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

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

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vol. 8 No. 22

pacem, libertatem, iustitiam

Rusty Miller – Editor

Denny Steussy – Associate Editor

Olha Bereza – European Associate Editor


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  It has certainly been an interesting week, has it not?  The reason that I suspect this is that there are several online chatrooms we visit as virtual coffee houses to experience what people beyond the shores of the Salish Sea are going through.

After reading this headline, Record-breaking cold in US East we visited a chatroom heavily populated by those in the affected area.  When I commented on this Siberian weather, a New Yorker wrote:

“If it lasts much longer, one half of the Bronx will be selling snowcones to stranded tourists and the other half will be renting them dogsleds and German Shepherds.”

Our hearts go out to you folks east of the Mississippi and beyond.  Sometimes tough isn’t always about going to war and being brave.  Sometimes and mostly, it’s about taking the hits and carrying on.

We are sorry to hear about what you are going through.  But we are very proud of the way you are handling it.  Take care now.  You folks are very special and we can’t afford to lose any of you doing something dumb.

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


This is good news but I thought ~ according to the Hippocratic Oath ~ that they were supposed to be doing this anyway. Doctors Strive to Do Less Harm by Inattentive Care

This is not particularly cheerful but it is informative.  12 Ways You And Everyone You Know Could Die

I happen to agree with this.  ISIS is no more representative of all Muslims than the Irish Republican Army is of all Catholics or the Ku Klux Klan, all Protestants.  Faulted for Avoiding ‘Islamic’ Labels to Describe Terrorism, White House Cites a Strategic Logic


‘Cyber bank robbers’ steal $1bn

Are You in for Earth Hour?


Deadly Attack On Somalia Hotel

Make or Break Year Ahead for South Africa’s Rhinos

Mali Rebel Groups Sign Ceasefire

Egyptian Bronze Cat Sold For £52,000

Mauritanian Wants Chelsea Fans Punished

Libya Urges UN To Lift Arms Embargo

Qatar Recalls Envoy Over Egypt Row


Japan’s Economy Exits Recession

How Nepal Got to Zero Poaching

Widodo Drops Police Chief After Row 

US Pays Philippines Over Reef Damage 

Japan Post To Buy Australia’s Toll 

Hong Kong Protests: In-Depth Features And Background On Hong Kong‘s Pro-Democracy Protests

Fresh Leak Detected At Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant


Great Barrier Reef under Threat

Cyclone Marcia: Queensland Towns Reel As Help Is Directed At Population Centers

PM To Announce Anti-Extremism Measures In National Security Address


China Home Prices Continue To Slump

Turkey Favors China Missile Deal

Lunar New Year Celebrations Begin

China Sacking For Salamander Scandal

The Latest Chinese Status Symbol


Terror Attacks By A Native Son Rock Denmark

Men Charged Over Copenhagen Attacks

Danish Officials Warned About Gunman

French Inflation Turns Negative

Eurozone Set For Vital Greece Talks


As Rivals Falter, India’s Economy Is Surging Ahead

India Arrests Over Document ‘Leaks’ 

Drug-Resistant Malaria ‘Huge Threat’ 

Hanged Girls’ Families Dispute Probe 


Working In Shadow Of The Andes

‘Coup Plot’ Charge For Caracas Mayor

Funding Query Over Rio Carnival Win

Argentines Rally Over Nisman Death

Mexico Tackles Pipeline Fuel Thefts

Storms Hit 1,500 Argentine Homes

Haiti Mourns Carnival Float Victims


Iran’s Supreme Leader Says He Doubts Nuclear Talks Will End Sanctions

Turkey Enters Syria To Evacuate Tomb

Fire Rips Through Dubai Skyscraper

Islamic State Crisis:  Background, Features And Analysis On Turmoil Over Extremist Group In Syria And Iraq

Syria Conflict

Israel And The Palestinians

PM Concern For ‘Syria-Bound’ Girls

Iraq-Kurdish Force ‘To Retake Mosul’

A Secret World In Iran’s Desert, Where A Harsh Life Is Tempered By Beauty


At The Time Warner Center, An Enclave Of Powerful Russians

Putin Critic Detained for 15 Days

Court Upholds Activist’s Suspended Sentence


RAF Scrambles After Russia Jet Sighting

UK Finances Show £8.8bn Surplus

Northern Ireland

Celtic Sea God Statue Is Discovered

Man In Court Over Wedding Killing

Wales Or Cymru

Search For Boy, 11, Enters Sixth Day

Man, 72, Goes Missing From Hospital

Scotland Or Alba

Police Raid Over Poisoned Peregrine

Greens To Field Record Candidates


Immigration Film ‘Should Be Shelved’

Boy ‘Played Dead’ In Taliban Massacre


In New York City, Jobs Come Back Without Wall Street

Man Indicted For Us Muslim Murders

West Virginia Train Derailment Dumps Oil Into River

Ashton Carter Sworn In as Secretary of Defense

The U.S. Has Actually Been Having An Unusually Warm Winter

President Obama Names 3 New National Monuments

Record-Breaking Cold In US East

Steady Improvement Expected In US Housing Market



Britain’s Most Powerful Politicians Agree Fighting Climate Change Is A Jolly Good Idea

Unprecedented Sea Lion Strandings Linked To Warmer Pacific


Egypt Bombs ISIS Targets In Libya

ISIS Bomb Attack ‘Kills 40’ In Libya

U.S. Embedded Spyware Overseas, Report Claims

The Men Who Smuggle The Loot That Funds IS

From a Private School in Cairo to ISIS Killing Fields in Syria (With Video)

Obama Urges Global United Front Against Extremist Groups Like ISIS

U.S. Muslims Take On ISIS’ Recruiting Machine

US And UK ‘Hacked Sim Card Firm’


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


Sooner or later, this was bound to happen.  But it’s still disgusting and we need to make it stop.  Ocean Waste Hits Home: Plastic-Filled Fish Guts Ruins Chilliwack Man’s Catch

Our hearts to go out to all those impacted by this.  Target To Close All 133 Canada Stores

When two nations who have cooperated as well as these in war and peace, take up the sword together, we can only pity the enemy involved. Obama Makes Appeal To Muslims, As Ottawa Calls Out Radical Islam


We consider this a very good thing.  The Pacific Northwest has had excellent luck with female governors.  Kate Brown Sworn In as Oregon Governor, Replacing John Kitzhaber

This is a raise to ten dollars an hour at a time when the minimum wage is increasing to fifteen dollars an hour.  But ~ proverbially ~ I suppose a half a loaf is better than no bread at all.  Walmart To Raise Wages For Workers

For our American readers, do you live in the happiest or saddest state?  Note:  This is a list of the worst places and it is in reverse order.  In other words, the lower your state is on the list, the healthier it is.  (I agree.  This is a dumb way to rank stuff)


This is NOT a good idea, guys.  TransCanada To Seek U.S. Approval For Another Pipeline

This just keeps getting better and better.  When Americans Lynched Mexicans

And these same people reclaimed much of their land from the Atlantic Ocean?  Earthquake Dangers in Dutch Gas Field Were Ignored for Years, Safety Board Says


This should prove interesting.  Hotel With Robot Staff Set To Open In Japan

This is incredible.  The 14 Most Amazing Water Bodies

Just in case you did not already know this from personal experience.  This Cold Weather Pretty Much Freezes Everything


What Is A ‘Sky River,’ And Why Is Miss Piggy Flying In It?

The World’s Most Sensitive Eyes

Ka-boom.  Scientists Solve Mystery Of Earth’s Tectonic Plates


Mars One Candidate Thinks She Has What It Takes

Space Elevators: A Lift Too Far?

ISS Spacewalk Prepares For Tourists


Creating Cold

What A Man’s Hands Say About How He Treats Women

Constantly Checking Your Phone Could Be A Sign Of Depression


US Drone Rules Impact Amazon Plans

F.A.A. Rules Would Limit Commercial Drone Use

The Incredible True Tale Of “The Queen Of Neuroscience” And Her Nobel Prize


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.


Oil Trains Are Blowing Up All Over The Place

Aerial Photos Show Just How Devastating An Oil Train Derailment Can Be

The Largest Chinese Bike Share Program Is 12 Times the Size of NYC’s

Local Food With a Big Twist: Oregon Super-Cooperative Takes Aim at the Corporate Food System


Eat Less Meat, More Plants And Drink in Moderation, New Diet Guidelines Suggest

US Panel Backs ‘Green’ Low-Meat Diet

UK Scientists Are Finding New Ways To ‘Starve’ Prostate Cancer Tumors To Death

How Smart Is Your Subconscious?

Will the Elder Boom Spur a Caring Revolution? Ai-jen Poo’s Inspiring Vision

Fifteen-Minute Ebola Test Approved


What’s the definition of a hate crime?

Which books will cure loneliness?

Gay marriage around the world


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.


Michelle Obama Thinks Carrots Are Better Than Ariana Grande

Video: 36 Hours In Beijing

Rare Video Of A Tiger And Her Playful Cubs



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’ve suspected this for a long time.  Dogs Know If You’re Untrustworthy

If this doesn’t include horses and the month of May, I am going to be just a tad disappointed.  Animals You Never Knew Could Fly

The World Wildlife Foundation’s latest newsletter is here and it is packed with stuff that will amuse, educate and ~ in some cases ~ strum the heartstrings of animal lovers from the amoeba to the zebra.  One of my favorite features is the contest for best caption of a cute or weird life form.  Yes, this is a Northstar Five Star Read.


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


The Man Who Robbed A Bank For Love

Video: ScienceTake | The Physics of Popcorn

Boston Mayor Scolds Snow Jumpers


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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