A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest

A weekly ezine of news, commentary, health, humor and general interest

The Northstar Journal:  The Magazine With Heart

News & Commentary, Oh Canada, Good Examples, Bad Examples, Our World & Beyond, The Green Agenda, Health, Lifestyle,  Northstar Comics, Best of the Net, All Creatures Great & Small, Northstar Endorses, You Guys Think I Make This Stuff Up, About Us

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Pacem, Libertatem, Justitiam

April 12, 2015

Vol. 8 No. 29

Rusty Miller – Editor

Denny Steussy – Associate Editor

Olya Bereza – European Associate Editor

lion king


Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea  I am very proud this week to share with you all an essay written by one of the students whose written English I am helping improve.  He is a young professional, husband and father, and here in America working with EarthCorps.

He is from Kenya and earlier this month, terrorists invaded a major university in his country and killed 147 Christian students.  Because I refuse to put him at risk, I will tell you that his name is Francis.  And this is what he has to say about what happened.

On an early, chilling and quiet Thursday morning in early April, the unexpected happened at Kenya’s Garissa University.  As some of the students were sleeping and others were preparing for classes, unknown masked gunmen found their way into the University’s dormitories and attacked them.  They started firing at them, leaving 147 students dead and many others injured in the confusion of escaping for their lives.

My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to the families, friends and relative of those students killed in this terror attack.  My thoughts and prayers continue to be with everyone impacted by the incident.  It is extremely sad.  As a nation, we Kenyans fail to understand the reason behind the attack which ended the lives of students in pursuit of their future.  It is a great loss to our country and as left many in shock.

Terrorism in Kenya is violence-driven by politics, ideologies, corruption and radicalization of those youths who choose to join these terrorist groups.

Many young people in my country are jobless and therefore vulnerable to those who would recruit them into committing crimes like this in return for good money.

Politics in Kenya have taken a different angle, leaving the important national issues to be addressed.  First, politicians are campaigning for the coming next election and misusing public funds and resources allocated to security issues.  Some of these officials are believed to be close associates of the terrorist groups.  As an example, many of our top politicians run charcoal businesses in Somali.  Political ideologies are also a contributing factor.  There is no mutual agreement and national dialogue among the politicians.

All these factors have transformed the war into religious conflicts, diving Kenyans along theological lines, creating disunity among the major religious groups in Kenya such as Muslims and Christians.  As a result, many Kenyans live through the pain and sorrow associated wit indiscriminate acts perpetrated by the cowards and heartless human beings who call themselves AlShaBab, people who believe they can achieve their objectives by using threats, intimidation and murder of innocent people.  On that chilling morning earlier this month, Muslims were separated from Christians.  The former were spared.  The latter were not.

There is need for national dialogue to discuss the best strategies to counter terrorism in Kenya.  There must be proper coordination among politicians and great community involvement in handling the security issues at hand.  The government of Kenya needs to take strong action against corruption.  This too will improve security in our nation.

The tragedy in Kenya is that such heartbreaking acts of terrorism have become a major challenge.  Therefore, as a country, we should be united and not divided.  We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated in our own country.  As a famous American president once contented, together we stand and divided we fall.

May peace be with Kenya.

Have a good week, gang.  And thanks for the ear.


This is certainly good to read.  2 New Ebola Vaccines Pass Important Early Test, Researchers Say

Here we go again.  Sigh.  Judge Refuses To Allow Obama’s Immigration Actions To Proceed

I am an unabashed tree hugger but this seems just a little extreme.  Indian Police Shoot and Kill 20 Said to Be Illegally Cutting Down Trees



Bomb Kills Police Officer And Injures Civilians In Cairo

In Nigeria, Beggar Students Vulnerable To Exploitation And Extremism

The Young Hopes Of Kenya, Laid In The Grave

Egyptian Court Sentences U.S. Citizen to Life in Prison


Chinese Women’s Rights Activists Fall Afoul of Officials

Malaysia Resurrects Detention Without Trial, Alarming Government Critics

Electoral Stakes High For Suu Kyi – And For Myanmar

Nun Sets Herself on Fire to Protest Chinese Rule in Tibet


China’s Anhui Province Plans $5 Billion Debt Swap, State News Reports

China Is Said to Use Powerful New Weapon to Censor Internet

China Is Rapidly Adding Coast Guard Ships, U.S. Navy Says


India’s Private Equity Industry Shakes Off Its Doldrums

India Software Chief Guilty Of Fraud

Indian PM To Meet With Pension Funds, Banks During Visit To Canada


Red Cross To Send Planes To Yemen

Video: Yemen Locals ‘Without Water For Days’

Israel Suggests Ways To Make Iran Nuclear Deal ‘More Reasonable’

Saudis Seek Pakistani Troops For Yemen Campaign, Official Says

Un Demands Access To Damascus Camp

Video Shows Afghan Hostage Beheaded

Deadly Gun Battle In Afghan City

Pakistan Votes For Yemen Neutrality

Iran’s Supreme Leader Says Sanctions Must Lift When Nuclear Deal Is Signed

Pakistani Court Releases Militant Leader Tied to Mumbai Attacks on Bail


Using Cash And Charm, Putin Targets Europe’s Weakest Links

Putin Meets With Alexis Tsipras of Greece, Raising Eyebrows in Europe


Marine Le Pen, Leader Of France’s National Front Party, Splits With Her Father, Its Founder

Sex Education In Europe Turns To Urging More Births

Explaining the Greek Debt Crisis

Turkey lifts Twitter block for image


Future London: Lloyd’s Building

From A to Z (Asteroids to Zombies), the British Just Want the Facts


Beneath California Crops, Groundwater Crisis Grows

70 Years on, Crowd Gets Close to the Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb

Rolling Stone Retracts Rape Article

Boeing And Delta Spend Millions In Fight Over Export-Import Bank’s Existence

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Is Guilty in Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Officer Who Killed Walter Scott Is Fired, And Police Chief Denounces Shooting

U.S. Deports Salvadoran General Accused in ’80s Killings

Legal Conflicts On Medical Marijuana Enter A New Phase

Capitol Locked Down After Shots Are Fired in Apparent Suicide


Harper Pledges Funds For Latin America, Will Press For Better Human Rights

What Is Lyme Disease And Why Are We Suddenly Hearing More About It In Canada?

Canada Ranked As Sixth Most Socially Advanced Country

Most Canadians Support Either Abolished Or Reformed Senate


US And Cuba Hold Historic Meeting

Engaging With Latin America


Australians’ Death Row Appeal Fails



Thawing Permafrost Could Be The Worst Climate Threat You Haven’t Heard Of

Jerry Brown Tells Climate Deniers To Wake Up And Smell The Drought

Wanna Change An Oil Exec’s Mind On Climate? Here’s How


Kenyan Authorities Say Son of Official Was Among Gunmen in University Attack

Kenya Bombs Somalia Al-Shabab Bases

Setbacks Press Shabab Fighters To Kill Inexpensively In Kenya


A Norway Town and Its Pipeline to Jihad in Syria

Winning Support Of Sunnis Critical For Iraq In Battle Against ISIL

Crisis In Palestinian Camp In Syria Has Worsened Since ISIS Invasion, U.N. Says

After Beating ISIS In Tikrit, Iraq And U.S. Seek Fighters For Next Front

Iraq Starts Emptying Mass Graves in Search for Cadets Killed by ISIS


BBC INDEPTH; Ukraine Crisis

VIDEO: Ukraine Arrests ‘Corrupt’ Oligarchs


Good!  ‘Revenge Porn’ Site Owner Jailed

Our admiration for His Holiness continues to grow.  In Francis’ Vatican, The Homeless Get VIP Treatment

This is happening where I live.  Teens Create Tiny Home Village For Seattle’s Growing Homeless Population


This is an outrage to an otherwise honorable profession.  Rolling Stone Article on Rape at University of Virginia Failed All Basics, Report Says

The Florida State Chamber of Commerce is going to love this one.  Video: Pets Gone Wild

This is not exactly reassuring.  Battling Crime and Calories at F.B.I. (Fit Bureau of Investigation)


This puts a new spin on “green with envy.”  Do colors change our mood?

First cars and now airplanes?  I do not think so.  Planes Without Pilots

This doesn’t sound very refreshing to me.  For Drinking Water in Drought, California Looks Warily to Sea


The Worst Place On Earth

‘Terror Bird’ Discovered

How Wasabi Could Pave Way For New Pain Meds


Weird Green Objects Seen In Space

Inside A Movie Spaceship Factory

Can Science Explain The Universe?


Moon’s Origin Story Gets Fine-Tuned

Psychedelic Brew Seen As Possible Remedy For Depression

Could Aliens Be Bigger Than We Ever Imagined?


The Hackathon Fast Track, From Campus to Silicon Valley

20 Cars That Changed The World

This Startup Wants To Fight Deforestation … With Robots


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.


California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth

This Affordable Housing Complex Has A Solar Farm On Its Roof

8 Striking Portraits Of People In The Path Of Canada’s Mega Tar Sands Pipeline


Tylenol for Pain No Better Than Placebo, Tests Reveal

Exercise Beats Vitamin D for Injury Prevention

6 Things No One Tells Women About Their Weight Loss Journey


Back To School At 40

The 11 Greatest Children’s Books

The Trip That Transformed Me


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.


As far as we are concerned, there stands alone as the Best Read On The Net.  Malala Yousafzai Gets Her Own Asteroid



It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond her own borders.  A military dictatorship controls the country and life is grim. The Republic is fighting for its very survival and for decades, especially with Latin America.

This is the world of the United States Coast Guard cutter Testament, a cybernetic patrol boat, and her six-person crew.  Her mission, and those of her sister craft, is simple.

Quench the rebellion and stop the flow of Americans seeking refuge in Canada. Kill when expedient.  Deliver the survivors to the Bellingham Re-Education Center.

A simple operational order and one which has served America well.  Until Testament

For a preview, please go here   To purchase the kindle book at for $3.99, please go here.

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. 


Business Correspondence,  Communications Consulting, Classified And Other Advertising Copy Writing, Editing, Ghost Writing, Humor  Jokes & Monologues, Online Research, Online Writing Tutoring, Proofreading, Song Lyrics, Speeches, Special Projects



This was a little spooky.  Tardigrades return from the dead

This was oddly reassuring.  Apparently young sea turtles do not go with the flow.

The Cornell University School of Ornithology April newsletter is now available.  Another outstanding edition for amateur and scientific birdwatchers alike.


Living With Wildlife

BBC’s Wildlife Finder

National Geographic Daily News – Animals


Amnesty International

Grittv With Laura Flaunders

Help End World Hunger & Poverty | Heifer International® | Heifer.Org

No Camels – Weekly Israeli Innovation News

Outside Magazine

The SeaDoc Society: People & Science Healing The Sea

Sierra Club

Wildlife Extra magazine

World Wildlife Fund

Writing For Peace


Bad day at work? Top this

Divorce via Facebook? Yes!

Ghostly Faces Appear In Medieval ‘Black Book’


The Northstar Journal is a reader supported, international news, commentary and general interest weekly Internet magazine.  It goes out by direct email to readers in 18 countries.  It also has a website linked to both Facebook and Linked-In.  Founded as a monthly in 1999, it is the winner of two Hersh “Best Read on the Net” awards” for its coverage of Bosnia and Washington State’s Nisqually Earthquake.  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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