an international weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, October 5, 2014

No. 407

If your two brothers were fighting with sticks, would you give one of them a knife?  Olga Bereza

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong - December 1969

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong – December 1969


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. Hong Kong is one of the most fascinating places I have ever visited. It was during a war which was termed “cold” by the media but was, of course, as hot as napalm and Nagasaki when an atomic bomb sent thousands to their deaths in a quick Kodak moment.

I had been to the killing fields and this port call was to re-energize for more of the same. I got as far away from the military as I could. I rented a room in a small hotel in the non-European sector; got a haircut in a Chinese barber shop, then turned around and decided to have an expensive drink in bar of one of the most expensive accommodations in the world, the Hong Kong Hilton.

There, I met an American Airlines stewardess from Kansas and we spent two totally g-rated romantic days together. We took the tram to Victoria Peak and our meals at a French café at the summit. From where we sat, we could see the Mainland, with its barbed wire and machine gun towers.

Hong Kong was still colonial then but more democratic than it was after the Communists from Beijing took it over. Now, thousands of people who were not even born when I visited are expressing their passion for freedom. Given the Mainland’s record for squelching such desires violently, I do not expect these demonstrations to last much longer. When Beijing tires of them, tanks will roll, machineguns will stammer, cannons will roar and the dream of democracy will go down, crushed and bloody.

Freedom may be popular but it is not necessarily contagious. More’s the pity, really.

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


This is certainly good news, eh? Ebola Outbreak in Nigeria Appears to Be Contained

I found the answers to this question extremely provocative. Is it time to leave planet Earth?

This is certainly good news and if they can do it, so can the rest of us. Drastic Drop in California’s Cancer-Causing Air Pollution Levels Found



Video Claims To Show Boko Haram Leader, Contradicting Death Claims

Britain Says Libya Hostage David Bolam Released

Nobel Peace Laureates To Boycott Annual Meeting In South Africa

Nigerian Police: Boko Haram Releases A Kidnapped Schoolgirl

UN Troops Killed In Mali Ambush

Somali Militants ‘Leaving Key Base’

Ugandan Ebola Patient In Germany

Lesotho PM To Contest Early Poll

Boko Haram Video Shows Leader Alive

Libya Troops Die In Benghazi Attacks


Sectarian Violence In Myanmar Threatens Livelihood Of Muslims

Hirohito: String Puller, Not Puppet

In Japan, Fear And Panic As A Revered Peak Explodes

Searchers Find 4 More Victims On Japanese Volcano After Surprise Eruption, Raising Toll To 51

Why Japan’s Beaches Are Deserted – Despite The Sunshine

U.S. Eases Embargo On Arms To Vietnam

North Korea’s No. 2 Official Visits South For Highest Level Face-To-Face Talks In 5 Years

Why North Korea’s Top-Level Talks With The South Happening Right-Now Are So Important

Satellite Shows North Korea Has Upgraded Launch Station

Hong Kong Protests: BBC Comprehensive


Rare Photos Of Untouched Australia

Australia Inquiry Into Nauru ‘Abuse’

Australia Students Travel By Robotic Sofa (Watch)


Mainland Chinese Don’t Know – Or Care – About Push For Democracy

China Throws Weight Behind HK Leader

Once A Draw, Restive Region In China Suffers After Unrest


One People, 1,200 Sausages ~ The Country With More Than 1,200 Sausages

Karadzic Takes Blame For Serb Crimes

How Bosnia Is Helping Cyprus Find Peace

France To Shrink Deficit By 2017

France Produces A ‘No Austerity’ Budget, Defying E.U. Rules

Air France Pilots End Two-Week Strike

EU Commissioner: Nude Celebs ‘Dumb’

As Fed Retreats From Stimulus, Central Banks Overseas Expand Theirs

Lawmakers Grill French Candidate For European Economic Post

E.C.B. Says Impact Of Asset-Buying Plan Will Be ‘Significant,’ But Does Not Detail Size

Why Are Spaniards Fleeing Home?

With Robust Economy, Poland Navigates Around Eastern Europe’s Strains


Premier Outlines Goals For India On Eve Of A Visit With Obama

Indian Leader Modi Takes Star Turn At Madison Square Garden To Court Diaspora Community

Indians Join The Wave Of Investors In Condos And Homes In The U.S.

US And India Sign Space Agreement

Obama And Modi Call For ‘New Agenda’

India’s ‘Mother Politician’

Indian State In Mourning After Graft Conviction


Tour Panama’s New Gehry-Designed Museum Of Biodiversity In PICTURES

Clashing Visions Of Conservation Shake Brazil’s Presidential Vote

Venezuelans Seek Sainthood For Beloved Folk Hero

Brazil Pastor Wants To Know: ‘Why Can’t I Be Gay And Christian?’


10 Israeli Companies At The Cutting-Edge Of Life Saving Tech

Sweden To Recognize Palestinian State

Netanyahu Sees Arab Alliance Aiding Mideast Peace

In Golan, Imagined Risks Become All Too Real


Russian-Flagged Vessel Played Key Role In Expedition That Found Franklin Ship

Putin Supports Project To ‘Secure’ Russia Internet

Russian Dissident Opens New Chapter In His Anti-Putin Movement

Russia: Russia needs 25 bln $ to substitute import :: Agriculture in the Black Sea Region


Taking London’s Success Elsewhere In Britain

British Hostage Released By Militants

Britain First Protest Against Rotherham Abuse By Flogging Merchandise

British Muslims Lead Outcry Over ‘Despicable’ Beheading Of Alan Henning


Mostly Black Cities, Mostly White City Halls

Secret Service Director Resigns In Scandal Over Security Lapses

Hackers’ Attack On JPMorgan Chase Affects Millions

Hackers’ Attack Cracked 10 Companies In Major Assault

Ways To Protect Yourself After The JPMorgan Hacking

With Dry Taps And Toilets, California Drought Turns Desperate


Francis: The Pope’s Calling



Taliban Press For Advantage As Politicians Work On Maneuvers In Kabul

Afghanistan And U.S. Sign Bilateral Security Agreement

New Afghan Leader Reopens Bank Case

Afghan Troops Killed In Kabul Attack


Can We Do Without A Global Climate Treaty?

Antarctic Ice Loss Is Changing The Earth’s Gravity

Photos: 35,000 Walrus Come Ashore In AK

Half The Planet’s Wildlife Has Died In The Last 40 Years


As World Leaders Pledge Aid, Delays Mean Ebola Clinics Must Turn Sick Away

First Ebola Case Diagnosed In The US

Ebola Patient May Have Exposed 18 People In U.S. — Including Five Children

Scrutiny In Texas To Detect Whether Ebola Has Spread

Health Officials In Dallas Pinpoint 10 People Most At Risk For Ebola

Outracing Vows Of Aid, Ebola Swamps A City In Sierra Leone

U.S. To Increase Production Of The Ebola Drug Zmapp, But May Not Meet Demand

Liberia Officials To Prosecute Man Who Brought Ebola To U.S. For Lying On Health Form

Tracing Ebola Contacts Can Stop Virus ‘In Its Tracks,’ Experts Say

US Cameraman In Liberia Has Ebola

Ebola’s Cultural Casualty: Hugs In Hands-On Liberia


Iraq Army Woos Deserters Back To War On ISIS

Fresh Strikes Around Key Syrian Town

VIDEO: RAF Release Video Of Iraq Attack

VIDEO: Kurdish Weapons ‘No Match’ For IS

How America Helped Isis

What Isis Could Teach The West

In New Front Against Islamic State, Dictionary Becomes A Weapon

IS Steps Up Attack On Key Syria Town

Coalition Leader Warns Of Long Fight In Iraq

Fisher: Grateful Residents Return To Kurdish Town After Islamic State Fighters Expelled

Video: Signs Of Heavy Fighting Remain In Makhmur, Iraq

Philippine Islamist Militants Threaten To Behead German Hostage

Australia Approves Strikes On IS


Spy Agencies Urge Caution On Phone Deal


BBC Ukraine Crisis Update

Rebel Push To Take Donetsk Airport

In Ukraine, Civilians In Crossfire


I love it when he makes us all look good. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s UN performance ends on high note

Yes! Anti-Bullying Curriculum Introduced In Winnipeg Will Help Save Lives:

This gives me another “proud to be Made in Canada” moment. Canadian District Goes to School on Concussions  

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

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

Sam:        Good morning, Sweetheart. Beautiful dawn out there.

Felina:     Good morning, love of my three lifetimes. It is a red dawn and I find that somehow very appropriate.

Sam:        You and Arnie have been watching the news all night again, haven’t you?

Felina:     Arnold and I have indeed. And I am pondering.

Sam:        Pondering is cool.

Felina:     Samuel, why is it that human beings insist on going to places they do not live to give assistance that is often not requested and to impose a way of life or a standard of values totally alien to the people they are allegedly trying to help?

Sam:        It never ceases to amaze me how you can get all that out in one breath.

Felina:     I am the Queen of the Deep Reaches, remember?

Sam:        Yes, Your Royal Highness.

Felina:     And Queens can accomplish feats that dazzle the peasantry.

Sam:        This is also true. However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Tony and Cleo of digression. And the Orange Julius of the smooth segue.

Sam:        And all night long, you and Arnie, our talking television set, have been watching do-gooder human beings go to places to render aid to other human beings who resent the intrusion and react rather dramatically.

Felina:     I would say that cutting one’s head off is rather extreme.

Sam:        Yep, it’s right up there with laying waste to entire populations to prove how serious one’s intent is to convert them to the one true god, the one true theology, economic and lifestyle.

Felina:     Yes, precisely. You are very good at this, my love.

Sam:        When inspired, Sweetheart. And you do inspire.

Felina:     Thank you so much, my rapacious rapscallion. So it is basically cultural conceit which drives them to do these insane things in the name of virtue?

Sam:        Felina, some species are born clueless, become more confused as they evolve and survive only because the Creator has compassion and a sense of humor beyond mortal comprehension.

Felina:     That would follow. She is, after all, the Greatest of Queens.

Sam:        And a reckonable force in the Universe. And on that note, 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.


This is sincerely a step in the right direction, is it not? In the U.S., Georgia Colleges Prohibiting Tobacco, but Questions About Enforcement Linger

This makes me proud to have been partly raised in this state. California adopts sex crime rule

This is a good thing if it is enforced. U.S. Military Hospitals Are Ordered to Improve Care, Access and Safety


War Vets, Kids Who Survived Gang Violence Come Together To Help Each Other

One Program Lets Travelers Catch Sharks – In An Effort To Save Them

A Couple Gaining Independence, And Finding A Bond


You guys know this is not cool. The idea is to be better than Occidentals at things like this, not to emulate them. China’s Fruitless Repression of the Uighurs

This could just put you off your bagel but better the enemy known, even if ~ as Walt Kelly said through Pogo ~ the enemy is us. Swimming Through Garbage

This makes me ashamed to be from the West. Welcome to E. coli creek: False Creek is Vancouver’s most contaminated body of water


A bike that also flies? How cool is that? Flying bike seeks sky-riders

This looks like a great idea. How to Get More Room in the Sock Drawer: Sell Your Cellphone

This will absolutely amaze you. ‘Thousands’ of new ocean mountains


UK’s Deep Sea Mountain Life Filmed

Here’s The Ugly Truth About How People Use Facebook When In A Bad Mood

Ice Satellite Is ‘Powerful Tool’


Water Seen On Neptune-Sized Planet

Indian Mars Probe Sends First Images

Space Probe Sees Absolutely Stupendous Stellar Flare


You Call This Thai Food? The Robotic Taster Will Be The Judge

Big Robot Fleet Takes To UK Waters

Watch: Drone Captures Rare Footage Of An Erupting Volcano


Turning Programming Into Child’s Play

Seatylock: This Bicycle Saddle That Turns Into A Lock Is Sure To Win Over Cyclists

10 Israeli Companies At The Cutting-Edge Of Life Saving Tech


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.


Inslee On Oil Trains: ‘Outdated, Inadequate, Dangerous’

Laws Of Nature ~ New European Union Team To Review Europe’s Green Policies


Parents enthusiastic about their kids to participating in sports where there is a risk of head injuries might want to read this. Brain injuries like concussion can alter teens’ behaviour, girls especially

I wish I’d had this to read when I had to do it. What To Tell Children About A Parent’s Cancer

This is not going to make my tooth guy happy at all, I suspect. How Often Must We See A Dentist?


Nine Films To Watch In October

Ten Books To Read In October

Abandoned New York City

Ingredient Of The Week: Apples

How Scammers Trick Your Mind

Bicycle Built For Two: Are You Really In Tandem?

Muslims Celebrate Islam’s Biggest Holiday As 2 Million People Mark Near-End Of Hajj Pilgrimage


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.


In Pictures ~ The Transforming Power Of The Monsoon Rains

Video: Ask Well: An Ebola Q. and A. ` Donald G. McNeil Jr. answers reader questions about the Ebola virus.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Feud With Boston? Nevermore


 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

BACKCOUNTRY GALLERY’S October wallpaper is here. Steve Perry’s nature photography in among the best you’ll find on the Net.


Business Correspondence

Communications Consulting

Classified and other Advertising Copy Writing


Ghost Writing

Humour: Jokes & Monologues

Online Research


Song Lyrics


Special Projects





This just might explain a lot. Feline view ~ How do domestic cats really see the world?

Share this with your children and grandchildren and they’ll love you forever. Museum handbook examines B.C.’s stunning variety of marine mammals

Thank God more is being done to reverse this trend, except, perhaps, being kinder to one another. World wildlife populations have declined by half since 1970

The SeaDoc Society’s October newsletter is now available. Features include: Annual subtidal dive monitoring yields early results; Power to the puffins!; October marine science lecture: oceanographer Paul Dayton; The people who make our lecture series possible; SeaDoc in the News


Video: Black Bear Scratches An Itch

A Photographer’s Guide To Nocturnal Life

Why Supersmart Animals Are Coming


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Jesus In Toast Study Among 2014 Ig Nobel Awards Winners


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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