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; Olya Reflects on Her Odessa Holiday, Sara’s Fullbright Year: Taichung, Taiwan, 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

September 6, 2015  Vol. 8 No. 51

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

Photo Source:

Photo Source:

Music:  The Irish Tenors Isle Of Hope Isle Of Tears Elllis Island & Celtic Woman – Isle Of Hope, Isle Of Tears


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, now that the Labor Day weekend is waning and the house I share with three other men until year’s end is quiet again as well, it is both safe and provident to reflect on what has undeniably been one of the most heart-breaking weeks this planet has seen in a very long time.

I’ve talked to you guys about how I feel about immigration and why.  I am the son of the Masada and the Diaspora and the Famine and The Troubles both.  I was fortunate enough to have been born in a place where freedom is safe and raised in another where it was when I came here.  I repaid the debt by serving in the armed forces and ended up realizing that wars are mistakes with personal and political consequences far beyond the carnage itself.

Since none of us lives on an island alone, what happens to those victims of war we are now calling ~ when we are in a mood to be nice about it ~ immigrants or refugees is in fact, our responsibility.  That seems to be the judgment of the European Union and the growing sentiment of the entire International Community.

This tragedy could very well be a turning point in our approach, as a species, to the problems we cause one another and other life on this planet.  It could just mean that we ~ as individuals and as nations ~ are accepting responsibility . making amends and correcting for course.

I would like to think this also means that one day ~ perhaps not in the next three decades or so of what is left of my life ~ but one day, we will become as adept at making peace as we have been at making war.

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 loved your beaver story and shared it with my children.  Did you write that?  I’m just curious.   Janine S., Brighton Beach, UK.

Thank you very much, Janine.  I wrote the words but the idea came from the Canadian editor of the magazine in 2000, when we were a monthly.  Shannon had a marvelous ability to spin silver from starlight and Bertrand was a favourite of her two children.  Rusty

Love it when you tell your critter and Native American stories.  DWS, Des Moines, WA

It is a nice break from listening to me shout at the wind, isn’t it?  ROFL

Our thanks once again to PJH for his support, with the assurance it will one day be repaid in full, if not in kind.

And a “bless your heart” to GU for the donation.  When you’re a reader supported publication, the clink of coin in the sugar can is right up there with Pines of Rome and the cry of a newborn in beauty.  Thank you very much.


For many Americans, this will come as some surprise.  For too many others, it will not.  Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities

This reminds me of a time when America too had open borders.  Migrant Crisis Tests Core European Value: Open Borders

Because some of you live here, this is certainly good news.  Eurozone Jobless Rate Lowest Since 2012


Poor China Factory Data Send Global Stocks Tumbling

Global Shares Slide Ahead Of U.S. Jobs Data


Hero’s Welcome For Kenyan Athletes

Video: Changing Times In Somalia’s ‘Pirate Village’

Village Of 1,000 Sealed Off Over Ebola


Video: Anger On Kuala Lumpur’s Streets

Second Bangkok Bombing Suspect Held

Thai Fingerprint ‘Matches Bomb Suspect’


China’s New ‘Gold Rush’

China Shares Recover Early Losses

China Announces Cuts Of 300,000 Troops At Military Parade Showing Its Might

Video: Highlights Of China’s Victory Day Parade

China Aviation Giant Buys Irish Firm


Indian Grandfather Paralyzed By Alabama Cop Was Not Threatening, Colleague Testifies

Indian Scholar Who Criticized Superstition Is Murdered In His Home

India Eliminates Disease, Will Spare Thousands Of Mothers And Newborns

Deadly Clash Rocks India-Pakistan Border

Kumbh Mela 2015: What You Need To Know About This Sacred Hindu Pilgrimage

India Bans Large Vials Of Vulture Killing Drug


UN confirms Palmyra temple destroyed

Turkish workers seized in Iraq

Unrest Mounts In Southern Syria After Druse Cleric Dies In Blast

Netanyahu Rejects Calls To Accept Syrian Refugees

Take A Walk Through Israel And Gaza, A Year After The War


Eight dead in Paris apartment fire

Spain: Prime Minister Supports E.U. Reforms Sought By Britain

Ukraine: Two Ultranationalists Are Charged Over Clashes In Kiev

Turkey Frees Two British Journalists With Vice News

The Hague: Warlord Offers A Defense

Open Source: Hungarian Leader Rebuked For Saying Muslim Migrants Must Be Blocked ‘To Keep Europe Christian’

Ukraine Weighs Autonomy For Parts Of East, Already In Russia’s Thrall

Giurgiulesti Journal: Time-Worn Village In Moldova Springs Back To Life, Thanks To Port

Polio Paralyzes 2 Children In West Ukraine Outbreak

No Resting On Laurels, European Central Bank Leader Faces New Threats

Rebekah Brooks To Return To News Corp. On Monday

Austria Discovers Syrian Travel Documents In Truck Where Bodies Were Found

At Auschwitz, A Summer Precaution Is A Grim Reminder To Some

French Publisher Won’t Print Book On Moroccan King After Authors’ Arrest


Russia Profile

Video: Londongrad: TV Show On Expat Russians

U.S. Warns Russia Over Military Support for Assad

Russian Moves In Syria Pose Concerns For U.S.


Pope Francis’ Visit To U.S. Is His First Ever, For Several Reasons


Major Gas Field Given Green Light

The Heathrow You Never See

Nissan Invests £100m In UK Plant

Will This Be Britain’s Scarface?



Canadian Spending Rises As Savings Slide Further Despite Recession

RCMP Launch Search For Syrian Officer Facing Charges Over Arar Torture

Family Of Child Found On Turkish Beach Tried To Come To Canada

Greater Vancouver House Prices Jump 20% To Average $1.47-Million


California Agrees To Overhaul Use Of Solitary Confinement

Coordinated Strategy Brings Obama Victory On Iran Nuclear Deal

Video: A Skyscraper-Size Pope

Prison Officials Join Movement To Curb Solitary Confinement

Clerk In Kentucky Chooses Jail Over Deal On Same-Sex Marriage

Prosecutors To Seek Death Penalty For Dylann Roof In Charleston Shootings

US Economy Adds 173,000 Jobs In August

One Of The US’ Greatest Mysteries

Marriage Licenses Issued In Kentucky County, But Debates Continue


Brazil Mayor On The Run

Argentina Orders Hsbc To Replace Boss

Otto Pérez Molina Of Guatemala Is Jailed Hours After Resigning Presidency

Guatemala Voters Choose New President Amid Fraud Scandal


Local Nets, Not Faraway Markets, Key To New Zealand’s Dolphin Decline

Australian Leader, Opposing Gay Marriage, Faces Party And Family Opposition



Number of refugees who have crossed the Mediterranean in 2015 so far, with death tolls. -- @AFP

Number of refugees who have crossed the Mediterranean in 2015 so far, with death tolls. — @AFP









EU Calls Crisis Talks On Migration

Video: Calais Ferry ‘Lifeboat Blockade’ Lifted

Migrants Barred From Hungary Station

Fresh Migrant Protests In Budapest

Video: From Syria To Sweden: A Migrant’s Story

Video: Migrants Camp Under Budapest Station

Migrant Crisis Gives Germany Familiar Role In Another European Drama

Budapest Opens Station To Migrants

Migrant Chaos Mounts While Divided Europe Stumbles For Response

Image Of A Small, Still Syrian Boy Brings Migration Crisis Into Focus

Drowned Syrian Toddlers, Mother Buried In Kobani

EU ‘Must Accept 200,000 Refugees’

Migrants Cross Austria Border From Hungary

Germans Welcome Migrants After Long Journey Through Hungary and Austria

The Refugee Crisis Isn’t A ‘European Problem’

Pope Calls On All Of Europe’s Catholics To House Refugees

Wealthy Gulf Nations Are Criticized For Tepid Response To Syrian Refugee Crisis


Inside America’s New War Machine

Justice Dept. To Require Warrants For Some Cellphone Tracking

ISIS ‘Blows Up Palmyra Tower Tombs’


Canada’s Climate Policy Is Frozen In Time

OUR WINDOW ON EUROPE  by Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Odessa beach in early morning.  A great place to meditate.  Photo by Olya Bereza.

Odessa beach in early morning. A great place to meditate. Photo by Olya Bereza.


Hi, Mishka:

Sky and water are the main attractions of Odessa. And its beaches are  great place to meditate early in the morning when only seagulls crying like babies make your company.

I found the city a bit untended, like it had better times before. It is an interesting mix when a few centuries old architecture with obvious influence of Mediterranean culture are neighboring abandoned Soviet style buildings.

The town history routes from antique settlements of Fifth Century, but officially the modern Odessa was founded in 1794 by decree of Russian Empress Catherine II after Ottoman Sultan defeat in the Russian-Turkey war.

That influenced a lot of territories of Eastern Europe.  Quite a few cities were  started by  a successful Russian couple, Empress Catherine the Great and her favorite duke, Potemkin.

By the way recently Hollywood star Angelina Jolie announced plans to produce a film devoted to this iconic part.

While I was here, a big fire took place in Odessa this week when a luxury 22-storey building was set on fire   Firemen could literally do nothing as their ladders were too short for such a building.

Okay, that’s it for now.  Stay safe, Mishka.



This week has been our transition week. We finished training this past Monday and start school this coming Monday.  We have been busy preparing, meeting with our co-teachers and administrators at school, continuing to further set up and settle into our apartments, and using our bit of less-scheduled time to explore the city.

I spent most of the workday at school on Friday, and I am so excited to begin working at Chong Qing.  The teachers and staff have all been very welcoming, and we had the chance to start working together yesterday. The school is trying something new with Grade 5 this year. In years past, it has been difficult to teach classes that are made up of such a wide range of abilities, so this year Grade 5 students will be split into three classes according to their English language skills.

Yesterday I worked with Patty and Pauline, two of my LETs (Local English Teachers; our acronym for our co-teachers) to develop the screening test that we will use on Monday. It was great to have the chance to be able to help these teachers during the last-minute craze of getting school ready for the students, and a wonderful experience to collaborate on our first project together.  Six of us also went out for lunch, and it was nice to get to know everyone a little bit more.

For more of this exceptional narrative please go here


As remarkable as it may seem, history sometimes changes dramatically for the better with gestures like this.  Finest kind.  VIDEO: One Egyptian’s Message Of Love To Israel

This is one of those “if it doesn’t move you, you need to ask the Wiz for a heart” moments.  History Channel Host Helps His Teacher Find a Kidney

Well, this one has sure rattled some proverbial cages.  Obama Renames Mount McKinley As Denali  I like the idea.  I live in what was once known as the Puget Sound.  Now I’m living on the shores of the Salish Sea.  My only reservation with this is that we need to make sure the new name can be pronounced by most people.  Among the two more challenging I’ve come across in the Pacific Northwest are Umpqua (Oregon) and Puyallup (Washington)


This person no longer belongs in Canada.  Former hospital clerk in Toronto pleads guilty to selling personal data of maternity patients

This is what happens when the ill bred take to the woods.  Concerns grow about hikers behaving badly on Appalachian Trail

Satan’s warming up the coals for this one.  God forgive me, but I’d really like to watch.  Anti-Semitic murderer gives Kansas jurors a Nazi salute after conviction for killings at Jewish sites


Interesting question, this one.  Are we addicted to technology?

The answer to this question just might surprise you.  Is the world running out of space?

I learned a lot from this.  Choosing the Best Smartphone Plan for You

Do not read this too close to bed time.  One of the US’ greatest mysteries


‘Massive Gas Discovery’ Off Egypt Coast

Six Wonders Of The Ancient World

The Lost Tunnels Of Liverpool


The Planet That Wasn’t

Astonishing Flyby Of Pluto

Video: Danish Astronaut Takes Lego To Space


New Superfood: Organic Seaweed Grown Outside The Sea

Are Private Rockets Safe Enough?

Could Google Rig The US Election?


Hacking Victims Deserve Empathy, Not Ridicule

Stop Wasting Time Looking For Your Stuff – Pixie’s Got You Covered

Facebook Offers Education Software


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.


This ‘Anaconda’ Parody Calls Out Unilever For Polluting Indian Town

Food Industry Enlisted Academics In G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show

Carbon Cuts So Sharp Even California Democrats Are Divided

Plastic Will Be Inside Almost All Seabirds By 2050


Traveling In Europe’s River Of Migrants

Video: Calling The Midwife, In Chiapas

Relationships, And Sex Lives, Benefit When Men Share Child Care

When Your Sex Life Doesn’t Follow The Script

Eating On The Move May Lead To Later Overindulging

A Sharing Economy Where Teachers Win


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.


School bus

Parents are bows and children are arrows

and we just have to let them fly into this world.


(thanks to Olya for sharing)

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


The Wild Beauty Of Mexico

Winning Photo: Hot Vs Cold

The World’s Cutest Animals


 Testament Ad GraphicTestament Ad Graphic  


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

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. 



Whatever your editing, writing, tutoring or consulting needs, chances are good I can handle them.  Negotiable rates, flexible payment plan, Paypal and from your email to me and back.  Simple, friendly, professional.  I also accept barter and trade.  If you need it done quickly, simply and for a price tailored to your budget, shoot me a brief project description at  I’ll get back to you one way or another within 24 hours. For a list of specific services provided, please go to  My name is Merritt Scott Miller and my friends and clients call me “Rusty”.  I look forward to hearing from you.


I thought the headline of this one was cute too.  Video: Apiarists Stung As Bee Thefts Increase

I have honestly ~ and no offense intended ~ associated Scotland with predatory cats.  I do now, however.  Scottish Wildcat Action Website Launched

This is something that needs to be taken more seriously.  Double Whammy For Native Species When Humans Alter The Landscape


The Truth About Polar Bears

Rare Nautilus Sighted For The First Time In 30 Years

New Species Of Robber Frog Discovered In Bolivia


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

Responsible Tiger Watching

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


William Ash: The Cooler King  The Real Story Of The Pow Played By Steve McQueen 

Who Pays Over $300 A Pot For This?

Site Of Edmonton’s Worst Mass Murder Listed For Sale As ‘Handyman Special Needing Lots Of Work Inside’


The Northstar Journal is an international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine reaching readers in North 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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