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 ~ An Immigrant’s Story, Northstar Mailbox ~ Senator Maria Cantwel on the Clean Power Plan (D, WA), Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health & Lifestyle, 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

100% Reader Supported.  Donations Accepted Here.

November 22, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 10

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

Slim Pickens in “Dr. Strangelove.  Photo source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Strangelove

Slim Pickens in “Dr. Strangelove. Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Strangelove


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  It’s been another interesting week, has it not, with terrorism and refugees taking center stage?  I also came across a discussion on Facebook which unnerved me a bit.

I’m not going to embarrass those involved by going into personal details.  The gist of it is that there is someone out there who thinks that we should use nuclear weapons to fight terrorism.  I responded, albeit against my better judgment (sigh).

Nuclear weapons have been around for over 70 years now and have been used twice.  Cloak it all the euphemisms you want, a nuclear device is not like a hand grenade or a conventional bomb.

A nuclear weapon does not kill just once.  After it has wiped out everything in its blast zone, its radiation spreads like ripples from a stone tossed in a pond.  It takes a very long time for this radiation to ebb to “habitable” levels again.

I think what bothers me most about that Facebook post, though, is the implied assumption that a single individual can come up with a “solution” which the finest minds on the planet have decided is not one.

If that kind of thinking catches on, we ~ as a species ~ are facing a peril greater than any with which we are dealing now.

Take care, stay well and have a great week, gang.



Here is something it might do us all well to remember.  Muslims The Highest Victims Of Terrorism!

Here is irony at its richest.  This Giant Saudi Arabian Tent Camp Is Empty

Just a reminder of our shared humanity.  Russia Gifts France A New Puppy in Honor of Diesel – American Kennel Club


World On Cusp Of ‘Post-Antibiotic Era’


Trapped Tanzania Gold Miners Freed

Somalia’s Us Embassy Reopens After 24 Years

Suicide Attack Kills at Least 10 in Cameroon


Asian Shares Boosted By Wall Street

Anti-APEC Protests Take Place In Manila

Deadly Siege Ends After Assault On Hotel In Mali

What We Know And Don’t Know About The Terrorist Attack In Mali

Landslide In Myanmar Kills At Least 70

Afghan Kidnappers Prey On Hazaras

Bangladesh Hangs 2 Leaders Convicted of War Crimes


China’s Nuclear Vision Collides With Villagers’ Fears

Fire In Coal Mine Kills At Least 21 In China

Chinese Debate Proper Response to Hostage’s Killing


India Central Bank Employees Strike


Report: Iran Sentences US Journalist To Jail


6.5-Magnitude Earthquake In Greece

Greece Presents 2016 Budget And Revamps Recession Prediction

Italy: 6 Arrested In Plot Against Official

Lithuania: Misfires At AK-47’s Debut

U.N. Security Council Approves Resolution Urging Countries To Combat Islamic State


‘Act Of Terror’ Downed Russian Plane

Russia: 11 Allied With IS Group Killed in North Caucasus

Power Lines To Crimea Are Blown Up, Cutting Off Electricity

For Russia, Links Between Caucasus And ISIS Provoke Anxiety


Five Indicted In Leak Of Confidential Vatican Documents


UK’s Coal Plants To Close By 2025

UK to Buy More F-35 Jets, Boost Anti-Terror Budget: Osborne

Britain: Libyan Tied To A Killing In 1984 Is Arrested



Mosque In Peterborough, Ont., Deliberately Set On Fire

Trudeau Vows To ‘Keep Canadians Safe’ As He Rebuffs Concerns Over Plan To Accept 25,000 Syrian Refugees


Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case Over Planned Parenthood Documents

State’s Decision To Drop School Test Signals Shift In U.S.

California And Oregon Ease Access To Birth Control

Bail For Wrongly-Jailed US Man


Mining Companies Fined Over Dam Burst

More Mexican Migrants Returning Home

U.S. And Cuba Sign Environmental Pact


NZ Opens Voting In Flag Referendum

Record Heat Puts Australia At Risk Of Intense Fire Season



5 Yemeni Guantánamo Inmates Are Sent To United Arab Emirates

France urges united U.S., Russia front in war against Islamic State

Envisioning How Global Powers Can Smash ISIS

How To Talk To Children About Terrorism

Paris And Mali Attacks Expose Lethal Qaeda-ISIS Rivalry

U.N. Security Council Approves Resolution Urging Countries To Combat Islamic State

ISIS Is Likely Responsible for Nearly 1,000 Civilian Deaths Outside Iraq and Syria

Jonathan Pollard, American Who Spied For Israel, Released After 30 Years

The Expanding Web Of Connections Among The Paris Attackers

Inside Raqqa, The Capital Of ISIS


Paris Attacks: Latest Updates

Inquiry Finds Mounting Proof Of Syria Link To Paris Attacks

France Strikes ISIS Targets In Syria In Retaliation For Attacks

Call to Arms in France Amid Hunt for Belgian Suspect in Paris Attacks

Multiple Arrests In Raids Across France

France In Mass Police Mobilization

Video: The Mastermind Behind Paris Attacks?

Video: Did Paris Attacker Pose As A Refugee?

How Does A Manhunt Work?

Deadly Paris Raid On Attacks Suspects

Paris Attacks ‘Wake-Up Call To West’


The Global Refugee Crisis, Region By Region

Refugees Must Not Be Turned Away, Obama Says

Ottawa Scrambles To Find Housing For Influx Of Syrian Refugees

Syrian Family Diverted From Indiana Feels ‘Welcomed’ in Connecticut

New Rules Stall Migrants Headed For Northern Europe

Croatia, Macedonia And Serbia Start Screening Refugees By Nationality


Untangling The Overlapping Conflicts In The Syrian War


Society ‘To Be Hit By Climate Change’

16 Climate Projects That Are Actually Making A Difference, According To The UN

FROM OLYAOlya Bereza – European Associate Editor



Hi Mishka

It was interesting to read about the global migration ethics of Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley and I totally agree that migration is the human history. There is sometimes confusing interchangeability of such media terms as migrant, immigrant and refugee.  They have become very different from their original meaning.

Partly because of this misuse, the perception of any of them has rather narrowed. Frankly, isn’t Russell Brand right in his humoresque of immigrants fears or the comedian who contends, “You know an immigrant is just someone who used to be somewhere else?”

Isn’t this an unavoidable phenomenon? People by their very nature are seeking better opportunities and especially when drama unfolds, they will try to find way out.   In the story of almost every family, one can find examples of fleeing from unfortunate circumstances.

My own grandfather, after coming home from military service in Manchuria at the end of the Second World War, found his family starving in Voronezh (east European part of Russia geographically). There were three little girls under the age of five and a newborn son.

What he could possibly do? The only way he found was to take a job in Sahalin Island, some 10 000 km and almost half a globe away. For visual perception, Sahalin Island is just across the North Pacific Ocean from Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Back then, Sahalin Island was a fairytale land with rivers full of fish, forests with wild berries and seaside. But to get there, it took several weeks in cold uncomfortable freight trains and when they reached Russia’s Pacific Coast, it was by ferry to the island.  In that harsh Russian winter, my grandfather’s baby son did not survive the trip.

Of course for migrants, it is always easier to get to places culturally close so the language or traditions will be easier to acquire. So as the chart above shows, the first to receive this new wave of immigrants/refugees were Syria’s neighbors.

In comparison to the number of immigrants taken in by the United States thus far is insignificant, according to this article, headlined: Syrian Refugees In America: Separating Fact From Fiction In The Debate

Of course there are different approaches to the problem but in seeking solutions, it might help to remember that all of our ancestors were immigrants once.  They had no guarantee that their descendants or ourselves would not again be forced to move on.  We are here now because of the compassion of those who took them in.  Can we do no less now that others seek our help in these regards?

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



Dear Mr. Miller,

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding the Clean Power Plan. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you know, broad scientific consensus has determined that the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, will cause the Earth’s climate to warm slowly over time, potentially leading to greater occurrences of drought, floods, and other catastrophic natural disasters and significant changes to our ecosystem. In Washington state, climate change is expected to alter the region’s historic water cycle, threatening drinking water supplies, wildlife and salmon habitat. In fact, since the 1950s, Washington state has seen a 20 percent decrease in snowpack from the Cascade Mountains. This year, a historically low snowpack has forced some farmers to produce crops with almost half the normal amount of water, while we simultaneously experience the most destructive year of wildfires we’ve ever seen. Considering these serious environmental and economic consequences, it is clear that that we must urgently address this matter.

This year President Obama worked with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce power-sector carbon pollution as much as 32 percent by 2030.  This historic step in the fight against climate change will put us on a realistic pathway to reducing carbon pollution.

Throughout my tenure in the U.S. Senate, I have pushed for legislation to promote the production of renewable energy, to incentivize energy efficiency, to develop clean technology industries, and to protect our environment. While these policies and laws provide critical tools necessary to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, they are no substitute for climate change legislation that establishes scientifically based limits on the amount of emitted carbon pollution and sets a price on carbon emissions.

By positioning the United States as a global leader in clean energy technology we can create jobs and recharge our economy at home. The longer we wait to tackle energy independence and carbon pollution, the greater the economic and social costs of adapting to climate change will be. We also risk falling behind other countries, which are aggressively pursuing the enormous clean energy market opportunity. Our time of renewal is now, and I plan to continue pushing the most effective policies to create a cleaner, more diverse and secure 21st century energy system.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Maria CantwellUnited States Senator

We also received mail from several of you and some links suggesting we need to come up with a different term than Isis, who is the Egyptian goddess of health, marriage and wisdom.  There are quite a few businesses around the world which use her name.  The BBC uses simply IS, for Islamic State.  So will we from here on out.  Rusty


Thank you, Bill.  Gates Foundation Cuts Fossil Fuel Investments

This cannot possibly bode well for ISIS.  French Return To Cafes In A Show Of Defiance

I love it when cool stuff happens where I live.  Studies show teens do better when school starts later, Seattle makes the change


God help you all if you pull this off.  G.O.P. Governors Vow to Close Doors to Syrian Refugees

This man is about to become the biggest bigot money can buy.  Donald Trump Sets Off A Furor With Call To Register Muslims In The U.S.

It bothers me when someone this woefully misinformed is responsible for the lives of other people.  Roanoke Mayor Apologizes for Japanese Internment Remarks


This was a little unsettling.  Are aliens hiding behind starlight? Why blocking out stars could reveal extraterrestrials

This is so cool.  The last word in green transport.  Wrapped in a blanket of live plants, this Smart cleans the air as it drives

Have you ever wondered why stars twinkle but planets do not?


Hole-Punch Clouds Are Made By Jets

After Mass Extinctions, The Meek (Fish) Inherit The Earth

How Neanderthal DNA Shaped Us All — They Have Left A Powerful Legacy In Our Genes

Urban Algae Farm Amazingly Gobbles Up Highway Air Pollution


Researchers Mapped The Weather Of A Planet Outside Our Solar System — And It’s Pretty Blustery

Mars Rover Heads For Active Dunes 

Zombie Star Eats An Asteroid 

How A Year In Space Changes Bodies 


7 Country Study On Fairness: Kids Everywhere Can’t Stand Getting Less — But In Some Places They Don’t Like Getting More 

How Do We Know What An Atom Is?


Are Jetpack Fire Crews A Good Idea?

Not One, But Two Robot Astronauts Straight Out Of Sci-Fi Are Headed To Boston For Training

Tesla’s Musk Seeks ‘Hardcore Engineers’


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.


Listen In: King County, Washington’s Bold Climate Action Plan

Increase In Clean Energy Jobs Would Mitigate Job Loss In Polluting Energy Sector

This House Bus Is Amazing


Antibody Shrinks Tumors Of Seven Cancers

Ebola Mystery: It’s Back In Liberia, And Officials Are Stumped About Why

Early Prostate Cancer Cases Fall Along With Screening

The Secret Origin Of HIV

Are Superbugs Deadlier Near You?

The Downsides Of Being Clean

Expensive Running Shoes Are No Better, And Often Worse, Than Cheaper Ones

How The Medicine You Take Can Impact Your Sex Life


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.


6 Million Years Of Human Evolution In 1 Minute 

Why I’ll Always Love Paris

Baby Otters That Are So Cute, You’ll Cry


testament amazon.com 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 amazon.com

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. 

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.  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 minstrel312@aol.com  I’ll get back to you one way or another within 24 hours. For a list of specific services provided, please go to http://nstarmed.wordpress.com  My name is Merritt Scott Miller and my friends and clients call me “Rusty”.  I look forward to hearing from you.


We absolutely applaud this decision.  N.I.H. To End Backing For Invasive Research On Chimps

This is fascinating.  Mysterious Blue Dragon Creature Found In Australia Is Stunning And 100% Real

Take a very deep breath before reading this one.  Raju The Elephant Cries Real Tears Of Joy As Rescuers Save Him After 50-Years


Hasbro Creates Robotic ‘Companion Pets’ For Seniors

After Twenty Years Of Being Chained, This Circus Cat Is Finally Free

Endangered Monk Seals Are Making A Very Cute Comeback


The Cornell University Ornithology Lab’s November 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


Why People Reshaped Babies’ Heads

Croatian Sea Organ Uses Wind and Waves to Create Beautiful Music

Burial Pods : Forget About Coffins, Wouldn’t You Rather Become A Tree? – Earth

Outstanding closeup 061115ABOUT US

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 minstrel312@aol.com


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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