New Masthead

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

Sunday, December 14, 2014

No. 418

“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



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it has certainly been an interesting week now, has it not?  Whatever we North Americans did to anger the weather gods, on behalf of one four hundred millionth of them, I, Rusty Miller, apologize.  To err is human, after all, and is not forgiveness also the province of gods?

In the house of Northstar, we got to experience about 15 hours of no access to the Internet.  Our portion of the continental meteorological rampage slammed into us pretty good and knocked out power to 116,000 customers in the neighborhood just east of us.  Our internet service provider (ISP) lost power as well and couldn’t restore our service until theirs was back on line.

In the face of what the rest of the continent experienced, we got off extremely easily.  I have friends and the magazine has readers from Vancouver, BC to San Diego, California.  I grew up in that state.  Droughts and floods are not unfamiliar to me.

In an AOL chatroom I frequent as an online coffee house, I made the joke that this is what happens when 38-million people pray for rain at the same time.  The Californians loved it.  In retrospect, I don’t imagine they are thrilled with what has been going on since that ironic jest.

Within global and historical contexts, I am certain that our species will adapt to such dramatic weather.  We are accepting both our responsibility for some of it and the realization that climatic shifts have been occurring regularly since the planet was born.

I realize this will not comfort those made homeless nor the millions whose lives are forever changed.  For that, I am truly sorry.  On the other hand, it is really tough to make war in such weather.  Storms are the great levelers of human pretension.  And far less discriminating than bullets.  We will never master them.  But by working together, we can survive them.

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


Insulting public servants has become an American pastime second only to the Superbowl.  Here is why it is a really dumb hobby.  How (Not) To Talk About Politicians  Our thanks to Anna Fahey and the good folks at the Sightline Institute for this one.

And the war between the sexes rages on.  Men Really Are Idiots: Study

I don’t think even Olya, my multi-lingual cousin, has the vocabulary to express my utter contempt for these people.  If we are looking for the 21st Century roots of ISIS, we may very well have found them here.  CIA Created And Lied About Torture Chambers After 9/11, U.S. Report Says


Steep Slide In Oil Prices Is Blessing For Most

Soaps And Cosmetics Found In Antarctic Waters »

Inequality Hurts Growth, Warns OECD

Uber Is Ordered By Spain And Thailand To Halt Operations

Chinese Stock Slump Contributes To Global Market Weakness

CIA Report Sparks Prosecution Calls

The Number Of People Dying From Malaria Has Halved

A Global Gauge Finds Progress Against Poverty


Bushmen Appeal To Be Allowed To Hunt And Not Be Regarded As Poachers »

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe alleges vice-president plotted with US embassy against him

After Barren Years in Somalia, Signs of Growth by the Bunch

Rangers Kill Three Poachers in South Africa


Back to a Burmese Prison by Choice

Hong Kong Protester Ends Hunger Strike

As Typhoon Hagupit Hits Philippines, Evacuees Express Relief

North Korea Denies Role In Sony Pictures Hacking

Japan Recession Deeper Than Estimated

Korean Air Executive Resigns Post After Halting Flight Over Snack Service

Hong Kong Police Announce Plan to Clear Main Protest Site

Korean Air Chairman Strips Daughter’s Titles After Her ‘Foolish’ Behavior

Last Hong Kong Protest Camp to Be Cleared Monday, Police Say


Australia ‘Worst Climate Performer’

Mid-Year Budget Update To See Foreign Aid Slashed Again

Choice Consumer Survey Points To Economic ‘Pessimism’

Bushfire In Perth’s North-East Controlled, No Homes Believed Lost

Coal Communities Trying To Survive The Mining Slowdown

Solarium Ban To Begin Within Weeks After Cancer Campaign


China Announces Record Trade Surplus, Helped by Weak Oil Price

8 Sentenced to Death for Attacks in Western China

A Trip to California for China’s Internet Czar

Chinese Coal Imports Falling Fast


Eyeing Return, Ex-President in France Has Hurdles

Nurturing Start-Up Culture in the Lower-Cost Balkans

Heat Waves in Europe Will Increase, Study Finds

Eurozone’s Finance Ministers Extend Greek Bailout Program

Google News to Shut Down in Spain

Mayor of Latvian Capital Tries to Bridge Old Divide

Netherlands Asks Bankers to Swear to God


Woman Accuses Uber Driver in India of Rape

Delhi Bans Uber Cabs After ‘Rape’

Online Trail Leads to Arrest of Indian as Man Behind Posts Backing the Islamic State


Vegetable Spawns Larceny And Luxury In Peru

Brazil To Indict Key Figures In Oil Company Graft Scandal

Rage And Sorrow Flow As Student In Mexico Is Declared Dead

In Latin America, Growth Trumps Climate

Mexico Faces Growing Gap Between Political Class And Calls For Change

Peru Is Indignant After Greenpeace Makes Its Mark on Ancient Site

Bolivia Targets ‘Unfit’ Officers


A Physical Therapist In Kabul, Providing More Than Exercise

Palestinian Official Dies During Demonstration In West Bank

Shia Pilgrims Mark Arbaeen Climax

OPEC Stresses No Oil Production Cut

‘Ransom Offer’ For Killed US Hostage

‘Hundreds’ Of UK Troops To Go To Iraq

Palestinian Minister’s Funeral Held

Three Journalists Killed In Syria

West To Accept More Syrian Refugees


Russia Admits Action To Buoy Rouble

Russian Baltic Moves Unprecedented

Study Reveals Russia’s Near Misses In Europe

Putin Problem Gives NATO Headache


Former Leader Of Scottish Government Seeks Return To Politics

British Principal Who Resigned Believes He Was Seen As A Threat

New UK Government Funding For Conservation In UK Overseas Territories

Bank of England Aims for More Timely Disclosure

Goals defined for UK’s Lunar mission

UK called on NATO help in sub search


U.S. Transfers 6 Guantánamo Detainees To Uruguay

Report Portrays A Broken C.I.A. Devoted To A Failed Approach

Amid Details On Torture, Data On 26 Who Were Held In Error

Ten Discoveries About The CIA Torture Program

Senate Report Rejects Claim On Hunt For Bin Laden

In Seattle, A Sinking Feeling About A Troubled Tunnel

House Narrowly Passes Bill To Avoid Shutdown; $1.1 Trillion In Spending

Rainstorm Turns The San Francisco Area From Arid To Soggy In Hours

Storm Pounds Northern California

Thousands March in Washington to Protest Deaths by Police



Made Rich by U.S. Presence, Many in Kandahar Now Face an Uncertain Future

Taliban Ramp Up Fatal Attacks in Afghanistan


It’s Time To Start Ignoring The Climate Deniers

UN Climate Negotiators Drop Ball in Lima—Now It’s Up to the Grassroots to Pick It Up

An Insurance Policy for Climate Change? Seed Banks

World Faces ‘Climate Tragedy’ – Kerry

Canada Sticks To Its Line On The Oil Sands At UN Climate Summit

196 Nations Plod Forward on Climate Change Deal

Water Woes In Lima

What We Know About Climate Change

What Else Could We Do?

A Brief History Of Climate Change


Pakistani Military Kills a Qaeda Leader

Swiss Hostage Escapes Rebels During Philippine Army Raid

Missile Strike On Suspected Qaeda Compound In Pakistan Kills At Least 4

Reversing radicalization through anti-terror ‘psychological warfare’

‘No Change’ To US Hostage Raid Policy

Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality And Deceit In Interrogations

French Hostage, Abducted by Islamic Militants in North Africa in 2011, Is Freed

Islamic State Imposes Strict New Order in Mosul, and Deprivation Is a Result


This cannot bode well.  Canadian Embassy in Cairo closed due to security concerns

I have a feeling this will not work out too well for this individual in the end.  ‘Prepare your explosive devices’: Ottawa man urges attacks on Canada

This certainly makes me proud to have been Made in Canada.   Montreal Student’s Facebook Message Helps Vermont Police Save Woman


Photos: Santa Claus Parade brings Christmas cheer to Vancouver

Severe Weather, Laser Weapons And The End Of Ontario’s Bizarre Prohibition On 3-Litre Milk Containers

Canada Police ‘Can Search Phones’

Canadian Facing One Year In U.S. Prison For Reckless Ride Around NYC


Nice going, folks!  Greek Parliament Approves First Balanced Budget in Decades

Go, our Bonny Prince.  Prince Charles Joined By Naturalist And Dragon In Tackling Deforestation

We totally loved this.  “Forgiveness Is Liberating”: Desmond Tutu On Healing A Nation’s Racist Past


This, obviously, must change and not tomorrow.  43 per cent of Canadian women have been sexually harassed at work: survey

This culture certainly is having a hard time smelling the coffee.  Woman Accuses Uber Driver in India of Rape

Let’s hope this works for them.  If it doesn’t, the next wave of riots will make those of the recent past seem like a romp in the park in comparison.  Police Face a Long and Complex Task to Mend Distrust Deepened by Killings


CIA Created And Lied About Torture Chambers After 9/11, U.S. Report Says

CIA Director Who Defended Torture Program Fact-Checked By Tweeting Senator

CIA Director Calls U.S. Senate Torture Report Flawed; Concedes Some Techniques ‘Abhorrent’


Now this seems to me to be a totally appropriate way to “employ” progress.  How Technology Could Help Fight Income Inequality

This is probably good to know.  Where You Can And Can’t Fly A Drone

It is gratifying to me that our species is capable of accomplishments this totally cool.  Top 10 Physics Breakthroughs Listed


Shell Has ‘Earliest Human Engraving’

Scientists’ Greener Future Vision

Africa ‘Soil Crisis Threat’ To Future


28 Months on Mars

Mars Rover ‘Solves Mountain Riddle’

Stargazing Made Simple


Amazon’s Robot Army: Exciting Or Terminator-Like Scary?

The ‘Food Robots’ We Never See

Drone In Your Pocket


Searching for the Best Weather App Among Weather Underground, Weatherbug and More

Scientists Focus On Urban Wellbeing

Weighing The Clouds


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.


The Rise Of Carbon Pricing In One World Map

These 3 Colleges Stopped Investing in Fossil Fuels—One Year Later, Their Endowments Are Doing Just Fine

The New Economy Comes of Age: 7 Steps Toward Shared Prosperity

Greenpeace sorry for Nazca stunt


7 Ways To Be Just A Little Bit Healthier When You’re Vegging Out This Holiday Season

6 Lessons From Lives Well Lived

Patients Prescribed Narcotic Painkillers Use More of Them for Longer, Study Finds

Ebola crisis

Latest news, features and maps as West Africa battles world’s worst outbreak of killer disease


Love, at Long Last

Why U.S. Women Are Leaving Jobs Behind

A Wilderness Pop-Up Cafe Caters To Hikers


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.


Photos: Top Images From Around The Globe

Video: 90 Seconds In New York

This Giant Snowball Fight Tops Our Videos Of The Week!

GALLERY: Day One Of Will And Kate’s American Tour

Seals Filmed At Night For First Time

The Tiger Who Flew Halfway Across The World


 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 makes me feel real good about going on a tropical holiday.  Huge crabs that munch on coconuts

This is probably good for everybody to know, just in case you wake up and there’s one in your backyard.  How to scare off the biggest pest

This little dude was moving along.  Chris the Cuckoo clocks up 60,000 miles

The SeaDoc Society’s December newsletter is now available.  


Internationally Famous Dolphin Turns Up In Scotland

Orcas And Whales In Epic Battle

Watching Canada’s Killers At Work

Treasure Trove Of New Frogs Found

Mystery Of The Monster Squid

Cape Cod Mystery: A Surge of Stranded Turtles


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


Men Do the Dumbest Things, According to Science


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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