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

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

Sunday, January 25, 2015                                     Vol. 8 No. 17

“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

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler   Courtesy of History Today

Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler Courtesy of History Today


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it’s been another real interesting week and not a particularly good one for terrorists.  We’re learning who the real bad guys are and realizing that it’s not so much about faith as it is about behavior.

In other words, it’s not nearly as important who one prays to as it is how they conduct their lives and treat one another.  That means that certain things are just not done, among them, kidnapping, torture, exploitation, abuse or murder, private or on YouTube.

I think what rankles me most is that it seems to have started out so simply.

Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

Then, for some reason, we needed to quantify it with the Ten Commandments.  Since Moses brought those down, we have gone on to create a flood of legislation across almost three millennium, none of which seems to have made an incredible amount of difference in how we do unto others.

We go to war to kill people who are killing other people.  We slap economic sanctions on nations who can least afford them in order to stop them from invading neighboring countries for the resources they desperately need.  We attempt to impose our values on other cultures without the least understanding of either the cultures involved or the contemporary efficacy of those values.

And there is not one nation ~ large or small ~ which is not guilty of that to one degree or another.  And what, really are nations, if not the people who live in them?  Can those who cannot control themselves, their families and/or their neighborhoods really expect to influence the course of the biggest family to which they belong?

The Duke of Wellington, after his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, contended two things that I have found true in my own experience with war.  The first was that the only thing more tragic than a battle lost is a battle won.  The second was that war will end when the toy soldiers are gone from the nursery.

Have a good week, gang.  And thanks for the ear.


I am not sure this is necessarily good news for the rest of us.  Money may not buy happiness but it does pay for privilege.  Oxfam Study Finds Richest 1% Is Likely to Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016

This is good news, especially for the big cats involved.  India’s Tiger Population Up 30%

This bears reading.  Transcript of American President Barack Obama’s State Of The Union address


Richest 1% To Own More Than The Rest

IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecast

Study: Ocean On Brink, But Wild Enough To Heal

Here Are The Most Expensive Countries In The World To Live In


Surrendered LRA Commander To Be Flown To The Hague Soon For War Crimes Trial

Libyan Fighters Seize Benghazi Branch of Central Bank

To Loosen Boko Haram’s Grip, Nigerian Voters Look to Ex-Leader Who Ruled With Iron Hand

Lungu Wins Zambia Presidential Poll

Five Things About The Zambian Election

Obituary: Michael Chilufya Sata

Zambia Profile


Prominent North Korean Defector Recants Parts of His Story

Thai Ex-PM Banned From Politics

In Impeaching Ex-Premier, Junta Revives Thailand’s Divisions

Anger Over Pakistan Fuel Shortages 

Sri Lanka Rehabilitates Top General 

Bangladesh Arrests 7,000 Activists 

Japan PM Outrage At ‘Hostage Death’

Japanese PM’s Statement


Australian-Built RV Sales Boom Despite Car Industry Gloom

Attempted Arson Of Toowoomba Mosque Could Have Been ‘Catastrophic’

Government Waits For US Lead On Hicks Terrorism Conviction

Fears Job Cuts Will Affect World Heritage Development Plans

Islamic State Recruiting More Australian Fighters, Brandis Warns


Home Prices in China Decline for 4th Straight Month

To Calm Its Markets, China Helps Guide a Sell-Off

Meet The Steve Jobs Of China: Alibaba’s Jack Ma

Watching China From Cyberspace

China Stampede Families Compensated 

Chinese Manufacturing Growth Stalls 

China Tycoon In Atletico Madrid Deal 


Anti-Immigrant Rally Canceled in Germany After Leader Is Threatened

German Investor Confidence Rises

Five Chechens Arrested In France, One With Explosives

For Auschwitz Museum, and Survivors, a Moment of Passage

Here’s Why You Should Care About The Greek Election

Massive Boost For Eurozone Unveiled


Obama And Modi See Mutual Benefit In Breaking More Ice

For Obama’s Visit, India Takes a Broom to Stray Monkeys and Cows

India Braces For Obama’s Delhi Visit

How Delhi Is Keeping Obama Safe

Issues To Watch

Obama And Modi In Joint Radio Speech

Why Obama’s India Visit Is Significant


Prosecutor In Argentina Bombing Inquiry Is Found Dead

Argentine President Now Says Prosecutor’s Death Was Not A Suicide

Cuba May Be Opening, But Business Travel Remains Limited

U.S. Outpost In Cuba To Step Out Of The Shadows


Hezbollah Says Israeli Helicopter Strike Killed 5 Fighters in Syria

Yemeni Government Collapses as President and Prime Minister Resign

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah dies

Meet Saudi Arabia’s New King

For King Salman, New Saudi Ruler, A Region In Upheaval

New Saudi King and U.S. Face Crucial Point in the Relationship

New Saudi King Salman Names Heirs And Promises Stability

Egyptian President Sisi: Muslims Need To Reform Their Religious Discourse


Top Official Says Russians Will ‘Eat Less’ For Putin

Is Russia Stoking War?



‘Grave Concerns’ Over Missing Woman

Stephen Fry Signs ‘Save Soho’ Letter


Prop Jones Retires From Wales Dutybbc

Mansion Tax To Hit Just 87 In Wales


Celtic Striker Griffiths Arrested

Man Arrested Over Woman’s Death

Northern Ireland

Man In Court Over School Threat

16-Year-Old Charged Over Stabbing


Sharp Slump In Oil Prices Pumping Up U.S. Economy

Prison Beard Ban Violates Muslim Religious Rights, Supreme Court Rules

In State Of The Union Speech, Obama Defiantly Sets Ambitious Agenda

Americans Like Stuff That Sounds Good, Polls Find

Leader Of German Anti-Immigrant Group Steps Down Over Hitler Photo

U.S. Says Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Took Millions In Payoffs, Abusing Office


As Vatican Revisits Divorce, Many Catholics Long For Acceptance



Rescuers Try To Lift Fuselage Of Crashed AirAsia Plane

Bid To Raise AirAsia Fuselage Begins

What We Know

Who Were The Victims?

Divers Race Time And Tide


Obama: Climate Change Is A Huge Threat

Watch 28 Years Of Old Arctic Ice Disappear In 1 Minute

Climate Change Moves Doomsday Clock

Scientists Warn We’re Closer Than Ever To The Apocalypse

A Year Of Opportunity To Combat Climate Change — And Transform Economies


Ebola Scientist Warns Business Elite

Ebola Infections Dropping in West Africa, World Health Organization Says

First Ebola Vaccine Heads To Liberia

UK Ebola Nurse ‘Happy To Be Alive’

‘I Lost A Week Of My Life’ Watch

Ebola: Mapping The Outbreak

Why Is Ebola So Dangerous?


Four Face Charges Over Paris Attacks

Paris Attacker Coulibaly Is Buried


European Police Try To Stop New Attacks, But EU Security Chief Calls It ‘Very Difficult’

Eight Israeli Arab Men Charged With Aiding ISIS

EU Urges Broad Alliance On Terrorism

European Leaders Urge Alliance With Muslim Nations To Fight Terrorism

Japan PM Abe In ‘ISIS Hostages’ Vow

Are Most Victims Of Terrorism Muslim?

France Boosts Anti-Terror Strategy

Anti-ISIS Coalition Meets In London

U.S. Suspends Some Counterterrorism Efforts Against Al Qaeda In Yemen

The Rise Of ISIS – And How To Beat It

Viewpoint: IS Hostages


BBC SPECIAL REPORT — Ukraine Crisis:  In-Depth Features And Background On Ukraine Conflict

War Is Exploding Anew in Ukraine; Rebels Vow More

Rockets Kill 30 In Eastern Ukraine

‘A Significant Escalation’ Watch

Crisis Mapped


We totally agree with this.  Crown Urges Indefinite Sentence For Martin Tremblay

I hope this is not as silly as it sounds.  Ottawa To Invoke Rarely Used Law In Buy America Feud

This is not good news.  Ocean floor off Vancouver Island will rip open like a zipper


Vancouver’s Housing Market Second Most Unaffordable In The World After Hong Kong:

Harper Says There’s More To The Canadian Economy Than Oil

Winnipeg Mayor Responds To Story Declaring City Most Racist In Canada


This is reassuring.  Preserved Under Fiberglass Domes, a Counterculture Spirit Thrives

This should certainly motivate and inspire.  How This Vancouver Entrepreneur Turned Her Hobby Into An International Business

I like it when someone takes the time and trouble to do this for us.  Myth Busting: The cost of food


This is an outrage but I am not surprised.  Cancer-Causing Agent Found In Water After Pipeline Spill In Montana

Jeez, ya think?  C.I.A. Report Found Value of Brutal Interrogation Was Inflated

Please, Ronald, say it ain’t so.  McDonald’s Sued For Racial Bias


I am a profound fan of anything airborne so I enjoyed this one a great deal.  Planes That Changed The World

Being an optimist, I thought this was really cool.  Science Finds Yet Another Reason To Look On The Bright Side

I kind of hope the answer to this question is no.  Could A Robot Write A Novel?


Is This A New Species Of Human?

Earth’s 25 Biggest Turning Points

What Languages The World Will Speak In 2115


SpaceX Lands $1 Billion From Google and Fidelity

Mega Storms Sweep Uranus

These 14 Images Of The Sun May Be The Most Spectacular Ever Snapped


Simon De Montfort: The Turning Point For Democracy That Gets Overlooked

Can A Film About An Attractive Robot Be Feminist Science Fiction?

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Fear A Robot Apocalypse


Tech Toys: Giroptic, The World’s First 360° Camera

Toy Trains From The Past 200 Years

New Prosthetic Arm Set To Give Amputees More Freedom At An Affordable Price


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.


Food Bikes Combine Our Two Favorite Things

A Water Main In East Portland, Oregon Is Now Powering Light Bulbs

At The Ends Of The Earth… And In The Middle Of The Energy Wars


What 4 Of The World’s Healthiest Diets Have In Common

Want To Be Calmer And More Creative? Look To Your Kitchen

9 Very Good Reasons To Let Go Of That Grudge

6 Cheap Winter Super Foods To Buy Now

5 Healthy Eating Habits To Adopt This Year


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


As America observes the annual federal holiday honoring the historic life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK), let’s pause and ponder this question: What might MLK say today — if he were still alive — about the following civil rights and socio-economic justice issues of the 21st century…

Race & Law Enforcement. What would MLK say regarding recent racial tensions between law enforcement and citizens of color, especially young black men?

  • Would Dr. King castigate and rally against racial profiling and other alleged discriminatory police tactics which disproportionately affect citizens of color?
  • Would MLK condone or encourage rioting, looting and burning down community small businesses due to egregious racial incidents with police?

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


Nine Reasons Not To Abandon The Art Of The Handwritten Letter

Why Do Some People Dislike Hearing Foreign Languages In The Street?

The Team That Has To Cycle Hundreds Of Miles To Compete

Shakespeare Of Arabia

Writing Your Way To Happiness

One Couple’s Unanticipated Journey to Center of Landmark Gay Rights Case


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.


Penguins, Igloos And Sponge Bob Headline Our Videos Of The Week

The Secret To Eternal Life — How Do You Want To Be Remembered?  If We Could Preserve Our Entire Minds For Generations To Come – Would You?


 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

THE BACK COUNTRY GALLERY’S new monthly nature wallpaper is available here.  Steve Perry also has a newsletter offering a great deal of cool stuff for wildlife photographers, amateur and/or professional. 


Business Correspondence,  Communications Consulting, Classified And Other Advertising Copy Writing, Editing, Ghost Writing, Humor  Jokes & Monologues, Online Research, Online Writing Tutoring, Proofreading, Song Lyrics, Speeches, Special Projects



I know some people like this.  Video: Bats That Prey Together

This must have been real fun, for all involved.  Bulgaria Seizes Two Million Eels Hidden In Luggage

Why they would want to do this is a little beyond me but then this is Australia, after all.  Scientists Extract DNA From 40,000 Year Old Giant Kangaroos »

BIRD LOVERS ALERTThe Cornell (University) Lab of Ornithology’s January 2015 newsletter is now available.  Features this month include outstanding articles on the snowy owl, waterfowl in winter and a catalogue of webinars covering all facets of birds and bird watching.


Otters Around The World Are Threatened With Extinction Says New Report

Days Left To Save One Of The World’s Rarest Spiders From Developers

Landmark Jail Term For Gamekeeper George Mutch Convicted Of Killing Birds Of Prey

Baby White Rhino Born To Mother That Survived Horrific Poaching Attack

New Species Of Legless Amphibian For Cambodia

Study Indicates How Chilean Guanacos Can Live In Harmony With Farmers & Loggers


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


University Of Alberta Students Build An Igloo

U.K. Parents Billed For Birthday Party No-Show

A Drone Operator Left His Job After He Started Dreaming In Infra-Red

German Men ‘Free To Pee Standing Up’

 111714ABOUT 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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