To all of you ~ Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Jew and Muslim ~ Happy Holidays

New Masthead

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

Sunday, December 21, 2014,  Number 419

“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

Currier & Ives Central Park in Winter

Currier & Ives Central Park in Winter

To all of you ~ Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Jew and Muslim ~ Happy Holidays

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  First of all, we would like to wish all of you ~ Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Jew and Muslim ~ the best the holiday season has to offer.  Lebanese prophet Khalil Girbran once wrote that the religions of the world are as fingers of the same hand.  Here at the Northstar Journal, we concur.

Second of all, we would like to tell you about a new contributor.  His name is David Grinberg.  He’s a strategic communications advisor, writer/blogger/editor, former journalist and, from our telephone conversation with him, a pretty stand up guy.  His blog, Pulse, this edition, deals with America’s dramatic need for a new dialogue on race.  Welcome aboard, David.  We are honoured by your society.

This has been an admittedly tough year and an undeniable learning experience for our species at large.  Ironically, perhaps, I am currently reading a novel entitled Lucifer’s Hammer, by two of my favourite science fiction writers, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

Apocalyptic in nature, it premises Armageddon on a comet calving (splitting into several parts) and striking the earth.  The technology is impeccable, particularly for the mid 1970s.  Even more realistic is the reaction of the characters these two superb literary craftsmen have created.

As chaotic as 2014 has been, the problems we are facing are, to a comfortable extent, those we created.  I believe what American president John F. Kennedy said when he contended that any problem created by human beings can be solved by them, as well.

We are not facing the end of the world.  We are looking into the dawn of the most important realization we as a species will ever make.  We are accepting responsibility for our actions and we are correcting for course.

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


I totally agree with this.  We Don’t Need Santa’s Magic When We Already Have Our Own

This is good news and certainly a long time in coming.  Obama Announces U.S. and Cuba Will Resume Relations

Considering the friends we keep making, this should not surprise anyone.  Secret Service, Stretched Too Thin, Needs More Agents, Report Says


Sinking Oil Price Is Hard on North Sea Producers

Bond Issues From Russia and Ecuador Serve as Cautionary Tales for Junk-Rated Debt

Of Kiwis and Currencies: How a 2% Inflation Target Became Global Economic Gospel


Kenya Leader Signs Tough Security Law

Video: Fire & Ice: Mount Kenya‘s Lost Glaciers

Gulf States and Qatar Gloss Over Differences, but Split Still Hampers Them


Abe Appears to Win Landslide Victory in Parliamentary Elections

HK Tycoon Found Guilty Of Corruption

Macau Looks Beyond Gambling As The Take From The Tables Slows

N Korea Proposes Joint Sony Probe

Sony Boss: ‘We Did Not Give In’

Obama: Withdrawal ‘Mistake’

What Is The FBI Evidence?

A Comedy Of Terrors – In Four Acts

Sony Pictures Hack – Whodunnit?


Sydney Hostage Siege Ends With Gunman and 2 Captives Dead as Police Storm Cafe

Australia Tries to Figure Out How Gunman Eluded Counterterrorism Effort

Isolated No More

Australian Government Faces Questions Over Sydney Gunman

Sydney Academic Resigns Over Emails

Wind Fans Bushfires In Victoria

Australia’s Budget Deficit To Widen

Lower Australian Consumer Confidence

Australian PM Wants Indigenous Vote

Biggest Native Title Claim Filed


China: Where Christmas is made

U.S. Asks China to Help Rein In Korean Hackers


Stockholm’s Housing Shortage Threatens to Stifle Fast-Growing Start-Ups

Ukraine Crisis — In-Depth Features And Background On Ukraine Conflict

European Parliament — MEPs ratify an EU-Georgia trade deal on the final day of the December plenary session.

Stockholm’s Strategic Cold War Stronghold


Third Night Of India-Pakistan Clashes Leave 4 Dead

Video: From Pakistan, With Love: Country’s First Blockbuster Film Rips India

Recovery Efforts Begin After Deadly Cyclone Slams Eastern India

The Rise Of India’s Booming Media Business

This Retired Postman In India Built An Incredible Monument In Memory Of His Wife


Haiti Awaits Announcement From Prime Minister Amid Political Discontent (With Video)

Cuba ‘Will Stay On’ Communist Path

Troops sent to Mexico vigilante town

Mexico vigilantes in deadly clash

Brazil indigenous clash in Congress

Colombia to print Garcia Marquez notes

Violence at fresh Haiti protest

Superbug found in Rio Olympic waters

Venezuelans in US sanction protest


Israel’s Natural Gas Supply Offers Lifeline for Peace

European Court Reverses Status of Hamas as Terrorist Organization

BBC Special Report: Syria conflict

BBC Special Report: Israel and the Palestinians

Islamic State Crisis:  Background, features and analysis on turmoil over extremist group in Syria and Iraq


As the Ruble Swoons, Russians Desperately Shop

Ruble Remains Volatile as Russia Pledges to Sell Foreign Currency

Putin Critic in Graft Trial Could Face 10-Year Sentence

Companies Face ‘Bloodbath’

Russia And Sanctions

How Can West Solve Problem?

Maps Chart Troubled Past


Millions Shopping On ‘Panic Saturday’

Salmond Calls For English Referendum

First UK Reservists Join Ebola Fight

NI Ministers Engage In Cameron Call

PCs Sacked Over Obscene Images


In Final Spending Bill, Salty Food And Belching Cows Are Winners

Will The Floods In California End The Drought

Must visit wildlife sites in New York State and New Jersey

Vatican Report Cites Achievements and Challenges of U.S. Nuns


Couples Tango For Pope In Rome



Four Afghans Released From Guantánamo Bay


Climate Deal Would Commit Every Nation to Limiting Emissions

Waters Warm, And Cod Catch Ebbs In Maine

3.6 Degrees of Uncertainty

Glacier Recession ‘Unprecedented’

There Will Be Flood: NOAA Projects Effects Of Sea Level Rise


Attacking ISIS, From an American Aircraft Carrier

Backed by U.S. Airstrikes, Kurds Reverse an ISIS Gain

U.S. Weighs Response to Sony Cyberattack, With North Korea Confrontation Possible

Coalition Air Campaign Against Islamic State In Iraq Makes Gains, Official Says

Obama Vows U.S. Response to North Korea Cyberattack on Sony

Kurds ‘Break IS Mountain Siege’


I worked with this stuff in the US Navy and while this upsets me, it does not, sadly, surprise me.  Data reveal asbestos is Canada’s top source of workplace death

Lest we forget.  Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons

If ever our courage and compassion was in question, it will not be after this.  Canadian military and reservists leave Britain to join Ebola fight in Sierra Leone


When Academia commits, the stars shine just a little brighter.  These 3 Colleges Stopped Investing In Fossil Fuels—One Year Later, Their Endowments Are Doing Just Fine

As the year winds down, the World Wildlife Foundations reminds us that we have cause to celebrate milestones made for wildlife and people over the past 12 months.  10 Success Stories of 2014

Way to go!  American Teen Wins Children’s Peace Prize For Empowering Orphans In India


This is what happens when a good idea goes terribly wrong.  Uber Driver in Boston Area Is Charged With Rape

This is totally unacceptable.  Military Hospital Care Is Questioned; Next, Reprisals

He obviously needed a better script writer.  In Real Life, ‘Rambo’ Ends Up as a Soldier of Misfortune, Behind Bars


Avaaz, a 40-million member organization dedicated to positive world change, is taking up the cause of those Peshawar school children massacred and maimed when the Taliban attacked their school.  They are not asking for donations but to sign a petition which will be delivered by a UN envoy to the prime minister of Pakistan.  To sign and to learn more, please go here.


The answer to this question is a resounding “yes!”  Can the umbrella be improved?

This creeped me out a little.  An App, Memoir, Guesses Your Fondest Memories

When East and West walk down the street holding hands, lots of cool stuff happens.  5 Ways Modern Science Is Embracing Ancient Indian Wisdom


Are ‘Oceans’ Hiding Inside Earth?

Antarctic Science Archive Unlocked To Probe Climate History Of Antarctic Peninsula.

Polar Sub Gauges Sea Ice Thickness


‘A Great Moment’: Rover Finds Clue That Mars May Harbor Life

Five Craziest Space Missions?

NASA Emails Spanner Into Space


Study to Examine Effects of Artificial Intelligence

A Flying Car For Everyone

This Week in Science: Mars Methane, Feathery Weather Forecasters, and Philae’s Wake-Up Call


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.


Northern California’s Railroads Are Carrying More Crude Oil Than Ever—But These Neighbors Aren’t Having It

The World’s Greenest Cities

Eating These Can Save The Environment AND Fight Cancer

What the Environmental Community Has Is a ‘Failure to Communicate’


Dos and don’ts for common colds

For First Time, Treatment Helps Patients With Worst Kind of Stroke, Study Says

Video: Ask Well: What Fish Is Safe to Eat? ~ A New York Times reader asks whether farmed fish is better than no fish.


By David B. Grinberg – Strategic Communications Advisor, Writer/Blogger/Editor, Former Journalist


Let’s finally get real about racism in America and the devastating social impact it causes for everyone. Perhaps we can all benefit from a new national conversation on divisive racial issues due to the recent string of tragic and disturbing incidents from Ferguson, to Staten Island, to Cleveland and elsewhere.  To read the entire blog ~and we highly recommend it ~ please go here.


Happy Holidays? 6 Ways to Get There

Video: Saadia Muzaffar on being a feminist in the tech world

Video: Stephanie Guthrie on what feminism has given us

Video: Septembre Anderson on womanism

A suffragette, Sony, a meth epidemic and a hash brick


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.


Trip Report: Watching Ethiopian Wolves In Ethiopia’s Sanetti Plateau

A Paradise Protected By Butterflies

Video: Finding Their Voice


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




You will love this.  Video of the Year: Meet Dennis the Raccoon

This was interesting but not necessarily for the nightmare prone.  How Predators Changed The World

People have been studying the behavior of birds and animals for thousands of years in order to prepare for bad weather, good and landfalls.  It is nice to see that Western science has finally gotten the drift.  Birds ‘fled day before US tornadoes’


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

ABOUT THE NORTHSTAR JOURNAL:  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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