The Refugee Crisis: A Front Line Report

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,  Sara’s Fullbright Year: Taichung, Taiwan, 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 20, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 1

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

Procession of Dukes – Dresden, Germany  Photo by Olya Bereza

Procession of Dukes – Dresden, Germany          Photo by Olya Bereza

The Refugee Crisis:  A Front Line Report

Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  This edition’s front page is dedicated to the refugee crisis and belongs to our European Associate Editor, Olya Bereza,  for her report.

Hello Rusty:

Only a few people stayed unconcerned after seeing media footage of long processions of refugees heading towards Central Europe. And those strong-willed people’s chanting “Germany, Germany” is obviously not coincidental. Trying to understand how the ordinary people in this country itself see the situation I asked my acquaintance in Wuppertal to share a few words:

“We here don’t see refugees. No special problems at the moment. Germany has successfully completed this year and is able to allocate 800 million to the refugees needs, without additional cutting and investments. There is another problem. Too many people rush to the country because they are given more money here then in others.

“Obviously, Germany is not ready to absorb such a huge number of refugees. They need to be properly accommodated as here authorities follow standards. The government is building apartments and hotels for them.

“Lots of people volunteer to help, buy food, toys and clothes, even make hairdressing for free etc …. But society is divided. As for me I would prefer targeted aid as I do enjoy the European way of life. I do not want to see it changed. Many Muslims who do not live according to the German Constitution come. And some fear that ISIS will come with the refugee flow. 

“Even the local Muslim community has warned. With the criminality increases a lot of measures are operatively undertaken. Additional 3,000 new policemen is planned to be involved and till that time the army helps. They also protect refugees from those who are very much against.

“The main reason of refugee wave to Germany is that social payments here are higher. EU Commissioner offered  to equalize social benefits in Europe.”

Germans are well-known by practicality and ability to count money so I am hoping this will serve them well.  I’m sure ~ despite all panic attitudes ~ (that) this situation will be managed with great thoughtfulness.

So here is wishing Deutschland special and personal good luck.  The destiny of this nation is a part of my own.  One of my ancestors, a German engineer named Baron von Beck, was hired by Catherine the Great to help her build Russia’s first railway in the 19th Century.  And he was a good man.

I believe constructive ways out of crisis will be found.

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor


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Hi.  This is Devon and Brenda from Fargo, North Dakota.  Somebody we know said The Northstar Journal is celebrating a birthday.  It looks like you’re eight years old now.  Seems like we’ve been reading you longer than that.  We put a dollar for every year in your sugar can.  We’d do more but you know how it is, right, Rusty? D&BM

Hi, guys and yep, I do indeed know how it is.  I’ve been so hungry in the winter that I ate one of my bootlaces and hopped through a blizzard on one foot.  I checked our mailing list and you have been with us longer than eight years.  We’re actually 11.  We started as a monthly in 1998, ran for three years, ceased publication after Shannon died, then started up again in our present reincarnation.  Thank you very much for the sentiments and the coin of the realm.  You guys take care.  Understand winter’s coming early this year to the Dakotas.  Rusty

And again, our ongoing thanks to PJ, Miles, George and the others in the neighborhood too modest to accept acknowledgment but without whose contributions, The Northstar Journal would not now nor ever would have been possible.  Your belief in us, your appreciation of our style of journalism and your patience with our often obsessive focus on coming out every week make this not a job but an honour to serve.  Rusty


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Sunday, September 20, 2015

We are now 3 weeks into the school year! I have been so very welcomed by everyone at Chong Qing, and now that all of the students know me a little bit more, they call out “Teacher Sara!!” when they see me in the halls 🙂 Chong Qing is a wonderful school with a strong emphasis on and regard for English language learning. I teach all students in Grades 1-5 (the school has students up to Grade 6), two weekly storytelling periods for Grades 1-2, and a weekly “English Conversation” period for teachers and staff.

Half of the school building is currently under construction, so this semester we (the 5 of us English teachers) do not yet have our own classrooms and we go around to teach in the students’ homeroom classes.  This has its ups and downs; I love having a desk in the middle of a busy office where I can be a part of things, but I also look forward to settling into a classroom and being able to display student work. Overall it has been a wonderful first three weeks and I am very happy to have been placed at this school!

This is the school’s website:

Here is the website in English:

For more of this exceptional narrative please go here


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Shana Tova~apple

I have striven not to laugh at human actions,  not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them.

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


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A super power no longer, a resource hungry and repressive America faces a Latin American armada rampaging its west coast and a strong, silent and powerful Canada manning the North Wall.  The fires of rebellion burn in the Pacific Northwest and it is into this crucible and forge that the cybernetic patrol boat Testament and her crew of three men and three women are thrust.  Individuals of duty and conscience both, when they join the other side, all Hell breaks loose.  A rollicking adventure for anyone who loves the sea, a good yarn and characters which spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves.  Now available in both paperback and Kindle at


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NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES  — Whatever your editing, writing, tutoring or consulting needs, chances are, 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. and international clients are encouraged.  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.



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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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