The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

The Northstar Journal: The Magazine With Heart 


Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

October 30, 2016  Vol. 9 No. 8


Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea.  The following headline caught my eyes this week and while I am certainly dismayed, I am hardly surprised.  The middle road of the Realistic Optimist or the Optimist By Choice is not as well marked as the ones on either side.

Sex, Honour, Shame And Blackmail In An Online World

This article and others like it just reaffirm for me that while we are a species of tool inventors and tool users, our evolution in these regards has generally always been way out in front of the rules we make regarding how the wheel, gunpowder, atomic energy and cyberspace will be used.

And here’s one right out of Arnold Schwarzenegger In The 21st Century.  The Pentagon’s ‘Terminator Conundrum’: Robots That Could Kill on Their Own  It also has a Scriptural spin.

As the creation of a Creator, we have created a creation and given it the power to kill.  Just like God did when She gave us free will.  She hoped we would use it for good, as I’m sure the Pentagon hopes its creation will only kill the bad guys.

But according to the Bible, the first murder in human history was committed on a good guy.  By a good guy whose perspective ~ and therefore his behavior ~ was modified by a toxin that has killed more human beings since Time began that the mosquito.  Cain was jealous of Abel.

I also think that the evolution of killing technology makes taking a human life far too easy.  We have aerial drones doing it for us now so robotic ground troops are a logical next step.  If it was just killer junk killing other killer junk, it might be like destruction derbies on a geopolitical scale.

But it’s not.  We are using killer junk to kill human beings and sometimes other life forms.  And our tax dollars are paying for it.  And now we are being told that these things might get out of control and decide who they want to eliminate?

We need a better game plan than that, folks.  Otherwise, we’re safer bashing each other with rocks and clubs until we evolve beyond this behavior.

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



I enjoy technology as much as most I know but I have long been concerned about our society becoming too dependent on it.  Apparently I am not alone in that regard.  A New Era of Internet Attacks Powered by Everyday Devices

We found this very interesting.  People Who Live the Longest Do This

We all need to feel what this person feels.  Then it will end.  ‘I Dream in Fruit’: What Hunger Looks Like in Syria


Huge Marine Reserve Created Off Antarctica


Video: Trying To Talk To China’s Ruling Party

India’s Newest Obsession

Second Massive Ice Avalanche In Tibet

Extremists Storm Pakistan Police Academy, Killing At Least 59, As Ferocious Gun Battle Erupts

Think You Know China? ‘Tales Of Our Time’ Will Make You Think Again

In Myanmar, Military Action Forces Some To Flee: ‘We Just Had To Run Away To Save Our Lives’

When China Wants Better Air Readings, Cotton Does The Trick

An Exiled Editor Traces The Roots Of Democratic Thought In China

Unrest In Kashmir Claims New Casualties: Schools

Chinese Vessels Leave Disputed Fishing Grounds In South China Sea


Jail Time For Using South Africa’s Worst Racial Slur?

As 3 African Nations Vow To Exit, International Court Faces Its Own Trial

Militants Bomb Kenya Hotel, Killing 12; Shabab Claim Responsibility

Freed Sailors Recount Years Of Torture At The Hands Of Somali Pirates

Kenya Spares The Lives Of Everyone On Its Death Row

South Africa To Withdraw From International Criminal Court

Ethiopia Arrests Hundreds Of ‘Ringleaders And Bandits’ In Effort To Quell Protests

Memo From Nairobi: ‘Africa Rising’? ‘Africa Reeling’ May Be More Fitting Now


‘I Live in a Lie’: Saudi Women Speak Up

Rival Palestinian Leaders Agree To Agree, But Not On The Details

2 Yazidi Women Who Fled ISIS Slavery Receive E.U.’S Sakharov Prize

Israeli Veterans Fight One Last Battle: Reclaim Their Legacy From ‘Profanity’


EU Sets Deadline For Belgium To Back CETA Deal With Canada

Germany’s ‘Boring’ City Is On The Rise

Russia Loses Seat On U.N. Human Rights Council

How Dairy Farmers In Belgium Held Up A Big E.U. Trade Deal

Franco Took Decades To Leave The World Stage. His Statue? Only Days.

Ukrainian Hackers Release Emails Tying Top Russian Official To Uprising

Despite Brexit, Nissan Will Build New Car Model In Britain


Canadian Cities Ask For Nearly $13 Billion In Affordable Housing Help

Presbyterian Church Apologizes For Forced Assimilation Of Indigenous Populations

Vancouver Looks At Modular Housing To Boost Rentals

Canadians Leave 31 Million Vacation Days Unused Each Year

Ontario Leaders Knew About Capay’s Solitary Confinement For Months

Provincial Aboriginal And Enviro Groups Vs. Petronas LNG


AT&T Agrees to Buy Time Warner for $85.4 Billion

Russian Suspected Of Hacking U.S. Tech Companies Is Indicted

University of Wisconsin Student Arrested in Multiplying Sexual Assault Cases  

Bundy Brothers Acquitted in Takeover Of US Wildlife Refuge In Oregon

Tension Between Police and Standing Rock Protesters Reaches Boiling Point

Flint, And Michigan, Brace For More Charges In Water Inquiry


Venezuelans Take To Streets To Oppose President Nicolás Maduro

Venezuelan Lawmakers Vote To Put President Nicolás Maduro On Trial

U.N. Plans To Pay Victims Of Cholera Outbreak It Caused In Haiti

Vatican To Act As Mediator Between Venezuela’s Dueling Sides

Venezuelan Congress Accuses Maduro Government Of Staging Coup

Colombian Airline Halts Some Flights After Brush With Venezuelan Jet

After Hurricane, Haiti Confronts Scars From 2010 Earthquake Recovery

U.S. Abstains In U.N. Vote Condemning Cuba Embargo


The Land At Stake Is In Australia, But The Focus Is On China

Energy Security, Cashless Welfare Cards To Dominate Turnbull’s SA Visit

Bob Day Playing ‘Silly Politics’ And Should Quit, Say Labor, Greens

Accused Killer Of Brisbane Bus Driver ‘Numb’ In Court



Climate Change This Week: Running Out Of Earth, Inspiring Students, And More!


ISIS Sent Four Car Bombs. The Last One Hit Me.

Once Devoted To Suicide Bombing, She Now Embraces A Peaceful Jihad

‘I’m Scared These Men Will Kill Everyone’: ISIS Takes A Somalia Town


Mosul Battle: Inside Camp For People Fleeing ISIS Fighting

Mosul Battle: ‘All Those Who Have Died Are My Sons’

ISIS Kills More Than 200 As Battle For Mosul Intensifies

Syria Rebels ‘In Push To Break Aleppo Siege’


France Begins To Clear Calais Camp

Calais ‘Jungle’: Fires Rage Across Migrant Camp

About 90 Migrants Died After Boat Fell Apart In The Mediterranean


French police in Viery-Chatillon.  Photo Courtesy of Paris Match

French police in Viery-Chatillon. Photo Courtesy of Paris Match 


Hi Rusty:

For my column this week, I came across this article about the challenges that face French police in the wake of the recent attack on their colleagues in the Paris suburb of Viry-Chatillon, “Who Protects The Protectors?

The police are to serve and protect.  That is quite straightforward in case of terrorist attacks but in case of street protest, the mission and the mandate are not so well defined.  That makes their job even harder.  I think we need to remember this now more than ever and because of stories like this:

French Citizens Rise Up In Their Millions To Protest Ruling Elite

The sad irony is that while people rise against injustice, they far too often associate their police as ones who are on side of “the enemy,” not realizing that those who wear a badge are in the same boat, being just employees trying to pay the rent and feed their families.

This same dynamic took place in my country during Ukraine’s recent revolution.  Here, there were even calls to track in social networks families of policemen that outraged people.  Luckily most understood that it is not a way civilized societies do.

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

Olya Bereza – European Editor


Russian Oil Giant Rosneft To Restore Romanov Palace Near St. Petersburg

Are We Entering A ‘Post-Western World’?

Henry Kissinger Becomes Member Of Russian Academy Of Sciences


A Library That Brings Books By Sailboat

President Obama Signs Into Law The END Wildlife Trafficking Act, Following A Unanimous Passing In Both Houses Of Congress.

Poll: US Voters Positive About Democracy Fixes


Video: ‘Chaotic’ Scenes At Calais Camp Clearance

Somalis Living an American Dream in Kansas Glimpse a Nightmare

Humans Are Close To Killing Off Two-Thirds Of All Wildlife In Just 50 Years


None of the above.  Will Everyone Own A Self-Driving Car, Or Will We Share Them?

This tweaked me out a little.  The Town That Nearly Danced To Death

I totally agree.  Saving Mexico’s endangered sea turtles will be good for tourism too


Science Lessons For The Next President

Living Planet Report Released

East Timor’s 12,000-Year-Old Cave Art

First Fossilized Dinosaur Brain Found

Prehistoric People Decorated With Cave Lion Pelts


Earth-Sized Planets With Lots Of Water

 Wider-Eyed Watchdog Of The Clutter Surrounding Earth

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

For Rosetta, A Landing And An Ending On A Comet

NASA Aims At An Asteroid Holding Clues To The Solar System’s Roots


The Drones To Fly Inside Reactors

Broadband Providers Will Need Permission To Collect Private Data

The Car That Runs On Brain Power


Order From Interior Secretary Gives Tribes More Say In Management

The Awesome Economics Of Solar Energy Growth

Energy Poverty Is A Real Problem. Coal Is A Bogus Solution.

Can A Booming City Feed Its People Sustainably?

Residents Of New Microhousing Like The Fit, Even If It Is Snug


10 Ideal Summits For First-Time Mountaineering

16 Best Hikes On The Washington Coast

Our Vast Solar System And Its Many Explorers


Bottled Water or Tap: How Much Does Your Choice Matter?

H.I.V. Arrived in the U.S. Long Before ‘Patient Zero’

The Best Vitamin for Brain Health

Can A Spoonful From Pepsi Help The Medicine Go Down?


How Do Race And Inequality Intersect With Space?

You’re Never Going To Retire — And Here’s Why

The Most Persuasive Time Of Day



The Eeriest Island In The World?

Simon Cowell Made Fun of This Gospel Singer – Then Everyone is Blown Away

Lighting Up the Night Skies









 KIKORIKKI ~ a truly fun way to experience science



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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.

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Canada. Harp seal pup (Phoca groenlandica).

Canada. Harp seal pup (Phoca groenlandica).

Let us hope this continues.  Alaska Seal Is Now Protected Based On Future Climate Threat

I sure hope the rodent involved appreciated this.  Hairless Hamster Gets A Tiny Sweater Crocheted By Oregon Humane Worker

I sure am glad we are getting this cleared up.  Our Ideas About Swordfish Are All Wrong


Bees Can Learn To Pull Strings For Food

Meet One Of The Rarest Animals Alive

How The Brown Rat Conquered New York City (And Every Other One, Too)


The Cornell Ornithology Lab’s FeederWatch newsletter is now available online.

The Cornell Ornithology Lab’s NestWatch newsletter is now available online.


The Alien Threat That Could Kill Us All

A Call From Outer Space, Or A Cosmic Wrong Number?

Man Arrested For Blocking Traffic Dressed As A Tree


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Rusty Miller – Editor in Chief

Olya Bereza – European Editor

Dennis Steussy – Associate Editor

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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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