The Magazine With Heart
Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam
June 11, 2017 Vol. 9 No. 41


Hi again, from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, the big news for me this week was former FBI Director James B. Comey’s public testimony before Congress. I watched the entire proceedings and I have my own observations.

They come from perspectives of growing up with law enforcement and working with police and the courts in three states. I’ve also run two small political campaigns and received a national award for editorial journalism. I say that because if you’re like me, an opinion is nice. An INFORMED opinion is worth the time.

Mr. Comey’s credentials are impeccable and he is definitely one species of “Washington Insider.” He has, for the most part, navigated the slippery (and sometimes slimy) slopes of Capitol Hill adroitly and with both his ethics and his patriotism intact. He served two presidents (one of each party) well before he ran afoul of the third.

Because Trump has proven to be both enigmatic, reality challenged and unpredictable, Mr. Comey’s behavior and the means he used to protect both himself and the public’s right to know was appropriate. Trump complains about leaks after putting an iron mask on the Potomac media when the most appropriate response would have been absolute candor.

I did not and do not see this as Comey v Trump. I see it as yet another example of the “raging bull in a glass shop” behavior that has characterized Trump as a human being for seven decades. That’s a long time to be obnoxiously megalomaniacal and habits that old are nearly impossible to break. So Former FBI Director James Comey joined the ranks of other senior Washington, DC officials in essentially saying, “Chill, Donald. You can’t legally do that, dude.”

I admire Mr. Comey, as I admire my mayor, my governor, my two US senators and my Congressman. It is precisely because of individuals like these that even the most maladroit hand on the helm of the Ship of State can’t sink the flipping boat.

I’ve also learned something pretty important, I think. When people speculate about the motives of others, it is usually a revelation about the options they themselves might entertain under similar circumstances.

And on that note, then, folks? Have a great week, gang, and thanks for the ear. Rusty

Rusty Miller is a journalist, author, editor and photographer who lives in Seattle, Washington. For comments, please go here.




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London Attack: Third London Bridge Attacker Named

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Emmanuel Macron’s Amateur Politicians Are Poised To Remake French Parliament

Merkel Says EU Is ‘Ready To Start Brexit Negotiations’


Russia’s Oil Bargain With Iran Has Political Overtones

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Foreign Minister Says Russia Won’t End Travel For Europeans


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Hawaii First State To Pass Law Committing To Paris Climate Accord

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Venezuela Musicians Rise Up After Violist, 18, Is Killed At Protest


Muslim ‘Safe Space’ Plan Sparks Row In Australia

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Investigation Into ‘National Shame’ Work-For-The-Dole Scheme Underway

Top Cop Probed For Alleged Misconduct At Time Of Daniel Morcombe Inquest

‘Questions’ Over Chinese Company Donation To Western Australia Liberals

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193 Nations Urge Action To Protect Oceans


A gloomy day in London. Photo by Olya Bereza


Hi Rusty:

Last week was gloomy for the capital of the UK, when just a few days before elections the London attack at Borough Market happened.

Like the recent drama in Manchester, this too seems only to have united people. London thrives because of its multiculturalism so it should be no surprise that the days following tragedy, people on streets were even more polite with each other.

The results of Parliamentary elections though were a surprise.  Labour leader Jeremy Corbin was very consistent in his election campaign, so no party could win a majority. This only means that more negotiation and cooperation will be needed but on the other hand ability to choose is a fundamental for democracy.

That’s all for this week, Mishka. Take care and peace be with you.

Olya Bereza, who was born in the Soviet Union, now lives in Ukraine and is fluent in English, Russian and Ukrainian. She is a degreed psychologist with a background in international marketing and personnel management. For comments on this please go here.   

Two guitarists and a hand drummer (hidden behind the man on the right) entertain inside a tiny bar in Havana. Photo by Emily DeCarlo


by Dac Collins

Around sunset, heavy clouds hang sweating over the ancient, living buildings of La Habana. With this sweat comes heat, an impressive sort — one that builds as the sun dips down over the Gulf of Mexico.

It is the rainy season and while the grey water-laden clouds continue to perspire, even heavier now that the light is fading, two Yanquis sit under the tin roof of a tiny bar sipping mojitos. They watch as a three-piece band plays Chan Chan, paying respect to the Buena Vista Social Club, a place as well as a group of musicians who, though now mostly absent from the physical realm, remain living legends on the island.

The two Americans are having a hard time keeping their eyes off of one another. They talk little, taking in the surreal scene unfolding around them. A drop of sweat dives off the tip of his nose and into the cocktail, falling somewhere between the hierba buena and the rim of the glass. She dabs at her forehead with a bandana.

Then it happens—somewhere in the middle of the song. The lead singer rakes a flat pick across six nylon strings and yells, “para macané”, his voice rising like an arrow towards the clouds rumbling overhead. His shot is true and they unleash their burden on the scene, thousands of water balloons bigger than ’52 Chevies all popping at once. The two waiters on shift jump into action.

One runs outside to bring in a vacant table. The other scrambles for the tarps that are rolled up and draped over the side of the roof. He tries to unfurl the tarp that shelters the side of the bar facing the Atlantic. He fumbles with a knot. The testy double-overhand tightens its grip while the rain attempts to drown him, but he keeps struggling, embattled with a stubborn four-inch piece of twine. His friend recognizes his plight and runs for a knife. The twine doesn’t stand a chance.

Meanwhile, the musicians scramble to the center of the bar. Moving, they never miss a beat. They play even louder to compete with the raucous sound of water crashing against weary metal.

Their tempo quickens, the bongo player’s pedal-driven cowbell intensifying with the rain. The man on the tres picks away while the singer on his left, eyes closed, looking upward, yells the name of another tiny town in the campo.

Then the three musicians, who have likely never had the opportunity to leave this bizarre landmass, finally get their chance. They slide out into the rain, leaving a melody in their wake as the storm picks them up and guides them upward by the smalls of their backs.

Now floating somewhere between Havana and the heavens, they all follow in perfect time. They mirror her thunderous hip shakes and her quick, torrential footsteps, dancing on the rupturing clouds underfoot.

Editor’s Note: Dac and his friend are both fluent in Spanish and she has visited Cuba before. This was Dac’s first experience and what you read is an excerpt from notes he took. We’re preparing a more journalistic treatment which will provide some windows on this Caribbean island nation, from a source I personally know. RM


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NEXTDOOR is a dynamic non-profit community networking association helping neighborhoods across America become friendlier and better organized. They offer membership profiles, free classifieds and local social networks, all at no charge. For more information, contact them at   

A kid friendly story about Little Queen Harmony and her best friend, Rocky the Rocket, as they head out to enter Rocky in the World Space Models Championship. A very cute Kindle Book, it is on sale here for just $0.99: 

Thought of the Day: For true inspiration delivered to your email every week, contact Amy at It will be the nicest thing you’ll do for yourself today.

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, writing and tutoring and service located in Seattle, Washington. We handle everything from general editing, to ghost writing, to online tutoring in English composition. Please contact us at or visit our website at

ADVERTISE WITH US: 50 words for $5.00  


This is absolutely heart-warming. Dolphins Rush To The Glass Once They Hear Incredible Violinist Playing Music For Them

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The Mummies’ Medical Secrets? They’re Perfectly Preserved


The Northstar Journal reaches readers in 22 countries. Admittedly a demographic rainbow, they share a strong, passionate and proactive desire to help make our world a better place. We are proud to serve them as a resource in that regard.

If you would like to donate to the next edition, please go here. If you would like to sponsor an edition, with credit and a link to your organization, please contact Rusty at

Until next week, take care, stay well and God Bless. RM/OB






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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