an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, August 17, 2014

No. 398

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Ukraine Sky   Photo by Olya Bereza
Ukraine Sky Photo by Olya Bereza


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Sometimes what makes this job especially interesting is the email we get from you guys. No, I am not working for the LaConner, Washington Chamber of Commerce. No, the place is not Heaven. It’s just a lot more like my conception of it than say downtown gritty big city USA.

Our window on the Ukraine, Olya Bereza, reports that things in the eastern corner of her country remain tense for herself and those she loves. She lives in a city on the Dnieper River and can sometimes hear the heavy artillery slugging it out in Donetsk. She asked me to thank those of you who have written her letting her know that she is not alone. This magazine may not have the biggest readership in the whole world but none can top you guys in the “giving a darn” department. Thank you.

We are not going to say anything of substance about Ferguson, Missouri until due process has been observed. There is a fine line between providing information useful and sometimes necessary to know and trying an individual, government agency, etc. in the media. Twelve good people and a fair judge are how it is done in the America where I live.

I want to thank some real nice folks for an invitation to go swimming with dolphins up north. I am very fond of the species but they live where bigger marine mammals hang out. So about the only way that is going to happen is with a baby dolphin and a very, very large bathtub. In other words, sorry Charley, it ain’t gonna happen..

Once again, thanks for the ear, gang. Have a great week, eh?


Which are the most liberal and most conservative cities in America? The answers just might surprise you.

Our species has faced greater threats than this and survived. We will “conquer” this one too. Control Of Ebola ‘Six Months Away’

I’ve worked hops and grapes with these folks so this is good news. Latinos Move Up, From Picking Crops to Running the Farm



Africa To Experience Population Boom

Condemned But Undeterred, Boko Haram Is Still Abducting Nigerian Youths


China’s Sex And The City?

In Nepal, A Better Life With A Steep Price

With Eye On China, Japanese Premier Skips War Shrine

3 Days Of Flooding In Western Nepal Leaves 54 People Dead, 142 Missing


Australian Banks Face Class Action

Australian PM Comments ‘Offensive’


China Puts Pressure On Foreign Carmakers


Human Rights Chief Barred From Egypt


Spanish Coastguards Pick Up Almost 700 African Migrants In Two Days

Ukraine Crisis Takes Toll On Germany’s Economy, Powerhouse Of The Eurozone

Eurozone Growth Slows To A Halt

Spain Suspects Morocco Allowed A Brief Flood Of Migrants


Resisting Nazis, He Saw Need For Israel. Now He Is Its Critic.


‘Brazil Is In Mourning’: Presidential Candidate Dead After Private Jet Crashes Into Residential Area

Mexico Looks For Canadian Collaboration In Energy Shift


Protest March Bears Down On The Leader Of Pakistan


Half A Ton Of This, Half A Ton Of That: Russia Is Calm Over Food Import Bans

Russian Hacker Group Stole 1.2 Billion Passwords, Largest Trove Ever Uncovered


UK Jobless Rate Nears Six-Year Low

Britain’s Recovery Gains Momentum But Wages Slip

As Europe Economy Stumbles, Britain Offers Hesitant Hope

Great White Shark Spotted In North London Boating Lake


How America’s Largest Worker Owned Co-Op Lifts People Out Of Poverty

As World Boils, Fingers Point Obama’s Way

US Grand Jury Indicts Texas Governor

In China’s Shadow, U.S. Courts Old Foe Vietnam

Around St. Louis, A Circle Of Rage


In Pope’s Trip To South Korea, Church Envisions Growth

Pope Urges Dialogue Between Koreas

Pope Beatifies South Korea Martyrs



Humans The Biggest Force Driving Glacier Meltdown, New Study Says

What Ecologists Are Most Worried About Right Now: 5 Emerging Trends In Climate Change Ecology


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

At Heart Of Ebola Outbreak, A Village Frozen By Fear And Death

WHO Declares Untested Ebola Drugs ‘Can Be Used’

Using A Tactic Unseen In A Century, Countries Cordon Off Ebola-Racked Areas

Sierra Leone Again Loses A Top Doctor To Ebola

As Ebola’s Toll Rises, Drug Makers Race To Test Medicines

Guinea Declares Ebola Emergency

Control Of Ebola ‘Six Months Away’

Hospitals In The U.S. Get Ready For Ebola


Canadian On Gaza Probe Rejects Anti-Israel Charges


After First Airstrikes, Us Drops New Aid To Thousands Fleeing Militant Advance

U.S. Directly Providing Arms To Embattled Kurdish Forces In Iraq

Kurdish Forces Confront ISIS Fighters As U.S. Airstrikes Continue

A Cruel Night On The Mountain Among Iraq’s Exhausted, Starving And Dying Refugees

Iraq’s Al-Maliki Orders Security Forces Not To Interfere In Politics, But To Protect Nation Amid Power Struggle

France To Give Arms To Iraqi Kurds

Militants’ Siege On Mountain In Iraq Is Over, Pentagon Says

Un Declares Major Emergency In Iraq

Maliki Agrees To Relinquish Power In Iraq

E.U. Foreign Ministers Back Military Support For Kurds In Northern Iraq


Islamic Militants In Syria Introduce Stoning As Latest Form Of Civilian Punishment

Dual Threat Has Mainstream Syrian Rebels Fearing Demise


Donetsk Rebel Commander: We’re Surrounded By Ukrainian Forces

Ukraine Crisis Hardens Germany Against Russia, An Old Partner

Donetsk Shelled Amid Russia Aid Row

A Ukraine City Under Siege, ‘Just Terrified Of The Bombing’

Officials Inspecting Russian Aid Convoy At Border, Ukraine Says

Ukraine Says It Has Attacked, Destroyed Part Of Armed Convoy From Russia


This should probably explain a few things, including a certain Toronto mayour. New report compiles 25 years of UFO sightings in Canada

I’m not real sure this is a good idea. Canada to help shuttle weapons into Iraq

This definitely is NOT a good idea. Police “militarization” is creeping into Canada

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

Sam:        Felina, could you come out here for a second. The young human in the FedEx truck just left a couple of big boxes on the front porch.

Felina:     Oh, how delightful, mate of my three lifetimes. I will be right there.

Sam:        I’ll drag this stuff on in here and you can explain this newest mystery to me by making room for it.

Felina:     That sounds like an excellent plan, my rapacious rapscallion.

Sam:        Felina, when you start putting butter on the popcorn, I start getting a little nervous. Especially when the return address is “Wetsuits R Us”.

Felina:     Oh, I thought you got the memo.

Sam:        What memo?

Felina:     We have been invited by the SeaDoc Society to swim with dolphins.

Sam:        Uh huh. And since it’s too cold even for creatures in fur, we are going to put on rubber suits and all this other stuff.

Felina:     Yes, my love. You see the plan clearly.

Sam:        I see very clearly looking down into depths as deep as these mountains are tall and remembering the very big stuff that lives down there.

Felina:     The orcas are our friends too, Samuel.

Sam:        An orca in a bad mood or hungry or emotionally disturbed has been known to lunch on everything from sharks to small submarines. And to a deranged orca, we look like weird fish with tails. Sorry, but I am not putting myself on the menu.

Felina:     And where you goeth, I goeth.

Sam:        You said that, not me.

Felina:     It is in our contract, my beloved.

Sam:        I have no problem going up there and watching, from a boat. But it better be with the understanding that neither of us dips a paw in the water. And this silly flipping wetsuits go back.

Felina:     I believe that is an excellent plan, oh sun and moon of my life.

Sam:        You’re giving in way too easily, Lass. There’s nothing in those boxes, is there?

Felina:     Just another invitation to go dolphin watching on a boat. Sometimes to get you to visit Mars, it is best to aim for Saturn’s seventh moon.

Sam:        This is also true and we are going. So on that note, 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.


You guys rock. Quebec to amend Civil Code to better protect animals from abuse

This makes me proud to have friends in the Lone Star State. Texas town opens its heart to ‘child refugees’

I am glad to live in a community which feels this way. Seattle wants family unity in immigration reform


And this from the nation which gave America its Statue of Liberty. Jewish group shocked to discover French hamlet named ‘Death to the Jews’

There is no excuse for this and it must stop. Child labour: my life in a sweatshop

Let’s hope God believes them. North Korea Says Rocket Launches Had Nothing to Do With Pope’s Visit


It’s about time science settled this issue once and for all.  Magpies ‘Don’t Steal Shiny Objects

This is reassuring. Cosmic Rubble Just May Help Save Our Planet Someday

And this could explain a lot. Space Aliens Are Already Here


Researchers Rappel Into Ancient Sinkhole, Finding Remains Of Extinct Mammals Who Fell To Their Deaths During Ice Age

Who Was the First Named Human?

New To The Archaeologist’s Tool Kit: The Drone


Rosetta: Comet Probe Starts Work

Cosmic Grains Pre-Date Solar System

Myths of Physics: 1. Einstein’s Speed Limit Is the Speed of Light


After Hours Robots To Explore Tate

A Robot That Folds Itself Up And Walks Away

Robot Swarm Shuffles Into Formation


Google Builds Cable Under Pacific

Meet The Two-Faced Smartphone

Amazing App ‘Talkitt’ Allows People With Speech Impairments To Speak Clearly


This Week in Science: Stardust Hitchhikers, Butterfly-headed Pterosaurs, and a Robot Swarm


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.


Tractors, Ritual Baths, And Dismantling Racism: Welcome To Black And Latino Farmers Immersion

The Leader Of Canada’s Green Party Is Marching For Climate Action—And She Wants You To Join Her In NYC

What Ecologists Are Most Worried About Right Now: 5 Emerging Trends In Climate Change Ecology


If this does not move you, your cynicism has metastasized. The bloom of cancer

As if we needed yet another reason to deal with this, obesity ‘linked to 10 cancers’

This is information all of us should have. The physical triggers of suicide


Can You Die From A Broken Heart?

Tiny Pieces Of Gold ‘Boost Chemo’

The Kitchen Cupboard Cure That Saved 50 Million People


Not Marrying, Just Moving In

Pros And Cons Of “Normal” Jobs From The Radical Homemaker

Ancient India’s 5 Words For Love (And Why Knowing Them Can Heighten Your Happiness)

Vets coping with post-traumatic stress find solace in back-to-nature programs


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.


Video: Huge humpback whale hangs with fishing charter boat off Prince Rupert for an hour

Video: Exotic Cars Preview For The Ultimate Car Show

Top images from around the world


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


Business Correspondence



Copy Writing


Feature Magazine Articles

Ghost Writing




Online Research





Song Lyrics

Special Projects


Travel Copy



As far as I’m concerned, this is yet another reason for not swimming where these creatures hang out. One of world’s biggest sharks caught on film

We totally love stories like this. 800-Lb. Sea Creature Rescued Off NJ Coast

I am not a fan of these big dudes but I do not hate them either. However, this necessarily falls under the heading, “Know Thy Enemy”. (yes, I am joking…sort of) Great white shark project reveals surprising facts to NZ researchers


How Animals Deal With Infection

World’s Largest Partnership For Amphibian Conservation Formed

New Species Of Dolphin Discovered Near Australia


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Are we really ready for this? Sweat-powered ‘phone battery’ made


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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