New Masthead


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

Sunday, January 18, 2015                                                 Vol. 8 No. 16

“If your two brothers were fighting with sticks, would you give one of them a knife?”  Olha Bereza

Rusty Miller – Editor

Denny Steussy – Associate Editor

Olha Bereza – European Associate Editor




Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  In view of all the things that have been going on in the Wonderful World of Terror lately, it is easy to lose perspective and experience life as one under siege.

Ironically, ISIS and Al Qaeda have evolved from a culture which has experienced exactly that, for centuries, and mostly at the swords and guns of those who turned away from the very God in whose name they did their works.

We’ve spent almost a thousand years exploiting them and in the case of oil, transformed them into consumers as well as providers of this alleged “black gold.”

We’ve tried to tell them not only how to run their own countries but who should be in charge.  We have attempted to imprint western values on an eastern world and when we couldn’t sell it to them softly, we shoved it down their throats at the point of a bayonet.

So naturally, some of them have finally said, “This is camel dung.  Enough is enough.”

They also know a lot more about us than we do about them, including our profound colonial tendencies.  They are not going to let us to do them what we did to the people of those lands we “discovered”.

It would behoove us to reverse history a bit.  Perhaps it is time to “nation up.”  We don’t really need anything Islamic nations have to offer except their good will.  And whether we realize it or not, we need it desperately.  If we ~ as a species ~ are to survive this latest cycle of climate change, we can no longer afford to make war on one another.

This isn’t Noah and the Ark.  We are Noah and the planet is the Ark.


As admittedly annoying and slightly unnerving as this is, at least no one lost their head over it.  ISIS Is Cited in Hacking of Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube Accounts

This is certainly long overdue.  In a Safer Age, U.S. Rethinks Its ‘Tough on Crime’ System

We agree with this.  To Respond To Terror, We Must Distinguish Its Three Varieties


As Oil Prices Fall, Banks Serving the Energy Industry Brace for a Jolt

A Global Fight To Fortify Democracy And Security After Deadly French Attacks

Oil Prices Fall to Lowest Since 2009

World Bank Cuts Global Growth Forecast


Egyptian Authorities Release a Morsi Adviser

Cairo Bath House Men Acquitted

Mubarak Fraud Conviction Overturned

Images ‘Show Boko Haram Destruction’

Groups Document Boko Haram’s Swath of Destruction in Nigeria

Niger Charlie Protesters Burn Churches


An Eternal Dilemma in the Golden Triangle

Groundswell Chooses Democracy in Sri Lanka

Reduced Japanese Whaling Fleet Departs To Conduct Scientific Studies

New Habitat Research Could Save Endangered Orangutans In Borneo

Pope Urges Postwar Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Huge Crowds For Sri Lanka Papal Mass


NZ Navy In Illegal Fishing Stand-Off

Australia Asylum: Why Is It Controversial?

Indonesia Jails Australian For Drugs

Australia ‘Must Pay’ Siege Victims

Phone Bug Wakes Australians Early

Paris Attacks Renew Australia Debate

Sydney Victim ‘Hit By Police Bullet’

Anderson ‘Doubts’ After Hughes Death


In China, Projects to Make Great Wall Feel Small

China Trade Data Beats Expectations

Despite China’s Relaxed Single-Child Policy, One Child Enough For Most

Mourners grieve purged China leader


Fear on Rise, Jews in France Weigh an Exit

EU Lawyer Approves ECB Bond-Buying

Switzerland Scraps Ban On Franc Cap

Greece’s Rubber Glove Rebellion

Italian Aid Worker Hostages Freed

As Terrorism Suspects Are Detained in Europe, Scope of Challenge Is Highlighted

French Town Struggles Over Departures for Jihad

In Greece, Banks Ask E.C.B. for Access to Emergency Aid

Patriot Act Idea Rises In France, And Is Ridiculed

2 Suspected Of Arson Against German Paper Which Printed French Cartoons Detained


John Kerry Arrives in India to Talk Trade and Prepare for Obama’s Visit

Bootleg Liquor Kills at Least 23 in India

India Uber Driver Rape Trial Begins

India In Surprise Interest Rate Cut


Cuba Frees 53 Prisoners in Deal to Restore U.S. Relations

Starting Friday, U.S. Will Ease Restrictions on Travel to Cuba

Brazil Angry At Indonesia Execution

Mexico Arrest Over Missing Students

Rio Announces Olympics Ticket Plan

Haiti Sees New Anti-Martelly Protest

Colombia ‘Ready For Ceasefire Talks’

US House Votes To Block Migrant Plan

Human Remains Found In Honduran Jail


Afghan Unity Government Announced

Grief and Defiance in Pakistan as Survivors of Taliban Massacre Return to School

Paris Attacks Drive New Wedge Between Turkey and Israel

U.N. to Resume Cease-Fire Talks With Syria


Between Big Cities, A Road Passes The Russia Left Behind

Russia: Opposition Protesters Are Arrested After Clash

U.S. To Help Bulgaria Depend Less On Russians

Putin Won’t Attend Commemoration of Auschwitz Liberation


British Prime Minister Suggests Banning Some Online Messaging Apps

UK Inflation Rate Falls To 0.5%

The End Of The CCTV Era?

Arrest in Britain in Hacking of Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation Networks

Dramatic Swan Rescue On The Pevensey Levels


New Rules to Limit Tactics on Hospitals’ Fee Collections

New Golden Gate Bridge Barrier Draws Sighs of Relief

Huge Injection Of Publicly Raised Cash Given To Support US Wetlands

The Goats Fighting America’s Plant Invasion

John McCain, 78 and Untamed, Savors Senate Dream Job

Mayor Murray: ‘Give Seattle More Buses’

Study Finds Widespread Poverty Among U.S. Public School Children

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Gays Nationwide Can Marry

Three Ideas for Inclusive Cities: How Raleigh, Seattle, and Others Are Bringing Everyone Into the Fold

This Rust-Belt Town’s Survival Strategy Is All About Giving Workers Control

Vermonters Lobby for Public Bank—and Win Millions In Public Investment Instead

Green-Energy Inspiration Off the Coast of Denmark


Down-To-Earth Pope Scores Hit In Asia

Press Response To ‘The Punching Pope’

Pope Mania Builds In The Philippines

Catholicism And Me: Philippines

Philippines: Is Church Role Waning?



Indonesian Divers Retrieve AirAsia Flight Data Recorder From Sea

AirAsia Plane ‘Fuselage Located’


Corals Under Threat From Rapidly Changing Ocean Conditions

Former PDX Mayor To Lead New Climate Initiative

Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

Low NW Snowfall Offers Preview Of Warmer Climate  

Scientists: Earth Is Beyond Four Of Nine ‘Planetary Boundaries’

2014 Was the Warmest Year Ever Recorded on Earth



 VIDEO: A Nurse Deploys to Fight Ebola

Ebola Orphans Cast Out By Communities

Ebola Nurse No Longer Critically Ill

Ebola Cases Declining In West Africa

Possible Ebola Cases Flown To UK


Huge Show of Solidarity in Paris Against Terrorism

Paris March Against Terror Draws Huge Crowds and 40 World Leaders

Terror Attacks in Paris: The Victims  

Video Shows Paris Gunman Pledging Allegiance to Islamic State

France To Deploy 10,000 Troops

Reprisals Feared as Charlie Hebdo Publishes New Muhammad Cartoon

France Mourns Attack Victims and Intensifies Hunt for Terrorists

Emotion Mixes With Politics as 4 Killed at Paris Market Are Buried in Jerusalem

Al-Qaeda In Yemen Claims Responsibility For Paris Attack In Video Message

Twelve Held Over Paris Attacks

Paris Gunman Buried In Secret Grave


Jihadism Born in a Paris Park and Fueled in the Prison Yard

A Sleeper Cell, And A Nation’s Worst Fears

Obama Presents Proposals To Counter Cyberattacks

From Teenage Angst to Jihad

At Least 2 Killed In Antiterror Raid By The Belgian Police

After Attacks, France and Germany Seek to Avert Backlash Against Muslims and Jews

ISIS Release 350 Yazidis In Iraq


Down the years, lots of people have threatened to do this.  ISIS cannot be as bright as we sometimes think if they seriously believe this will work for them when it failed for everyone else.  Video repeats ISIS calls for Canada attacks

Now that they have sounded the alert, it’s time to take out the sugar cans.  Bank of Canada warns economy could be in for a rough ride

This isn’t nearly enough.  Probation For Teen Who Plead Guilty In Rehtaeh Parsons Case


Third Man Arrested In Ottawa Terrorist Probe

Cybersecurity To Cost Ottawa As Much As $100-Million

Real Change For Aboriginal Women Begins With The End Of Prostitution


We thought this was really cool.  Croatians Elect Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic as Their First Female President

We agree with this totally.  Canadian Amanda Lindhout spent 460 harrowing days in captivity in Somalia. Her survival is extraordinary — even more so is what unfolded upon her return. This resilient woman has emerged as a role model for compassion, a true humanitarian.

Vive le France.  France ‘To Protect All Religions’


U.K. “Cyber Grannies” Use Skype To Teach People In India

France Awards Citizenship To Lassana Bathily, Man Who Hid Hostages From Paris Gunman

A Baltimore Public School Teacher Explains Why It Pays to Put Kids in Control


We’re not so sure this is a good idea.  It’s like who is watching whom?  And when will they all start watching us?  F.B.I. Is Broadening Surveillance Role, Report Shows

We did not know this and the two of us who live here are not pleased.  Study: WA Has Most Regressive Tax System In US

I’m not sure I like what this says about his constituency.  Virginia Politician Serves 2 Terms: In Jail and in the State Legislature


Need Some Espionage Done? Hackers Are For Hire Online

Trophy Hunters Decimate Bears In BC Valley

Nine Wildlife Seizures In 2014 Highlight Lao Pdr’s Role In Trafficking


This is absolutely fascinating.  The best singers in the ocean

Sounds like it is past time to get moving on this one. Shaky Ground: Few In B.C. Are Prepared For The Sleeping Monster That Could Awake At Any Time

I don’t think I have ever read anything quite like this.  People Used to Sleep Twice a Night, With a Break in Between: 7 Ways to Connect With Our Wild Human Roots


When Earth Was A Frozen Snowball

The Biggest Fruit In The World

Who, What, Why: What Is Thundersnow?


The Man Who Can Send You To Mars

Space Station Crew Temporarily Moves to Russian Side Over Fears of Ammonia Leak

Lost Beagle2 Probe Found On Mars


Eight Ideas That Changed Music

The Skinny on Moving Under Sand

The Tiniest Vampires In The World


Language Translation Tech Starts to Deliver on Its Promise

VIDEO: What If You Could Print Your Next Car?

How To Discover A New Lifeform


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.


How Georgia Became The Biggest Electric Vehicle Market

Where Are The Green Cars?

Obama Administration to Unveil Plans to Cut Methane Emissions

2,000 Seattleites Have Given Up A Personal Car In Favor Of Car2Go

 Canada Finds New Oil Markets To Counter U.S. Keystone Rejection

In 10 Years, No One In Helsinki Will Even Want to Own a Car: 3 Simple Ideas That Are Making Cities Sustainable


How Smokers Metabolize Nicotine Could Predict Best Way To Quit: Study

Cancer and Chemotherapy

A Slimming Plan Just For You?

How Stress Kills Compassion

6 Challenges And 6 Rewards Of Being Young And Sobrer

12 Simple Food Swaps That Make Healthy Eating Easy


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

Work Flexibility is #3 Business Priority in 2015

It’s hard to believe that some 21st century employers are still stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to adopting smart workplace flexibility programs (also known as “work flex”). Put simply, work flex saves time and money while increasing employee performance, business productivity and profits. Work flex lends itself to a more healthy work-life balance for employees, which increases morale, job satisfaction, engagement and productivity.

That’s why expanding work flex is my recommended #3 top business priority for the year ahead. However, embracing and implementing modern-day work flex policies and procedures are problematic for companies with an antiquated leadership and management mentality. Some old-school employers remain intransigent to offering work flex options to their employees, despite the obvious cost benefits explained below.

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


To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This

Is There A Smarter Way To Fail?

What Workers Hate About TV Depictions Of Their Profession

Parcel for Sale: Plenty of Space. Very Quiet. Light? Well …

These traits will get you hired


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.


Flying Penguins: Penguins are strong and graceful swimmers, using their wings as flippers to propel themselves to surprising bursts of speed. Check out a photographer’s labors to capture them.

How Bison Survive Winter in the Northern Great Plains:  A bison exhales and the frigid winter air condenses the moisture to a fog. He dips his head low—a burly, mussed mass of fur caked with snow—and sweeps his muzzle across the snow. Another snort, another sweep. The plains are cold and blanketed in snow, and he is hungry

Restoring and Protecting a Vital River:  Federal botanist Joe Sirotnak never seems to tire. Restoring and protecting the Rio Grande/Bravo in Big Bend National Park, Sirotnak is an inspiration to workers on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

Photos: Top images from around the globe


 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 not good news for one of nature’s most voracious pest controllers.  No Time for Bats to Rest Easy

We definitely applaud this decision.  Hong Kong Retailer Removes Ivory From Shelves

This is good news.  Looks like OR 7 has company.  New Wolf Confirmed In Southern Oregon


The Evolution Of Modern Bird Species Revised By Major New Study

Protection Sought For Hawaii’s Manta Rays

Historic Decision To Allow A Referendum About Hunting In Malta


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


Would you be beautiful in the ancient world?

Can ‘whale testicle beer’ cheer up an Icelandic winter?

Why would anyone want an eyeball tattoo?

AboutUsjpgABOUT US

The Northstar Journal is a reader supported 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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