New Masthead

A weekly ezine of news, commentary and general interest

Sunday, October 26, 2014

No. 411

“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

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Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. I came across an article I’d really recommend we all read. It is about the language of conflict and though the semantics can be traced back to the first hominid who picked up a club after the species of his mother’s ancestry was called into question, this piece focuses on our reaction to ISIS.

It seems that to engage in this interesting craft of war, we must demonize our enemy. I am personally not a fan of hate speech in any form, regardless its justification. I have never seen any real good of it and despite the childhood allegation that words cannot hurt us, horse manure. They can and we all know that. They strike the heart, as it were, in a way no other weapon can.

Wounds of the heart are injuries of the mind, as well, and ones which impair judgment and compromise one’s survival instinct. It is, for instance, difficult to be rational about someone who reminds us of those who have hurt us, our family, our nation. By comparing one’s enemy to the most horrific of these, we let self-preservation kick in. And then, sports fans, we are literally off and running down the road to Armageddon.

Those who use hate speech as a weapon understand this or they would not waste their time with it. It has been working for a very long time and apparently has a shelf life of reckonable antiquity. Diplomacy is Thursday’s child in comparison and apparently does have a long way to go.

Tomas Kapitan, ~ a writer of considerable expertise on this subject ~ in his New York Times essay entitled “Reign of Terror”, calls instead for the language of understanding, compromise and conflict resolution. He suggests that it might be far more profitable for all concerned if we used semantics to shape our world, rather than letting words define the extent of our species-hood.

I could not agree more. Thanks once again for the ear, gang. Have a great week, eh?


Since the associate editor of this publication drives a vehicle which uses these, this one is a little closer to home. There are words I could use to describe how I feel about news like this. I can cuss the bark off a birch at five klicks but I usually refrain out of consideration for the rest of the forest. It Looked Like a Stabbing, but Takata Air Bag Was the Killer

What are the five friendliest cities in the world? The answers just might surprise you.

For those who understand the web of life ~ which is probably all of you ~ this is very good news. Oregon Divers Find Hope In Thousands Of Baby Sea Stars



Emergency Food Deliveries In Sierra Leone To Fight Ebola Epidemic

In Home Of Nigeria’s Abducted Girls, Cautious Optimism Greets News Of Cease-Fire With Captors

In Homeland, Liberia Native Finds Resilience Amid Horror

Nigeria Declared Free Of Ebola

Boko Haram ‘Abducts More Women’

Tunisia’s Rival Revolutionaries

Tunisia Profile

Tunis ‘Militant Hideout’ Stormed


Two Japan Ministers Quit Amid Rows

On TV, Hong Kong Openly Debates Democracy

Japan’s Exports Jump In September

Vietnam Tycoon Arrested For ‘Fraud’

Vietnam Country Profile

First Transplant Of ‘Dead’ Heart

Daniel Pearl Murder Suspect Released

Hindu Activists ‘Attack India Cafe’

HK Protesters To Vote On Proposals

China ‘Punishes 17’ For Deadly Clash

US Firm Fined For Underpaying Indians

Quetta Mourns Attacks On Shias

US Command Of S Korea Troops To Stay

Japan Minister In Sex Bar Funds Row

Japan Court Backs Pregnant Woman


Obama Asks Australia For Ebola Help

Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea opens

Brisbane Bees Fight ‘Hive Wars’

Australia’s Mosques Throw Open Their Doors

Shorten Takes Gay Marriage Message To Christian Group

Qantas Says It Has Returned To Profit


Presumed Guilty In China’s War On Corruption, Targets Suffer Abuses

What China Means By ‘Rule Of Law’

Video: China’s Kazakhs Reverse Course

China Angry With Kenny G For Visiting Hong Kong Protest Site


Rome mayor defies Interior Ministry, registers 16 gay marriages amid thunderous applause

Historic Loss May Follow Rise Of Rents In Barcelona

Sweden Hunts For Source Of Underwater Signals

Submarine Search Near Stockholm Reminiscent Of A Cold War Thriller

New Commissioners Approved For E.U.’S Executive Branch

NATO Jets ‘Intercept Russian Plane’

EU Agrees To Emergency Budget Talks

Sweden Calls Off Search For Sub

In French Port City, ‘A Real Psychosis’

The Conflict Between Germany And The E.C.B. That Threatens Europe

About 25 Europe Banks Are Said To Have Failed Tests


Indian Leader’s Party Gains Seats In Key State Elections

India Overhauls Fuel Regime In PM Modi’s Biggest Economic Reform Yet

Piracy Row Scot ‘Struggles’ In India

Indian PM’s Face Sells Fireworks

India Boss Distributes Cars As Gifts


Brazil Votes In Presidential Run-Off

Elections Highlight Economic Divisions In Brazil

Brazil Election: Class Divides Voters

What Will Settle Brazil’s Presidential Election?

Uruguay Votes For New President

Uruguay Profile

Life Terms For Argentina Jail Crimes

Us Judge Sentences Farc Commander

Puffer Fish Poisons 11 In Brazil

Governor Quits Over Mexico Missing

Us Returns Ancient Artifacts To Peru

Honduras Drought Puts Many ‘At Risk’

Chile Marches Against Education Bill

Chile Country Profile


Turks To Let Kurds Join Kobane Fight

Thousands In Iran Protest Acid Attacks On Women

31 Egyptian Soldiers Are Killed As Militants Attack In Sinai

Rights Groups Condemn Execution Of Iranian Woman

Oil Gives Kurds A Path To Independence, And Conflict With Baghdad


Russian Clocks Go Back For Last Time

The Bizarre World Of Time Zones

Later Sunsets ‘Make Kids More Active’

Heavy Snow Covers Poland And Russia

The Element That Redefined Time


Kate’s Second Baby Due In April

UK Anger At £1.7bn EU Cash Demand

The Queen Sends Her First Tweet

‘Record Number’ Of Low-Paid Britons

Case Unfairly Politicised Says Adams

Masked Gang With Iron Bars Hit Man

RAF Pilot Training Boost Welcomed

Peer Condemns ‘Chronic Underfunding’

Planning Fee Increase Criticised

Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Dies, Aged 71

Last Farewell For Cancer Blog Boy

‘Deliberate’ Blaze Killed Father


Rule Change Lets Los Angeles Dream Of Spires

K-9 ‘Agents’ Lift Spirits Of The Secret Service With Heroics At The White House

2 Die, Including Gunman, In Shooting At Washington State High School

2 California Officers Are Killed In Rampage

Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required


Pope Beatifies Paul VI At Remarkable Synod’s End

Catholic Bishops Scrap Watered-Down Welcome To Gays In Document



Taliban Are Rising Again In Afghanistan’s North

UK Base In Afghanistan Handed Over

Afghan Mullah Who Raped Girl In His Mosque Receives 20-Year Prison Sentence


Emissions Drive Oceans ‘Acid Trip’

How Climate Change Will Acidify The Oceans

EU Leaders Agree CO2 Emissions Cut

World Must End ‘Dirty’ Fuel Use – UN

Europe ‘Will Fail To Protect Climate’

EU Outlines 2030 Climate Goals

Pragmatism On Climate Change Trumps Politics At Local Level Across U.S.


Nigeria Declared Free Of Ebola

WHO Set For Emergency Ebola Talks

In The Race To An Ebola Treatment, Israel’s Collplant Synthesizes Human Cells In Tobacco Plant

U.S. Plans 21-Day Watch Of Travelers From Ebola-Hit Nations

Dozens monitored for Ebola in Mali

Ebola Lands In New York City

Cuomo And Christie Order Strict Ebola Quarantines

Ebola Quarantines Seen As Barrier To Volunteers

Early New York Response: Polar Opposite Of Dallas’s


Dutch Biker Gang Joins Fight Against ISIS

Coalition Syria Strikes ‘Kill 553’


Shooting Of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Strengthens Cadet’s Resolve To Serve His Country

Parliament Shootings: People Are Resilient To Trauma, Psychiatrist Says

Details About Ottawa Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau Uncovered

Matt Gurney: Ottawa Just Had Its Trial By Fire. Thank God, It Passed

Canadian Police Say Ottawa Attack Was Work Of Lone Gunman

Canada Attack ‘Not Linked To IS’

Ottawa Gunman’s Radicalism Deepened As Life Crumbled


BBC Ukraine Crisis Update

Ukraine Used Cluster Bombs, Evidence Indicates

VIDEO: Ukraine Elections: ‘We’ve Had Enough Of Looking East’


This could have turned out much worse than it actually did. Attack On Ottawa: A Brazen Assault On Canada’s Capital

I’ll just bet that sooner or later, there is a husband and wife team behind this. Citizens of the Maple Leaf, meet Dudley and Dottie Do-Right. RCMP sets ‘ambitious’ recruitment target: 50% women

Apparently, in Saskatchewan, a dog is not a man (or woman’s) only best friend. Saskatchewan couple fights to keep pet raccoon


These are the thoughts, observations, wishes and dreams of a family woman in a war zone. We are well aware that on this planet, her numbers are legion. We believe, however, that she speaks for more than a few of them.  Her name is Olya Bereza and her email address is

A political party kiosk in Lviv.  Photo courtesy of Olya Bereza

A political party kiosk in Lviv. Photo courtesy of Olya Bereza

Hello, Расти:  I am in West Ukraine at the moment. The media is preparing us for voting in Parliament elections today, Sunday, the 26th of October. It is always hilarious to notice all these advertising tricks in politics. At that I found quite interesting, the Liberal Party with new faces and good slogans like “a person is of first value” which I totally agree.

But there are some other parties and other appeals which make me worried. Like this idea of nation too close to condemned one. They could at least choose another logo. I was about eight when the previous ideology (dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991) was fallen and I do not want to have to digest a new one like that. Freedom and liberty and human rights and peace are what I hopefully expect from the elections.

Stay warm, Mishka.


P.S. The yellow tent in the photo is a campaign kiosk urging people to vote for this party at the parliamentary elections. Lviv is in West Ukraine. I love this city but radicalism is not the way, if you think about whole country prosperity which is a home for a few nations.

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. I smell pizza.

Felina:     Good morning, love of my three lifetimes, and how very astute of your nose. Would you care to join Arnold and me in the den? We are watching this programme on women who become terrorists for love.

Sam:        You and Arnie sure find some bizarre stuff out there in McLuhan’s Vast Frontier.

Felina:     Arnold has an insatiable appetite for knowledge, Dear. It would be a shame to limit his quest for it.

Sam:        Not to mention the Chicago Deep Dish you guys eat hanging out and stuff.

Felina:     To quote my mate of three lifetimes: “If there is no pizza in the Good Place, I am going to Hell for lunch.”

Sam:        This is very true and it is nice to be quoted verbatim like that. However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Will and Hilarity of Digression. And the She’ll See of the smooth segue.

Sam:        Which is to say that you are our sentient television set have been watching videos about ISIS recruiting female human beings.

Felina:     Very good, my love. And quite so. I know that female humans have been warriors since they had different shaped heads and slumped a lot.

Sam:        Since the species began, yep.

Felina:     But this does seem rather extreme, these OASIS people.

Sam:        Oh yeah, they’re a little out there, Lass.

Felina:     And the news tells us that some of them are mate hunting, Samuel?

Sam:        If that’s what the media’s telling you, that is probably how it is.

Felina:     Are these female humans so unattractive that they cannot find partners among the saner segments of their society?

Sam:        Sweetheart, my guess would be that there’s some twist in their road, yep.

Felina:     I mean, it is one thing to fall in love with a male in uniform. I did when you were serving with the United States Cougar Corp. You were actually quite dashing.

Sam:        Thank you, Lass. I also did not go around trying to chop anybody’s head off.

Felina:     You were the model of the osprey décor, my love. So these human females who want to take mates from males who cut off the heads of other human beings, you are suggesting perhaps a mental imbalance?

Sam:        Felina, they’re crazier than that Canadian duck you guys like so much.

Felina:     Ah, so simply an aberration of the norm.

Sam:        A speed bump down their evolution highway. And yes, Sweetheart, this too will pass.

Felina:     I think, then, that Arnold and I need no more to watch this tragic nonsense.

Sam:        That’s the way it looks from my side of the cave, Sweetheart. 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 why it is not good policy to get Canada mad. Soldier’s death strengthens resolves of troops heading to Kuwait: defence minister reports

This is justice well served. Blackwater Guards Found Guilty in 2007 Iraq Killings

So is this. Afghan Mullah Who Raped Girl in His Mosque Receives 20-Year Prison Sentence


Alberta city comes together to clean up vandalized mosque

Seattle bike-share program hits 4,000 rides in first week

Americans Don’t Live In Information Cocoons


That this is still being done anywhere in the universe appalls me. That it is being done of earth makes me ashamed of being human. Video: To Kill a Sparrow ~ In Afghanistan, thousands of young women have been imprisoned for so-called moral crimes – including running away from unlawful forced marriages. This is one woman’s story.

This has got to hurt a little, eh, Ronald? Al-Qaeda magazine urges boycott of McDonald’s

Sometimes change comes more slowly to some places than it does to some others. Small Towns, Small Hearts


Malicious Ebola-Themed Emails Are On The Rise

10 Bizarre Ebola ‘Products’ People Are Actually Trying To Sell

Mother Wails Outside Iranian Prison As Young Daughter Is Hanged


I would like to try one of these but when I went to buy a Mini Cooper, I was told they did not make one in my size. This is even smaller than that. Driving the world’s smallest car

This, however, is another story entirely. Your e-rickshaw has arrived

The American advertising copywriter who came up with the slogan, “So simple a cave man can do it,” might very well have been related to one. Check this out, gang. Man’s Genome From 45,000 Years Ago Is Reconstructed


Physics Reveals How Nature Sparkles

Gladiators Were ‘Mostly Vegetarian’

Sex Emerged In Ancient Scottish Lake


Dawkins: What Are Aliens Like?

NASA Shares Free Sounds From Space

How To Put A Human On Mars


Parachutist’s Record Fall: Over 25 Miles In 15 Minutes

Students Build Oculus Moon Robot

Hemispheres In Space


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.


Environment Is Grabbing Big Role In Ads For Campaigns

Wind Farms Outstrip Nuclear Power

African Solar Plan To Power UK Homes


I don’t eat this stuff but I know people who do and I’ve often wondered Are those super foods really so super?

Here is yet another good reason to get out in the sun, even or perhaps especially in winter. ‘Sunshine can slow weight gain’

I totally believe in this. 8 Ways Forgiveness Is Good For Your Health


Need A Career Change? Here’s How To Reinvent Yourself

How To Build An Emergency Fund

‘Why I Want To Die At 75’

No Picket Fence: Younger Adults Opting To Rent

Want Success Here? Don’t Brag

‘San Quentin’s Giants’


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.


Meet Dennis the Raccoon in our videos of the week!

Dancing priests become Internet sensation (Photo Gallery)

Bear Cub Strolls Through Oregon Drug Store


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 CorrespondenceCommunications ConsultingClassified and other Advertising Copy WritingEditingGhost WritingHumour: Jokes & MonologuesOnline ResearchProofreadingSong LyricsSpeechesSpecial Projects



For those of us who have known and loved these magnificent animals, this is so true. Two Horses, One Language

This is totally awesome except for the author’s use of the term “killer whale”. As we pointed out in our comments at the end, that’s like calling Canadians “Canucks.” In all of the True North, the only Canucks are professional hockey players and these big dudes and dudettes are orcas. Drones bring back killer pictures of killer whales

Putting an animal in a cage or even a glorified glass jar is like asking a human to spend its life in a space the size of a federal prison cell. We punish anthropoid miscreants and innocent animals alike when we do this. So The Northstar Journal totally supports this effort. Campaign For Temple Elephant Saama Gathers Momentum


Antelopes Win Best Wildlife Photo

Australian Birds That Mysteriously Chase Rain

Urgent Ban Needed For Wild Animals In Circuses


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


UK man who faked coma to avoid fraud charges pleads guilty after he’s caught walking on camera


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

Wildlife Extra magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace


The Northstar Journal is an international non-profit news, commentary and general interest Internet magazine. Entirely readership supported, it was founded as a monthly in 1999 and won two Hersh Best Read on the Net Awards for its coverage of Bosnia and of Seattle’s Nisqually Earthquake. If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here  For more information about us, email us at



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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