New Masthead


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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

No. 416

“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

And in Dedication to

Danny Quinn

Preparing to leave Canyonville, Oregon in the wake of the 1989 Timber Recession

Preparing to leave Canyonville, Oregon in the wake of the 1989 Timber Recession


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it’s been an interesting week here in the Puget Sound.  We had our first snowstorm of the season and considering the Ice Age Cometh Again weather other parts of America have been experiencing, I almost hate to mention it.

As wimpy as it was, it was definitely a harbinger (when’s the last time you heard that word, eh?) of things to come.  In anticipation of the rising heating costs, the rent’s going up and I’m looking for modest lodgings elsewhere by the end of the month.

Moving is never fun but one advantage to living minimally is that there really isn’t a lot of packing to do.  I also realized, long ago, that about the only creature in this world who doesn’t face the prospect at one time or another is the turtle.  That’s probably why they live so long.  I cannot imagine losing a house one has called home for a long time.  Most of my memories fit in a back pack.

I am also aware that as inconvenient as this is, this transition is not orchestrated by gunfire or sirens.  As anxious as this experience can be, it is short term.  I do not live in fear, or in a cage or a prison cell.  Although I lost practically everything in the Recession of 2007, I’ve got a government check coming now and some of the other amenities designed to help the income-challenged.  I’ve got the tools and the resources to handle something like this where so many people do not.

I also firmly believe that things like this happen for a reason.  The struggle for survival seems to either debase or ennoble people.  What it has done for me is to make me more spiritual and to accept that there are forces at play that we are not meant to understand with intellectually.  Faith is how we come to sense and understand.  That’s how I know that there are people out there waiting to welcome me to my new home.

It’ll happen so don’t worry about me.  If you want to drop a quarter in the sugar can, please go here.  Cougars Corner will also be on hiatus for the holiday season.  But they’ll be back with the New Year.

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


Despite appearances to the contrary, the quality of life is actually improving on the planet.  That and other life affirming information is included in these 26 charts and maps to be thankful for

As saddened as I am to hear this, I still ask myself if irresponsible parenting was not ultimately responsible for this tragedy.  When someone pulls a weapon on you, you don’t have time to see if it was made by Glock or Mattel.  US police kill boy over replica gun

When these folks have their act together, they are a shadow short of awesome.  F.D.A. to Require Calorie Count, Even for Popcorn at the Movies


Oil Prices Plunge After OPEC Meeting

Airport Raids Tackle Cyberthieves


Bomb Blasts Rip Through Busy Mosque In Nigeria, At Least 100 Dead

Egypt Anger As Mubarak Cleared


Strong Earthquake Strikes Central Japan; At Least 10 Homes Collapse, More Than 20 People Hurt

A Struggle for the Soul of Hong Kong’s Protest Movement

HK Policemen Arrested Over Beating

Japan to Ask Automakers to Recall Vehicles With Faulty Takata Airbags


Video: Jailed, but Not Silenced


In France, New Review of 35-Hour Workweek

‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Should Apply Worldwide, E.U. Panel Says

Eurozone Inflation Rate Falls To 0.3%

E.U. Parliament Passes Measure to Break Up Google in Symbolic Vote


High Civilian Death Rate Puts Brazilian Police Under Scrutiny


Tel Aviv Awarded Title Of ‘World’s Smartest City’ At 2014 Smart City Expo

Three Arabs Are Arrested In Stabbings In Jerusalem

Polio Crisis Deepens in Pakistan, With New Cases and Killings

Undercover University: Palestinians Study Up in Israeli Prisons


Falling Oil Price Costs Russia $100bn


London’s 200-Year-Old Hidden Canal

Panel Details Plan to Give Scotland More Powers

PM Tells EU: ‘Back Me On Migration’

Social Media Told To Simplify Terms


Protests Flare After Ferguson Officer Is Not Indicted

From Plains To Both Coasts, Fury Boils Over

The Meaning Of The Ferguson Riots

Hagel Resigns Under Pressure As Global Crises Test Pentagon

University Of Virginia Officials Vow To Combat Campus Rape Problem

When The City Turned Off Their Water, Detroit Residents And Groups Delivered Help


At European Parliament, Pope Bluntly Critiques a Continent’s Malaise

Pope In Istanbul ‘Silent Adoration’ 



As Bombing Toll Rises, Afghan Villagers Direct Anger At Government

A Call to Save a 12th-Century Minaret, Heard Far and Wide


Neither rain nor snow nor heat sways climate views

Climate fixes ‘could harm billions’


Israel Sets Up ‘Hospitals Of Hope’ To Combat Ebola In Hardest-Hit African Countries

Despite Aid Push, Ebola Is Raging in Sierra Leone

Ebola Test Results ‘In 15 Minutes’


U.S.-Led Raid Rescues Eight Held In Yemen

U.S. Adds Planes To Bolster Drive To Wipe Out Isis

Austria Arrests 13 Jihadi Suspects


Nicholson Urges Russian President To Get Out Of Ukraine At Security Conference

On Ukraine Front Line, Sniper Fire And Shelling Leave Cease-Fire In Tatters


Outstanding.  $200-million pledged for veterans’ mental health issues

This is one of the reasons I like these people.  RCMP help tend sacred fire

Nice going, lad.  Vancouver law student named Canada’s Smartest Person


Winnipeg’s First Métis Mayor Promises Change For The Better

Ontario To Ban Menthol Smokes, Regulate E-Cigs

4 Reasons Why Judge Lori Douglas Finally Resigned


This is one of the reasons I voted for Governor Jay.  Inslee: WA will act on oil trains

I hope this example in particular is emulated. Program Helps Landlords Rent To Homeless

This individual rocks.  74-year-old woman arrested for opposing Kinder Morgan


Rehtaeh Parsons Name To Live On Through Society Set To Launch Saturday

Contempt Charges Thrown Out In Burnaby Mountain Pipeline Protest

Police Violence Is Not Inevitable: Four Ways A California Police Chief Connected Cops With Communities


This, obviously, needs to stop.  U.N. Report Shows an Increase in Child Trafficking

The fact that this is happening in Canada particularly browns me off.  Second man accused in Halifax child porn case pleads guilty

When the erratic behavior of a spouse can force the retirement of an innocent and outstanding public servant, the value system implicit really needs to be re-examined.  Manitoba judge in nude photos scandal agrees to retire


Could Terminator actually happen?

We need to be aware of this.  ‘Sophisticated’ Regin spyware found

He too wants to go where no one has gone before.  Diving into the dark abyss


Nine Future Societies To Avoid

When Zeppelins Ruled The Skies

The Skeleton That Rewrote History



Readers’ Moon Memories

 Interactive: The Moon Mission

 1969 in Popular Culture

 Voices: Recalling 1969

 Photos: Moon Odyssey

Complete Coverage


Now, Anyone Can Buy A Drone. Heaven Help Us.

Video: Drones Misbehaving

New F.A.A. Report Tallies Drone Sightings, Highlighting Safety Issues


Portable Solar Energy Backpack Kalipak Is The Ultimate Gadget For The Great Outdoors

The Mini, miniaturised

Tech Toys That Go Beyond The Screen


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.


Obama Builds Environmental Legacy With 1970 Law

Green neighborhoods = healthier babies?

Wind, solar power on the cheap

Pipeline protesters to get civil disobedience training

Urban Farmers Trade Goods and Stories at ‘Crop Swaps’


10 Good Reasons To Get A Flu Shot

The Reason Why People Fail To Reach Their Goals (And How To Fix It)

Depression: It’s Not Just in Your Head, It’s Also in Your Genes


Due Tomorrow? I’ll Start Tonight

A Must-Have Toy For Grown-Ups

What Is Melbourne Reading?

Americans Relatively Sanguine About Online Privacy, Study Says

In Justices’ Calculations On Gay Marriage, A Legal Golden Ratio Looms

Don’t forget this on your CV


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.


Video: Harnessing Gecko Power

Footage Of A Death-Defying Ride

Photo Essay: At A Half-Mile-Long Table, Chefs, Farmers, And Volunteers Feed A Neighborhood For Free



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





It is about time these little dudes (and dude-ettes) got a break in the media.  The truth about lemmings

Cat lover alert:  Our Cats, Ourselves

This is good to know.  Before this, to me, all koalas looked alike.  Individual Koalas Can Be Told Apart By Their Noses »

NORTHSTAR INTERACTIVE — Well, last week we asked you to vote for your favorite warbler and millions of you emailed your choice to the Cornel Lab of Ornithology.  And the winner (envelope, please) is (go here).


New species found under our noses

Public Asked To Help Catch Nine Prominent Wildlife Criminals »

Four Animals That Lie Using Sound


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


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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