A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest  The Magazine With Heart

A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest
The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary, 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

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

May 17, 2015 Vol. 8 No. 34

Rusty Miller – Editor

Denny Steussy – Associate Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  The state where I live is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, with the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

On television the other day, I watched a story about an Air Force fighter crewman shot down over North Vietnam and imprisoned for six years at the infamous Hanoi Hilton.  At one point, this retired commercial pilot was a cellmate of Arizona Senator and naval aviator John McCain.

My best friend is a veteran of that war.  But he does not have good memories of it so he does not talk about it, read about it, or watch it on DVD, TV or any other media.  He is not a member of any organization which identifies with it nor does he socialize with other veterans.

His military service consumed about six percent of his life.  As horrific as it was, it was not the defining chapter of his existence.  He survived where so many did not and came home in one piece, mostly.

Unlike an estimated 54,000 veterans in the years following the fall of Saigon, he did not commit suicide.  He finished college on the GI Bill and went on to live a reasonably normal life.

While he feels bad for all the wounded warriors of the world, he does not want to ennoble war by celebrating it.  He does not want there to be any glory, angst, privileges or nostalgia.  He does not want it euphemized, patronized or editorialized.

He wants it totally stripped of romance and filled with the mourning of grieving parents, spouses, children and friends.  He does not want it presented in Technicolor but in the desolate sepia of dreams which will never be realized and lives that will never be fulfilled.

He wants it recognized for what it is, the largely premeditated systemic maiming and slaughter of human beings in ways so violent and painful as to freeze the blood of even Dante Alighieri himself.

He wants everyone to experience it that way.  Perhaps then it will finally stop.  Until then, with all due respect?  Please kindly spare him and all the others like him the bloody parades, then, eh?

Thanks for the ear, then, gang.  Have a good week.  And remember this magazine is ~ in large part ~ supported by small contributions from folks like you.  To drop a dollar in the sugar can, please go here


Here we go again.  These poor folks just cannot catch a break.  Major earthquake strikes Nepal

Here we go again – part 2 – Japan Firms Recall 6.5 Million Cars

This is reassuring.  Your attention span is now less than that of goldfish, Microsoft says


Mammoth Antarctic Ice Shelf A Few Years From Disintegration


Opposition Activists in Burundi Fear Crackdown After President’s Return

Burundi Government Says It Has Crushed Coup Attempt

Kenya Takes On Its Own Worst Enemy

Illuminating A Central African Crisis, Photo By Photo

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s Liberator as Prisoner and President, Dies at 95

Girl Suicide Bomber Kills Seven In North-East Nigeria


Migrants Land On Malaysian Island

Boat With Hundreds Of Migrants From Myanmar Heads Farther Out To Sea

How Myanmar and Its Neighbors Are Responding to the Rohingya Crisis

VIDEO: The Fight To Salvage Historic Kathmandu

North Korea Defense Chief ‘Executed’

Sinking Migrants Rescued Off Aceh


Charged With Graft In China, Some Fugitives Are Finding Luxury In U.S.

Bus Goes Over Hillside in China, Killing at Least 35

Kerry Expected to Bring Up China’s Sea Claims During Visit

China Stands by Its Claims Over South China Sea Reefs


Chinese Smartphone Makers Try To Make Inroads In India

Modi Calls On China To Rethink Stances That Strain Ties To India

India’s Twitter-Star Premier Brings China Leader Into Selfie Craze

Watch The Beautiful Moment People With Disabilities Finally Get To Touch The Ocean

India’s Modi Meets Xi On China Visit Amid Warming Ties

India’s Modi Meets Xi On China Visit Amid Warming Ties

How The World’s First Openly Gay Prince Is Fighting For LGBT Rights In India


Questions About Iran: Ask Our Man in Tehran

Village of Bedouins Faces Eviction as Israel Envisions a Village of Jews

Egyptian Court Sentences Ousted President Morsi to Death

United Nations Internal Report On Gaza

Yemen: Aid Coordinator Asks Saudis To Simplify Restrictions

Netanyahu’s Coalition Gets Rocky Start With Discontent Over Leadership Posts

Gaza: Dozens Injured At Hamas Camp


VIDEO: France’s Hollande Meets Castros

Migrants in Rome Try to Recover After Ponte Mammolo Camp Is Destroyed


Kerry, Seeking Answers On Conflict In Syria, To Meet With Putin

A Russian Smartphone Has to Overcome Rivals and Jokes About Origin

Russian Rocket Carrying Mexican Satellite Is Said to Crash in Siberia


Church Of Scotland Allows Gay Clergy In Civil Partnerships

Northern England Wants To Join Scotland.. Farage Challenges Senior Figure To Quit

Dunkirk Little Ships Go On Display In London

The Decision Not To Charge Lord Janner Is To Be Reviewed By The Cps


Vatican To Recognize Palestinian State In New Treaty

In Vatican, Abbas Is Praised as ‘Angel of Peace’


Canada’s Borrowing Binge: Looking Into Canada’s Household Debt

Canadian Man Among Dead In Amtrak Train Crash

Leftist Party’s Win In Alberta May Affect Future Of Oil Sands


Video: Hunt For Missing After Texas Floods

Ex-C.I.A. Officer Sentenced In Leak Case Tied To Times Reporter

Amtrak Train Was Going 100 M.P.H., Officials Say; 7 Killed

A Sharp Spike In Honeybee Deaths Deepens A Worrisome Trend

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Gets Death Penalty in Boston Marathon Bombing

Marine Veteran Held In Iranian Prison Ends Hunger Strike At Family’s Request

For the Highest-Paid C.E.O.s, the Party Goes On


Latin American Allies Resist U.S. Strategy in Drug Fight

Cuba Says Migrants Aboard Us Ship Allowed Back Into Country

Cuba Ready to Exchange Diplomats, Raúl Castro Says

President Of Chile Removes Five From Cabinet In A Shake-Up

Roxana Baldetti’s Resignation As Vice President Shadows Guatemala Politics

Mexico: Vaccinations Suspended After Infant Deaths

Ex-Police Chief In Mexico Known For Crackdowns Is Shot

More Land In Colombia Used To Grow Coca, U.S. Says

Venezuela’s Economy Suffers As Import Schemes Siphon Billions


Major Search Underway For Two Young Boys Missing In Townsville

NSW Community Still Cut Off After Bridge Lost In Super Storm

Melbourne Doctors Return After Treating Nepal Earthquake Victims

Gay Tasmanian Couple Seal Dying Wish With New Zealand Wedding



Predicting the climate is hard. So one scientist wants to cut corners

Six Ways To Promote Economic Equality And Climate Action At The Same Time

Scientists Will Never Build A Perfect Climate Model, But That’s OK


ISIS Fighters Seize Government Headquarters in Ramadi, Iraq

ISIS Official Killed in U.S. Raid in Syria, Pentagon Says

No. 2 Leader Of ISIS Killed In U.S.-Led Airstrike, Iraq Says


Major Earthquake Strikes Nepal

Rescue Resumes After (Second) Nepal Quake

VIDEO: Nepali Parliament Hit By Quake

How to Rebuild After an Earthquake Like Nepal’s

Children In Nepal Are Laughing Again…


Video: Ukraine Crisis: ‘We Feel Abandoned’

Back To Childhood Without War

Nuclear Waste Stored 120 Miles From Ukraine Front Line

Chernobyl Songs Project: Living Culture From A Lost World 


Good.  Now, how about making something else a lot safer a fashion trend?  Cuomo Orders Emergency Measures to Protect Workers at Nail Salons

It is a bloody shame it takes something like this to bring us closer, isn’t it?  Friendships Arising From Boston Marathon Horror Offer Solace

We are incredibly fortunate to have individuals such as this one among us.  And it sure looks like she could use our support.  Jennifer Doudna, a Pioneer Who Helped Simplify Genome Editing


It will probably work out better for him if he stays in his own country and pouts a lot.  Saudi Arabia Says King Won’t Attend Meetings in U.S.

I found this incredibly ironic considering he’s the source of a lot of the conflict there.  I wonder if Vlad listens to his words BEFORE they come out of his mouth.  In Talks With Merkel, Putin Calls for Improving Relations With Europe

What is it about the ascendance to power that turns some people into such flipping bloody twits?  ‘Omar Khadr, You’ve Got More Class Than The Whole F—— Cabinet.’ Green Leader Regrets F-Bomb


I once admired this man as much as I do the Pope and Moses. But when his apparent disregard for future generations manifests itself so blatantly, I hope never to hear his name spoken in my presence again.  Administration Gives Conditional Approval for Shell to Drill in Arctic

Here’s a cheery thought.  Drought ended the Maya empire. Is California next?

If they pull this off, I want to see Mr. Smith back in WashingtonCould Marilyn star in a new film?


Ten Lost Giants From Earth’s Past

Why We Should Electrify The Ocean

Video: Evolution’s Undulations


How It Felt To Land On A Comet

How Weird Is Our Solar System?

Students’ Simulation Pokes Huge Holes In Plan To Colonize Mars

A Planet-Hunting Visionary Convinces NASA To Do The Right Thing

NASA Spies Star That’s 10 Million Times Brighter Than The Sun


Trounced By A Brain-Training Octogenarian

Is Birdsong The First Language?

Welcome To Hell Valley


This Tiny Windowless Plane Is ‘Gorgeous And Instantly Addictive’

These 3D Maps Of Coral Reefs Are Totally Rad

Funds sought for tiny £6 computer


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.


Alaska’s Tricky Intersection Of Obama’s Energy And Climate Legacies

Reality TV That Doesn’t Suck: Watch This Family Feed 10 Kids With An Awesome Farm

Canada: Pledge Sent To U.N. To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2030


How to Eat Healthy Meals at Restaurants

Best Places For Expats With Kids

Cured From Cancer, Almost

Ask Grover: A Muppet Answers Questions About Feeding Kids

Living With Cancer: Becoming a Caregiver

For an Aging Brain, Looking for Ways to Keep Memory Sharp

Amazing Moms: Mother Who Invented Harness To Allow Disabled Kids To Walk Tells Of International Success

Will Humans Keep Getting Taller?

Luxembourg Premier Is First E.U. Leader to Marry Same-Sex Partner

Home From Afghanistan, and Learning to Be a Couple Again


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.


Watch These Incredible Rays Fly

Where Is The Seventh Celtic Nation?

In Flight ~ Enroute From London To Tokyo, A Pilot’s-Eye View Of Life In The Sky.


Small Testament Cover


It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond its 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  Now available in both paperback and Kindle at amazon.com

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. 



Online, from my computer to yours

Paypal or direct deposit to account

Negotiable rates & payment plans

International clients welcome

Political, Classified and Commercial Writing, Editing & Proofing

Book Projects

Jokes and Monologues

Online Writing Tutoring

Song Lyrics


Special Projects




We totally loved this.  I think Mr. Audubon himself would have, as well.  The ten sexiest male birds

This is fascinating.  Why did beautiful things evolve?

And if it can work for them…This weird plant might be the future of Alaskan agriculture

What Is Worth 24 Trillion American Dollars? If it had a gross domestic product, it would be the seventh-largest economy in the world. It is home to incredibly iconic species and produces half the oxygen we breathe. What is it? Read this month’s World Wildlife Foundation ENEWS to find out.


Nepal Rhino Population Increases By More Than 100

Animal Welfare Organisation Launches New Series Of Anti-Hunters Adverts

Florida Dolphins Use Their Own Forms Of Social Media To Choose Their Friends

Rock Guitarist SLASH Writes Song For The Elephants »


Six Common Sea Shells To Spot On The Beach

6 Different Dolphin And Whale Species To Spot Off Cornwall Coast

7 Different Jellyfish To Look Out For In The Seas Around UK


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


Ontario Teens Take Drugs In Forest, Get Lost In Daylight, Call Police To Rescue Them

Notorious Bank Robber, The ‘Flying Bandit,’ Crash Lands When Nabbed For Stealing $900 In Booze


The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine.  We go out by direct email to readers in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Oceana.  We also have a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In.  We started out in 1999 as a monthly and a year later, added a Canadian edition.  We had people on the ground in Bosnia and the Nisqually Earthquake and won awards for our coverage of a war and a major geologic event.  When our Canadian editor, Shannon Goddard, passed away from cancer, we ceased publication and resumed again in 2007 in our present incarnation.  We do accept advertising but remain largely supported by the contributions of our readers.  If you, personally, enjoyed this edition and would like to drop a dollar in the sugar can, please go here  For more information and to receive us in your email, contact us at minstrel312@aol.com




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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