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 You Guys, Our Window On Europe, Our Window On Asia, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health, Lifestyle, Northstar Comics, Thought Of The Week, Best Of The Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Northstar Endorses, You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up, About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

August 23, 2015  Vol. 8 No. 49

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, not surprisingly, tourism is apparently way down at Black Sea resorts since the former Soviet Union took the Crimean Peninsula away from the Ukraine.

Their public relations people in the Kremlin came up with a rather unique pitch to turn this around.  They are appealing to the nationalism in their citizens.  Russia’s Pitch to Vacationers: Crimea Is for Patriots

With all due respect to Vlad and the rest of the commissars, good luck with that.  I have been to places where patriots gather to relax and partake of godly pleasures like a good swim and stuff.

For the most part, I have observed that they are not into communing with nature and are a rather boisterous lot.  Conversationally, they appear to be just a little multi-subject challenged.  It’s like there are just three colors in the rainbow; red, white and blue.  Their taste in music runs to songs that one can march to and/or sing along with, but you can’t dance to any of it.  And if you cannot dance, what is the point of any of it, right?

I have also noticed that many of them are so focused on their nationalistic vision that they know little or nothing about the rest of the world, which in their minds, is okay because America is a big country and there’s no need to live anywhere else than there.

Put walls around all of it with a big bridge from Fairbanks to Fargo.  Make it tougher to break in or out of than the legendary Siegfried Line.  Mann those walls with dedicated patriots of poor education but good dental hygiene.  And turn America into  the biggest and most diverse human reservation in the history of our species.

That’s your average super patriot’s wet dream, folks.  Keep the pure of heart on one side of that great wall and the unwashed infidels on the other.  And God or Allah forgive you if you forget who is which on what side of the wall.

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


In a message dated 8/21/2015 4:30:52 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

Rusty…  I have been wanting to drop you a quick note… You have been on my mind all week… watching the news of all the horrible fires up there… I can’t even imagine the “Hell” all the residents are going through… Please know you have been in My Heart and Prayers… God’s Blessings   Serena  

Serena, thank you very much.  And I’ll pass that down the line.  Here in Seattle, we’re on the other side of the Cascades.  We refer to where Lake Chelan is as “east of the mountains”

As you know, we are a small state, population-wise, so nothing happens anywhere in Washington that does not impact us all.   Our first responders are among the best in the world and our legislature and local news media are proactive and responsible.

But I think sometimes we all need to be reminded that we also live here by choice, Serena.  What is true of us now is true of every part of not only America but everywhere else. 

Some handle it well.  Some handle it not so well.  But since the dawn of human history, this has always been the case.  If there were lessons to be learned from all of this, we would have learned them long ago.

For all of that, your intuition serves you well, Serena.  The rains always come eventually and the ground  after always breaks green.  Human hearts are often much slower to heal and I suspect that is not a bad thing. 

Your thoughts and prayers are part of that healing process, Serena. 

Thank you and God Bless You.



This may not be the most important thing happening in the world today, but its implications could be among the most profound.  Bedtime Stories For Young Brains

This might explain a great deal.  The Man Who Can’t Feel Emotions

The longer we hang out with these folks, the cooler they seem to become.  Saving 100,000 Acres/156 Square Miles/404 Square Kilometers


After 70 Years Of Men, Some Say It Is ‘High Time’ A Woman Led The U.N.


VIDEO: Ugandan Troops On Patrol In South Sudan

Saving The Rarest Canids On Earth

Major Migrant Rescue Off Libya

Shabab Bombing Kills At Least 11 At Somali Army Camp

Crackdown In Niger Fails To Deter Migrant Smugglers

U.N. Details Sexual Abuse Claims Against Troops

2007 Case Against Kenyan Leader Is Under Scrutiny

South Sudan: Penalties Proposed

Mali: U.N. Warns Of Hunger Crisis

South Sudan: U.S. Threatens Sanctions Over Rejection Of Pact

Gabon’s President Offers Some Of His Wealth ‘To The People’

Nigeria: Boko Haram Is Said To Have A New Leader

22-Year Term For Nigerian Who Joined Al Qaeda And Then Denounced It


Video: Plane Wreckage Found In Indonesia

Japan Hit By Weaker Economic Growth

Video: Western Band Plays To North Koreans

The Latest On Koreas: S. Korea Reports North Army Movements

Malaysia Finds 24 More Bodies Of Human Trafficking Victims

Rival Koreas Restart Talks, Pull Back From Brink _ For Now

Wild Tigers Counted for the First Time in Bhutan


Tianjin Protests Demand Compensation

Fading Economy And Graft Crackdown Rattle China’s Leaders

One Killed In Explosion At China Chemical Site

Outstandingly Successful Breeding Year For Rare Chinese Crested Tern


Video: India’s Collapsing Building Problem

Longtime Critic Of Modi Is Now A Target

Pakistan Cancels Talks With India, Citing Restrictions


Iran ‘To Work With Rivals For Peace’

Video: Inside An Iranian Technology Firm

British Embassy To Reopen In Tehran

Kabul Suicide Bombing Kills 12, Including 3 Americans


Video: Desperate For A Train Into The EU

Syriza Rebels Form New Greek Party

Migrants Rush Across Border in Macedonia

In A Twist, Europe May Find Itself Relying On Success Of Alexis Tsipras Of Greece

What Alexis Tsipras’s Announcement Means For Greece

President Erdogan Of Turkey To Call For New Election

Macedonian Police Clash With Migrants On Border With Greece

Britain And France To Announce Measures To Contain Migrant Crisis In Calais

Seven Die As Planes Carrying Parachutists Collide Over Slovakia

Migrant Influx Prompts Macedonia, Britain And France To Increase Security

Alexis Tsipras, Greek Prime Minister, Calls For New Elections

Germany: Treason Charges For Spy

Greece Makes Payment To European Central Bank, Avoiding Default

Germany Announces Plan To Cope With Migrant Influx

Turkey: 2 Are Held In Palace Blast

Attacks, And Accusations, Escalate In Eastern Ukraine


Russia Profile

Head Of Russian Railways, Close To Putin, Resigns

Russia Sentences Estonian To 15 Years In Disputed Spy Case

Roy Jones Jr. Meets With Putin

Inflation Robs Russians Of Buying Power


Rogelio Livieres Plano, Bishop Ousted By Pope Francis, Dies At 69


7 Dead As Fighter Jet Crashes Into Highway At British Airshow

A British House Overflowing With Lords Draws Scorn

What Is Being Done To Save The Wildlife Of The Irish Sea?

The Tale Of The Mysterious Girt Dog Of Ennerdale



Prescriptions Of Opioid Drugs Skyrocketing In Canada

Markets, Not Government, Will Determine Canada’s Energy Future

Nine Of The Most Decadent Foods Available At This Year’s CNE

Canadian Maple Syrup ‘Rebels’ Clash With Law


Video: US Continues To Battle Wildfires

Justice Dept. Presses Civil Rights Agenda In Local Courts

Man held in Statue of Liberty hoax

Draft Rules Would Help Save Elephants

Carter Reveals Cancer Treatment

Three Killed In Washington Wildfire Are Mourned


Investigation Lifts A Cloud Over President Of Mexico

Guatemala: Former Official Is Arrested

Expanding Web Of Scandal In Brazil Threatens Further Upheaval

Trump Hotel Goes Up, And His Latino Views Barely Raise Eyebrows

Brazil: House Speaker Is Charged

Santiago Journal: Alongside A Doctor’s Care, A Dose Of Traditional Healing

Protests Across Brazil Raise Pressure On President Dilma Rousseff

Brazil: Police Suspected In Killings Of 18

Venezuela Releases Two Prominent Government Critics From Prison

As Drug Kingpins Fall In Mexico, Cartels Fracture And Violence Surges

Scandals In Brazil Prompt Fears Of A Return To Turmoil

El Salvador Cracks Down On Crime, But Gangs Remain Unbowed


Inmate Caught After Daring Escape

Qantas Returns To Full-Year Profit



Video: Phone Footage Shows Bangkok Blast

Bangkok Video Shows ‘Bomb Suspect’

‘No foreign role’ in Bangkok bomb

Video: Bangkok Bomb: Voices From The Shrine

Thai TV Sorry For Bomb Re-Enactment


Obama Administration Warns Beijing About Covert Agents Operating In U.S.

Egypt Imposes New Anti-Terror Laws

Religion Meets Rebellion: How Isis Lured 3 London Girls

Bangkok Bomber ‘Is Part Of Network’

Palmyra Archaeologist ‘Killed By ISIS’

Video: The Women Taking Up Arms Against Is

US Cinema Chain Starts Bag Searches

Al Qaeda Militants Deploy In Yemen’s Aden, Raise Flag Over Port


A Shot, A Glimpse Of An AK-47, And U.S. Servicemen Pounced On Gunman On Train To France

3 Who Stopped Train Attack Were Boyhood Friends

Train Attack in Europe Puts Focus on Vulnerability of U.S. Rail

Profile Emerges of Suspect in Attack on Train to Paris


What Oysters Are Telling Us About Our Changing Oceans

How To Talk About Climate Change

OUR WINDOW ON EUROPE  — by Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

hot 2015-08-20 at 14.46.06

  photo credit:

Hello Rusty:

This week, I want to congratulate and celebrate United Nations World Humanitarian Day. My total admiration to all organizations like Unicef or Human Rights Watch working throughout the world and now Ukraine and to all people who are doing this very important work. And I really appreciate the Northstar Journal sharing these values. Please enjoy dedicated to this day this astonishing video of Beyonce  It is so very inspirational.

And just to prove that in life there is always place for beauty  here is a picture of a Czech Grandma who paints her village

Stay cool, my cousin Mishka.


OUR WINDOW ON THE EAST by Sara Goldstein

Editor’s Note:  Sara is a Fullbright English Teaching Assistant embarking on a year in Taiwan.  She and her sister have been readers of this magazine since they were in high school and their mom, Amy, is the creator of Thoughts of the Day/Week.  Sara’s a fine writer in her own right and we are both proud and honoured to welcome her aboard the Goodship Northstar.  Rusty

Nĭ hăo (hello) from Taichung!

It has been quite an exciting first week here. We just completed our first week of training, which will continue through the rest of this month.  Training so far has included workshops about education in Taiwan, Chinese language, classroom management, teaching English as a foreign language, and Taiwanese culture.  Our coordinators have also helped us accomplish settling-in tasks such as getting Taiwanese SIM cards for our phones (we were in a tiny shop for two hours trying to figure out all of our phone plans!), buying bus passes (the bus here is free!), and opening local bank accounts.

There are 10 Fulbright ETA (English Teaching Assistant) Grantees in our group in Taichung.  There are about 60 ETAs in all of Taiwan; we are spread out in five locations around the island and will meet formally all together in a few weeks.  In our group, nearly everyone has just graduated this past May with their Bachelor’s degree, and I am the only one who has my Master’s.  This helps to balance things out because I am also the only one who has never been to Asia or studied Chinese! Everyone in my group has studied Chinese at the college level, studied abroad and/or traveled in Asia for an extended period of time, and/or has family who lives here.  So the nine other Taichung ETAs have the advantages of knowing the language and culture well, and I have the advantage of significant experience in the classroom.  It is a good balance and so far we have all been sharing and learning quite a bit from each other.  Not surprisingly, it is an extremely intelligent, well-traveled, and motivated group. I look forward to continuing to work, learn, and travel with the other Taichung ETAs!

Below are some pictures to illustrate a bit of what Taichung is like.

Everyday life in Taichung: Mopeds are called “scooters” here, and there are so many!!! It’s great to see parents riding with their kids, dogs balancing on scooters, baskets piled up by drivers’ feet … people here make anything and everything fit onto their scooters.

For those pictures and more of this exceptional narrative please go here


Way to go!  Angola Signs Historic Agreement To Protect Its Lions

Let us hope someone pays attention to this one.  Simple Solution Proposed To Save Blue Whales From Being Struck By Ships

It is going to take a lot of cool to beat this one, gang.  International Nobel Prize Winners Travel To Israel To Mentor Students


I am sure even Shell will ultimately regret this.  As solar takes hold, consumers will remember that “Big Oil” had a chance to exercise a conscience and failed, utterly, to do so.  I, personally, am boycotting anything Shell has anything to do with.  Shell Gets Final Permit For Arctic

This needs to stop, Your Majesty.  Bottlenose Dolphins And Seals Are Being Harassed In Cornwall

Not at all cool.  Macedonia Fires Tear Gas At Migrants


This is a good reminder that evolution is ongoing.  Chimps living in the Stone Age

Do not read this real close to bed time.  Earth’s most poisonous plants

Or This One.  Atlas, A Humanoid Robot, Takes A Walk In The Woods


Superheroes Of The Ancient World

Graphic: Tianjin Blasts Expose the Dangerous Proximity of Toxic Chemicals in China

5 Keystone Species Crucial To Balance Of The Ecosystem »


A Glimpse Into The Center Of Our Galaxy

Science And Hollywood: When The Martian Met The Earthlings

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


Who’s The First Person In History Whose Name We Know?

From Bacon-Flavored Seaweed To Crushing Rubik’s Records: This Week’s Curios

Marijuana Helps Heal Broken Bones: Study Shows


Robot Weapons: What’s The Harm?

Scientists Figure Out Pendulum Clock Puzzle That Dates Back Centuries

Italian Cows Get Air-Conditioned Sheds To Beat The Heat


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.


Landmark US Clean Power Plan Announced

‘Drinkable Book’ Cleans Murky Water

The End Of Oil?

Revolutionary Rooftop Farm Grows Organic Veggies Sans Soil In The Heart of Tel Aviv


Coaxing Children With Selective Mutism to Find Their Voices

Work Policies May Be Kinder, But Brutal Competition Isn’t

What Eating 40 Teaspoons Of Sugar A Day Can Do To You

Another Approach To Raising Healthy Eaters

Daily Coffee May Boost Colon Cancer Survival

A Grief So Deep It Won’t Die

‘Female Viagra’ Gets US Approval


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.


Hands together

Life is not something we go through or that happens to us; it’s something we create by our decisions. ~ Kathleen Dean Moore

How I love this man!Mister Rogers Talks About How Moms Feed Their Babies – YouTube


To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at


Whale Upstages TV Presenter

Three Western Myths About Japan

The Daring Flights Of Fire-Planes


  Small Testament Cover

A tale of insurrection and war in an America of a dark and distant future

To  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. 



Have something you’ve written that needs editing?

How about a resume that needs polishing?

Need some jokes or a speech for a special occasion?

How about a “message” that will bring them to tears or to their feet cheering and contributing?

Are you an international student or professional who wants to improve their written English?

How about an international business which wants to “Americanize” its writing?

What about a special project, like a book, press release, poster or business or product name?

I’ve been in the writing and editing profession for awhile now and there are few creatures made of words, I haven’t captured in print.  So if you have something like that and you want it done quickly, simply and reasonably, shoot me an email at

International clients are not only welcome but encouraged and for more on my background and experiences, as well as a precise listing of services offered, please go here

My name is Rusty Miller.  I look forward to hearing from you.


We need to help these little folks.  Red Pandas Are Adorable and in Trouble

This is fascinating.  Secrets Of Nature’s City-Dwellers

This is awesome. The Rarest Wolves On Earth


Celebrating World Elephant Day: What Will Really Make A Difference To Elephants

Scientists Discover Just How Surprisingly Complex Is An Octopus’ Genetic Code

Where The ‘Human Fish’ Lurks


Aging A Whale Or Dolphin

Animal Daily News – National Geographic

Attracting Wildlife To Your Garden

Creating A Wood

Discover Kielder: A Guide To This Magical Forest

Dive Sites In The World – 50 Best

Diving With Marine Wildlife

Identifying Birds And Mammals In The Field

Koala Facts

Looking After An Orphaned Hippo

A Spotter’s Guide To Mustelids

Red Panda Facts

 Rehabilitating An Ex-Circus Lion

Relocating Giraffes

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Whale Sharks – A Field Guide

White Rhino Facts

Wildlife Finder – BBC


Amnesty International


Grittv With Laura Flaunders

Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org

Mother Nature Network

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


VIDEO: Six Arrested Over Contraband Cheese

The Greatest Artworks Never Made

Risking Death At Sea To Escape Boredom

AboutUsjpgABOUT US

The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine reaching readers in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Oceana.  We also have a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In.  While we occasionally accept classified advertising, we are otherwise entirely reader-supported. 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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