The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

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News & Commentary; From The Shores of the Salish Sea ~ Why I Fly AMTRAK; Meade Fischer Travels & Other Travel News; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Northstar Interactive; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health; Lifestyle; Thought of the Week; Best Of The Net;  From Northstar; All Creatures Great & Small; Northstar Endorses; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up; About Us


Hi Mishka:

Last week, Eurovision’s annual talent contest was won by the participant from Ukraine.  Her stage name is Jamala, who is well-known in our country for her fantastic opera voice and eccentric look reminiscent of Lady Gaga. After her victory Jamala was awarded by the President of Ukraine a “People’s Artist of Ukraine” status.

For Ukraine, whether the 2017 Eurovision contest is held in Kiev, Odessa or Lviv it means more tourists will come next year which is very favourable for the country.

Jamala’s song “1944” reminds us about dramatic events of World War II. Two regimes ~ NAZIs and Communists ~ were fighting in ultimate combat and in the end, ate up each other. Both failed in their goals but the sacrifice of peoples were enormous.

Being of Tatar origin, Jamala sings on behalf of those deportated from the Crimean Peninsula.  From May 18 – 20, 1944, about 200,000 were taken when all Tatar people were unlawfully accused of collaboration with the NAZIs.

For us, World War II times are hard to recall without tears as almost every family was affected. I know and feel  compassionate that your family too, Mishka, faced the injustice of war.

My great-grandmother and her sister ~ being of German roots ~ were taken, in their eighties, after being accused of collaboration with the NAZIs.  Their only “crime” was that the local headquarters of fascists during occupation chose their house to stay.

Now I ask you, what else could they do, with young grandchildren about 5 years old with them to look after while all men of the family were on the frontline? Definitely being of German origin didn’t help in the eyes of the commissars when the city was won back.

The past cannot be changed but from it, conclusions can be reached and lessons can be learned.  The most important lesson we need to learn is how to prevent wars, with their inevitable injustice and crimes.

And to me, if song contests can be a stage for countries to represent their messages, why not? It is not enough just to sing beautifully, great attention is paid to feelings and meaning of what broadcasted.

And despite this headline in the American Washington Post, Russia And Ukraine Are At It Again, this time over a Eurovision song, the two nations actually inspired one another and voted for the other in the contest itself. The Ukrainian people gave 12 points of twelve possible to the Russian representative and Russian gave 10 points to Jamala.

That’s it for this week.  Stay safe, my cousin Mishka.

Olya Bereza, European Editor  To comment for publication, email her c/o minstrel312@aol.com 


As a world community, we need to address this before they take over the planet.  Superbugs To ‘Kill Every Three Seconds’

And how, exactly again, do we spell “g u t s”?  Three Years Ago, He Lost His Leg To War. Now He’s The First Combat Amputee To Reach The Top Of Mt. Everest.

Good!  FDA Issues New Nutrition Label. Here Are 10 Key Changes


Thin On Influence, World Humanitarian Summit Will Tackle Aid Crisis


Obama In Vietnam Will Focus On Future, Rather Than The Past

China Ignores Revolution Anniversary

India To ‘Divert Rivers’ To Tackle Drought

US Raises China Steel Taxes By 522%

Mitsubishi Motors President Steps Down

Japanese Economy Avoids Recession

Thailand Suspends Uber Motorcycle Taxis

Record 51 C/123.8 F Heat Hits India

Decapitated Churches in China’s Christian Heartland

In China, Government Workers Push Rosy, Diverting Views Online

Rebels Kill 6 Indian Soldiers Near Border With Myanmar


Video: Egypt Aviation Ministry News Briefing

Egypt Finds Missing Plane’s Debris, Passengers’ Belongings

Video: Egyptair Crash: What The Evidence Tells Us

After Years of Distrust, U.S. Military Reconciles With Nigeria to Fight Boko Haram

Oscar Pistorius to Be Released From Jail on Oct. 20

Yoweri Museveni and Other African ‘Presidents for Life’

Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 6 in Northeastern Nigeria


The Saudi Citizens Seen Targeted In Video Live In The Hotbed Of Shia Opposition

Benjamin Netanyahu Seeks Ultranationalists For Coalition In Israel

When Cultural Heritage Is Caught In The Cross Hairs

Reza Zarrab, Charged With Violating Sanctions On Iran, Seeks Bail Deal

Senate Passes Bill Exposing Saudi Arabia To 9/11 Legal Claims


Norwegian Fund To Sue Volkswagen

Russia And Ukraine Are At It Again, This Time Over A Eurovision Song

Uk-Built Qashqais ‘Cheated Emissions’

Egyptair Flight Crashed – Hollande Announces

Tycoon On The Run Hopes Russia’s Reach Stops At The French Riviera’s Edge

How Do You Move A City? Ask Kiruna, Sweden

Turkish Parliament Approves Stripping Lawmakers Of Their Immunity

Celebrities, In Open Letter, Urge Britons To Stay In E.U.


Fort McMurray Residents May Be Allowed Back Even As Fire Rages

Justin Trudeau Elbows Lawmaker In Parliamentary Quarrel In Canada

Fort McMurray Wildfire Upends Plan To Restart Oil Sands Operations

Canada Moves To Ban Discrimination Against Transgender People


A Plan To Flood San Francisco With News On Homelessness

In Sharp Reversal, California Suspends Water Restrictions

Transgender Americans See Their Personal Battle Become A National Showdown

Children Of Heroin Crisis Find Refuge In Grandparents’ Arms

University Of Miami Establishes Chair For Study Of Atheism


Mexican President Moves To Legalize Gay Marriage Nationwide

Colombia And Farc Rebels Reach A Deal To Free Child Soldiers

Dying Infants And No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals

Mexican Officials Take Steps To Counter ‘The Trump Emergency’

El Salvador Throws Out Gang Truce And Officials Who Put It In Place

Susana Malcorra Of Argentina Becomes Candidate For U.N. Secretary General


‘Cover-Up’ Row Over McDonald’s Fish

Melbourne University Lecturer Dies On Everest Descent

Thousands Of Young Voters Missing From Electoral Roll As Deadline Looms

‘Getting Out There’ Shorten’s Strategy, Turnbull Maintains ‘Sterile’ Approach



Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan: Here’s How The Spending Breaks Down

‘Fundamentally Unstable’: Scientists Confirm Their Fears About East Antarctica’s Biggest Glacier

‘Climate Change Is Going To Drive A Lot Of Change In The National Parks.’

Climate Crowdsourcing

Stuck On Hot: Earth Breaks 12th Straight Monthly Heat Record

Climate Change Doubters Really Aren’t Going To Like This Study


How Kosovo Was Turned Into Fertile Ground for ISIS

Afghan Intelligence Says U.S. Drone Killed Taliban Leader In Pakistan

Islamic State Group Leader Urges Attacks In Europe And US


Jolie Pitt: Refugee System Breaking Down

Cubans Trying To Reach U.S. End Standoff In Lighthouse Near Key West

Migrant Crimes Add Volatile Element To Austria’s Election



Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Well, several items drew our attention this past week.

Our hearts of course go out to all those impacted by the loss of that EgyptAir jetliner.  I hope the trip was really necessary in the first place.  My grief is mixed with feelings of frustration at the apparent impotence of the international aviation industry to police itself better and to re-order its priorities so that passenger safety and comfort are at the top of the list.

I do not care what the insurance actuarians say about the statistical safety of this mode of transportation.  If I am destined to die in a crash, I would just as soon not fall nine kilometers first.

This happens entirely too often and that it does strongly suggests that we need to re-think our priorities.  If we want better aircraft, we need to stop acquiring parts and labor from the lowest bidders.  If we are going up 30,000 feet and flying across a continent and an ocean, we need that plane made by the best in the business from the best materials in the business.

Until that happens, I’m flying AMTRAK across land and taking a cork-keeled Canadian crab boat across any body of water bigger than my bathtub.

You folks have a great week.  And thanks again, then, eh, for the ear.


To comment, email us at minstrel312@aol.com  To contribute to the next edition, please go here.


Where has one of North America’s foremost kayaking photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting.


Can We Float To The Edge Of Space?

The Longest Train Journey In India

Mystery Of Wales’ Abandoned Hillforts

The Island Ready To Welcome The World

The Midnight Train To A Tokyo Tradition


I think this is pretty ingenious.  Hotels Build Buzz For Eco-Efforts With Rooftop Beehives: Honey Used For Cocktails, Food And Spa Treatments

Outstanding.  Amazon’s Hotel For Homeless Comes To Life

Looks like the Windy City’s doing some housecleaning.  140 Are Arrested In Gang Raids In Chicago

To comment, email us at minstrel312@aol.com 


I’d say this is a dramatic understatement.  ‘It’s Gone Too Far’: 17 Ranking Female French Politicians Expose Rampant Sexual Harassment

Sigh.  ‘Discrimination’? Canadian Woman Says She Was Told Not To Wear Tank Top At Gym Because Of Larger Chest

As if there is not enough in the world over which to quarrel.  A Spa In Burger King? A Taco Bell Lounge? This Is The Future Of Fast Food.


Save Belize

Saving An American Icon

Counting Arctic Seals And Polar Bears

To comment, email us at minstrel312@aol.com 


This is intriguing.  The Flying Machine In Your Back Garden

And this to me is amazing.  Sharks’ Electricity-Sensing Organs Are Even More Powerful Than We Realized

“Incredible” fits this one.  New Solar Plants Generate Floating Green Power


New Planets, Artificial Skin And Other Science News You May Have Missed

Did You Know Earth Had A Boring Phase? Neither Did These Huge Fossils.

The Lost Gardens of Emily Dickinson


Why Dying Stars Might Be A Good Place To Look For Alien Life

New Horizons Studies Its First Mysterious, Distant Space Object After Pluto

More Signs That Life Could Thrive On Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Video Feature: Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart


A Jet Engine You Can Print At Home

‘Tetris The Movie’: Coming Soon To A Theater Near You

Eske Willerslev Is Rewriting History With Dna


The Expiration Dates On Our Food Could Be Contributing To A Huge Environmental Problem — The Surprising Factor That’s Causing People To Throw Away Perfectly Good Food.

Mine Environmental Risk Grows With Big Coal Bankruptcies

Human Developments Are Wiping Out The West’s Natural Land

Seattle Now Fourth For Growth Among 50 Biggest Us Cities

California Allows Water Districts To Set Their Own Conservation Targets


Consumer Nightmare: Theranos ‘Voids’ Or Revises Tens Of Thousands Of Blood Test Results, WSJ Reports

‘Forest Bathing’ Is Latest Fitness Trend To Hit U.S. — ‘Where Yoga Was 30 Years Ago’

Simple Steps To Avoid Losing Your Sight

Exercise Tied To Lower Risk For 13 Types Of Cancer

Learning To Live With A Child’s Allergies

Opioid Prescriptions Drop For First Time In Two Decades

See also: ShareCare – Helping People Grow Younger Every Year


The Long History And Slow Death Of A Word Once Used To Describe Everyone And Everything From Egypt To China As Well As Rugs

‘A Million Questions’ From Descendants of Slaves Sold to Aid Georgetown

Georgia’s Alleged ‘Dr. Death’, Prescriber Of Addictive Pain Medicines, Indicted On Three Counts Of Murder After 36 Of His Patients Die

Teen Killed His Girlfriend’s Parents And Celebrated With Sex. He’s Being Released After 5 Years.


Life and choices

“Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude, remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.”

Marcus Aurelius, 16th Emperor of the Roman Empire

To subscribe and experience Thoughts in their original, please contact Ame at SpringggRain@aol.com


Interactive Feature: Unearthing The Secrets Of New York’s Mass Graves

Video: Ride Along As A Rocket Lands

Remembering Morely Safer










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 http://www.amazon.com/Wrath-USS-Testament-tale-rebellion/dp/1511900660/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

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


Advertising Copy ~ Classified and Display

Comedy ~ jokes, monologues

Ghost writing


Editing ~ General and International

“Americanization” of International Websites

Online English Tutoring

Special Projects

Northstar Media Services


email: minstrel312@aol.com


I’d love to see an itemized list of what was served at this one.  This Couple Loves Cats So Much They Invited More Than 1,000 Of Them To Their Wedding

Not in a bizillion years would I do this.  Divers Experience Rare Swim With Five-Metre Whale Shark Off ‘Straddie’

Even for us, this is weird.  Mini Microbes With Musical Tastes


Tropical Journey To See Wild Orangutans

City Bees Stick To A Flower Diet Rather Than Slurp Up Soda

Foot-Long Ancient Tooth Discovered On Australian Beach


This Canned Canadian Air Goes For $32 A Canister; The Washington Post Morning Mix Team Tested It Out

Seagulls On An Iceberg

Is This Future Terrific Or Terrifying?


The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

Rusty Miller – Editor

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor

Meade Fischer – Contributing Editor

Shannon Patricia Goddard (1962 – 2001) – Editor Emeritus

We are a reader-supported international news, commentary and general interest Internet weekly magazine reaching readers in 22 countries.  They range in age from 12 – 93 and cross all demographics. If you like what you read and would like to contribute to the next edition, please go here.  International currencies accepted. For more information and to receive us in your email if you currently view us on our website, 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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