New Masthead

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

Sunday, December 7, 2014

No. 417

“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

Rockwell Figure of Speech


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  In America and much of the Western World, this is the season of good will to all.  Because the individual whose birthday the season celebrates was such a stand up kind of guy, we tend to celebrate the best that is in us, as a society, a nation and a species.

Therefore, it almost seems a contradiction in purpose to also address the issue of racially prejudiced police departments whose recent abuses of force have inflamed the entire nation and outraged an entire planet.

It would seem that many police departments ~ including the one in the city in which I live ~ have forgotten what the traditional role of community law enforcement is.

Police departments were formed to protect the community from those who would do it harm.  Every citizen ~ regardless of personal demographics ~ was considered important and profiling did not exist.

The relationship was one of stewardship and cooperation.  Citizens helped police find and arrest bad guys.  The police, in turn, made sure that nobody wearing blue got badge heavy.  People skills were more important than marksmanship; diplomacy more important than looking like a cereal box athlete.

Our society, yet in adolescence when compared with other life forms on terra firma, tends to stray like a teenager exploring boundaries.  We’ve wandered a bit far afield but people are rioting in protest and the federal Justice Department is pushing hard for law enforcement agencies in places like Cleveland, Ohio; Ferguson, Missouri; and New York City to essentially knock off the horse manure and do the job the way the job is done.

The human misery and suffering, the property damage and the resources diverted from other vital enterprises notwithstanding, sometimes we learn painfully.  But we do learn.

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


Particularly in times as troubled as these seem to be, I find this very reassuring.  The Divorce Surge Is Over, but the Myth Lives On

We wish we could have been there.  Funeral for ‘brave’ German woman

This is certainly good news.  More Jobs and Higher Wages: U.S. Recovery Starts to Hit Home


‘Superbugs’ Kill India’s Babies And Pose An Overseas Threat


Growing Up Fearful in Nigeria

Al-Shabab Massacres 36 In Kenya

International Court Ends Case Against Kenyan President in Election Unrest

South Africans Mark First Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s Death


Hong Kong Protesters Surround City Leader’s Office in Renewed Confrontation

Hong Kong Protest Group Calls for End of Demonstrations

Dozens Missing After South Korean Trawler Sinks in Bering Sea

Amnesty Report Condemns Police Torture in Philippines

3 Hong Kong Protest Leaders Turn Themselves In to Police

Asia Wage Rise Outpaces Rest Of World

Typhoon Sweeps Across Philippines


Rare Spectacled Hare-Wallaby Sighted In Western Australia »

Fisher: Farmers in Australian Outback scorched by effects of global warming

‘Pest’ Australian Tourists Warned


Leader Asserts China’s Growing Role On Global Stage

China’s Manufacturing Growth Slows

China Is Giving Two Pandas To Israel

China Arrests Ex-Chief Of Domestic Security In Graft Case


Swiss Voters Reject Move To Restrict Foreign Workers

Lufthansa Cancels Flights Over Strike

Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains Is Europe’s 7th Rewilding Area »

A Village Has What All Of Italy Wants: The Internet

A Gay Mayor In Poland? No Big Deal

A Fragmented, Confused Scramble To Fix Europe’s Banking Structure

Is Moldova Another Ukraine?

A French Town Reels After Teenage Girl Vanishes, Apparently To Join Jihadists

In Twist On French Tradition, Bosses Take To Streets In Protest

French Official Campaigns To Make ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Global

Missing Its Own Goals, Germany Renews Effort To Cut Carbon Emissions

Charity In France Is Accused Of Being A Front For Financing Terrorism In Syria

Funeral For ‘Brave’ German Woman

France To Pay Holocaust Survivors Over Deportations


Women’s Fightback Video Goes Viral

Narendra Modi, Favoring Growth in India, Sweeps Away Environmental Rules

The Next Big Climate Question: Will India Follow China?


Restoring Justice and Security in Mexico

Brazil’s Middle Class Finds a Lifeline at the Pawnshop

Mexico’s President Vows To Reform Police


Iraqi Government and Kurds Reach Deal to Share Oil Revenues

Netanyahu Fires Ministers and Calls for Elections

Exonerated in Qatar, American Couple Head Home


With Russia on Brink of Recession, Putin Faces ‘New Reality’

Once Celebrated in Russia, the Programmer Pavel Durov Chooses Exile

Putin’s Surprise Call to Scrap South Stream Gas Pipeline Leaves Europe Reeling

In Diplomatic Defeat, Putin Diverts Pipeline to Turkey

The New Cold War: Pro-Russian Influence Extends Beyond Ukraine

Putin Stresses Foreign Policy and Economic Goals After ‘Difficult Year’

Putin, Amid Stark Challenges, Says Russia’s Destiny Is in Hand


Rare Whale Successfully Rescued After Stranding On Welsh Beach »

British Government Proposes A ‘Google Tax’

‘King Of Fish’ Returns To UK Rivers

British Regulator Urges Home Births Over Hospitals for Uncomplicated Pregnancies

British Treasury Targets Banks to Increase Tax Revenue

British Court Rules in Favor of Electronic Surveillance


Where Grass Is Greener, A Push To Share Drought’s Burden

In Midst Of California’s Drought, A Rainy Day Is A Welcome Sight

The Us Is Considering Lifting A Blood Donor Ban On Men Who Have Had Sex With Men

Protests After Grand Jury In Eric Garner Chokehold Case Doesn’t Indict Officer

Sony Pictures And F.B.I. Widen Inquiry Into Hackers’ Attack

17 States Suing On Immigration

Mayor De Blasio Announces Retraining Of New York Police

Cleveland Police Abuse Pattern Cited By Justice Department

Us Fast Food Worker Protests Expand


Pope, in Turkey, Issues Call to Protect Middle Eastern Christians



A Physical Therapist in Kabul, Providing More Than Exercise

Taliban Attack On Guesthouse Near Parliament In Afghan Capital Kills 2, Including Foreigner


Grim Reality Amid Optimism Ahead Of Climate Talks

US Sees Voluntary Emissions Cuts Key To Climate Accord

Rebecca Solnit: Rewriting The Climate Story

The Next Big Climate Question: Will India Follow China?


Huge Risk Of Ebola Spread, Warns UN

The Ethics of Fighting Ebola

As Ebola Rages, Poor Planning Thwarts Efforts


Lebanon Detains Relatives of Islamic State Leader, One of Them His Daughter

U.S. and Iran Both Attack ISIS, but Try Not to Look Like Allies

Iraq’s Leader Requests More Aid in Fight Against ISIS

Islamic Militants Wage Fierce Attack on Grozny, Chechnya’s Capital

Iran Hits ISIS With Airstrikes In Iraq, Flexing Its Muscles Once Again


Sometimes there is something to be said for being bland.  Canada’s epidemic of peace, order and lawfulness

It’s better to know and prepare.  The threat of homegrown terrorism

The excesses of our neighbour to the south notwithstanding, I trust those whose mission it is to defend the Maple Leaf.  Concerns raised about accountability as Canada’s spy agency takes on more overseas missions


After a record run of profits, Canada’s Big Six banks brace for shift

Canada’s homicide rate falls to lowest point since 1966

Fisher: Canada and Australia share similar challenges with homegrown terror


Sometimes, this is what it takes.  Where Grass Is Greener, a Push to Share Drought’s Burden

This definitely gave me an “Oh Canada” rush.  Energy East port must be away from belugas, Quebec and Alberta premiers say

This should inspire.  Cycling over the Pyrenees with one leg


Westjet Takes Its Christmas Miracles To A Destination In Need

UK Readies Child Abuse Search Tool

Radio-Free Syria


This is not a good idea.  A Lesser Warning? Maybe

Is it just me or do these people seem slow to get the message? Takata Resists Midnight Deadline to Expand Airbag Recall

As long as we treat the most vulnerable among us like this, we have absolutely no right criticizing how other nations and other cultures treat theirs.  An Asylum’s Final Secrets


This should not surprise us.  In 2015, Technology Shifts Accelerate and China Rules, IDC Predicts

This is astounding.  Lessons From an Ancient Time When Recyclers Walked the Earth

So is this.  Astounding.  B.C. researchers dive underwater caves to solve salmon mystery (with video)


Bushels and Bytes: The Data-Driven Farm

A Pacific Isle, Radioactive and Forgotten

The Netherlands’ Luminous Highway


NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Splashes Down In Pacific After Test Flight

Landing on a Comet, a European Space Agency Mission Aims to Unlock the Mysteries of Earth

New Images Refine View of Infant Universe


Engineer Reimagines Solar Energy With Stick-On Panels

Glass Sub For The Deepest Depths

Snowflake Symmetry


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.


Lessons From An Ancient Time When Recyclers Walked The Earth

Green Energy Sector Jobs Surpass Total Oil Sands Employment

After Premier Clark’s Criticism, Young Pipeline Protester’s Dad Justifies His Daughter’s Actions (With Video)

Nature Conservancy To Restore Olympic Rainforest

Boeing Has First Green Diesel Flight


Battling Cancer’s Financial Ruin

Cancer Drugs That Free Brake on Immune System Show Promise for Hodgkin’s

Therapy Animals Promote Wellness, Ease Stress And Anxiety

Federal Study Finds 55 Percent Of Infants Sleep With Soft Bedding, Raising Risk Of Death

Therapy Prevents Repeat Suicide Attempts

Mediterranean Diet ‘Keeps Us Genetically Young’


Ten Films To Watch In December

We Must Stop Police Abuse Of Black Men

Turn The Tables On Control Freaks

What Do Dictators Like To Eat?

Most College Students Don’t Earn a Degree in 4 Years, Study Finds


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.


Wreck Detectives Off A Coast Which ‘Sank” 1,000 Ships

Iconic Images Of The 20th Century

Fishing For Deadly Sea Snakes


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

Humor:  Jokes & Monologues

Online Research


Song Lyrics


Special Projects





This must have been one incredible journey.  Gray Wolf Travels 450 Miles To Grand Canyon »

We’re glad to see they figured this out.  Study: Killing wolves to protect livestock doesn’t work

Our answer to this is “yes.”  Should Grizzlies Be Restored To The North Cascades?

THE CORNELL UNIVERSITY’S ORNITHOLOGY NEWSLETTER IS NOW AVAILABLEFeatures include Make Your Yard Songbird Central With These Easy Dos and Don’ts and Make a Feeder From a Pinecone.  Yep, check it out here.


Leopards Live Closer To People Than Previously Thought

Secret Behind Hummingbird Aerobatic Feats Discovered

The Truth About Swans


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


In North Korea, No One Can Take the Leader’s Name, in Vain or Otherwise


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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