New Masthead


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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

No. 415

“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

Olya Bereza – European Associate



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, this Thursday, most Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  In my house, not so much.  My significant other, GRHS, was a member of the tribe that welcomed the Pilgrims.  Unlike many First Nations on the continent at that time, the Wampoags had an extremely liberal immigration policy.  Long before the Statue of Liberty, they were taking in the refuse of Europe’s teeming shores.

I don’t blame modern Americans for being wary of immigrants.  Look how it turned out for Natives.  Europe’s flotsam ended up owning practically every bloody hectare between two oceans, Canada and Mexico.

Consider, as well, how the ancestors of 21st Century Americans treated those who were here first.  Could it be that they now fear that these new immigrants will repeat history?  Karma is a gentle lass until roused so if I was a Son of the American Revolution or had blue blood in my veins, I’d probably be losing sleep these days too.

However, since I’m neither of those, I am free to enjoy the season for what it has come to mean to me and to most other Norte Americanos.  It is a time for counting one’s blessings, as it were, rather than caterwauling the Fates for what one does not have or has failed to accomplish.

I’m glad I live in a nation where even the most ridiculous opinions can make national television.  I am amused by a country whose citizens and national government do so truly reflect the growing dysfunctionalism of the American family.  Perhaps most of all, I like living in a land where I can say something like that and not end up in a gulag archipelago.

Happy Thanksgiving, America.  And thanks for the ear, gang.  Have a great week, eh?


We join Israel, the World Jewish Community and every individual of conscience and good faith in mourning the loss of these.  Jewish Victims, All From One Jerusalem Street, Were a Congregation’s ‘Wise Scholars’

From as near as I can tell, this particular way of interacting is once again on the rise.  We hope this works where you live and that you’ll do something about it whether you are directly or indirectly involved.  Listen: Four experts offer tips for reporting sexual harassment

I agree with this.  Canadian who volunteered to fight with Kurds against ISIS says it’s the ‘right thing to do’



Namibia’s New Fishing Regulations Could Save 30,000 Seabirds A Year

Tunisians Are Shaken as Young Women Turn to Extremism

Kenya Bus Gunmen ‘Want Religious War’

Tunisia In Landmark Presidency Poll

Madagascar Plague Outbreak Kills 40

France’s Hollande To Visit Guinea

DR Congo Axe Attackers Kill Dozens

Benghazi Report Clears US Response

Uganda Uproar Over Toddler’s Death

Zambia Leader Suspended By His Party

Mali Doctor Dies From Ebola Virus

Greste Family Appeal To Egypt’s Sisi


Defying Expectations, Japan’s Economy Falls Into Recession

Okinawa Voters Replace Governor With Opponent of U.S. Base

Calling Early Elections In Japan, Abe Rolls The Dice On The Economy

A Sudden Schism Between Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan Governor

Protesters Attempt To Break Into The Hong Kong Legislature

Fracas Puts Hong Kong Protests In New Light

Sedition Fight In Malaysia

Indonesia Raises Fuel Prices By 30%

Chinese Interests Look to Malaysia for Cheap Iron Ore, and Profits

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test

Peace Talks In Myanmar Jeopardized By Killing Of Rebels

Japanese PM Dissolves Parliament

Yangon’s Hero, Wielding Power of Stop and Go

Hong Kong Moves to Refashion Itself as a Global Hub of Creativity


Vindication at Last for a Woman Scorned by Australia’s News Outlets

Fisher: New Trade Deals With China, India Cement Australia’s Status As Key Indo-Pacific Power Player

Government Setback Over Fofa Laws

Australia’s One Nation Re-Emerges

Sydney Beach Nets Great White Shark

ANZ Bank Suspends Seven Traders

Netflix In Australia By Next March

Lambie Demoted As Pup Split Deepens

Topless Sunbather Pictured By Drone


China’s Factory Activity Stagnates

China, In Surprise Move To Prop Up Economy, Cuts Interest Rates

Asia’s ‘Big Guy,’ Xi Jinping, Spreads Cash and Seeks Influence in Pacific Region


Dutch Investigators Collect Debris From Malaysian Plane Downed Over Ukraine

In Public Land Sale, Not All of Spain Is Buying

G-20 Leaders Hammer Out Final Details Of $2 Trillion Global Growth Plan As Summit Nears End

In Test for Premier, Italians Rally Against Plan to Relax Labor Rules

In Paris, A City Wary Of Skyscrapers, A New Tower May Rise

Europe’s Central Bank Defies Own Rules in Cyprus Bailout

Berlin After the Wall: A Microcosm of the World’s Chaotic Change

Second Frenchman seen in IS video

ThyssenKrupp, an Old European Conglomerate, Tries to Learn a New Business Style

Hong Kong Moves To Refashion Itself As A Global Hub Of Creativity

An Ethnic Chinese Christian, Breaking Barriers in Indonesia

Albania Opens Huge Cold War Bunker


India Guru Devotees In Police Clash

Bodies Found After India Guru Clash

Fugitive Guru Arrested After Standoff With Indian Police


Eike Batista’s Insider Trading Case In Brazil To Test A Much-Criticized Justice System

Brazil’s Doomsday Economics: Living With The Ghost Of Hyperinflation

Brazil’s Ambitious HIV Treatment Plan Based On Canadian Concept

Mass Protests In Mexico Over Missing

UK Criticises Argentina Falklands Signs

December Start For Nicaragua Canal

Colombia General ‘Released Soon’

Chilean Colonels Jailed For Torture

Chile Political Prisoners Get $7.5m

Cuban Doctor Diagnosed With Ebola

Bob Marley Cannabis Brand Launched


Israel Shaken by 5 Deaths in Synagogue Assault

In Jerusalem’s ‘War Of Neighbors,’ The Differences Are Not Negotiable

The Pearl Fishers Of Arabia

Saudis Are Trying To Work Out What To Do When They Run Out Of Oil

Four Condemned For Pakistan Murder

Jordan’s Open Door Is Now Only Cracked, Leaving Syrians Stranded

Europe Takes Stronger Measures, Albeit Symbolic, To Condemn Israeli Policies


Russia Plans ‘Alternative Wikipedia’

Russian ‘Buckwheat Panic’ Not Tied To Sanctions, But Is Causing Grocery Store Rushes All The Same

West ‘Seeks Russia Regime Change’


Female Voices Make History In Scottish Parliament

UKIP’s Recklessness Wins Rochester Seat

UK To Boost Web Data Police Powers

Call To Sanction Failing Universities

Foreign Office ‘Fails Bereaved Britons’

Fish And Chips ‘Harming’ Eider Ducks

Police And NHS Phone Lines Restored

UK ‘To Lead Moon Landing In 10 Years’


U.S. Intelligence Chief Describes Mission To Free Detainees In North Korea

Cold Numbers on G.M. Crisis: A Peek Inside

Secret Service Arrests Man Outside White House

Nurses Urge Leniency Over Refusal to Force-Feed at Guantánamo Bay

Northern US Braced For More Snow

Supreme Court Allows Same-Sex Marriages to Proceed in South Carolina

Admiral Fired As Second In Command Of U.S. Nuclear Forces Allegedly Made His Own Counterfeit $500 Poker Chips

Flood Warnings For US Snowmelt


Vatican’s New Tone Gains a Voice in Chicago as Blase Cupich Becomes Archbishop

Priests As Husbands And Fathers?



Afghan Lawmaker Survives Attack That Kills 3 People In Kabul

In A Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role In Afghan Combat

Hour’s Drive Outside Kabul, Taliban Reign

Afghan Mps Approve Security Pact NEW


India’s Obligation on Climate

Climate Change Threatens to Strip the Identity of Glacier National Park

Climate Fund Receives $9.3bn Pledge

Rich Countries To Meet On Green Fund

Green Cash Key To A New Global Deal?

Obama And Xi In Emissions Pledge


Doctor Being Treated for Ebola in Omaha Dies

Officials Revise Goals On Containing Ebola After Signs Of Wider Exposure In Mali

UK NHS Staff Fly Out To Fight Ebola


‘Jihad Reporting’ Button For ISPs

Grisly Video Claims Islamic State Group Beheads A Dozen People, Including Us Aid Worker Kassig

Terror Deaths Rose Sharply In 2013

Among Pakistan Militants, Signs Of Affinity With Isis

Iraq Troops Battle IS In Ramadi

‘Nothing Left For Me In Anbar’

Battle For Iraq And Syria In Maps

What Is Islamic State?

ISIS Militants Carry Out Mass Killing


Russian Site Lists Breached Webcams

Amnesty Releases Anti-Spying Program


Rebel leader’s new solution to the Ukraine civil war: He wants to duel the Ukrainian president on live TV

With Borscht And Rifle Scopes, Volunteers Power Ukraine Forces


This is always good to know.  Here’s how much you need to earn to live in a Canadian city

Their Chamber of Commerce is going to love this.  ‘The Party City Of Canada’

This is what happens when a pipeline becomes personal.  Police arrest 16 more protesters on Burnaby Mountain (with video)

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.  It smells fantastic in here.  What’s with all the cool food and all four burners and the oven going?  And what’s Arnie doing in here?  I didn’t know his cord reached that far.

Felina:     Good morning to you too, love of my three life times.  Arnold and I have decided to help our southern neighbours celebrate their Thanksgiving.

Sam:        That’s cool and on behalf of that rather benighted nation, thank you, Felina Elizabeth Wellington-Fitzhugh St. Germaine, Queen of the Deep Reaches and all the realms appurtenant to.

Felina:     That was delightful, my love.  You really do that quite well, you know.

Sam:        I am truly honored by your society, Your Majesty.

Felina:     When you are not starting to wade in it, We should probably have added.

Sam:        Gotcha, Lass.  So you and our talking television set are cooking up a storm and making like these really excellent baskets for the less fortunate of your human subjects.

Felina:     Precisely, Dr. Whatson.

Sam:        Thank you, Shylock Harms.

Felina:     That rather sparkled, did it not?

Sam:        It did, indeed.  However, we digress.

Felina:     We are the Pocabottomus and the Captain John Schwartz of Digression.  And the St. Cyrano of De Bergerac of the smooth segue.

Sam:        Just one quick question?

Felina:     Of course, my love.  For you, anything.

Sam:        You and our TV set do realize, right, that it’s traditional to serve turkey on that holiday.

Felina:     Of course.  I am Canadian, not ignorant.

Sam:        Yep.  However, Lass, if it wasn’t for the salmon that go to Heaven via your stomach, you’d be about the nearest thing to a herbivore.

Felina:     And this has what to do again with serving a turkey?

Sam:        I smell Chinook, Felina.  I do not smell a bird that gobbles.

Felina:     Why in the world would I want to prepare a cooked turkey for a dinner guest who is one?  That would be absolutely barbaric.

Sam:        Okay, now that I am thoroughly lost.

Felina:     His name is Theodore Oscar Madison.

Sam:        Let me guess.  Tom, for short.

Felina:     Yes, my love.  And such a distinguished bird he is.  Since turkeys have contributed so much to America, Arnold and I decided this should also be a day to celebrate the fowl which almost became America’s national bird.

Sam:        Sweetheart, once again, you show us all why you are Queen of the Deep Reaches. And on that note, Felina?

Felina:     And on that note, we would like to wish Americans wherever they may be and particularly a company of Marines fighting terrorism in Iraq, a sincerest Happy Thanksgiving.  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.


If this is true, cool.  Where is Sonny Barger when we need him now, eh?  European biker gangs say their members are fighting ISIS in the Middle East

These people are awesome.  The Ultimate Multi-Taskers

Now here’s how social media can also be used.  Nice going, folks.  Facebook donating internet access in West Africa to fight Ebola


Hello?  This is what happens in an international marketplace.  Defective Takata Airbag Grows Into Global Problem for Manufacturer

I almost put this under You Guys Think I Make This Stuff Up.  South Korea’s labour ministry told women they should tell potential employers they don’t mind “casual jokes about sex”

This is chilling.  City at war – where a police officer is killed every day


Looks like volcanoes are very much in the news these days, doesn’t it?  A volcano in Iceland produced lava that could cover the entire island of Manhattan

This is absolutely fascinating.  A painting that predates modern man

Despite being a “small is beautiful” advocate, I was impressed by this.  World’s biggest crane ship sets sail


An Unknown Corner Of The Serengeti

The Atlantis Of The East

Video: 36 Hours in Seattle


The Hottest Part Of Earth’s Crust

Scientists Eye Self-Cleaning Stream

Can We Turn A Chicken Into T-Rex?


Is Traveling To Mars Physically Possible?

Russia Tests ‘Satellite Catcher’

Europe Signs On To Orion Venture


World’s Weirdest Science Studies

How To Create A Brain Implant

Watch: Drone Footage From Inside The Buffalo Snowstorm


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.


U.S. urged to look to Canada and Mexico amid energy revolution

Meet The Sustainable City Car

10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint This Thanksgiving


We’ve long suspected this and if what it addresses was a personal issue, we’d certainly try it.  Mediterranean Diet ‘Combats Obesity’

We’re going to keep this posted in here for awhile to give all of Shannon’s twinkling lights the opportunity to become informed on this topic.  Get the facts: Ebola Virus Disease

We knew this.  Obesity ‘costing same as smoking’


Smoking Cessation Drug More Harmful Than Previously Thought: Report

Calling All Men: Here’s Your Chance To Experience Labour Pain

Female Bosses ‘More Depressed’


Interactive Feature: Thanksgiving Recipes Across the United States

Catching The Office Pervert

One Kiss ‘Shares 80 Million Bugs’

Planning a New Life, Free From Fear of Deportation


Multimedia Feature: Executive Women, Finding (and Owning) Their Voice

Women in power positions at the UN

St Paul’s texts are examined to see what he thought about women

A mom rediscovers her bike


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 Hong Kong, One-Bedroom Apartments That Could Fit in a Bedroom

Gray Wolf Seen In Arizona For First Time In Decades

Discovery Of Vast Buried Canyon Has Scientists Buzzing


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





Business Correspondence

Communications Consulting

Classified and other Advertising Copy Writing


Ghost Writing

Humor:  Jokes & Monologues

Online Research


Song Lyrics


Special Projects





This has altered my perception of reality a bit.  The biggest organism in the world

It’s about time.  Wildlife crime wanted list released

Which North American songbird do you think warbles the loudest?  Tell the good folks at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as that program heads into its centennial anniversary.


Video: ScienceTake | How Birds Count

A Positive Step For Polar Bears

Scottish Wildcat Benefits From Six New Protection Sites

$1 Million Raised To Save Snow Leopards


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


On World Toilet Day, no relief in sight


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 minstrel312@aol.com



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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