New Masthead

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

Sunday, January 11, 2015  

No. 431

“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

Tree ~ interfaith


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  In the wake of last week’s attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, historian Tom Holland has written, for BBC magazine, an excellent article on both the precedents for and the ramifications of defending freedom of speech.

Despite the fact that I do not believe in violence and particularly not as a social sanction, I can understand what motivates it in this instance and how hard it is to resist, particularly when one believes passionately.

I am not a fan of the kind of humor which incites violence.  There’s an old adage about sticks and stones breaking bones but words never harming.  That has more horse manure in it than a paddock full of Clydesdales.  We’ve been using epithets and insults to hurt one another since the dawn of time.

I am also not an iconoclast.  I’m not mad at anyone and if my wit was likened to a weapon, it would certainly not be a rapier.  I have a Frank Capra/Jimmy Stewart perspective on life and I love good examples.

Near as I can tell by the studying I’ve done, Moses, Mohammed, Jesus, Buddha and Confucius were all genuine human beings who were certainly wise and dedicated to compassionate behavior.  God is a real person to me, someone I can talk to, joke with or simply ask for Her shoulder when tears fill to overflowing.

I think I’d be pretty angry if the media made fun of my beliefs and the things I value.  At the very least, in every respectable household I’ve ever been in, it is considered rude.  It is also cruel and in most cases, incredibly pointless.  It certainly does not engender tolerance, understanding or any of the other nobler values all religions seem to share.

Violence is an extreme reaction and I do not condone it.  But neither do I like media hooliganism practiced under the guise of freedom of speech.  That’s not how this magazine does things.

Okay, once again, gang, thanks for the ear and have a great week, eh?  And yep, if you enjoyed the last edition and would like to kick down a dollar or two for the this one, please go here

See also:  An Imam Explains Why Muslims Hate Seeing Depictions Of The Prophet Muhammad


This is something all of us need to read.  The #1 reason people die early, in each country

I wonder if Starbucks knows about this.  The world’s top coffee cities

In the wake of the attack on French satirical magazine, our European associate said she hopes this will not provoke another wave of anti-Islamic violence.  We agree and so, apparently, does the Islamic community.  Raising Questions Within Islam After France Shooting:


Why Oil Prices Are Still Dropping, In One Simple Chart

Coca-Cola To Cut Up To 1,800 Jobs Worldwide

Iran and Venezuela Push OPEC to Stabilize Falling Oil Prices

Is the War Crimes Court Still Relevant?


Two In U.S. Face Charges After Coup Attempt Fails In Gambia

20 Coptic Christians From Egypt Kidnapped By Gunmen In Libya

The People Pushed Out Of Ethiopia’s Fertile Farmland

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka On Africa’s Spirituality

Somali Militants Kill ‘CIA Spies’

US Forces Hold LRA Commander

Shell Agrees Nigeria Oil Spill Deal

Kenya ‘ICC Defense Witness Murdered’

Burundi Party Activists Shot Dead

Zulu Bible Translation Aid Welcomed

In Nigeria, New Boko Haram Suicide Bomber Tactic: ‘It’s a Little Girl’

The Backlash Against African Women


Nikkei Sees Worst Day Since March

HK Consults On Political Reform 

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa In Poll Defeat

North Korea Seems to Be Closer to Missile-Launching Submarine

Uber Tests a Cargo Delivery Service in Hong Kong

Honda in Japan Distances Itself From U.S. Subsidiary After Record Fine

North Korea Offers U.S. Deal to Halt Nuclear Test


Heat Blamed For Australian Net Fail

Thousands Mourn Cairns Children

South Australia Prepares For Storm


Maoists in China, Given New Life, Attack Dissent

China Issues Complaint After North Korean Defector Is Said to Kill 4

China Wants Taxes Paid by Citizens Living Afar

China Pledges Action After Stampede 

Motorola Heads Back Into China 

China’s Inflation Near Five-Year Low

For China, a New Leader in Sri Lanka May Herald a Change in Ties


Ukraine Leader Was Defeated Even Before He Was Ousted

Ukraine Government Seizes Assets in Crimea, From Shipyard to Film Studio  

Prisons Overflowing, Switzerland Considers Exporting Inmates To France And Germany

Euro Countries Take Tough Line Toward Greece

Anti-Immigration Rallies in Germany Defy Calls to Desist

Falling Euro Fans Fears of a Regional Slowdown

French Leader Urges End to Sanctions Against Russia Over Ukraine

After Ban on Beef From Europe, U.S. Gives Green Light to Ireland

Eurozone Economy Slows Further

Merkel’s Visit to Britain Sets New Tone After E.U. Rift

German Government Websites Shut Down, and Ukraine Group Claims Responsibility

Attack In Paris Threatens Germany’s Levels Of Religious Tolerance

U.S. Consolidates Forces in Europe to Save Money

Dresden Protest Against Pegida

Croatia Votes For New President

Defeated SL Leader ‘Sought Army Help’


3rd Night Of India-Pakistan Clashes Leave 4 Dead

Recovery Efforts Begin After Deadly Cyclone Slams Eastern India

Obama Could Encounter ‘Very Unhealthy’ Problem On Upcoming India Trip


Brazil Prepares Indictments in Oil Company Graft Case

McDonald’s running out of French fries in Venezuela

The São Paulo Stock Exchange Expansion Would Be a Good Move


Lebanon Restricts Syria Refugee Flow

Palestinians Seen Gaining Momentum In Quest For Statehood

Hezbollah Appears To Acknowledge A Spy At The Top

New Courts Offer Pakistan’s Generals The Power They Used To Seize

A Suicide Bomb Attack In The Northern Lebanese City Of Tripoli Has Killed At Least   

Snow Hits Syrian Refugees In Lebanon

Is Islamic State Heading For Lebanon?

Lebanon Profile

Saudi Arabian Blogger ‘Flogged’

Is Launches Assault On Iraqi City

Egypt Sets Parliamentary Poll Date

Winter Storm Hits Mid-East Refugees

Is Police ‘Kidnapped’ In Syria

Blast Kills Dozens In Yemen Capital


Ukraine Blames Russia For German Hack

Russia Imposes Sex Rules For Drivers

Putin Is Bringing Darkness To The Edge Of Europe


Britain’s Domestic Intelligence Chief Calls for Greater Authority for Spies

British Muslim Cleric Sentenced to Life in Prison in Terror Case

Unusual Number Of UK Flowers Bloom


Growing Seattle Wonders How To Keep It Real

Obama, in Bid to Ease Home Buying, Cuts Mortgage Insurance Rate

Abel: Youngest Congresswoman In U.S. History Elise Stefanik Takes Her Seat

December Caps a Strong Year for Jobs, but Wages Dip

LA Imports Nearly 85 Percent of Its Water—Can It Change That by Gathering Rain?

Land, Co-ops, Compost: A Local Food Economy Emerges in Boston’s Poorest Neighborhoods

F.B.I. and Justice Dept. Said to Seek Charges for Petraeus


Pope Names 15 New Cardinals Reflective of Diversity of the Faithful



Indonesia Cracks Down on Aviation Sector After AirAsia Crash

Officials Confident AirAsia Wreckage Has Been Located

Hopes For AirAsia Breakthrough


Climatologists Balk as Brazil Picks Skeptic for Key Post

Climate Change This Week: Foul Fracking Fumes, Solar Sponge, and More!

“They’re driven by love. And they’re fierce.” Naomi Klein on the Climate Heroes Who Inspire Her


Woman Who Saved Family From Ebola Will Attend Nursing School In U.S.

Ebola Drug Trial Starts In Liberia


Massacre At French Magazine Office

One Suspect Surrenders In Attack On French Newspaper; Two Others At Large 

In Paris, Solidarity Against Terrorism  

French Humor, Turned Into Tragedy

Paris Suspects ‘Rob Service Station’

Neighbor Says Suspects In Paris Shooting Had ‘Cache Of Arms’

Charlie Hebdo Shooters Killed, Hostage Freed: Police

Multiple Hostages Dead In Paris Kosher Supermarket Attack

All Hostage-Takers Dead: Reports

No Easy Or Obvious Solutions After Charlie Hebdo Attacks In Paris

French Police Seeking Widow Of Slain Terror Suspect, Considered Dangerous Herself

Newspaper Attack Rallies Islamic Extremists


BBC Special Report:  Islamic State Crisis

Army Trials For Pakistan Insurgents

Paris Attack Reflects a ‘Dangerous Moment’ for Europe

Al Qaeda Trained Suspect In Paris Terror Attack, Official Says

Female Suicide Bomber in Istanbul Kills Officer at Police Station

Why Reams Of Intelligence Did Not Thwart The Paris Attacks

RCMP Charge Two Brothers With Terrorism Related Charges

French Premier Declares ‘War’ On Radical Islam As Paris Girds For Rally

French Police Say Suspect In Attack Evolved From Petty Criminal To Terrorist

In New Era Of Terrorism, Voice From Yemen Echoes As France Declares ‘War’


My admiration for this young man is beyond words.   Delta Teen Heading To U.S. For Experimental Cancer Treatment

This should never have happened.  I hope the punishment meted out discourages others from doing it as well.  13 Dalhousie Students Suspended Over Sexist Facebook Page

It would be nice to finally know this.  Unlocking The Mystery Of Sir John A. Macdonald’s Birthplace


The Words That Built Canada ~ Canada’s First Prime Minister’s 200th Birthday Jan. 11

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney Lays Wreath At Charlie Hebdo HQ In Paris

The Uphill Push To Save A Bike-Share Pioneer


We totally approve of this journalist’s behavior and hope it does not lead to a challenge to the American Bill of Rights.  Defiant on Witness Stand, Times Reporter Says Little

I have a feeling Allah, Moses and Jesus are all cheering this man on.  Teaching Islam’s ‘Forgotten’ Side as Germany Changes

I personally think this is a good idea and an appropriate use of some of my tax dollars.  Obama Plan Would Help Many Go to Community College Free


This is outrageous.  Toronto-Born Woman Who Died After Exposing Indian MP Husband’s Alleged Affair Was Poisoned

This is the equivalent of a good spanking and a well-deserved one.  Honda Fined for Violations of Safety Law

This makes a lot of sense.  Sigh.  New Russian law includes transsexuals in long list of people with ‘disorders’ banned from driving


This is comforting.  Apocalypse When?

This is a real good reason to go interstellar traveling.  Stars Go Missing In Black Void

Even though we’ve been doing this for years, it’s nice to learn it’s apparently okay.  A Green Light for Using Rain Barrel Water on Garden Edibles


‘Walking On Water’ In Slovakia

Seven Of The World’s Riskiest Roads

Can Empathy for Birds Make Us Happier? Ten Breakthroughs in the Science of a Meaningful Life


‘Alien Earth’ Among Eight New Planets

So Many Earth-Like Planets, So Few Telescopes

In a Far-Off Galaxy, 2 Black Holes Dance Toward an Explosive Union

Interactive: How big is space?

Europe To Press Ahead On New Rocket


Do Local Orcas Need A Room Of Their Own?

Unusual Number Of UK Flowers Bloom

Buildings That Make Themselves


Audi’s Brain? Check In The Boot

Obama To Announce Cybersecurity Plans In State Of The Union Preview

A Flying Car For Everyone


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.


Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Begins Slow Process of Closing

Experts Say That Battle on Keystone Pipeline Is Over Politics, Not Facts

Man Convicted of Environmental Terrorism Is Freed


Harvard Ideas on Health Care Hit Home, Hard

The Super-Short Workout and Other Fitness Trends

From a Pile of Dirt, Hope for a Powerful New Antibiotic

Elastic Implant ‘Reverses Paralysis’


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


Every New Year brings with it unique challenges and opportunities for individuals as well as employers. This post will examine fostering workforce diversity as the #2 business priority in the year ahead. My prior post addressed strengthening cybersecurity as the #1 business priority for 2015.

Forthcoming posts in this five-part series will focus on how companies can increase productivity, profits and create model workplaces by expanding work flexibility (#3), maximizing social media (#4) and firing malicious managers (#5).

To read the entire blog ~and we highly recommend it ~ please go here.


How Should We React To The Charlie Hebdo Massacre?

Who first said ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’?

Study Finds More Reasons to Get and Stay Married

The Battle to Belong


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: An African’s Message for America

Video: How It Happens | Volcanic Eruptions

Epic Hunt By Fastest Fish

Dwarf Elephant Beats Up Big Rival

The Truth About Free Will


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, Editing, Ghost Writing, Humor  Jokes & Monologues, Online Research, Proofreading, Song Lyrics, Speeches, Special Projects




This is good news.  For the second year running record numbers of whales spotted off the coast of Southern California

This is fascinating.  An animal that herds its own meat

This sounds like a real fun place to live.  Where polar bears outnumber people


Bewick’s swans fly from Eastern Europe to Gloucestershire in great numbers 

Grey Seal found in a Merseyside field 20 miles from the sea is doing OK 

New species of gecko lizard has been found in Central India


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


India donkeys honored for hard work

Malaysian government gives homeless kitchenware

Shove it kittens, koalas need mittens

Rusty Oval May 2014ABOUT US

The Northstar Journal is a reader-supported weekly international non-profit news, commentary and general interest Internet magazine.  Founded as a monthly in 1999, it is the winner of two Hersh “Best Read on the Net Awards” for its coverage of Bosnia and of Washington State’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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