an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, September 7, 2014

No. 402

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. We take profound note of the crossing over (to the next world) of American comedienne Joan Rivers. She gave her final curtain call this past week, at the age of 81.

I am pleased to see all the tributes to her and some absolutely lyric obituaries. I believe that immortality is the resonance of high mountain peaks and that as long as one person remembers, no one is ever gone. That, to me, is the purpose of respecting one’s ancestors. I am the sum total of all who came before me. They, in turn, live in me and all those I touch.

Sometimes that is an interesting legacy because it also means that the supremely heinous among us enjoy the same state of grace, as it were. The caveat is in what they feel. I suspect hatred is not something one would want for every meal. But then one simply does not slaughter without consequence, either in this life nor Ultimately.

In the beginning, like many young men of my generation raised in a male-dominated household, I found the humour of Ms Rivers offensive, unsettling and inexplicably threatening. I have always, however, been a pushover for a beautiful blonde (my mom was one) and Ms Rivers is definitely that. So as chauvinistic as that sounds or is, that is how I came to “experience” her.

Joan Rivers empowered me to take a good look at the girls and women in my world; and to ask myself the kinds of questions that help history turn a corner. As I entered high school, I began to make friends who also happened to be female. We talked about this stuff and I realized that as acidic as her observations were, Joan was speaking for women not only in America, but everywhere on the planet where males dominate the culture.

Joan and her sisters taught me that oppression of one ~ woman, gay, Hispanic, Asian, Jew, Protestant, Catholic, Hindu, Moslem, Agnostic or Atheist ~ is oppression of all. She also helped me understand that the contributions of all to the whole only make the feast that more movable.

She joins California Supreme Court Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird; San Francisco mayor Diane Feinstein, California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi; Washington governors Christine Gregoire and Dixie Lee Ray; Russian-American author Ayn Rand; former Republican first ladies Barbara and Laura Bush; Winnie Mandella, Rosa Parks and several others in my personal pantheon of positive female role models.

I am not grieving for Joan Rivers. I am celebrating that she walked among us and will likely live forever, where most of us are going, too

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


This is absolutely good news. Eat up! Some fish make dramatic recovery on West Coast

Where to America’s 46 million immigrants come from? The answers just might surprise you.

Considering what we have personally observed as a sharp decline in good manners online in the last decade, this is certainly timely. Six Ways to Bring More Empathy to the Internet



Libyans Overrun Compound Abandoned By U.S. Embassy In Tripoli

Libyan Militias Seize Control Of Capital As Chaos Rises

Nigeria Militants ‘Seize’ Major Town

Investigation Reveals A Highly Organised Ivory Trade Across Asia And Africa


China Restricts Voting Reforms For Hong Kong

In Interviews, 3 Americans Held In North Korea Plead For U.S. Help

Hong Kong Newspaper Drops Democracy Advocate’s Column

Dalai Lama Cancels S Africa Trip


Mining Tax Repealed By Australia

New Zealand Suspect Charged After 2 Killed At Unemployment Office

Prime Minister Abbott Marks One Year In Office

Australia, East Timor Postpone ICJ Spy Row Hearing

Ex-Supreme Court Judge Calls For Federal Corruption Body


Chinese Islamist Fighter A Prisoner of Iraq

China Media: Journalism Ethics

‘Smart’ Chopsticks Unveiled In China


Russia: Consequences Of The Russian Ban For EU

Why Paris Is Forgetting Ernest Hemingway

Swiss Economy Stalls As EU Slows

Uber Banned Across Germany By Court

Monument Seeks To End Silence On Killings Of The Disabled By The Nazis

Bank Seizure Leaves Bulgarians Stranded

France Postpones Delivery Of Warship To Russia

Hit By Russian Boycott, European Union Increases Marketing Budget For Its Farm Goods

Shepherding In The New Kosovo

Greek Leader Promises Cuts In Oil And Income Taxes


‘Humiliated’ Indian Girl Found Dead

India Pakistan Flood Toll Passes 200

India ‘Serial Killer’ To Be Executed

India On Alert After Al-Qaeda Video

The Angry Youth Of Kashmir Won’t Accept Al-Qaeda


Iran Unfetters Cellphones, And The Pictures Start Flowing

Iran ‘Backs US Military Contacts’


Israeli children go back to school after spending summer in bomb shelters


Mexico Probes Mass Fish Death In Lake

Ecuador Volcano Increases Activity


NATO Members Vow To Reinvent The Alliance To Deal With Crises

NATO To Prepare Operating Bases, Fast Response For Hot Spots


Troops Return Pakistan TV To Air


P.R. Firm For Putin’s Russia Now Walking A Fine Line

Russia’s Foreign Minister Calls For Ceasefire As New Round Of Ukraine Talks To Be Held In Belarus

Russia ‘To Alter Military Strategy’

Russian Stocks Rise From Peace Hope


Years Of Rape And ‘Utter Contempt’ In Britain

UK Service Sector Sees Strong Growth

How Did Scotland Change So Much?

Thousands Turn Out To Protest Against Privatisation Of The Nhs


More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’

Decaying Guantánamo Defies Closing Plans

Seeing Discolored Lawns, California Businesses Apply Dab Of Green

Justice Dept. Inquiry To Focus On Practices Of Police In Ferguson

Florida Prosecutors Face Long Odds When Police Use Lethal Force

Hawaii Mayor Declares Emergency As Geologists Warn Lava Flows 800 Feet A Day

U.S. Job Growth Slips In August After Months Of Bigger Gains



NW Scientists Say Humans Causing Region To Grow Warmer

Climate Change Challenges A Pine Tree

United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change

Climate Change

United States Environmental Protection Agency

United Nations Environment Programme

Natural Resources Defense Council

Union Of Concerned Scientists Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change

Climate Policy


MSF Call For Military Medical Help Shows Ebola Outbreak’s Severity

 Doctors Fear They’re Losing Battle Against Ebola

More Information: Ebola Virus Disease

Canadian Scientists Cure Monkeys Infected With Ebola

Ebola Outbreak Accelerating, Evolving In Alarming Ways, Researchers Say

Cuts At W.H.O. Hurt Response To Ebola Crisis

U.S. Sends Experimental Canadian Ebola Vaccine To Trial

The Other Ebola Toll: African Economies


U.S. And Iran Unlikely Allies In Iraq Battle


Arab Writers Mock ISIS Terrorists In Cartoons And Comedy Programs Aimed At ‘Rejecting Extremism’

U.S. Forces Hit Islamic Extremists In Somalia In Attack That Targeted Leader

ISIS Says It Killed Steven Sotloff After U.S. Strikes In Northern Iraq

Steven Sotloff, U.S. Hostage Slain By ISIS, Was Also A Citizen Of Israel

Beheading ‘Will Not Intimidate US’

Waging Desperate Campaign, Iraqi Town Held Off ISIS Militants

Iran ‘Backs US Military Contacts’

At Summit, U.S. And Allies Form Coalition Against ISIS

Syrian Bombs Hit Isis-Held Territory


Al-Qaeda Affiliate Claims Capture Of UN Peacekeepers In Syria



As Ukraine Talks Resume, Putin And Poroshenko Trade Barbs

Putin Lays Out Proposal To End Ukraine Conflict

Shell-shocked Ukrainians Flee To New Lives In Russia

Fighting Tapers Off In Ukraine As Cease-Fire Takes Effect


NATO Set To Ratify Pledge On Joint Defense In Case Of Major Cyberattack

Leader Of Qaeda-Linked Somali Group Is Dead, U.S. Says

U.S. Targets Western Terrorist Recruits With Brutal Video


The Sierra Club is trying to stop the Monsanto Company from killing millions of Monarch butterflies. This is a request to sign a petition. For more, please go here.


I’ve been to where this is happening and I totally love it. Canadians Eagerly Await Nation’s First Tea Harvest.

Come on you guys. Not everybody likes their humour maple flavoured. Canada screws up Russian geography while mocking Russians about geography

I don’t expect very many of us born under the Sign of the Crown are very happy about this. Canada leads world in forest decline, report says


Canadian Military Advisers Headed To Iraq To Help Push Back ISIL

Canada’s Full-Time Jobs Figure Stagnates In July

Ford: Going To Rehab Was My Choice

Cougars Corner

Sam:        Hi, Sweetheart. Pretty quiet down below and a beautiful night. Mind if I join you?

Felina:     I would be delighted, mate of my three lifetimes. The moon will soon be at her most glorious. I believe it is what humans call a full harvest moon.

Sam:        Yep, that’s what the farmers among them do.

Felina:     And yet in my country, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving until October and in yours, even later than that.

Sam:        Well, in America, it’s not quite the same thing. The Pilgrims were grateful that the Wampoag Indians fed them from the tribe’s own abundant harvest. They were so grateful they circulated word of the local generosity and in less than three generations, the Pilgrims and other English immigrants had pretty well displaced those who saved the first whites from starving.

Felina:     It does seem a rather quaint way to repay kindness.

Sam:        Quaint is certainly one word for it, Lass. Not necessarily the word I would use.

Felina:     There are certainly other, more colourful adjectives to describe the exploitation and genocide of the indigent population, Samuel. But what purpose would it serve when even our gentle readership is familiar with most of them, in a dozen language of their own tongue?

Sam:        Point well taken. However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller of digression. And the Fanny Brice of the smooth segue.

Sam:        Which is to say that by the time the harvest moon shines brightly, the farmers among humans know whether to feast or to prepare for a very long and lean winter.

Felina:     That is such sweet allegory, my rapacious rapscallion and I absolutely adore you for it.

Sam:        That harvest moon has been shining down on us for a lot longer than we’ve been looking up at her.

Felina:     She has such a beautiful smile

Sam:        She does indeed. And she is not the only one, Sweetheart.

Felina:     Thank you, oh passion of all my passions.

Sam:       My pleasure, Lass. And on that note, then, Felina?

Felina:     And 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.


I so identify with this. Widower goes back to university to study the cancer that killed his wife

When I read something like this, I think seriously of getting MADE IN CANADA tattooed on my chest. Couple donates house to help cancer research

Our friends Down Under certainly know how to put a good plan together. House to be built in three weeks


Aide: Putin’s statement about ability to take over Kyiv in 2 weeks quoted out of context. Uh huh.

Welcome to the 21st Century, Your Honor. Federal Judge, Bucking Trend, Affirms Ban on Same-Sex Marriages in Louisiana

Lest we forget that as long as we sanction war as an “instrument” of diplomatic policy, we are all responsible for this. Israeli children go back to school after spending summer in bomb shelters


I am so much of fan of these. Mud, asphalt, sand or snow? Working with French cycle-maker Moustache, the designer unveils electric bikes built for the rigors of mud, asphalt, sand and snow.

Can you imagine what would happen if this dude had ever gotten road rage? Argentine Dinosaur Was an Estimated 130,000 Pounds, and Still Growing

This must be reassuring to about 38 million people or so. California Rumbles


Discovery I Of Oldest Metal Object In Middle East Revises History By Centuries

How Fighting In Pakistan Affects War Against Polio

A Mission For Remote-Controlled Bugs


SpaceL’s Mission To The Moon Says Chances Of Winning Lunar X Prize Are High

How To Put A Human On Mars

Dead Stars ‘Can Re-Ignite’ And Blow


Inside Google’s Secret Drone Lab

Drone Developers Consider Obstacles That Cannot Be Flown Around

Brainy, Yes, But Far From Handy


Want That 3 am Text To Just Disappear?

5 Tips To Keep Your Passwords Safe

Low-Cost Fighter Jets Take Off


Are e-cigarettes safe or not? — Our picks of the week from around the web, including Motorola’s decline, an electric car battle, and one of ‘the most disruptive technologies for decades’.


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.


In a Tough Place to Farm, Discovering Much to Love

World Land Trust At 25

Urban Trees Cut Pollution, Save Money

Sowing The Seeds For Green Revolution


Now that the days are growing shorter and dimmer, we thought this was timely. Here are foods which will promote eye health. You’re probably eating most of them.

We Love It When Something Like This Happens. “Angelina Jolie Effect”: Breast Cancer Testing Soars After Jolie’s Double Mastectomy

This does not surprise us. Epileptic Okanagan girl fed illegal cannabis oil makes dramatic recovery


Taking The Pain Out Of Labour

Upping The Fight Against Breast Cancer

Study Of Ashkenazi Jewish Women Shows Link To Cancer Without Family History


Is A Lateral Move Right For You?

Back-To-School Season Is Here But You Don’t Have To Blow The Bank

Ten Schools You Need To See To Believe

“Catfish” Creator Nev Schulman On Why So Many Deceive In Search For Love Online

The Antidote To Mansplaining: Rebecca Solnit On Everyday Sexism And What We Can Do About It

Five Tips For Solving Your Own Crimes


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.


Eight Films To Watch In September

Reader Photos: Your Colourful Life

The Elephant That Flew



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

Communications Consulting

Classified and other Advertising Copy Writing


Ghost Writing

Humour: Jokes & Monologues

Online Research


Song Lyrics


Special Projects





My cousins in Australia are going to love this. They surf with these dudes. Field Guide To Whale Sharks

We are certainly glad to share this. Blue whale numbers bounce back

For those of us who love happy endings? Grizzly Orphan Returns To The Wild In British Columbia ››


Bear Season Arrives In Neighborhoods

My Family And Other Animals 

Are 75 Percent Of Australia’s Living Species Unknown?

The SeaDoc Society’s September newsletter is now available online. Features this month include:

How do you help a 2,000 pound wild animal that’s entangled?

Good news! Federal money for marine mammal stranding response

New light on eelgrass

Washington Tribes and salmon recovery

For more, please go here.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


I thought this was totally insane. Diver survives collision with massive shark


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

Ireland Newsletter: Best email source of Irish news, culture and the arts

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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