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 Olya: Junk Food, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health & Lifestyle,  Sara’s Fullbright Year: Taichung, Taiwan, Lifestyle, Northstar Comics, Best Of The Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Northstar Endorses, You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up, About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

October 14, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 3

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Violence against the young reached out and grabbed America’s Pacific Northwest by the throat again.  Oregon Shooting at Umpqua College Kills 10, Sheriff Says

I know where this latest massacre took place.  It is a land of high peaks, forests and Native Americans in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains.  Interstate Five ~ the major north – south arterial on the West Coast, runs through it.  Commerce flows by 18-wheelers and there is a pronounced working class mindset to the region.

Blazing hot in summer, prone to massive forest fires in autumn, ravaged by savage blizzards in winter and given to springs that literally take one’s breath away for the beauty, it is also a land of loggers and lumber mills and the small businesses and government which orbit them.

There is nothing endemically violent about the region, no more than there was about Columbine, Colorado.  Perhaps it is just that which prompted so much national attention and the rage of an American president tired of seeing gun control used as a political football.

There is a fatal assumption about gun control that makes the concept flawed.  It is the belief that only criminals or mentally imbalanced people use them for violence and that keeping these individuals from owning them will solve the problem.

Ask any policeman who commits the majority of murders in America and you will discover that it is people like you and I, with weapons obtained illegally.  That’s right, domestic violence.

That having been said, I approve of gun control for the same reason President Obama does.  He knows it will not solve the problem but it will make it harder for these acts of mayhem to happen in the first place.

The root of this problem lies in our own nature and our own culture.  As long as we allow ourselves to become angry enough to kill, there will be the means to do exactly that.  As long as we glorify the violent use of weapons ~ even to the point of saturation coverage by the media ~ there will be those among us who will choose this alternative, rather than a rational approach to what outrages us.

Let’s hope a few more of us figure this out and act on it.  Our hearts go out to those impacted by this latest incident and our prayers are with them.  Take care, stay well and God Bless.



If these two superpowers and their allies all get behind this, ISIS does not stand a prayer.  Russia Pushes For Anti-ISIS Co-Ordination

Sometimes it is not a matter of opposing anyone but simply pursuing the most appropriate course of action.  A Pastoral Pope, Slipping Conservatives’ Grasp

This, I suspect, will have profound resonance on plans to colonize “the Red Planet.”  NASA Confirms Signs Of Water Flowing On Mars, Possible Niches For Life


United Nations Foundation Global Update – October 2015

Shell Stops Arctic Oil Exploration

Volkswagen Offers To Refit 11 Million Cars To Stem Worst Business Crisis In Its 78-Year History

President Obama’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly 2015

Obama Tackles Poverty and Sexism in U.N. Speech


Bombs in Nigerian Capital Kill 15 in Surge of Violence

Global Court Takes Up Case of Cultural Crimes in Mali

Burkina Faso Military Puts Down Last Holdouts From Coup Attempt

Dozens Killed in Clashes in Central African Republic

Burkina Faso Coup Plotters Refuse to Give Up Arms, Imperiling Deal

Ali Salem, Egyptian Writer Who Drove Across Israel, Dies at 79

Partnership Aims to Bolster Local Health Care Providers

Burkina Faso: Coup Leader Is Detained

Central African Republic: Aid Groups Seek Better Access to Strife-Torn Capital

Burkina Faso: Coup Leader Finds Haven

Central African 

War Crimes Court Opens Trial on Congolese Witness Tampering


Video: Protestors Block Nepalese Border

Malaysia’s ‘Most Investigated’ Company

Video: Can NLD Win Over Myanmar’s Minorities?

Benjamin Britten’s ‘Lost’ Malaysian Anthem


A Fervor to Glimpse ‘China’s Mona Lisa’

China’s Ambitious Rail Projects Crash Into Harsh Realities in Latin America


India Replaces China As Next Big Frontier For U.S. Tech Companies

Narendra Modi, Indian Premier, Courts Silicon Valley To Try To Ease Nation’s Poverty

India Cuts Rates By More Than Expected


Palestinian Kills 2 Israelis in Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia Arrests 2 People Accused of Plotting Attacks

As Russia Returns to Middle East, a Look at Some of Its Weapons

Iraq: Explosions in Baghdad Kill at Least 18 People

Human Rights Groups Assail U.N. Panel’s Yemen Resolution

Turkey: Suspected Kurdish Militants Are Killed

Tensions High in West Bank After Killing of Israeli Settler Couple

Number of Iranians Killed in Hajj Stampede Grows to 464

Iran: U.S. Detainee May Face More Charges


Catalonia Nationalists Win Elections

Eurozone Back In Deflation In September

Volkswagen Staff ‘Acted Criminally’

VW Scandal: France Opens Inquiry

EU Probes TVs Over Energy Test Scores

Tajikistan: European Group Rebukes Government Over Crackdown on Opposition Party

Pedro Passos Coelho, Who Led Austerity Plan in Portugal, Nears Re-Election

Greece: A Record Number of Migrants Come Ashore

Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald’s and Anheuser-Busch Call On FIFA’s Sepp Blatter to Resign

In Germany, a Cozy Relationship Between Carmakers and Government

France Opens Criminal Investigation of Torture in Syria Under Assad

Norway: Killer Threatens Hunger Strike

Petro Poroshenko Will Seek to Put Ukraine Conflict Back on U.N.’s Radar


Russia Profile

Ukrainian Officer On Trial In Russia For Deaths Of Two Journalists Says She Was Kidnapped By Russians

Vladimir Putin’s Guide To World History


Pope Francis, The Kentucky Clerk And Culture Wars Revisited

Priest Dismissed By Vatican After Saying He Is Gay


David Cameron Grapples With Issue of Slavery Reparations in Jamaica

How Australia, Britain and Canada Have Responded to Gun Violence

British Teenager Sentenced in Plot to Kill Police on Anzac Day in Australia

Art Thief’s Body Found in London Canal

Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein Leader, Won’t Face Charges Over 1972 Murder

U.N. Adds Four British Members of ISIS to Sanctions List



Canada Leaders Clash Over Isis Fight

Sex-Ed Protests Give Birth To New Private Schools In Toronto

Job-Loss Fears Mount As Scotiabank Raises Cost-Cutting Target


In Vicious Fire Season, An Endurance Test For California Crews

Share Of Immigrants In U.S. Nears Highs Of Early 20th Century, Report Finds

Rare Obama, Putin Meeting To Focus On Syria, Ukraine

Georgia Executes Woman On Death Row Despite Clemency Bid And Pope’s Plea

Kim Davis, Kentucky Clerk, Is Said To Have Met Pope

US Fugitive Found After 24 Years On Run

Video: Changing Face of California Agriculture

Toxic Algae Outbreak Overwhelms a Polluted Ohio River

Oregon Shooting at Umpqua College Kills 10, Sheriff Says

Obama Condemns ‘Routine’ of Mass Shootings, Says U.S. Has Become Numb


Frantic Search for Survivors in Guatemala After Mudslide Kills 69

Guatemala: Hundreds Are Missing After Mudslide

Brazil’s President Takes Steps on Austerity

Brazilian Protester Shot With Rubber Bullet for Knocking Officer’s Cap Off

Mexico, Signaling Shift, Extradites Drug Kingpins to United States

Obama and Raúl Castro Meet as U.S.-Cuba Ties Deepen

Peru: Region in State of Emergency After Deadly Protests at a Mine

At the U.N., Raúl Castro of Cuba Calls for End to U.S. Embargo


New Zealand Declares New Ocean Reserve

Police Union Vows To Keep Officers Safe After Parramatta Shooting

Pharmaceuticals Dispute Between Australia And US Could ‘Disrupt’ TPP: Robb

Australia Set to Deport Troy Newman, Head of U.S. Anti-Abortion Group

Australian Teenager’s Attack On Police Worker Called Act Of Terrorism



Taliban Fighters Capture Kunduz City as Afghan Forces Retreat

U.S. Launches Airstrike On Kunduz In Northern Afghanistan, The Day After A Taliban Assault On The Key City

Afghan Crisis Grows as Push to Retake Kunduz From Taliban Fails


How Dragging Our Feet On Refugees Creates More Terrorists

Rallying Global Support, Obama Pledges Larger U.S. Role in Peacekeeping Missions


Video: Pope Francis Visits: Day 7

At Independence Hall, Pope Offers A Broad Vision Of Religious Freedom

Pope Departs, After Showing A Deft Touch


Idaho City of Immigrants Debates Taking In Middle Eastern Refugees

Italian Lab Battles ‘Not to Lose the Dead’ From Migrant Ships

Mark Zuckerberg Announces Project to Connect Refugee Camps to the Internet

Migrants Evade Security To Enter Tunnel In France


Putin Says Russia’s Aim In Syria Is Supporting President Al-Assad

Video: The Syria Problem at the United Nations

Russia launches fresh Syria strikes

VIDEO: Russian military releases strikes video

VIDEO: Russia’s military hardware in Syria

Video: Why Kunduz Is Critical to the Taliban


Limited Progress Seen Even As More Nations Step Up On Climate

Hurricane strengthens near Bahamas

VIDEO: US states prepare for Hurricane Joaquin

FROM OLYAOlya Bereza – European Associate Editor



Reading about the United Kingdom study on consumption of junk food and its effects on mood reminded me of that Hippocrates saying “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Still, since in so many schools, the only drink available for children is a well-known sugary mix in a can, why are teachers and parents surprised by their kids’ misbehavior?

One of provisions of the European Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015–2020 is to ensure human rights and the right to food, to promote the gains of a healthy diet throughout life, especially for the most vulnerable groups.  I agree.  Children and adults have the right to eat healthy food and be well informed of their choices.

Despite the fact that so many people around the world are suffering from things like dehydration, lack of magnesium and lack of iodine, it might not be a matter of need, but of choice, given how relatively easy it is to purify drinking water and augment one’s diet with lots of salady stuff.

The truth is, the choice is in our hands.  Enclosed is a picture of my fridge, reminding me of those I have made.

That’s it for this week.  Stay warm, Mishka.



On October 10, 2001, a young Canadian cowgirl, mother, writer, and clothing designer with a streak of independence about the size of her native Saskatchewan died of cancer.  When we met, I knew she was approaching the final scene of her final act.  For reasons I am still not sure I entirely understand or was necessarily meant to understand, that did not stop me from loving her, nor her from giving the last two years of her life to The Northstar Journal as its Canadian editor.  When Olya suggested adding “the magazine with a heart,” to our masthead, it was in tribute to Shannon Patricia Goddard Mills.  We were a monthly then and when we wrapped it up and sent it out, Shannon used to imagine being able to soar over the planet, looking down at the best reason for doing stuff.  She referred to you guys as “her twinkling lights,”  She’s Up Yonder now and sends her regards.

Big does not necessarily always mean bad.  Microsoft Leads Movement to Offset Emissions With Internal Carbon Tax

See above.  Mark Zuckerberg Announces Project to Connect Refugee Camps to the Internet


Caveat emptor? (buyer beware) Motorists ‘Tricked’ In Car Test Abuse

This is not a good trend.  Consumers Are Embracing Full-Fat Foods

This “Dumpster Moment” brought to you by…Trump: I would send Syria refugees home


Dear Santa…Video: Tesla Unveils Model X Electric Car

I worked at Boeing’s Algona plant and at Plant II in Seattle so this brought back some good memories.  Video: How To Build A Boeing Dreamliner Jet

I knew this would happen.  IBM Scientists Find New Way To Shrink Transistors


Montana And Wyoming’s Beartooth Highway, The Bicycle Ride To Take Your Breath Away


Ten Strange Lights In The Sky

Fly Through A Dead Star’s Remains

Curios From The Cosmonauts

The Ride That Makes Astronauts Sick

Why Are We Obsessed With Martians?


The Ajax Tank Inside Britain’s New War Machine

The World’s Most Important SUV?

Ireland’s Land Of Fertile Rock


The Scooter That Thinks It’s A Van

Google Unveils New Devices To Connect Smartphone And TV  

The Most Beautiful Bikes Of 2015

Amazon To Stop Selling Apple TV And Chromecast


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.


New Limit For Smog-Causing Emissions Isn’t As Strict As Many Had Expected

Solarcity To Make High-Efficiency Panel

The Reign Of Recycling

Dilma Rousseff Of Brazil Pledges To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Sitting Is Bad for Children, Too

How Much Junk Food Do Teenagers Eat?

The Death Of Tipping?

Why Pain Feels Good

Study Supports Cancer Link With Height

Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

School Children Dig For Science In October



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.


Video: How Common Are Us School Gun Attacks?

The Irish Tenors Isle Of Hope Isle Of Tears Elllis Island

Celtic Woman – O, America!


Small Testament Cover


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

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 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.  International clients 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.


What is the furriest animal in the world.  The answer just might surprise you.

Excellent.  Two Ex-Circus Lions Given New Life In South Africa

We are certainly glad they figured out how to tally these little dudes.  A Novel Way Is Developed To Sniff Out How Many Harvest Mice Live In The UK


Aging A Whale Or Dolphin

Animal Daily News – National Geographic

Attracting Wildlife To Your Garden

Chameleons In Madagascar Facts

Creating A Wood

Discover Kielder: A Guide To This Magical Forest

Dive Sites In The World – 50 Best

Diving With Marine Wildlife 

 Helping Orphan Elephants »

How To Help Amphibians Through The Winter »

How To Help The Hedgehog

Identifying Birds And Mammals In The Field

Insider’s Guide To Treating An Injured Baboon

Koala Facts

Looking After An Orphaned Hippo

Field Guide To Lions

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


A Nation Of Tall Cheese-Eaters — How A Nation Of Cheese-Lovers Became The World’s Tallest

Goat ‘Arrested’ After Walking Into Saskatchewan Tim Hortons, Refusing To Leave: ‘He Was Very Unhappy’

India Man Lynched Over Beef Rumours


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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