New Masthead

A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest

Sunday, November 9, 2014

No. 413

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

Northstar Media Services

Merritt Scott “Rusty” Miller – Editor

Dennis W. Steussy – Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  In Canada, it is called “Remembrance Day,” while in the States, it is known as “Veterans Day.”  It is celebrated under various other names by other nations around the world and its purpose is to honor all those who served and particularly those who gave what Abraham Lincoln termed, in his Gettysburg Address, “the last full measure of devotion.”

In that historic speech, Mr. Lincoln sought not only to memorialize the valiant but to galvanize the rest of us into committing America to peace and to finding solutions which did not involve compromising the greatest resource any species, including ours, has to offer, its youth.

Here is that speech, shared in the hopes that wherever you live and under whatever form of government, peace is your nation’s ultimate goal as well.

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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


This must have been something to see, eh, gang?  Whale makes a big splash off Skye

Here’s a question I’ve pondered more than once.  What would happen if human beings became extinct?

I have suggested, in jest, that small people are better for the planet because they take up less space, consume less oxygen, contribute just as much but without consuming nearly as much food and water to do it and are not as taxing on other resources as us tall (albeit slim) folks.  Sounds like I’m not the only one who feels that way.



Deadly Blast At Nigeria Cash Machine

Inside The Vigilante Fight Against Boko Haram

Boko Haram Suspects Found Dead

Escape From Boko Haram

Nigerian Army’s Pride Wounded

Who Are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?

Nigerian Army’s Pride Wounded

Who Are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?

Divestment Helped to End Apartheid in South Africa—Can It Work for Fossil Fuels?


North Korea Releases 2 Americans, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller

Philippines Marks Haiyan Anniversary

‘Militants Dead’ In Khyber Fighting

Singapore ‘Fraud’ Hits Danish Fuel Firm

China And Japan Smooth Islands Row

Twitter Opening Office In Hong Kong

Japan Governor Backs Reactor Restart


Disturbing Interview Takes A Shocking Turn

Bushfires Sweep South-East Australia

Rebuilding Lives After Australia Bushfires

Questions After Australia Bushfires


Mexico Cancels China Bid For Train

China Police Trace Trafficked Babies

China Officials In ‘Ivory Spree

Australia Set For China Cattle Deal


Angela Merkel Threw Down A Huge Ultimatum To David Cameron

Seeing A New Future For French Nuclear Site, After The Toxic Dust Has Settled

Berlin Wall Light Installation Lit Up

EU Surcharge ‘Halved’ For UK

German Union Cuts Short Rail Strike

Huge Raid Shuts 400 ‘Dark Net’ Sites

Tax Trial Confirmed For Spain Royal

Cameron Sees Progress On EU Migration

I Will Quit If I Fail, Says Hollande

Ukraine Crisis Update 


Indian Army In Rare Kashmir Apology

India Media: Economic Reforms

India Plane Hits Buffalo On Take-Off

Narendra Modi Visits India Holy City

Sailor Dies In India Navy Accident

India Cabinet ‘Set For Expansion’


Keeping Mexico’s Revolutionary Fires Alive

Uruguay Leader Gets $1m Beetle Offer

Argentine Leader Fernandez ‘Stable’

Colombia Mayor Urges Plaque Removal

Mexicans March Over Missing Students

Brazil Probes ‘Revenge Attacks’

Venezuela To Raise Minimum Wage

How Gondolas And Hip Hop Transformed The Most Dangerous City In The World

Brazil Military Drills to Defend Amazon


Israel To Raze Homes Of Attackers

Palestinian PM Cancels Gaza Visit

Why Jerusalem Is Tensewatch

What Makes Jerusalem So Holy?

Palestinian Quest For Statehood


As Russia Draws Closer to China, U.S. Faces a New Challenge

Rouble Rises On Talk Of Urgent Action

Russia Opens Oil Price-Fixing Probe


Princess Anne Opens Magna Carta Exhibit In Washington D.C.

EU Surcharge ‘Halved’ For UK

Ex-Now News Editor Jailed Over Hacking

Ex-Head, 95, Faces Sex Abuse Charges

New RS GCSE To Include Two Religions


Princess Anne Opens Magna Carta Exhibit In Washington D.C.

US Unemployment Falls In October

Row Over Who Shot Osama Bin Laden

Medal Of Honor For Civil War Soldier

Four State Gay Marriage Bans Upheld

Home Depot Lost 53m Emails In Hack

US Strikes Target Militants In Syria

Obama Sent ‘Secret Letter’ To Iran

Mid-Term Elections ~ All You Need To Know About The 2014 Elections

US City Votes To Tax Sugary Drinks

6 Ways Americans Voted Against Corporate Power In The Most Expensive Midterm Elections Ever



How To Win The Climate Conversation

Bizarre Sea-Life Visitors Arrive With Pacific’s Warmth

Will We Ever Control The Weather?

Climate-change threatens Polar Bear communication


U.N. Employee Under Treatment For Ebola In France

Ebola: Are Cases Leveling Off?

Facebook Adds ‘Ebola Button’ Newsbeat

‘This Disease Is Still A Crisis’

Inside Freetown Response Centre

African Ebola Crisis Fund Is Set Up


Us Volunteers Fighting With Kurds

On The Is Front Line With Iraqi Army

The Rise Of Jihadists In Iraq And Syria

Battle For Iraq And Syria In Maps

What Is Islamic State?

Iraq Country Profile

U.S. Airstrikes In Iraq Target Isis Leaders

Jihadists ‘Using Cruise Ships’

Obama To Double US Forces In Iraq

Obama Sent ‘Secret Letter’ To Iran

US Strikes Target Militants In Syria


Huge Raid Shuts 400 ‘Dark Net’ Sites

‘A Significant Blow’ For Dark-Net

Darknet Raid Nets Drugs And Cash

Facebook Sets Up ‘Dark Web’ Service


Here we go again, folks.  Fisher: Canadian CF-18 fighter jets launch first attack on Islamic State targets in Iraq

This is sure good news.  Canada’s Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.5 Per Cent, The Lowest Since 2008 Recession

Nice going, Mr. Harper.  Harper to ink currency deal with China that will boost Canadian businesses


Stephen Harper Pitches Closer Sino-Canadian Trade Ties

Alibaba’s Jack Ma, China’s Richest Man, Eyes Vancouver For New Office

Ground Stations Built By Canadian Firm Play Big Role In Historic Comet Visit

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.  Happy Remembrance Day.  I totally love what you’ve done with the place.

Felina:     Good morning to you, love of my three lifetimes, and thank you so much, Dear.  You do not think it is perhaps a trifle overdone, though?  Arnold was suggesting the living room reminds me of this field in this place called Flanders.

Sam:        Felina, our talking television set is referring to a famous poem by a Canadian physician who served in the First World War.  His name was John McCrae.

Felina:     Do you know this work?

Sam:        Aye, Lass.

Felina:     I should like very much to hear it, Samuel.

Sam:        In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below

.We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Felina:     Oh, my love, that is so beautiful and yet so sad.  How can a piece of art be so moving and yet so tragic?

Sam:        No disrespect to your passion for this species, Lass, but we are talking about human beings here, in all their glory and all their contradictions.

Felina:     Quite so, Samuel.  Perhaps I should be grateful they honour such passing so eloquently.

Sam:        And that the flower they have chosen speaks so lyrically as well.

Felina:     Indeed.

Sam:        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 itself is a triumph over terrorism.  Condé Nast Moves Into the World Trade Center as Lower Manhattan Is Remade

If you are looking for inspiration, you will find it here.  Empathy Heroes: 5 People Who Changed the World By Taking Compassion to the Extreme

This is encouraging.  6 Ways Americans Voted Against Corporate Power in the Most Expensive Midterm Elections Ever


While I appreciate what he did, I think revealing that it was he who did the deed probably now makes him the target of every terrorist from Afghanistan to Zaire.  Navy SEAL Who Killed Osama Bin Laden Identified

If we don’t move now on this, we will be the worst examples in the history of our species.  How our descendants will hate us

What goes up must come down so this is probably a solution in the offing.  Orbital Rubbish Collectors — Laser Experts Head An Australian Space Industry Boom 


Next time it gets cold in Europe, get in touch with your gene pool.  You’ve apparently been through this before.  First Europeans ‘weathered Ice Age’

Considering the recent crisis facing bees all over the world, this sounds like an excellent idea.  Plan for bee-friendly roads and rail

This is spectacular.  How America Would Look On Other Planets


Low Oxygen ‘Delayed Life On Earth’

How to Make Diamonds from Peanuts

Scientists Achieve Direct Brain-To-Brain Communication


Stunning Space Image Has Scientists Raving

History Beckons For Comet Mission

Comet Landing Site Named ‘Agilkia’


Disaster-Zone Robots Saving Lives

How Robo-Penguins Aid Research

Robot Ships: Poised To Set Sail?


Democratizing the Electric Car

Hoverbike Prototypes And Hitching Robots

Astronauts Put A Camera Inside An Orb Of Water, And This Happened

NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY IMAGES — 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.


Erecting 40-Story High-rises Out Of Wood?

Land, Co-Ops, Compost: A Local Food Economy Emerges In Boston’s Poorest Neighborhoods

Nepal: How a tiny, mountainous country became a conservation giant 


Every human being on the planet is somehow, in some way, affected by this disease.  For that reason, this is a Northstar “Must Read”.  What I Learned About Living From Dying of Cancer

Could meditation be useful in handling office stress?  After reading this, my guess is, “yep.”

Since I am one, I thought this was cool.  5 Benefits Of Being A Curious Person


10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With The World

7 Things You Should Never Apologize For

12 Mental Health Mistakes You Might Be Making


The Life Of A Busker: ‘You Only Have A Few Seconds’ To Make A Connection (With Video)

Woman dies after farewell to horse

The Hairstyle That Will Make You Look 20 Years Younger


 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.


Baby Meercats Explore the World

Antarctica’s leaping penguins, and a photographer’s labors to capture them 

Photos: Top images from around the globe


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

Communications Consulting

Classified and other Advertising Copy Writing


Ghost Writing

Humour:  Jokes & Monologues

Online Research


Song Lyrics


Special Projects




Despite this bad news, the little dudes (and dudettes) who hang out at the House of Northstar are doing fine, thank you very much.  NW hummingbirds dwindle with climate change

Here’s a chance to die of cute.  Baby Bears’ First Sight Of World

This lends a new perspective on an old expression.  Video: Wolves At The Door


Can Polar Bears Be Saved?

The Longest Migration In Africa—And How It Was Discovered

Wading Rhinos And Wasp Nests

Video: Gorillas In The Crossfire


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


This freaked me ever since I saw this really strange sci-fi movie about a guy who had another head added to his body.  Limb cells ‘can turn into genitals’


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, contact Rusty Miller 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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