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

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

Sunday, February 1, 2015                                                 Vol. 8 No. 18

“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

 Snoopy snow dance


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, now that America’s “storm of the century” has passed and was not, except in Boston,(US Admits Snow Forecast Errors) I’m breathing a sigh of relief.  It’s been mostly monsoons, fog and cold sunshine in the Pacific Northwest.  But those of us who have lived here for any length of time at all remember when it has not been this relatively mild.

I believe this is climate change in action and I’m behind the scientific community’s assertion that our lifestyle has caused a great deal of it.  That aside, I think that one of the reasons it is easier for us up here to accept global warming ~ regardless the cause ~ is because in just Seattle’s King County alone, which is about the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined ~ we have something like eight microclimates.

It’s like, if you don’t like the weather where you are, hop a cross town bus.  Everybody knows that and as a result, our media forecasters have a lot easier time of it because we don’t tend the burn the messenger if the news is bad.

We are young as cities go and somewhat parochial in our attitudes.  We have nonetheless found that the best way to find out what the weather is involves nothing more complicated than walking outside.  Especially in a place that has a different forecast for every zip code.

It’s the adaptability factor and it doesn’t involve complaining about it.  It involves being prepared for it.  More importantly, it means doing what we can ~ individual or corporate board ~ to stop contributing to it.

Sometimes I really do believe in comes right down to what so many human enterprises and interactions do and that is loving enough to make a difference.  I’m a family man and the happiness of my kin and future generations means a lot to me.  I expect it does to all of you as well.

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


We so agree with this.  Humans keep pushing planet’s boundaries, Nine environmental factors keep Earth livable.  Scientists warn us that we need to be held within certain limits so that our species and other living organisms can continue to exist, and co-exist, on our relatively little blue-green marble.

When an organism like this can stay one step ahead of the most brilliant human medical minds on the planet, I really think we need to re-examine our definition of “intelligent life,” and accept that we may not be the epitome of it.  Ebola virus mutating, scientists say

Not to single one nation out for it because all are guilty of it to one degree or another, perhaps we can learn from What You Need To Know About Chronic Sexual Violence In India



Key Nigerian City Under Fresh Attack

Why Is Boko Haram So Strong?

Mixing Religion And Politics

‘Raping Our Daughters’

Who Are Boko Haram?

AU Backs Anti-Boko Haram Troops Plan

Us Plotter Guilty Of Gambia Coup Bid

Kenya Bid To Beat Reading Record

Mugabe Takes Over As Au Chairman

Deadly Attacks Hit Egypt’s Sinai

Sudan Blocking Aid Work, Says MSF

Eugene De Kock, South African Death-Squad Leader, Is Granted Parole


The Killer Haze Choking Asia

Scores Of Philippine Police Officers Killed In Firefight With Rebels

Malaysia Declares MH370 An Accident

Ruined And Restored In Cambodia

Indonesians Are Posting Selfies To Protest A Preacher’s Declaration That They Are Narcissistic

North Korean President to Visit Russia in May

Blast Kills Scores At Mosque In Southern Pakistan


Tony Abbott Says He Will Not Resign In Wake Of LNP’s Queensland Rout

Palaszczuk Stops Short Of Declaring Victory In Queensland (Video)

Federal Government’s Relationship Counseling Program Axed

Three Dead, Boy Critical In NSW Central Coast Crash

Royal Commission To Examine Child Sexual Abuse Within Jewish Community


China’s Super-Rich Communist Buddhists

New Rules in China Upset Western Tech Companies

Chinese Government Takes Aim at E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Over Fake Goods

President of China Minsheng Bank Steps Down


Greece Chooses Anti-Austerity Party In Major Shift

Greece Forms Anti-Bailout Coalition

After Winning Over Voters, Greece’s New Government Must Face Creditors

Tsipras’s Debt Plan Sends Athens Stock Market Sliding

Euro Recovers After Greek Vote Drop

Rare Duck Thrives In EU Protected Areas »

Dutch Shell To Cut Spending By $15 Billion


Obama Attends India’s Republic Day

Obama, Modi Voice Optimism About Us-India Relations (With Video)

India Digs For $50 Billion Treasure After Dream Of Hindu Holy Man

Obama’s Honor Work Of 12-Year-Old Child Slave Turned Activist During India Trip


Journalist Who Reported On Argentine Prosecutor’s Death Flees To Israel

Oil Cash Waning, Venezuelan Shelves Lie Bare

With Oil Revenue Dropping, Mexico Announces Budget Cuts

Oil Cash Waning, Venezuelan Shelves Lie Bare 

Gas Explosion At Mexico City Hospital Kills 3 And Wounds Dozens

Group Of Senators Seeks To Lift Cuba Travel Limits

Plane Crashes Near Aruba After Pursuit By Military Jets

Brazil: Drastic Water Rationing May Be Put In Place In São Paulo

Former Top Venezuela Aide Said To Flee Amid Inquiry

Suspicion Is Cast On Aide In Death Of Argentine Prosecutor 

2 Sentenced In Murders In Chile Coup


Obama Meets With New King Of Saudi Arabia

Houthi Leader Blames Separatists In South Yemen For Political Stalemate

Hezbollah ‘Wants No Israel Conflict’

Forceful Show Of Support As Huge U.S. Delegation Pays Respects To Saudi King


How Russia Outfoxes Its Enemies

Russia Makes Surprise Interest Rate Cut As Economy Slides

Blaze Wrecks Moscow Public Library

Putin Ally To Build Bridge To Crimea


Pupils ‘Must Know Times Tables By 11’   

A‘We Have To Be Ambitious For Children’

Morgan: I’m In Charge, Not Gove

Fundraiser To Meet Mugging Victim

Falsely-Accused Sex Offender ‘Hell’ NEW

Climber Dies In Highlands Avalanche

Jesus Stickers Cause Insurance Row

Firms To Begin Inmate Rehabilitation 116

Labour Makes Cameron Billboard Vow

‘Missing Mum’ Body Had Head Injuries

New Jersey Governor Begins UK Visit

Oil Summit To Hear Pleas For Action

Mosque Open Days To Ease ‘Tensions’


As Oil Prices Fall, Alaska’s New Governor Faces a Novel Goal, Frugality

McDonald’s Boss Steps Down

U.S. Economy Slowed In 4th Quarter, But Consumer Spending Boomed

As Measles Cases Spread in U.S., So Does Anxiety



Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change, Poll Finds

Climate Concern ‘Linked To Floods’

‘World Can Cut Carbon Emissions And Live Well’


As Ebola Ebbs In Africa, Focus Turns From Death To Life

Ebola Virus Mutating, Scientists Say

The Search For A Vaccine

Ebola: Mapping The Outbreak


C.I.A. Officer in Leak Case, Jeffrey Sterling, Is Convicted of Espionage

Group Linked To ISIS Says It’s Behind Assault On Libyan Hotel

French Police Question Boy, 8, Over Remarks On Paris Terror Attacks

CSIS (Canada’s Spy Agency) To Be Granted Massive Expansion Of Its Powers:

Islamic State Militants Say They Killed 2nd Japanese Hostage

Kurds Recapture Oil Facility In Northern Iraq From ISIS


Cease-Fire In Shreds, Ukraine Sees Heaviest Fighting In Months

Save The New Ukraine

Reporting On Ukraine’s Refugees, At Home And Abroad
‘People Live Here. Don’t Shoot’: The Atmosphere Darkens As Divisions Deepen In Eastern Ukraine

Mortar Attacks Kill 7 in Donetsk as Ukrainian Fighting Rages On

A Silver Lining Coated in Coal Dust in Eastern Ukraine


This started when anti-Canadian sentiments were running high on the American northwest border.  But it has gone on entirely too long and it certainly is not a reflection of our national character.  Victoria’s Secret: Dumping Raw Sewage Like It’s 1915

Nice going, folks.  Toronto Cardiac Team Successfully Replaces Aortic Valve Through Neck Incision

This was a total trip.  All Hail Miss Canada, The Vengeful God Of Hockey


Replacing Fresh Milk With Powdered At Federal Prisons Expected To Save $3.1m A Year

Tim Hortons Cuts 350 Employees

Wrongly Accused, Metro Vancouver Man Collects Millions From Ottawa




Here is a picture our readers might like. It was taken from the streets of Lviv, West Ukraine.  It means “We are all fish in one sea.”

Lord Wellington’s words, “The only thing more tragic than a battle lost is a battle won” remind me of the pale face of my co-student.  Her brother spent last winter at Maydan and afterwards, when insurgency started in the East, went there as a volunteer.  He never came back.

One of my journalist colleagues, regarding the Charlie tragedy, wrote, “The pen will always be mightier.”  I’m not sure if it can be mightier.  Money and power are mighty enough to buy enough pens.  But with freedom of speech some writers do provoke thoughts.

Quoting GG Byron:

“words are things, and a small drop of ink,

falling like dew, upon a thought, produces

that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. “

Stay warm, Mishka.

Olha Bereza – European Associate Editor


An American police detective named Joseph Wambaugh did this and it worked out real well for him and his fans, me included.  So good luck with this one.  From Undercover To Book Cover: Mountie Ditches Job To Write Thrillers

Good call, My President.  Obama: Protect Arctic Wildlife Refuge

Thomas Edison would be proud.  A Water Main In East Portland, Oregon Is Now Powering Light Bulbs


The North Carolina Way

States Move To Make Citizenship Exams A Classroom Aid

Six Ways the US Is Building a People-Powered Economy


This is inevitable but still sad, especially considering there are other ways to move a ship than by screw.  Ship Propeller Killed Whale Found In Seattle

This was a major “ooops.”  Government Employee Crashes Small Drone at White House

There was a time when I would have horse-whipped those responsible for something like this.  201 Dogs In Distress Removed From Alberta Property


This reminded me of those Japanese Giant Whatever Stomps All Over Big Cities movies of the Fifties, which thanks to RTV, are apparently coming back.  Come and have a go ~ Who would win fantasy fight between diplodocus and blue whale?

This to me is how our species will eventually reach the stars.  Hoping to Set Sail on Sunlight

This is for the inner child in all of us.  This Engineer Makes Amazing Model Trains


Ancient Skull Adds New Insight To Story Of Human Evolution

Giant Gap Between What Scientists, The Rest Of Us Think 

Balloon Flight Makes History


Telescope Spies ‘God’s Hand’ In Space

Curiosity Rover Back In The Groove

Best Ever View Of Asteroid Ceres


Scientists Create First-Ever 3-D Map Of Greenland’s Ice Layers

Millions Paid by X Prize Foundation for Progress Toward Trip to Moon

The Girls Who Never Age


Off the 3-D Printer, Practice Parts for the Surgeon

Coder Creates Smallest Chess Game

Space 2020: What Happens Next?


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

Meet Germany’s One-Seat Wonder

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

Beyond Cow Poop: Oregon Utility Rolls Out New Climate Program

Community-Owned Energy: How Nebraska Became the Only State to Bring Everyone Power From a Public Grid


BBC Health: A To Z Of Medical Conditions

Beating The ‘Blues’ And ‘Blahs’ Of Seasonal Affective Disorder

More Information: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Health Feature: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Depression Symptoms: Not Just Feeling Blue

The Benefits Of Treating Depression

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


How savvy is your employer on social media? Has it staked out a strong social presence in cyberspace, or is it more like a meandering social dinosaur in Jurassic times? Today’s modern companies should know by now that embracing social media contributes to business success in the 21st century Digital Age. Here’s why:

Strategically leveraging social media can lead to increased profits, customer loyalty and trust, among a range of other business benefits (listed below). In short, implementing a smart social strategy simply makes good business sense.

This is especially true when considering the change in labor force demographics with younger generations increasingly entering the workforce. Couple that with the hyper-paced changes in new and evolving mobile, digital and virtual technologies which are now part of everyday life.

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


The Woman Who Swapped Her Home For A Hut Near Chechnya

Gen Y Defies Its Stereotypes

Crossrail: Who Wants To Work In A Tunnel?

Mormons Seek Golden Mean Between Gay Rights And Religious Beliefs

Obama’s Honor Work Of 12-Year-Old Child Slave Turned Activist During India Trip


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.


The Camera That Captured Readers’ Lives

Unexpected Guests: Mystery Family Of Beavers Allowed To Stay In English River

What If Humans Disappeared? – Youtube


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



We see a Disney film in this one, for sure.  Two Lionesses Born To Circus Life Get First Taste Of Freedom »

There is something incredibly endearing about these weird little dudes (and dudettes).

I thought this was a little amazing.  The Toughest Cocoon In The World


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


Horse massage headlines our ( videos of the week

Turkmenistan: Black Cars ‘Banned’ By Customs Officials

$400 Million For Public Skating, A Guinea Pig Refuge And A $140 Pizza

 111714 ABOUT 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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