The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart


 News & Commentary; From Our European Desk ~ Witch Hunting In Poland; Meade Fischer ~ Morro Bay With Outdoor Writers; Good Examples, Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health; Lifestyle; Funzone; Northstar Classifieds; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think We Make This Stuff Up;About Us

Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

October 9, 2016 Vol. 9 No. 5


This Week’s Theme Music:  Bless The Beasts And The Children ~ The Carpenters

Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  Fasten your seatbelts.  My column this week is not going to be a fun ride.  It could not possibly be after reading this.

‘You Can Hear The Bombs Fall, I Will Tweet Tomorrow If We Are Alive’: Syria’s Seven-Year Old War Reporter

What I find toxically ironic is that every major religion in the world, including the several involved in Syria, places the welfare of children among the most Divine of concerns.

Where is this child’s voice when policy is debated, airstrikes planned, bomb runs made and damage assessed?  Where is this child’s voice when diplomats accuse one another of things both do and hope they do not get caught at?  Where is this child’s voice when men and women who were once children themselves butcher babies in the name of a god they shame by their bestiality and a jihad that has not been declared?

If we cannot protect the most vulnerable among us but instead choose to make war on them, by what right do any of us deserve to survive?

Have a great week, gang, and thanks for the ear.


This Week’s Theme Music:  Bless The Beasts And The Children ~ The Carpenters


This is absolutely heart-wrenching.  Video: The Bombing Of Aleppo’s Children

I sure hope the answer to this question is “yes.”  Is The US Getting Closer To Becoming A ‘Clean Energy Superpower’?

This is even more dramatic than it sounds.  See also From Our European Desk.  Poland Rejects Near-Total Abortion Ban After Women Protest In Streets


World Food Prices Surge In September


On Board India’s Mosquito-Busting Train

Showing How Art Critical Of Malaysian Premier Thrived During His Rule

Centuries Of Buddhist Tradition Make Room For Bhutan’s First Law School


Turning Bulbs Into Aerials In Sierra Leone

An Investor’s Plan To Transplant Private Health Care In Africa

Libya Starts Expanding Oil Exports — For Now, At Least

Stepping Over The Dead On A Migrant Boat

Why A South African Desert Blooms Into An Annual Flower Show


Sign Of Thaw With Iran: American Cellphones Ringing In Tehran

U.N. Syria Envoy Offers To Escort Rebel Fighters From Aleppo

World’s Oldest Man, After Century Wait, Celebrates Bar Mitzvah At Last

In Fight For Aleppo, Tangled Alliances In Syria Add To Chaos

West Bank Settlers Prepare For Clash, With Israeli Government

United States Criticizes Israel Over West Bank Settlement Plan

Israel Halts Yacht Trying To Break Its Blockade Of Gaza Strip


Mass Police Purge In Turkey Over Coup

Video: Pensioners Try To Topple Police Bus

Flash Crash In Asian Trading Hits Pound

Norway’s Short But Controversial Fence On Russia’s Border

How Sweden Became An Exporter Of Jihad

Kurdish Politician Who Vanished In Turkey Turns Up In Iraq


Ottawa Unveils New Housing Rules To Slow Foreign Investment

Four Major Changes To Canada’s Housing Rules

Canada’s Banks Brace For Mortgage Overhaul

Ukraine Warns Canada Not To Trust Russian Co-Operation Over Arctic

LNG Approval Leaves BC Mayors Divided Over Pipelines

Trudeau Gives Provinces Until 2018 To Adopt Carbon Price Plan

Where Do Canadians Stand On Climate?

A Province-By-Province Rundown Of Canada’s Existing Carbon Pollution Policies

How Are White People Confronting Racism In Canada?

Canada Today: Giving Thanks, Canadian Style

Women In Royal Canadian Mounted Police Get An Apology For Years Of Harassment

Winnipeg Journal: A Museum About Rights, And A Legacy Of Uncomfortable Canadian Truths


Flint Hit With Bacterial Illness as Residents Shun City Water

Los Angeles Police Release Video of Fatal Shooting; Say Man Had Gun

2 Police Officers Are Shot and Killed in Palm Springs, Calif.

How U.S. Torture Left Legacy Of Damaged Minds

7 Deaths, 887 Water Rescues Reported in North Carolina as Matthew’s Flooding Causes ‘Massive Destruction’  


Mexican Officials Arrest Suspect In Death Of Canadian Photographer

Hundreds dead in Haitian storm disaster

Seeing ‘Nothing To Live For’ As Haiti Seeks A Body Count After Hurricane Matthew

Colombian Opposition To Peace Deal Feeds Off Gay Rights Backlash

Colombia’s President, Juan Manuel Santos, Is Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

António Guterres Pledges To Help Vulnerable As Secretary General

Hurricane Matthew Makes Old Problems Worse For Haitians

Security Council Backs António Guterres To Be Next U.N. Secretary General

A List Of Previous Disasters In Haiti, A Land All Too Familiar With Hardship


Getting Weird In Queensland, Australia: From The Largest Sand Island On The Planet To Swimming With Turtles

Gina Rinehart Makes Joint Bid With Shanghai CRED For Kidman Empire

Hanson Pledges Support For Government’s CFA Bill



Peace Prize For Colombia President

Physics Prize Goes To Three Who ‘Revealed Secrets Of Exotic Matter’

Tiny Machines Win Chemistry Prize


A Growth-Friendly Climate Change Proposal

A Curious Plan To Fight Climate Change: Buy Mines, Sell Coal

Why We Don’t Talk About Climate

Paris Climate Pact Set For Enforcement

Views: To Effectively Combat Climate Change, Involve Women

A Secret Climate Weapon For Temperate-Weather Cities

As Cities Get Warmer, Trees Lose Some Ability To Filter Carbon


Tree of Hope, Keep Firm, 1946 by Frida Kahlo (www.fridakahlo.org

Tree of Hope, Keep Firm, 1946 by Frida Kahlo (www.fridakahlo.org)


Hi Mishka

“Compassion is the chief and perhaps the only law of being for all mankind”. F. Dostoevsky

This past Monday, thousands of Polish people ~ mostly women wearing black ~ went on strike.  They were opposing legislation written by a largely male government but in response to a citizen’s initiative petition which drew 400,000 signatures in this nation of 38-million and which is supported by the Polish Catholic Church.

Poland already has one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws and but now there is a strong movement behind the implementation of five years imprisonment for any abortion attempt, even if pregnancy endangers the mother’s life or was a result of violence

How cruel is this for womankind, to punish a person even more? Not even saying about usual cases of single mothers when fathers just slip away and all responsibilities falls on fragile shoulders. Surely neither male deputies nor those who signed the petition didn’t spend more than a moment on that decision. And support by the Church again doesn’t mean much if one recalls the Inquisition and the rampant Vatican-sanctioned witch hunting of the Middle Ages.

And if we are going to cite the Bible for precedent, perhaps we should remember this quote from John 8:7.  “Let the innocent one among you be the first to throw the stone”.

I’m sure that demographics plays a large role in this opposition to abortion but a tradition of religious, moral, political and cultural conservatism notwithstanding, again, often when governments try to step into the private lives of those they govern, it backfires heavily.

Consider, for example, China, where there is an asymmetry in young population.  Beijing restricted couples to just one child and looked the other way when female fetuses were aborted in favor of bearing male children.  Even if daughters were born, they were undervalued and now there is a new generation of Chinese women who ~ as accidents of birth ~ have very little self-esteem or much support for it.

There is only one way to change this demographic situation for the better and that is by education.  On public transportation in Ukraine, for instance, you find advertisements of free psychological help for pregnant women in difficult circumstances.

What matters most, however, is social support guarantees. I was raised in the Soviet Union and remember very clearly when Moscow abandoned Communism in favor of becoming a socialized state which truly did look after the well-being of citizens.  Part of that change involved decriminalizing abortion and re-defining its role in creating a compassionate, stable and viable population where both genders are valued.

This approach also helped Ukraine at the dawn of this new century, when Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko budgeted money help to mothers and young babies. Suddenly from demographic crises of 1990s, the nurseries of Ukraine that had been closed previously were opened again for a new generation of “baby boomers”.

A few times, I have been asked for advice by girlfriends in trouble, who didn’t know what to do.  I have never been categorical with them, but just tried to be delicate and share my experience. Recently, several have given birth to wonderful children and never regretted it, despite all the obstacles.

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

Olya Bereza – European Editor


Where has one of North America’s foremost travel photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting?   Morro Bay With Outdoor Writers


Scenic Sips: Enjoy Vino With A View At These Scenic California Wineries

20 Most Impressive Ways To Travel


The Return Of Cold War Thinking In Moscow And Washington

Remembering Slain Russian Journalist Anna Politkovskaya

Russia Considers Reopening Military Bases In Cuba And Vietnam

Weekend in Moscow: Sarah Kane, Psychosis and Elyse Dodgson 


First Lady Going All-Out To Preserve White House Garden  

Meet The Woman Who’s Making Google More Sustainable

Shell Cancels Oil Train Plans For Puget Sound Refinery


Video: Just How Bad Is Online Shopping?

Whoops, We Haven’t Been Counting A Huge Source Of GHGS: Dams

Video: Memories Of A Secret C.I.A. Prison


This is interesting.  The Electric Car You Can Drive For Free

This, to me, is frightening.  Can you imagine being conscious like this?  Growing Human Brains – Without A Body

I love this.  Range Is All The Rage In Paris, As Electric Cars Steal The Show


New Earthquake Fault Discovered In Southern California

The Protein Bubble That’s Destroying The Planet

What Is A Fogbow?


Planet In Star System Nearest Our Sun ‘May Have Oceans’

A Third Saturn Moon Has Subsurface Ocean

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ Rocket Company, Passes an In-Flight Escape Test


How To Feel What A Robot Feels

The Moral Dilemma Of Memory Implants

A Playground That Teaches Kids To Love Their Bikes



Portland, Oregon’s Small-House Movement Is Catching On

Single-Family Homes… But Who’s The “Single Family”?

Oregon’s ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Approach To A Clean Economy  

Over 190 Countries Adopt Plan To Offset Air Travel Emissions


Habits That Age You

Eat For Better Sleep

The Best Lunch For Your Heart

What’s The Longest Humans Can Live? 115 Years, New Study Says


India’s Dish That Unites – And Divides

Where People Believe In Wizards

The Idea That Shaped The World

Was Modern Art A Weapon Of The CIA?

Voting Is Super Boring. Should We Just Admit That?

This One Pacific Northwest County Could Show All Americans How To Vote Better



Studio Uno Michel Dvd Presenta La Modella Alina Petrov

Animal Bible’s Almost Too Cute To Be Real

Hurricane Matthew From Space



A reminder of the science behind what many of take for granted this time of year: Why do leaves change color in fall? | Earth | EarthSky http://earthsky.org/earth/why-do-tree-leaves-turn-red-in-fall

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






KIKORIKKI ~ a truly fun way to experience science



NEXTDOOR is one of the most unique neighborhood Internet bulletin boards, free classified ad sites and social network on the American web.  It is also an outstanding export/import adaptable the world over.  For more information, contact them at https://nextdoor.com and tell them “Rusty from Rainier View” says hi.”

A superpower 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 who spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves.  For a $4.00 Kindle Book adventure you will remember for a lifetime, please go here.

A superpower 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 who spring to life even as Testament herself leaps the waves. For a $4.00 Kindle Book adventure you will remember for a lifetime, please go here. 

NORTHSTAR MEDIA SERVICES is an online editing, tutoring and writing service located in a home office in South Seattle, Washington.  We handle everything from general editing, to ghost writing, to online tutoring in English composition.  Please contact us at minstel312@aol.com or visit our website at http://nstarmed.wordpress.com

 TO ADVERTISE WITH US ~ The Northstar Journal is now accepting classified ads of up to 50 words for $5.00 US or 1 Euro.  Contact us at minstrel312@aol.com


Class of 2015 whales swim near Victoria, B.C. (Valerie Shore/Eagle Wing Tours and Shorelines Photography)

Class of 2015 whales swim near Victoria, B.C. (Valerie Shore/Eagle Wing Tours and Shorelines Photography)

Since they are our neighbors, this is especially good news.  West Coast Orca ‘Class Of 2015’ A Sign Of Hope For Endangered Species

This tipped the weird scale a little.  Snake Eats Lizard Eats Beetle

What do you know about wildlife crossings?  Test your knowledge here.


How To Ask A Horse What It Wants

Lifeform Of The Week: Owls

Oregon Protects Forage Fish, The Tiny Critters In Ocean

FOLKS WE FOLLOW:  The SeaDoc Society’s October 2016 newsletter is now online and it’s a good one.



These Kayakers Found a Century-Old Ghost Ship: Its History Will Haunt You

VIDEO: New Zealand Police ‘On The Beat’

In Senegal, Absolution Comes With A Wing And A Prayer


FRIENDS OF NORTHSTAR:  Amnesty International, EarthSkyNews, Ecofinder-Kenya, GritTV With Laura Flaunders, Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org, Mother Nature Network, Nature Conservancy in Washington, National Wildlife Federation, No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News, Ocean Conservancy, Outside Magazine, The Rainforest Site, SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea, Showcase Magazine:  Today’s Media For Artful Living, Sierra Club, Sightline Institute, The Sun Magazine, Wildlife Conservation Society, Wildlife Extra Magazine, World Wildlife Fund, Writing For Peace, YES magazine

New Masthead

Rusty Miller – Editor in Chief

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor

Meade Fischer – Contributing Editor

We are a reader-supported weekly Internet magazine reaching readers in 22 countries.  Ranging in age from 12 – 93, they cross all demographics but are united in a sincere desire to help make our world a better place to live.  We are both proud and honored to be a resource for them in that regard.  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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