinking Problem

UK Aid Deliveries In Iraq ‘Imminent’


Affordable Housing Draws Middle Class To Inland Cities

Tap Water Ban For Toledo Residents

Why Is The Economy Still Weak? Blame These Five Sectors

Drones Outpacing Rules As Popularity Soars In New York

Behind Toledo’s Water Crisis, A Long-Troubled Lake Erie

Guardsmen To Game Wardens, Texas Mobilizes To Patrol Border

Russia Bans Food Imports From U.S.

Hawaii Feels Iselle’s Force, With Another Big Storm Close Behind



  1. S. General Is Killed In Attack At Afghan Base, Officials Say

Afghan Presidential Rivals Agree To Sign A Deal


As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes On The Stump

Euro Forest Disturbances Increasing

Climate Change Absolutely A Reality: Agricultural Giant


Lax Quarantine Undercuts Ebola Fight In Africa

Sierra Leone, Liberia Deploy Troops As Ebola Toll Hits 887

‘Don’t Touch The Walls’: Ebola Fears Infect An African Hospital

Ebola Outbreak Disrupts Business But Damage Unlikely To Be Widespread

Ebola Killed Death Toll Hits 932 As Doctors Struggle To Stop Virus’s Spread

U.S. And Global Efforts To Contain Ebola Draw Criticism At Congressional Hearing

Expert Panel To Consult On Ebola

Tracing Ebola’s Breakout To An African 2-Year-Old


Australian PM Warns Of Slow Process To Repatriate MH17 Victims


Israel Moving To Wind Down Gaza Conflict By Itself

In Fatal Flash, Gaza Psychologist Switches Roles, Turning Into A Trauma Victim

Eight Days In Gaza: A Wartime Diary

Conflict Leaves Industry In Ashes And Gaza Reeling From Economic Toll

New Fighting A Bid For Leverage As A Gaza Cease-Fire Expires

Israelis And Gazans Clash, But Fighting Is More Subdued


Obama Allows Limited Airstrikes On ISIS

Jihadists Rout Kurds In North And Seize Strategic Iraqi Dam

President Says Airstrikes In Iraq Were Successful, Won’t Say How Long They Will Last

While Offering Support, Obama Warns That U.S. Won’t Be ‘Iraqi Air Force’

Iraq Airstrikes May Continue For Months, Obama Says


Syrian rebels cross into Lebanon, raiding town and capturing troops in most serious incursion


Blast In Ukraine’s Capital Stirs Fears Of New Conflict

A Break From Bloodshed In Ukraine?


Dirty power plants are America’s biggest source of carbon pollution. We need to move to clean, kid-safe, climate-safe energy now.

Tell the EPA to strengthen the Clean Power Plan!

Dear Rusty,

A plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants for the first time is being fiercely opposed by dirty fuel interests and their allies in Congress and statehouses across the country. But parents and other clean energy supporters are rising up to demand strong climate action for our kids and grandkids. 

The Environmental Protection Agency held hearings last week in four cities across the country on its Clean Power Plan. Big polluter representatives showed up to oppose limits on the carbon pollution that is fueling climate change. But thousands of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles spoke at the hearings and rallied outside at “Play-Ins for Climate Action” and a clean energy future. 

The Clean Power Plan is a step in the right direction in the fight against climate pollution, but it needs to be stronger to adequately protect our kids and communities. Our next step is to gather comments from all the Climate Parents who couldn’t attend the hearings to ask EPA to strengthen carbon pollution limits.

Sign the letter to tell EPA to strengthen proposed limits on carbon pollution from power plants!

Power plants are currently allowed to spew unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air. Power plant pollution is contributing to the growing rate of childhood asthma, as well as to the climate impacts harming so many communities across the country this summer, from droughts to wildfires to extreme storms. 

The Clean Power Plan can and should be stronger to respond to the scale of the problem.  Proposed cuts in carbon emissions need to be deeper, renewables and energy efficiency must be prioritized, and there must be strong enforcement to ensure the plan’s goals are realized. In the face of so much fossil fuel industry pressure to weaken the proposed rule, parents and families need to weigh in heavily to move the EPA to strengthen it to generate the clean energy economy our kids deserve. 

Tell EPA to action to strengthen its proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants.

Thank you for taking action for kid-safe, climate-safe energy. 


Lisa and John


This cannot possibly bode well. China Probes Two Canadians For Alleged Theft Of State Secrets

This is us at our best and most ennobling. Canadian Doctor Treating Ebola In Guinea Shares His Experience With The Challenging Work

I was born in this province and I didn’t know half the stuff on this list. B.C. Day Special: 50 Fun Facts About Our Fascinating Province


Russia Bans Food Imports From Canada See also: The List: What Russia Has Banned

Canadian Experts Respond After WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak An International Threat

Canada Launches Arctic Seabed Quest

Cougars Corner

Sam:        Good morning and happy brunch, Felina. Here’s the pizza with salmonchovies.

Felina:     Thank you so much, love of my three lifetimes. Come, sit with me. Arnold is showing me this place our human Rusty describes in terms that make it sound like Heaven for Humans here on earth.

Sam:        Now that ~ to coin the cliché ~ is an offer I absolutely cannot refuse. You’re even more irresistible than the pizza.

Felina:     Samuel, I am flattered beyond belief. You make me smile. My father would be so glad to hear that I mated a mountain lion who considers me as attractive as South Chicago deep dish.

Sam:        We could probably keep your father out of the loop on this one. His opinion of me puts me somewhere on the evolutionary scale between an amoeba and a talking goldfish.

Felina:     Then it is fortunate that you mated me and not my father. I place you slightly higher than that.

Sam:        Thank you, ma’am. And thanks for another slice of salmonchovies. Now, you were asking about this magic place Rusty describes.

Felina:     I know it is in your part of America so you have been there.

Sam:        Yep.

Felina:     Is it as wonderful as he describes?

Sam:        Sweetheart, sometimes it’s not the land that is so special but the one who needs the land.

Felina:     Like a human who has become too gentle to live among wolves. His friend, the golden eagle in the Ukraine, describes him as a weary warrior. And she herself is a Cossack.

Sam:        Like those of his generation who fought to end a war and went on to join the civil rights and other equality movements, then learn the price of green in Oregon and the price of poverty in big cities it has been a long road. He started out with many. Now there are less than a handful.

Felina:     And he is taking them home, first to this rainbow land and then to his beloved Canada. It will be so nice to have him back among us.

Sam:        He’s looking forward to it too, 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.


There is a very special place in Heaven waiting for this man. Video: Helping homeless men become healthier

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Australia and those who live there. Here’s another reason why. Muslims ‘Should Not Feel Targeted By Anti-Terror Laws’

This is also the legacy of The Thin Red Line. Australians To Help Fight Canadian Wildfires


This happens and yet America has the audacity to question the humanity of other nations. U.S. Inquiry Finds a ‘Culture of Violence’ Against Teenage Inmates at Rikers Island

In one of the few places in the world which has not been savaged by the human species, this is absolutely unforgivable. B.C. allows cutting of bald eagle nests for development despite concerns of wildlife staff

I wonder how many others this incredibly bad example will inspire. ’Crazy, reckless’ pilot flies plane under Ottawa bridge


This is sooo cool. Nice going, folks. Rosetta goes into orbit around comet

In a historic first, a European spacecraft arrives at a speeding comet after a 10-year chase.

This ought to re-ignite an old argument. Genetic ‘Adam & Eve’ Uncovered In Surprising New Study

LISTEN: Is This How Our Ancestors Sounded?


Is Human Evolution Over? ‘Definitely Not,’ Scientist Says

Scientist Answers Key Question About Human Evolution

Cave Dig Brings Another Big Surprise About Neanderthal Life

Fossil Found In Coal Mine Points To Strange, Tiny Primate

What We Learned About Human Origins In 2013

Strange Pointy Skull Unearthed In Ancient Necropolis


Video: Storm Chasing On Saturn

Best Space Images Of The Month

Watch: NASA ‘Saucer’ Flies Near Space


‘Origami’ Robots Fold Into Motion

Another News Outlet Is Using Robots To Write Stories

10 Robots To Watch In 2014 | Robin Raskin


The 217mph Electric Lab

A Two-Step Plan To Stop Hackers

Watch: How To Spot A Cheater Using 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.


Discarded Tires Tread Again

Reducing Carbon By Curbing Population

Bring It In For Smokey the Bear


How You Can Avoid A Common Form Of Cancer

Skin Cancer Rates Spike After Generation Of Sunbathing, Tanning Beds

Watch “Hospital Heroes: Stories from a neonatal intensive care unit,” and learn about the incredible impact hospital heroes are having every day.


Cancer Fight Puts Focus On Lack Of Minorities On Donor Lists

Man Who ‘Should Have Been Dead’ Meets Doctors Who Saved His Life

Nurses Less Prone To Errors If Left Alone While Dispensing Pills, Conference Hears

Doctors Left In ‘Untenable’ Position On Medical Marijuana, Says CMA President-Elect

Why Is It So Hard To Give Up Eating Meat?


Quick Video Games ‘Benefit Children’

Ambition: Born or bred?

The ‘Memory’ Of Starvation Stays In Your Genes For Three Generations, New Study Shows

Active Role For Parents Needed Against Cyberbullying

Does penis size really matter?



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.


Europe On The Pearl River

Snapshots From Israel

BBC’s Most Stunning Images Of The Week


 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 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





My answer to this question is “nope.” Can we ever know what cats think?

In case you’ve ever wanted to communicate with a chimpanzee (And with you guys, there is most certain to be someone out there who does), this might help. LOOK: First-Ever Chimp ‘Dictionary’ Compiled By Scientists Overseas

Here’s a chance to die of cute. This Woodchuck Had A Bad Day, But It Got Better

This month’s SEADOC SOCIETY NEWSLETTER includes:

Learning More About Stranded Killer Whales

Marine Bird Declines Featured In The News

Thank You For Supporting SeaDoc

Salish Sea Book Is Coming Soon

Looking For Coastal Cutthroat Trout

SeaDoc Presents On Wildlife Diseases


1000s Of Jellyfish-Like Creatures Wash Up In Tofino

Surf Smelt Spawning In Mouth Of Elwha

Underwater Gliders Could Solve Ecological Mystery About Right Whales 


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Pokemon-playing fish makes a splash


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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