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, Northstar’s Mail Bag ~ Congressional Responses, From Olya ~ Interview With Iran Chamber of Commerce, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health & Lifestyle, 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

100% Reader Supported.  Donations Accepted Here.

November 8, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 8

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor



Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, gang, it has been another “mixed bag” (my new alternative to ‘interesting’) week.

Canada’s got a new leader and despite my admiration for his mom and dad, my first reaction to the news of what the Maple Leaf media called “a Liberal landslide” was to wonder aloud if Justin’s feet can reach the pedals.  I get accused occasionally of sometimes being a little too loose with allegory and that may very well have been one of those occasions.  So my apologies to any of those I might have inadvertently offended.

A couple of you sent me articles about how Hillary Clinton and Justin Trudeau are related.  I found out through you guys that a lot of celebrities share some of the same gene pool.  Some while back, we ran a scientific short about all blue-eyed people being related.

I find such information interesting up to a point and then a little scary beyond that.  I mean, do we really want to know all those in that DNA whatever?  For instance, how would you handle ~ psychologically ~ finding out that you were a seventh cousin to someone who did outrageously dumb, dangerous or mean things?

Would you wonder how many of their genes you shared?  Would you, like go in for a complete DNA diagnostic and then destroy anything that didn’t keep your family cool?

Could your system survive being a Conservative but having a Liberal swinging from a branch of your family tree?  How about being the epitome of muscle and meat and testosterone male virility and then finding out your ninth cousin twice removed wears velour and lace, writes poetry and leaves a red rose on his boyfriend’s pillow every morning?

It does bring up a couple of interesting questions.  What actually determines who we are, where we come from or who we are now that we’ve arrived?  And if we consider gene therapy do we really know enough about the matrix of life to second-guess the creators of it?  I’m sorry but that seems a good way to die stupid(ly).

Totally off that subject, I’ve had some excellent Facebook and other online conversations with people who have wished me Allah’s blessings.  I’ve explained my own theology honestly but also within context.  Lebanese poet and prophet Khalil Gibran believed that the religions of the world are as fingers of the same hand.  Apparently I am not the only one who agrees with that.  I’m grateful and I am gratified.  And I am profoundly moved.

Perhaps peacemakers have a place in this world after all, eh?

That’s it for now, gang, and thanks for listening. Take care, stay well and have a great week.



I’ll bet this is a fun read.  Wonder if it’s too late to get the white sheet concession.  Someone might as well make a buck off this knuckle-dragging flipping foolishness.  Anonymous Posts Ku Klux Klan List

I believe this individual will have influence far beyond her own lifetime and ours.  Why The New Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich Is The Voice Of Modern Russia

I love it when these kinds of connections are made.  The Color Of Food: How Gardens And Farms Can Help Us Heal From A History Of Racism


United Nations Foundation Global Update

Pacific Trade Deal Text Made Public


Video: The Human Cost Of Sa’s Mining Industry

‘Dozens Killed’ In S Sudan Plane Crash

The Last Place On Earth With Ebola: Getting Guinea To Zero

West Fears Burundi Is On Brink Of Conflict

In Tunisia, A Mission Of Justice And A Moment Of Reckoning


Video: Myanmar: Tens Of Thousands At Rally

Why Don’t People See The Yeti Any More?

Honda Drops Takata As U.S. Issues Huge Fine Over Airbags

Japan Post Shares Surge On Debut

Dozens Trapped In Lahore Factory Rubble

Suu Kyi ‘Would Be Above President’

Crime Down In Karachi, Paramilitary In Pakistan Shifts Focus

Presidents Of China And Taiwan Shake Hands In First Ever Meeting

At a Bali Festival, Indonesia Enforces a Silence About Its Bloody Past


Video: China Unveils C919 Passenger Jet

Oppose Taiwan Independence, China’s Xi Says At Historic Meeting

China’s New Five-Year Plan Embraces The Third Industrial Revolution

China Passes Canada To Become Largest U.S. Trading Partner


Though Not on Ballot, Narendra Modi Is at Center of Vote in India

Greenpeace India Says It Has Been Ordered To Dissolve

Uber Driver Shiv Kumar Yadav Gets Life Sentence For Rape Of Female Passenger In New Delhi


Erdogan’s Party In Turkey Regains Parliamentary Majority

Turkey Election Result Boosts Markets

Video: Wading Through Sewage In Baghdad

A Faint Gleam Of Hope In The Syrian Civil War


Romania PM Resigns After Nightclub Fire

Paris To Stop Traffic When Air Pollution Spikes

France Imposes Border Controls For UN Summit

EU Economy Set For ‘Modest’ Recovery

Ukraine Pins Hopes For Change On Fresh-Faced Police Recruits


Russia Mourns As Officials Seek Cause Of Jet Crash In Egypt

Russian Plane ‘Had Bomb In Hold’

Putin Suspends Flights From Russia To Egypt Amid Security Fears

Video: Putin Tops Most Powerful People List


Vatican Suspects Key Investment Office Was Used For Money Laundering

Vatican Leaks Intensify With New Book Exposing Saint-Making Scandal, Internal Resistance To Pope


Britain, Concerned About Russian Crash, Halts Sinai Flights

Oxford Students Want Statue Of Cecil Rhodes Removed



Canadian Veteran Suicides Should Prompt Action

Soldiers Need A Helping Hand, Not A Push Out The Door

Trudeau Sets Fresh Tone, Cabinet Ready To Tackle Thorny Issues

Trudeau’s Foreign Cabinet Picks Signal Climate And Trade Priorities

Canada’s New Justice Minister Is First Indigenous Person In Position

E. Coli Ground Beef Recall Affects Wal-Mart Stores Across Western Canada

Keystone XL Decision By Obama Takes Weight Off Trudeau

Ontario Plans Mandatory Drug Tests For People On Welfare


Thousands Start Life Anew With Early Prison Releases

Houston Rejects Equal Rights Changes

Human Cost Rises as Old Bridges, Dams and Roads Go Unrepaired

American President Rejects Keystone Pipeline  (Also see under GOOD EXAMPLES)


Ruling In Mexico Sets Into Motion Legal Marijuana

Colombia Lifts Same-Sex Adoption Limits

Brazil Dam Burst Engulfs Homes

Video: Brazil Dam Bursts Engulfing Homes

Magnitude-6.8 Earthquake Strikes Chile, No Damage Reported


Australia Drops Knight And Dame Titles

Australia Deploys Sheepdogs To Save A Penguin Colony



Video: Turkey And Bananas Welcome Eu Migrants

The Displaced: Introduction

Graphic: As Doors Close, Syrian Refugees Despair

Croatia, Preparing To Vote, Takes Stock Of Response To Migrant Crisis

Germany 101: Refugees Get Guidebook To Their New Home

We’re Putting Lives In Danger By Not Clarifying What It Takes To Get Asylum In Europe

More People Fled To Europe By Boat This Year Than Live In Washington, Dc

Duolingo Plans To Offer Free German Lessons To Syrian Refugees


The Alien Weather Here On Earth

Antarctica Is Gaining Ice—Here’s Why That’s Not Good News

Scientists Confirm Their Fears About West Antarctica — That It’s Inherently Unstable

Kids Sue Over Climate Change And A Judge In Wash. State Is Listening

Why A Paris Climate Agreement Could Actually Be Very Good For The U.S.

In A Wild El Nino Year, Another Rare Extreme: Tropical Cyclone Chapala Nears Landfall In Yemen

Surprising Study Finds That Solar Energy Can Also Cause Climate Change (A Little)

Exxon Mobil Investigated For Possible Climate Change Lies By New York Attorney General

El Niño Already Disrupting Ocean Food Web

What Is El Niño?

Poll Finds Global Consensus On A Need To Tackle Climate Change

The 4 Issues That Will Make Or Break The Paris Climate Talks



Dear Merritt Scott:

Thank you for your recent communication regarding H.R. 2494, the Global Anti-Poaching Act. H.R. 2494 was passed yesterday in the House of Representatives. I appreciate you letting me know your views on this matter, and I will keep your comments in mind.

If you are interested in following a particular piece of legislation through the legislative process, the website hosted by the Library of Congress at is extremely helpful. It provides a wealth of information about legislation under consideration in the current Congress as well as bills introduced in earlier sessions. The site is called Thomas to honor President Thomas Jefferson and his belief in public access to the workings of government.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I welcome your views, and look forward to hearing from you in the future.


Jim McDermottMember of Congress


Dear Mr. Miller:

Thank you for contacting me about climate change. I appreciate hearing from you regarding this important issue.

The Pacific Northwest has much to lose from climate change, which is causing increasingly severe storms and rising sea levels. Climate change is also negatively impacting forests, coastal and salmon habitats, and farmland. These resources define Washington state’s quality of life and help sustain the region’s economic competitiveness.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to address climate change responsibly and to protect the way of life we in Washington state hold dear. Yet too many of my colleagues in Washington, D.C. are focused on ignoring settled science and denying that climate change is occurring. On July 29, 2014, I chaired a Senate Budget Committee hearing to examine the federal costs of inaction on climate change. The hearing made clear that the longer we wait to address this issue, the greater the costs will be to our economy, the federal budget, and subsequently to our children and grandchildren. Clearly, climate change is more than just an environmental issue, it also poses a threat to our nation’s economy and security.

As you know, in June 2013 President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan to address carbon pollution and prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change. This ambitious plan utilizes an all-of-the-above approach to reduce carbon pollution, move our economy towards cleaner, more efficient forms of energy, and strengthen American infrastructure and disaster response programs to protect people from severe weather events.

As part of this plan, on August 3, 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled the final Clean Power Plan rule, to limit carbon pollution from power plants. This common-sense plan aims to cut our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and would give states the flexibility to implement their own methods of achieving this goal. I have long called on the Obama Administration to take action to address climate change given the continued denial of the problem by some in Congress, and I am proud to support the final rule. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I supported an amendment to strike riders from the Fiscal Year 2016 Interior & Environment Appropriations bill that would block implementation of the rule, and will continue to oppose attempts to roll back the President’s plan.

Rather than trying to strip EPA’s authority to regulate carbon pollution, I believe Congress should act to pass comprehensive climate change and clean energy legislation. Working in concert with the President’s Climate Action Plan, Congress must address the serious issues posed by climate change. By working together, we can help reduce the dangers to future generations of Washingtonians caused by carbon pollution while strengthening our economy and creating jobs across the nation.

Climate change is one of the most critical issues facing our nation. Please be assured I will keep your views in mind as related legislation comes before the full Senate for consideration. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my updates at Thank you again for writing, and please keep in touch.


Patty MurrayUnited States Senator

FROM OLYAOlya Bereza – European Associate Editor



Hello Mishka:

In connection with recent sanctions lift on Iran, announced by US after Munich Security Conference, I asked a representative of the Iran Chamber of Commerce to comment on what effect the lifting of sanctions is going have on their economy and if there is a chance for economic cooperation.  He agreed to speak to me if I did not identify him.  Here, then, is his response.

“First of all, lifting the sanctions will influence on the price of oil in the world,” he said. “Iran will come back to the world economy again and definitely will experience an economy growth.  After the lifting of the sanctions, Iran can also export more oil too.  That is not only the volume but the values of oil trade will increase in the favor of Iran. It will also effect on non-oil trade too. It is expected the foreign direct investment will double compared to the present time.

“Lots of multinational companies have already started negotiations to invest in Iran, especially in oil and gas aspects. Sanctions caused a loss of 17.1 billion USD in Iran export volume only during two years of 2012 to 2014. The important point is how to manage the market after sanction lifting. European countries are looking for opportunities in Iran. So it will be more competitive and it is not only the government but also the private sector and traders to do business much more than before.

“The government tries to make investments to improve infrastructural in agriculture, mine and industries to help production which has damaged during sanction and being away from the modern technology of the world. Sanction lifting creates a better field for imports, so the new rules and laws will be made in order to control it and brings the best possible situations. Cars will be one of them, Iran has one of the biggest markets for cars in Middle East which seems to be even more active after lifting of sanctions. 65 percent of Iranian population belongs to the people under 35, so there will be many potentials in job creating. Removing the sanctions and swift activating will ease the trade between Iran and Ukraine and I suppose our trade relationships will be increasing.

“Regarding to your second question, I need to say that no relationship will be settled between Iran and the US nations as the supreme leader has constantly said no American goods will be used in Iran after lifting the sanctions. It is right that after activating of new situation aircrafts spare parts will once again will come to Iran though.”

In conclusion, Mishka, I should say unfortunately there are a lot of stereotypes among peoples, but my Ukrainian colleagues shared with me the best impressions from working with Iranian counterparts as they showed great respect to them and were very open and friendly in communication. So hopingly despite all odds nations will find ways to constructively cooperate for mutual benefit.

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



Thank you, Mr. President.  Citing Climate Change, Obama Rejects Construction Of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline   See also:  Oil Supply Picture Has Changed Since Keystone Was Proposed

If this doesn’t move you, somebody swiped your heart while you weren’t looking.  A Kenyan Runner Maps His Way Home

Considering that most refugees eventually assimilate into their new lands and cultures, any investment in that process is bound to produce mostly good results.  German Entrepreneurs Want To Teach Refugees How To Code For Free


This was not fun to read but it was fair.  Betrayed By The Badge: A Look At Sex Misconduct By Police In The U.S.

Sigh.  Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Widens As EPA Adds First Porsche Model To ‘Cheater’ List

This is not a criticism of the way Germany is handling this.  It is a heart-wrenching window on why we need to do all we can for these people.  What It’s Like Inside a German Refugee Center


This totally blew me away.  Our ancestors looked like this

I hope they do a better job with this than they have done with their cars and trucks.  Toyota Invests $1 Billion In Artificial Intelligence In U.S.

I am saving up to see this in person.  Oslo To Ban Private Cars From City Center By 2019


The Forest That Came Back To Life

NASA Found A Way To Track Ocean Currents From Space. What They Saw Is Troubling

Inside A Photographer’s Mission To Capture The Human Face Of Climate Change


Scientists: Extreme Solar Flares More Common, 5x Stronger Than We Thought

Closest-Ever View Of Watery Moon

See The Sun In Ultra-Hd

Whoa! That’s A Big Galaxy Cluster 

The Soviet Telescopes That Live On

Video: How Astronauts Train For Space Missions

See It!  Best Photos Of Taurid Fireballs

What It Would Take To Drink The Water On Mars


Automation Will Change Jobs More Than Kill Them

The Future Is Not About Humans vs. Machines, But This

Genome Pioneer: We Have The Dangerous Power To Control Evolution


Windshield As Web Browser

This Inflatable Tube Can Save Migrants And Refugees In The Mediterranean

This Brain Scan Can Tell You If You’re Naughty Or Nice


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.


For First Time, Plants Required To Make Hazardous Emissions Public

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s Carbon Cap, Explained

China Burns Much More Coal Than Reported, Complicating Climate Talks

How The Third Industrial Revolution Will Create A Green Economy


Dick Van Dyke At 89: To Age Gracefully, Keep Moving – Youtube

The Geniuses Behind Artificial Limbs

Black-White Gap In Life Expectancy Is Narrowing As African Americans Get Healthier

Nearly 60 Percent Of Americans — The Highest Ever — Are Taking Prescription Drugs

For Those Of You Interested In A Vegetarian American Thanksgiving Or Just Enjoy Good Veggie Recipes, Check Out This New York Times Page.


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.


Make a difference ~ one person

All I can say is “way cool”

Time-lapse film shows how a Boeing Dreamliner is built – BBC News

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


Watch: Would You Take A One-Way Trip To Space?

Up Close With A Silverback: Journal Entries Of Gorilla Trekking Through Rwanda And Uganda

The Dustbowl Revival – Featuring Dick Van Dyke – “Never Had To Go” – Youtube


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.


Look who paid us another visit last Tuesday.  Close-up look of orcas swimming through Puget Sound

I thought this was really cool.  The UK swan arrival from Iceland

Since I am fond of both of these species, this was a little tough to watch.  However, I received another invitation to put on SCUBA gear and go orca watching up close.  I almost accepted.  I won’t after watching this.  Humpback vs Orca, Epic Battle Caught On Camera


See a swirling swallow spectacle

Lion Populations Half In Key Regions Of Africa

4 UK Bird Species Join List Facing Global Extinction

Top 7 Wildlife Species To Watch In Zambia

How To Track A Lion

How To Create A Bat-Friendly Garden

Efforts To Save The Cornish Bottlenose Dolphins


The SeaDoc Society’s November Newsletter Is Now Online.

The Ocean Conservancy’s November Ocean Action News Is Now Online

The Cornell Lab Of Ornithology’s November Project Feederwatch Enews Is Now Online


Amnesty International


GritTV With Laura Flaunders

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

Mother Nature Network

National Wildlife Federation

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

Sightline Institute

The Sun Magazine

Wildlife Extra magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace

YES magazine


Volvo Versus The Kangaroo

Who Eats More: Man Or Sperm Whale?

Tiny Robots In Our Brains Will Make Us ‘Godlike’


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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