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

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

A weekly news, commentary and general interest internet magazine

The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

 Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

March 1, 2015

Vol. 8 No. 23

Rusty Miller – Editor

Denny Steussy – Associate Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, here is a headline I did not need to wake up and read.  How Dirty Media Brought Down Oregon’s Clean-Energy Governor And His Activist Fiancée

This whole article smacks of the tabloids and Fleet Street.  My wife, GRHIS, occasionally reminded me that there are generally not one or even two sides to every story but at least three; his, hers and the truth.

This Grist magazine article talks about the Beaver State’s four-term governor ~ an emergency room physician, a Democrat and an environmentalist ~ and his live-in lobbyist girlfriend.  It weaves a tale worthy of Victor Hugo of how the powerful polluters ran him out of office and saved the state from those who would save it from itself.

I love horses.  I’ve ridden them.  I’ve marched behind them.  And I’ve cleaned up after them.  Never in such a parochially checkered career have I ever seen what comes out of their south end laid on this thick.

Dr. John Kitzhaber is a good man and he earned his reputation in a state full of them.  He is also a people person and a natural politician.  He looks like a Westerner so he appeals to the loggers, farmers and ranchers in his state.  He wants what is best for his constituency and he works the system to get it for them.

His girlfriend made some incredibly poor choices earlier in life but she did not seduce Oregon’s governor for evil purposes.  He’s a likable, accessible and attractive man and they do share an impressive interest level, part of which the “media” terms green.

They are also vulnerable idealists who are as susceptible to misreading the popular mandate as any of us who sometimes become so focused on the forest that we cannot see the trees.

In this case, what both of them forgot was that while Oregon may be politically liberal and geo-politically green, it is essentially conservative in its morality.  Despite the pre-eminence of the greater Portland SMSA, Oregon remains rural in character and very much sons and daughters of the Conestoga in their approach to life and its issues.

By Beaver State standards, John and Cylvia were too flamboyant for Salem.  They brought attention to their personal lives in ways that made some people think they were arrogant.  With both of them actively employed in power brokering professions which demand the utmost circumspection, that is simply not good form.

So Oregon political leaders across party lines essentially went, “Okay, everybody knows there are still smoke-filled rooms and they’ve accepted that.  But do they need to be reminded?  No.”

John didn’t get hounded out of office.  He resigned for the good of the constituency.  He and Cylvia will still remain the good people they are and they will continue to contribute to the state they both really love and care about.

Oregon’s got a new lady governor whom I feel confident will be elected to at least one term in office.  She may not be as exciting as her predecessor but it will probably be some quieter on the banks of the Willamette now.

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


Please pray to whatever Deity in whom you believe that this is not true.  George Clooney on Sudan’s Rape of Darfur

This looks like it might actually be working.  California Convicts Are Out of Prison After Third Strike, and Staying Out

I am rather surprised that Seattle did not make this list.  Tel Aviv, Austin, San Francisco Are World’s Most Tech-Friendly Cities


Spy Agencies Are Snooping On Environmental Activists Around The Globe


Egypt Jails Activist For Five Years

As Tourism Sags on Kenyan Coast, Terrorists Could Lure the Unemployed

Video: Kenya’s Unemployed Face Terror’s Lure

S Leone Vice-President In Quarantine


US-Bangladesh Writer Hacked To Death

Asian Songbird Migrants Under Threat

Thai Authorities Rescue 150 Pangolins Destined For Traditional Medicine

Prince William Meets Japan Tsunami Victims 

Hong Kong Woman Sentenced To 6 Years For Abusing Indonesian Maid

North, South Korea Military Officials Hold Rare Talks

State of Emergency Complicates the Peace Process in Myanmar

Fearing Ebola, North Korea Bars Tourists From Capital Marathon


Abbott Will Never Convince Some Mps He Should Stay: Frydenberg

Mass Rescue After Sandbar Collapses On Gold Coast

Severe Weather Hits NSW, Sydney Records 100kph Winds

Underground Fire May Have Caused Gases Below Soil Surface: Environment Department


Mutual Suspicion Mars Tech Trade With China

Beijing Courts Address The Right To Criticize Public Figures

‘Praying Pig’ Goes Viral In China


After Bailout Plan Approval, Greece Faces A Balancing Act

Drones Spotted Over Paris Landmarks For Second Night

What Will A Solar Eclipse Mean For Solar Power?

German Mps Back Greek Loan Extension

Mass Anti-Immigration Rally In Rome

Estonia Votes Amid Russia Fears


China Protests India Leader’s Visit to Disputed Border Area

India’s New Budget Aims To Boost Growth

India’s Slum Children Push Politicians To Provide Clean Water, Toilets

India Air Pollution Cutting 660 Million Lives Short By 3 Years


As Cuba Shifts Toward Capitalism, Inequality Grows More Visible

Argentine Judge Rejects Criminal Case Against President

Servando Gómez, Mexican Drug Lord Known as La Tuta, Is Captured

Chilean Girl Appeals To President

Venezuela Limits US Diplomats

Mexico Moves To Save Endangered Porpoise


Talks End With Proposal to Limit Iran’s Nuclear Production for at Least 10 Years

Talk Toughens as U.S.-Israel Relations Fray

U.S. Envoy To United Nations And Obama Security Adviser Will Speak At American-Israeli Conference

Israelis Create Enhanced Strains Of Fruit And Vegetables


The World’s Noisiest Spy Plane

Boris Nemtsov, Putin Foe, Is Shot Dead In Shadow Of Kremlin

Russia Mourns Murdered Opposition Leader

Official Investigation Lists Possible Motives, Leaves Off Major One

Putin Condemns Killing Of Opposition Leader


Two British Lawmakers Deny Wrongdoing Amid Graft Allegations

Lawmaker Accused Of Influence Peddling Resigns Intelligence Panel Chair

Oil And Gas Industry In ‘Bleak’ 2014

BA Owner Reports Soaring Profits

Government Urged To Consider Important UK Seagrass Areas

Wheat Present In UK ‘For 8,000 Years’


St. Louis Shelter Resists Order to Stop Helping All It Can

‘American Sniper’ Jury Finds Ex-Marine Guilty Of Murder

U.S. Won’t File Charges In Trayvon Martin Killing

Obama Vetoes Keystone Xl Pipeline Bill

In Net Neutrality Victory, F.C.C. Classifies Broadband Internet Service as a Public Utility

Cyber Attacks Top US Threat List

On Nantucket, Surf’s Up, if You’re Part Penguin

After Scandal, Petraeus Stays Under Radar, But Not Out Of The Spotlight

US ‘To Deport Bosnian War Suspects’

US Sex Abuse Suspect Held In Brazil



Climate Change Is The Ultimate Gentrifier

7 Out Of 10 Doctors Call Air Pollution Top Climatic Health Threat

Climate Oscillations And The Global Warming Faux Pause


Tony Abbott, Australian Leader, Outlines Crackdown On Terrorism

France Confiscates Passports To Stem Flow Of Fighters To Syria

Teenage Girl Leaves London For ISIS, And Others Follow

ISIS ‘Abducts 90 Syrian Christians’

Three Brooklyn Men Accused Of Plot To Aid ISIS’ Fight

For Brooklyn Men, Plans To Aid ISIS Were Recorded Online And In Private

‘Jihadi John’ In ISIS Videos Is Identified As Mohammed Emwazi Of London

Widow Wants ‘Jihadi John’ Alive

More Assyrian Christians Captured as ISIS Attacks Villages in Syria


Ukraine Rebels Celebrate Victory At Strategic City With A Festive Rally

Moscow Was Urged to Annex Crimea Before Ukraine President’s Fall, Report Says

Ukraine Says It Will Pull Artillery From Separatist Territory

‘Ukraine’s Eastern Threat To Stay’


But does it talk about the birds and the bees?  Ontario’s new sex ed covers homosexuality, masturbation — and consent

If this is true, eventually these misguided youngsters could face death at the hands of their Canadian countrymen.  Six Montreal students suspected of traveling to Middle East to join IS

It is nice to know that some good apparently came out of this.  Retailers reap rewards after Target’s failed Canadian expansion


Good show!  Notorious Nepalese Rhino Poacher Caught After Two Years On The Run

This needs to happen a lot more often.  An Embedded Photographer Empowers The Poor

This lady rocks.  Meet Amanda Cohen, the raddest vegetarian chef in the U.S.


19 Badass Little Free Libraries Spotted By Our Readers

California Communities Seize Control Of Their Energy Futures

China Bans Import Of Ivory Carvings For One Year


This needs to stop, in a hurry.  Ocean debris found to have impacted a staggering 700 marine species

This is not good timing, except for ISIS.  Concerns Mount as Homeland Security Shutdown Looks Likely

Why can’t all men be as noble as they causes they serve?  IPCC Chief Pachauri Resigns Over Sexual Harassment Charges


This certainly ought to come as some relief to the species involved.  New Technology Counts Migrating Whales By Seeing The Warmth Of Their Breath

When the planet starts eating people, we apparently should be able to see it coming.  When the Earth swallows people

Here is a very interesting question.  Women Over 65 Own Nearly a Third of Iowa’s Farmland—Can They Prevent the Next Dust Bowl?


Uncovering Caves Full Of Treasure

Three Reasons To Care About The Depths Of Our Oceans

The Secrets Of The Catacombs


New Phase Of Space Travel Hopes To Set Sail On Sunlight

NASA Spacecraft Closing In On Dwarf Planets Pluto And Ceres

Photos Of Pluto By NASA’s New Horizons Mission

Europe Plans Space Science Future

Europe’s ‘Landsat’ Ready For Launch

Russia Extends Space Station Role


Tesla Co-Founder Wants To Reinvent The … Garbage Truck?

First Head Transplants May Be Coming Sooner Than You Thought

Behavioral Science May Prove To Be Our Most Important Science


Nfrnds And Microsoft Aim To Turn 5 Billion ‘Dumb’ Phones Into Smartphones

These Cities Built Cheap, Fast, Community-Owned Broadband.

Brain-Controlled Drone Shown Off


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.


Replace The Gospel Of Money: An Interview With David Korten

What We Can Learn From British Columbia’s Carbon Tax

Tiny Apartments: The New Trend That’s Not Actually New

Here’s ONE Geo-engineering Scheme That Isn’t Crazy

The Windmill Could Get A Snazzy Green Facelift, Thanks To Dutch Architects

These Neighbors Got Together to Buy Vacant Buildings. Now They’re Renting to Bakers and Brewers


Married Sex Gets Better in the Golden Years

What Nutrition Experts Eat On Vacation

A Faster Way To Try Many Drugs On Many Cancers

Graphic: Ending the Ebola Outbreak

How To Beat A Bad Mood


Health Care Opens Stable Career Path, Taken Mainly by Women

In France, A Baby Switch And A Test Of A Mother’s Love

Video: Smartphones on a Budget

How To Work Forever

Artist’s Muse: A Secret Life

Forget Dystopian Fiction: This New Novel Explores Being A Modern Teenager Waiting For The End Times


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.


Stunning! Video Of Frozen Niagara Falls

Drop Everything And Watch This Video Of Our Gorgeous Planet

Top Images From Around The World


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



Avian Enthusiasts Alert.  Cornell University’s School of Ornithology ~ publishers of a pretty incredible monthly newsletter dealing with all things bird          sent us another one they email and publish online.  It is called “Nest:Watch:  Where Birds Come to Life.  If your inoculations for Cute aren’t up to date, you should probably take care of that before you access their website.  Yep, I totally loved it.

St. Francis of Assisi would have loved this child.  The girl who gets gifts from birds

This, to me, is another reason for not going swimming where these dudes live.  Sharks are masters of memory


Wild Giant Panda Population On The Rise

Rare Leopard Is Making A Comeback

Research Reveals Crocodiles Enjoy Sliding, Surfing And Playing With Balls

Guidance On Spotting A European Otter Issued By Scottish Wildlife Trust

DNA Analysis Is Latest Weapon In Combating Illegal Ivory Trade


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s wildlife finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Amnesty International

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


High School Students Perform Brain Surgery In Our Videos Of The Week

Your Pet Gerbil Is Plotting Your Death

Justices Overturn A Fisherman’s Conviction For Tossing Undersize Catch

 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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