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, From the Ukraine: Olya Shares With Us Eurovision’s 40-Nation Song Contest, 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 24, 2015 … Vol. 8  No. 35

Rusty Miller – Editor

Denny Steussy – Associate Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

From the American motion picture Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

From the American motion picture Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Occasionally, as most of you know, I drop into chatrooms on America Online to sample public opinion and get a sense of America and Americans beyond what I curate from the media and absorb from daily living in Seattle, Washington.

For those of you unfamiliar with a chatroom, just imagine a big round table with as many as 36 people sitting at it talking to one another.  Or yep, imagine a crowded restaurant or pub.  Only in this case, it is people typing to one another in a rolling script that kind of reminds me of a player piano at times.  In this modality, it is possible to read all the conversations and to me, that is one of the appeals of such a venue.

It is also ~ at least to my satisfaction ~ been validated that there is very little difference between the way people behave on the Net and off the Net.  Granted, while the anonymity empowers the meek and angry and gives a voice to the seriously mentally disturbed, the medium also facilitates some outstanding communication and lifestyle sharing.

It is election season in America, just as it is in many other places on the planet.  So I dropped into a Democrat/Liberal chatroom and a Republican/Conservative chatroom.  I am disappointed to report that not unlike Congress here in the States, the people in these rooms were so busy bashing the other party that nothing within the context of solutions was ever proposed.

I have not lived a real long time but I have studied some on the history of a species that American humorist Mark Twain placed somewhere between the Great Apes and the French.

It is not competition which builds enduring nations.  It is cooperation and consensus building.  It is identifying goals common to all of us ~ and most of those are pretty fundamental and universal ~ and accepting no alternative but cooperative measures and programs to achieve those goals.

Have you ever noticed how the people with whom we agree are right up there next to whatever deity we hold dear while those with whom we do not agree are beneath even the Devil’s contempt?

Someone very close to me, God Rest Her Soul, occasionally found it prudent to remind me that there are generally three sides to every story; his, hers and the truth.  That woman was not only the most beautiful creature God ever created, she was among the wisest.  And I agree with her totally.

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


I sincerely hope whoever ordered this up can tread water for a very, very, very long time.  Fishermen ‘should not save migrants’

That Murphy’s Law which contends that there is never time to do it right but always time to do it over is apparently (and sadly) alive and well in Nippon.  Recalls Over Takata Airbag Defects Grow to 34 Million

This certainly does not bode well.  Ebola Cases Rise in Guinea and Sierra Leone After Steep Drop


Monsanto Targeted In Worldwide Protests


Video: A Rare Look Inside Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Record Rhino Horn Seizure Reported In Mozambique »

Political Unrest Pushes Burundi Closer To Economic Collapse

Jailed Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Go On Hunger Strike

The R&B Star Akon And An Emirates Foundation Invest In A Solar Energy Work Force For Africa


Kerry Calls For More Pressure On North Korea Over ‘Horrendous’ Acts

Trial Begins Of Thai Ex-Pm Yingluck

Boat Rescued As Migrant Deal Reached

On The Trail Of Thailand’s Human Traffickers

South Korea ‘Nut Rage’ Woman Freed

Mass Graves Of Suspected Trafficking Victims Found In Malaysia

Women Activists Cross Demilitarized Zone Dividing North And South Korea


China Making Some Missiles More Powerful

China’s Housing Market Shows Signs of Hope

6 Chinese Men Indicted in Theft of Code From U.S. Tech Companies


India’s Bizarre Border Ritual

Indian Subcontinent’s Quake-Causing Collision Course


Hezbollah Deploys Weapon, A Press Tour, On The Syrian Front

With Fall Of Ramadi, Plight Of Iraq Sunnis Worsens

Afghan Police Jailed Over Mob Death

‘Surge’ In Egypt Forces’ Sex Attacks

Video: US Joins Jordan In Military War Games

Video: How Farkhunda Has Changed Afghanistan

Israel Halts Bus ‘Segregation’ Trial

At Synagogue, Obama Restates His Support for Israel

Egyptian Court Acquits 17 In Case Arising From Poet’s Death At March

Pakistani Journalists Resign to Cut Ties to Axact, a Fake Diploma Company


Fighting HIV Where No-One Admits It’s A Problem

Putin Signs Law To Shut Down ‘Undesirable’ Foreign Organizations


Cannes ‘Turned Away Amputee In Flats’

Video: Paris Stained-Glass Windows Restored

EU To Develop A Wildlife Trafficking Action Plan

Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow Narrowly Beats Russia To Win Eurovision 2015


Vatican Seeks to Quiet Uproar Over Pope’s ‘Angel of Peace’ Remark

Pope’s Focus On Poor Revives Scorned Theology

Honor Comes Late to Oscar Romero, a Martyr for the Poor


JCB Boss: UK Should Not Fear Brexit

UK Inflation Rate Turns Negative


Ireland Votes To Approve Gay Marriage, Putting Country In Vanguard


Critics Call For Changes To ‘Rent-A-Cop’ Programs That Bring Millions To Police Coffers Across Canada

Windsor-Detroit Bridge Named After Gordie Howe

Kijiji, a Flop in the U.S., Rules Online Classifieds in Canada


Up To 170 Face Murder-Related Charges In Biker Melee

Obama Limits Military-Style Equipment For Police Forces

US President Obama Joins Twitter

U.S. and Cuba Meet for Talks to Fully Restore Diplomatic Ties

Farmers Agree to Water Cuts in California


U.S. and Cuba Meet for Talks to Fully Restore Diplomatic Ties

Despair, and Grim Acceptance, Over Killings by Brazil’s Police

Salvadorans Flock To Honor Beloved Archbishop On Path To Sainthood

Jailed Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Go On Hunger Strike


Low-Income Families To Suffer From Federal Budget Reforms: Labor

Leaders Dismiss Same-Sex Marriage Referendum In Australia

A Beautiful Mind Mathematician John Nash Killed In Car Accident

Female Gorilla At Melbourne Zoo Killed By Male In Show Of ‘Unexpected Aggression’

Senior Police Officer To Lead Welfare Fraud Taskforce

Incentive Scheme For Bush Doctors Failing: Minister



Arctic Ice Reaches A Low Winter Maximum

Study Finds Sun Belt Population Growth And Warming Climate Could Quadruple Exposure To Extreme Heat

Obama Recasts Climate Change As A Peril With Far-Reaching Effects


Militias ‘Ordered To ISIS-Held Ramadi’

Video: Ramadi ‘Shocked And Fearful’ Under ISIS

Video: On A Mission To Destroy ISIS Targets

Islamic State seizes Syria’s Palmyra

U.S. to Send Rockets to Iraq for ISIS Fight

ISIS Claims Responsibility For Bombing At Saudi Mosque

With Victories, ISIS Dispels Hope of a Swift Decline



Hello Mishka:

Eurovision has always been of interest especially for people in this part of the world. And this year’s conception – “Building Bridges” as official slogan for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest – is so timely. With about 40 countries participating, including Australia making its debut, it is a good place for singers and countries to leave a message to others and indeed great way to communicate internationally. One of the messages is tolerance. Another one is striving for peace. My personal gratitude to Hungary and its representative, Boggie, for her touching song and video.  

There are, of course, many wonderful and cheerful performances to put dancing shoes on.

I asked my friend Theodora, who lives in Vienna, to share her impressions about the contest taking place in this city and her words: ” Well, I would say that most people have a positive attitude towards the ESC. People are proud that we’re hosting it, of course. There’s a big Eurovision village (I think that is what they call it) in front of Vienna’s city hall. People have been partying there for a couple of days now. Overall, the event appears to be well-organized. Personally, I won’t be able to attend the event itself but I did of course watch the semifinals on TV and I will most probably watch the finals too.”

Theodora is an acting president of the Austrian Biologist Association.  They celebrate this week with the slightly different Song Contest,  The European Song Contest of Animals: As she said, “We build bridges with the wild world!”

She also told me that some scientists even work in the field of plant bioacoustics/ As turns out, plants react to sound and may even be able to communicate using acoustic signals.  Assuming next song in ABA contest will be dedicated to plants world.

We all belong to one Universe so let us build bridges.

Stay warm, Mishka.

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor


The Guardian View On Eastern Europe And The EU: Get It Right In Riga

Ukraine Rada Gives Green Light To Tax Free Import Of Electric

Ukraine Has Officially Banned Communist Symbols And Propaganda  

US Holocaust Museum Censures Ukraine Over Decision To Honor Nazi Collaborators 

Ukraine’s Smaller Bondholders Unfazed By Moratorium Threat 


Good for this folks.  Singapore’s Postal Service Reinvents for the Digital Age

If these two can do this, there is hope for world peace.  Nice going, guys.  Prince Charles and Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein Shake Hands

Now this, in my opinion, is the penultimate value of any new technology.  Way to go, folks.  Bringing the Personal Internet of Things to the Poor


Prospective employers around the world are going to be very glad to read about this.  So is Global Academia, I imagine.  Sigh.  Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions

If Hell isn’t real, I’m going to be extremely disappointed because that is where these people belong.  Boko Haram Militants Raped Hundreds of Female Captives in Nigeria

Bust these (word deleted by censor)! Pakistani Investigators Raid Offices of Axact, Fake Diploma Company


You cannot imagine how many times I have asked myself this very same question.  Where is my solar car?

Is it just me or does personal motorized transportation seem to keep getting weirder and weirder?   Meet the shape-shifting city car

This is totally cool.  Futuristic “Exosuit” Helps Explore Ancient Computer Shipwreck and find art devices


The Quiet Zone: Where Mobile Phones Are Banned

Around The World In Five Cars

When It Rained For Millennia


Is Our Solar System A Freak?

U.S. Military Space Plane Begins A Fourth (Mostly) Secret Mission

Rosetta Is Tailing A Warming Comet


Video: The Bionic Man

Scientists Sample The Ocean And Find Tiny Additions To The Tree Of Life

A New Approach for Moving Robotic Arms With the Brain


How Hot Computers Are Being Used To Warm Homes

Why Robots Will Always Need Us

New Approach Trains Robots to Match Human Dexterity and Speed


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.


Environment Trumps Potential Billions, Grand Chief Says

How Shame Could Help California Conserve Water

Graphic: Your Contribution to the California Drought

Less Than 1 Percent Of Sweden’s Garbage Ends Up At The Dump


What Coffee Says About Your Mind

Why A Weak Handshake Is Bad News For Your Heart

Five Words You Should Stop Using When You Talk About Food

Why You Should Skip The Pavement And Hit The Trail

His Ancestors Were Slave Traders And Hers Were Slaves. What They Learned About Healing From A Road trip

Some People Do More Than Text While Driving

The Same-Sex Couple Who Got A Marriage License In 1971


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.


Older Lady Kills It With Her Dance Moves To A Street Performer’s Beatboxing

An Incredible Photo Series Captures The Cambodians Who Remove Unexploded Bombs

Stunning Views Of Earth From Space

Stone Tools From Kenya Are Oldest Yet Discovered


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

 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



I found this absolutely fascinating.  The secret history of rhinos

I’ve seen this in action and I think most of you have too, if you’ve spent any time at all in the woods or the jungle.  When Birds Squawk, Other Species Seem to Listen

I am very glad I do not live where they do.  The Most Extreme Fish On Earth


The Truth About Giant Tortoises

Huge New Rodent Discovered

Horror Wasps Rule The World


Science Take: Monkeys Provide Clues to How Tool Use Developed

Family Tree of Dogs and Wolves Is Found to Split Earlier Than Thought

Matter: For an Octopus, Seeing the Light Doesn’t Require Eyes


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

SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Showcase Magazine:  Today’s Media For Artful Living

Sierra Club

Wildlife Extra magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace


The New Axis Of Evil — Canada: One Third Of American 8th Graders Think Canadians Live In A Dictatorship

You Have To See These Pictures Of Seattle’s Kayaking Climate Protesters

We Show You How To Eat In Bed In Our Videos Of The Week

111714ABOUT US

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


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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