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December 6, 2015  Vol. 9 No. 12  426th Consecutive

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

Dennis Steussy – American Associate Editor

Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, for years a landmark of the University District.  Photo by Merritt Scott Miller

Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, for years a landmark of the University District. Photo by Merritt Scott Miller


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, it was another fun week, was it not, gang?  Sigh. I honestly thought it was just me when it seemed like a mass shooting or bombing was happening every day on this planet.  The good news is that it was not my imagination.  The bad news is also that it was not my imagination.  How Often Do Mass Shootings Occur? On Average, Every Day, Records Show

Sometimes ~ and I think it is a coping mechanism with me ~ I go into this Rusty Miller’s Theatre of the Absurd mode thinking that maybe what we really need is this national Adopt A Violent Personality program.  Reduce the taxes paid for law enforcement and make those funds available to people whose only alternative is gun violence.

I’m sure that would be well received by street gangs, the drug community, the “families’ of several ethnic groups, and the mental health community in general.

We get the gangs involved in community activities.  We provide free drugs to the narcotic addicts.  We arrange athletic contests among the “families” to settle disputes.  And we give our mental health patients other options which would also remove them from mainstream society as long as their behavior poses a threat to the welfare of others.

Then we pay money for turning in weapons of local mass destruction and keep a few of those on hand to give the psychotics something to act out with.  We just don’t also give them ammunition or opportunity.  We could give them a stage with people who enjoy the adrenaline rush of bloodshed.  We institute some production values, get a good advertising campaign going, set an admission price and then let the inmates run the production, as a source of their own room, board, meds, therapy and spending money.

“Uh huh,” I hear you saying, shaking your head sadly.  “Like those will all work.”

Probably not, I grant you.  And I’m willing to open up a dialogue on this if you folks have any ideas that don’t sound like you also have been imbibing too much green tea.  They cannot possibly be any more unrealistic than those I’ve also heard proposed by those who purport to lead us.

Okay, that’s it for this week’s commentary.  Oh, except that since it is a season of giving in many parts of the world, we just wanted to remind everybody that the Northstar Journal is supported entirely by you guys.  This keeps us free to provide what you want, rather than what an advertiser or a grant may prefer or require. That $5.00 or $10.00 you contribute every year makes that possible.  If you’d like to do that now, please go here.  Thank you.

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



What are the five happiest states in America?  The answers just might surprise you.

I really appreciate the way this man thinks.  And I agree with him on this.  Obama: Saving the planet is an ‘act of defiance’ against terrorism

This is more than a little disconcerting.  The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing


10 Things To Know About The Un Climate Talks In Paris

Despite Climate Concerns, Opec Plans To Keep Pumping Oil While It Can


Faulty Part ‘Factor’ In Airasia Crash

Philippines Convicts U.S. Marine Of Killing A Transgender Woman, Sentences Him To Six To 12 Years In Jail

Cambodia Jails Doctor For Spreading Hiv


Video: China Smog: ‘Sky Dark From Air Pollution’

China’s Renminbi Is Approved By I.M.F. As A Main World Currency

China And S Africa Sign $6.5bn In Deals

A Chinese Folk Artist’s Descendants Are Split By The Government’s Use Of Their Family Legacy

China Arrests At Least 3 Workers’ Rights Leaders Amid Rising Unrest


Video: Floods Bring Chennai To Standstill

Delhi To Limit Use Of Cars In An Effort To Control Pollution


Oscar Pistorius Guilty Of Murder

Nigeria’s Comics Pull Punch Lines From Deeper Social Ills

With Burundi’s President Sticking To Power, Violence Is On The Rise


Hope For Nefertiti’s Tomb, And Egypt’s Economy

Cairo Restaurant Attack Kills 16

Influx of Turkish Troops Angers Iraqi Officials


Russians Turn to Bartering in Economic Recession

Russians Less Keen for Democratic Transfer of Power

Russia Restores Crimea Power Supplies

Russian Truckers, Irate Over New Tolls, Block Roads Near Moscow


FIFA Officials Arrested In Zurich

Poland Has Right To Dismantle Soviet-Era Monuments

Anonymous Protests Iceland’s Killing Of Endangered Whales By Hacking Government

After Spending 10 Days in Iceland Photographer Says His Life Will Never Be the

Denmark, A Green Energy Leader, Slows Pace Of Its Spending

La Bonne Bière, Cafe Hit In Paris Attacks, Is Back In Business


Pope: Christians And Muslims Are Brothers

Wary Of Risks In Jubilee Year, Rome Is On Alert


In Scotland, Unlike America, Mass Shooting Led To Stricter Gun Laws

Man Dies As Storm Desmond Hits

Soaked Irish Tv Presenter Has To Tell Locals Not To ‘Swim In The Sea’


Ottawa Urged To Distribute Syrian Refugees Across Country

Settlement Groups Overwhelmed By Public Support For Syrian Refugees

Canada’s Economy Pulls Out Of Recession — But Not Out Of The Woods

Canada’s New Carbon Tax Isn’t Revenue Neutral. And That’s A Good Thing

Justin Trudeau Outlines Sweeping Agenda For Canada


Colorado Victims Identified As Iraq Veteran And Woman From Hawaii

Victims Of Planned Parenthood Shooting

Alleged Planned Parenthood Gunman To Face Charges Of First-Degree Murder

New Diabetes Cases, At Long Last, Begin To Fall In The United States

U.S. Tightens Visa-Waiver Program in Bid to Deter Militants

Four Charged In Shooting Of Minneapolis Protesters

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Fires Chicago Police Superintendent

U.S. Still in Danger of Losing War on AIDS, C.D.C. Director Says

Shooting in San Bernardino Kills at Least 14; Two Suspects Dead

Struggling City Is Traumatized By A Siege And A Loud And Bloody Shootout

All Combat Roles Now Open To Women, Defense Secretary Says

Segregation Declines In Most U.S. Cities, Census Figures Show


Mexico Links Burned-Out Van Found With Two Bodies Inside To Missing Australians

In A Global Market For Hacking Talent, Argentines Stand Out

Uruguay Makes Dramatic Shift To Nearly 95% Electricity From Clean Energy


How A Conservative-Led Australia Ended Mass Killings

Australian Economy Picks Up Momentum

Giant Goanna Lizard Appears On Australian Home



Paris Climate Talks:   What To Know About The Cop21 Climate Change Summit In Paris

Video: The Paris Climate Negotiations, Explained

Big Data Predicts Centuries Of Harm If Climate Warming Goes Unchecked

In Paris, USDA Puts Food And Climate At Center Stage

Reducing Global Warming: Israel Presenting Solar Energy Solutions At UN Climate Change Conference

YES Magazine On The Paris Climate Talks – A Northstar Recommends


Turkey Challenges Russia Over IS Claim

Putin Warns Turkey in State of the Nation Address


Predatory Islamic State Wrings Money From Those It Rules

Scope Of National Security Inquiry Is Revealed

IS Promise Of Statehood Falling Far Short, Ex-Residents Say

Taliban Leader ‘Wounded In Gunfight’

Video: ‘Is Shrinking Since Russian Strikes’

IS ‘In Thailand To Target Russians’

U.S. Presses For U.N. Resolution To Fight IS’ Financing

Islamic State Says ‘Soldiers Of Caliphate’ Attacked In San Bernardino

German Parliament Votes To Send Military Assistance To Fight IS


Refugee Family Beats Odds To Make First Cut In Bid To Escape Zaatari Camp

Refugee Families Dream Of Hope For Their Children In Canada

Canada’s Refugee Plan Eyed As Global Model


Leaders Clash Over Syria Air Strikes

UK Launches First Syria Air Strikes

FROM OLYAOlya Bereza – European Associate Editor


Hello Mishka:

The other day this week I watched this new American film “Steve Jobs,” with Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet.  Great acting, but it was not a film about a legend.  It was more about a person and his relations with others, what is called, I believe, a “bio pic.”

The well-known rhetorical question of “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” was raised and made very contemporary.  “Did the man make a company or did a company make the man?”

Whatever the answer may be and despite the protagonist refusing to say a few grateful words to those upon whom he relied, the film did an excellent job of showing how his ideas and visions opened new opportunities for millions of ordinary people. It was an amazing example how technology can serve the public good.

The other line of the story made it intimate for every unhappy family where, for some reason, a child faces personality failures of those closest to him.  Watchng how a little child strived for parental love in the movie gave me a flashback of a child rushing towards father after first long time apart. Some wounds never heals.

I am hoping the film will make people think twice. Those people around us are important.

And also there is a music video worth the listening “Dear Future Generations: Sorry
That’s it for this week, my cousin.  Stay warm, Mish.



Here is good news for elephants and those of us who love them.  How These Communities Reduced Poaching By 35 Percent

The rumor is now a fact.  Bill Gates To Create Billion-Dollar Fund For Clean Energy

I’m not totally sure I understand why he’s doing this but it is his money.  Zuckerberg To Give Away 99% Of Shares


Could Washington State’s Ivory Ban Be The Blueprint For An International Strategy?

Google Nearly Doubles Its Clean Energy Use

Canada Promises To Double Investment In Clean Energy


I hope we are as effective at saving these magnificent creatures as we have been at killing them off.  Extinction Milestone: 25% of World’s Northern White Rhino Population Lost Overnight

As much as I respect Japan and its culture, this really needs to stop.  A Japanese vessel is set to kill 333 whales for ‘research’ — but is science really behind the hunt?

This should NOT be happening to these people.  Muslims In America Condemn Extremists And Fear Anew For Their Lives


This I have suspected for some while.  Brains aren’t actually ‘male’ or ‘female,’ new study suggests

Good luck with this one, guys.  Let’s hope it doesn’t complicate the equation.  Idaho trying to squeeze more snow out of clouds

Good luck with this one.  It sounds just a bit too much like a fish bowl for my tastes, no offense.  Plans Revealed For World’s First True Underwater Hotel


Giant Footprints In Scotland Reveal The Dinosaurs That Once Roamed There

Two Powerful Volcanoes Erupted This Week

New Species Of Dolphin To B.C. Waters Shows Up Alive For The First Time


Comet Catalina Has Two Tails 

What Makes A Halo Around The Moon? 

The Cheshire Cat Group Of Galaxies 

Amazing New Images From Mars Rover 

When Will All Five Visible Planets Appear Simultaneously? 

New Most Distant Object In Solar System 

LISA Pathfinder Lifts Off

How To Spot The International Space Station


Scientists Debate The Ethics Of An Unnerving Gene-Editing Technique

How One Exoplanet Got Booted To The Edge Of Its Solar System

Winter In Lebanon As Not Seen On Tv


‘Flytrex Sky’ Personal Delivery Drone Will Ship Goods To Your Location Within Minutes

Tron Technology Lights Up The Night


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.


Please Tell Congress To Acknowledge That Climate Change Is Real And Human Activity Is A Significant Cause – Brought to you by the League of Conservation Voters

First, please tell Senate leadership to support global climate action.  Second, please remind the House leadership that our voices count. – Brought to you by the World Wildlife Fund

Want To Help Endangered Orcas? Slow Down Your Boat


Fossil Fuel Projects In Pacific Northwest Could Be As Harmful As Five Keystones

American West Coast Leaders: Are Taking The Lead On Climate Change

With Coal Industry Under Pressure, Some See Long-Term Decline

Views: Bill Gates Deserves Praise For His Green Energy Revolution

Legal Limbo Awaits Millions Of Future ‘Climate Refugees’


Why Climate Change Is Increasingly Seen As An Urgent Health Issue

New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function

Ebola Crisis Passes, But Questions On Quarantines Persist

Eight Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Deal With Toxic People

Women With Stage 4 Breast Cancer Survive Longer If They Have Surgery, Study Shows

With $45 Billion Pledge, Mark Zuckerberg Imagines ‘A World Without Suffering From Disease’

HHS Says Patient Safety Efforts Have Saved 87,000 Lives, $20 Billion

New Cases Of Diabetes Are Down, But Here’s Why The U.S. Is Still In Trouble — In Three Simple Charts

A ‘Morning After’ Pill For HIV Prevention?

Take That, Martin Shkreli: Rival Companies Announce $1 Alternative To $750 Daraprim Pill

25 Best Places To Retire | Forbes


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.


1Wooded sunshine

How about this for something a little bit different?!

BBC – Autos – The last word in green transport

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


Sunday, November 29, 2015

I have now been in Taiwan for 4 months! Contemplating this specific milestone over the past few weeks has been an interesting process. I have been fortunate to have had many opportunities to travel internationally before this year: Israel in 11th grade and the Czech Republic and Namibia during my junior year of college.  All were for one semester – 4 months. Right now is the period during which, in the past, I was getting ready to come home.

At times, the realization that I will be here for many more months is daunting. At the same time though, I believe very strongly in making cross-cultural awareness a part of my life, and here I can do that EVERY DAY. I am committed to continuing to learn how to teach the value of open-mindedness, and this year is an amazing opportunity to dive head-first into that process.

For more of this interesting narrative and photos, please go here.


Little Kamok Will Capture Your Heart!

Grandpa Tells His Family He Died. When They Walk Through The Door? He Says One Thing

What Does the Fox Find?


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. 

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  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.


This is certainly good news.  Endangered critters to be reintroduced to Washington’s Cascades

This should definitely inspire.  The world’s oldest bird is ready to do the unthinkable – have yet another baby

This is not good news.  Hong Kong’s majestic ‘pink’ dolphins may be in grave danger


Army Ants Build Living Bridges 

An Unexpected Cause Of Cancer In Dogs

Bacteria Genetically Related To Jellyfish Could Defy Everything We Know About Animals


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

Ocean Conservancy

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


Tiger Given Live Goat For Dinner Befriends It Instead

One of the World’s Most Bizarre Animals Called an ‘Indestructible Badass’

4 Potent Ways Of Accessing The Most Creative Forces Of Your Mind


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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