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

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

The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary, Oh Canada, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health, Lifestyle, Northstar Comics, Best of the Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Northstar Endorses, You Guys Think I Make This Stuff Up, About Us

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Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

April 5, 2015

Vol. 8 No. 28

Rusty Miller – Editor

Denny Steussy – Associate Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

praying_hands_1_FINGERS OF THE SAME HAND

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea  Well, I’d like to wish all of you the best of the spring holidays.  With a readership as theologically diverse as this one and with tensions being what they are now, I would prefer not to focus on a single one of them.  I am a passionate believer in what Kahlil Girbran contended, that the religions of the world are as fingers of the same hand.

I think, in that regard, that our species has been blessed, literally and figuratively.  We were given the gift of transcendence, of being made aware that we are part of something much greater than the world of our senses.  We were given instructions on how to conduct ourselves in this life and a good look at the Afterlife options.  We were, in my opinion, provided an outstanding set of tools.

What disappoints me is how those tools have been so often down through history, abused.  Instead of unifying us as a species, too often, they have divided us.  Instead of exalting human existence, too often they have made of it a profound mockery.

Entirely too often, instead of freeing us to explore the stars, too many of the users of these divine tools have chosen to keep the rest of us somewhere between Diogenes and Dante.

Perhaps saddest of all, is that in so doing, the users of these incredible tools, victimized the most vulnerable among us and with the ruthlessness of a holocaust.

I would hope, then, that these and all of the religious holidays we celebrate are also a process of unification, of realizing that the Divine might just possibly come to each of us as that deity knows we can best experience them.

I hope we are also increasingly more proactive in placing behavior above doctrine.  A corrupt cleric does not invalidate the doctrine or the other tool users.  Sometimes there are things even the Divine cannot fix.

 We might just need to become a little more reliant on ourselves and a little less dependent on religion for the wisdom to conduct ourselves honorably and with compassion in the 21st Century.

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


Our heart goes out to those impacted by this tragedy.  Russian Trawler Sinks With 54 Dead

I wish individuals of this integrity lived forever.  Retired Japanese Fighter Pilot Sees an Old Danger on the Horizon

To those who contend that what happens to others several thousand miles away has no direct bearing on one’s own life do not have friends who live in some of those countries.  Francis, we are so sorry that the Somalis chose Easter to remind us all of this.  Shabab Attack on a Kenya University Kills 148, Officials Say


Global Population of Muslims Projected to Match Christians by 2070

Enough! The Attacks on Schools Must End

Pope Decries ‘Complicit Silence’ Over Christians Slain Around The World


Ivory Coast Primates Being Wiped Out Because Of World Demand For Chocolate

In Nigeria’s Election, Muhammadu Buhari Defeats Goodluck Jonathan

Kenya’s College Massacre Indicates Growing Threat From Somalia’s Al-Shabab


The Price of Damming Tibet’s Rivers

Japan, Sticking With U.S., Says It Won’t Join China-Led Bank

Defiant former political prisoner remains true to Mongolian cause


Will Australians Work To 100?

Reclaim Australia Rallies ‘Would Have Distressed New Migrants’

Doctor Stable In Sydney Hospital After Being Cleared Of Ebola


China Appears to Attack GitHub by Diverting Web Traffic

Stampede to Join China’s Development Bank Stuns Even Its Founder

The Chinese Billionaire Zhang Lei Spins Research Into Investment Gold

Chinese Taxi Drivers Drink Pesticide in Beijing Protest


Jet Crash Tests Germany’s Faith In Its Precision

Lufthansa Now Says It Knew of Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz’s History of Depression

In Italy, Matteo Renzi Aims to Upend the Old World Order


Indian Women Take Down Their Country’s Rape Culture In 3-Minute Rap

Thousands Of Indian Schools Implement Gender Classes To Fight Inequality


Chile’s Affordable, Green Capital

Airbnb Adds Cuba To Destination List


Obama Lifts Arms Freeze Against Egypt

VIDEO: Iranians Celebrate Nuclear Agreement

No New Passport For Fahmy In Egypt Until He Is Cleared To Travel: Foreign Affairs Minister

Egyptian Court Begins Retrial Of Hosni Mubarak

Iran Will Allow Women in Sports Stadiums, Reversing a Much-Criticized Rule


Russian Museum Seeks A Warmer Adjective For Ivan The Terrible

Death Toll in Sinking of Russian Ship Rises to at Least 56

Kamchatka, Home to Russian Version of Alaska Iditarod, Frets Over Growth

Russia Shuts Down TV Station Serving Crimean Tatars


Bank of England Outlines Parameters of 2015 Stress Test

Devon Heathland Saved For Native Wildlife


2 Ex-Federal Agents In Silk Road Case Are Charged With Fraud

California Imposes First Mandatory Water Restrictions to Deal With Drought

Obama Hails Iran Nuclear Agreement

Religion Laws Quickly Fall Into Retreat in Indiana and Arkansas

U.S. Economy Gained 126,000 Jobs in March, an Abrupt Slowdown in Hiring

Alabama Man Freed After Decades on Death Row



Washington Governor Puts Focus on Climate Goals, and Less on Debate

California Drought Is Worsened by Global Warming, Scientists Say


Shabab Attack on a Kenya University Kills 147, Officials Say

Shabab Lured Kenya Students to Deaths With Promise of Life

Kenya President Vows Tough Response


U.N. Leader Warns Iraq Not To Mistreat Civilians After Liberation From ISIS

Canadian Government Votes To Extend, Expand Military Mission Against Isis

Lawson Admits Allies Using Smart Bombs In Syria, Despite Kenney Claims

‘Sharp Rise’ In Foreign Fighters

Affiliate of Al Qaeda Seizes Major Yemeni City, Driving Out the Military


BBC News In-Depth Ukraine Report

Video: On Patrol With Rebels In Ukraine


But we’ll always have Robson Street, dah-link.  Vancouver has the worst traffic in Canada, new congestion study claims

You know I had to find this interesting.  Thanks once again,  10 fresh ways to use maple syrup (that don’t involve pancakes and waffles)

This is sooo typically Canadian.  Passengers from crashed flight in Halifax getting financial help from airline


Canadian Cities Lobby Ottawa For Increase In Public Transit Funding

Economy A Higher Priority Than Terrorism For Canadians: Poll

Canadian Diplomat’s Son Killed In Miami Shootout Over Two Pounds Of Marijuana


Good for you guys!  (finally) Japan’s whaling fleet abides by UN ruling and catches no whales

Yes!  Agribusiness giant tells suppliers to stop cutting down forests

We love it when an elected official displays this much integrity.  Arkansas Moves to Revise Legislation as Concerns of Religion and Gay Rights Intensify


This makes us look real good in the eyes of the rest of the world, doesn’t it?  US Teachers Convicted Over Cheating

Issues like this need to be given much higher priority.  Report Details Flawed Law Enforcement Response to Marathon Bombings

This attitude needs to change.  A Struggle to Save the Scaly Pangolin


Go Solar Impulse!  Solar Aeroplane Heads For China

This is pretty cool. Android Apps To Run On Windows, Macs

This is extremely interesting.  Modern Explorers Seek A Place In A GPS World


Genetically-Modified Mosquitoes Might Save Human Lives, But Is The Risk Too High?

14 Stunning Volcano Creations

How To Find Water In The Desert  


Rover Spots Strange ‘Veins’ On Mars

Earth, the Marvelous Blue Orb

28 Months On Mars


Take A Trip Down An Airport Conveyor Belt In Our Videos Of The Week

Is Most of Our DNA Garbage?

In ‘Life at the Limits,’ Extreme Creatures at American Museum of Natural History


Best And Worse Anti-Virus Software For Windows In 2015

Bloodhound Diary: Building A ‘Bullet-Proof’ Car

Hidden Language


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.


Where Nuclear Subs Go To Die

What’s The Most Energy-Efficient Kind Of Light?

As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry


The Healing Power of Your Own Medical Records

12 Foods To Eat When You’re Totally Stressed Out

Sleep Well With This Bedtime Ritual


How ‘You Do You’ Perfectly Captures Our Narcissistic Culture

Powerful Video Reminds Women That Their Life Choices Belong To Only Them

Can Women Get Away With Wearing The Same Thing to Work Every Day?


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.


Primates Fight Off Huge Snake

Video: Stunning Views of Earth From Space

Video: The Last Ice Merchant


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, please go here   To purchase the kindle book at for $3.99, please go here.

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


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



This is good news.  Congo’s wildlife rangers launch offensive against armed groups trafficking charcoal in gorilla zone of Virunga

Here’s an interesting test of how much we know about these two.  Reindeer vs elk Do you know which of these deer has the largest antlers and which survives in the coldest regions?

The SeaDoc Society’s April newsletter is now available.  Features include:  Can diseases really impede Salish Sea recovery?; Multiple impacts of energy transportation projects; SeaDoc recognized in new children’s book on ocean health; UC Davis Vet School is #1; Novel program to remove derelict crab pots featured in film; SeaDoc in the news; Upcoming Events


Wildlife Holidays, Vital To Conservation – The Where And How Guide

Wild Bactrian Camel – On The Brink Of Extinction

Extinct’ Jerdon’s babbler found live and well in Myanmar


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s Wildlife Finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Amnesty International

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


Skydiving Without The Plane

Sailor Rescued After 66 Days At Sea

The Longest Detour ` Why A Journey That Usually Takes Five Hours Took 306 Days


The Northstar Journal is a reader supported, international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine.  It goes out by direct email to readers in 18 countries.  It also has a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In.  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 Washington State’s Nisqually Earthquake.  If you enjoyed this edition and would like to contribute to the next, please go here.  For more information and to receive us in your email, contact us 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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