Joan, thanks from your encouragement on Pot Stories.  I'm writing a little summery of each piece and I'm really having fun just going over this stuff.  There're 27 separate pieces, each with its own information and lessons to be learned.  And the diversity of history and thought.  All for three bucks. 

True story: I was in a Manhattan Blarney Stone bar drinking fifty-cent beers. It was the mid-'80s.  I got involved in conversation with a reporter for the New York Post, which happened to be depreciating in value and losing readership at the time. 

I told him, "Look at this headline:  what a disgrace.  It’s becoming a rag.  The Post was founded by Alexander Hamilton, y-know.  What-d-ya call this headline?  Began to Knesset, "SORRY RON DUMPED ME." 

He didn't even frown, like it was nothin'.  "Look man, the New York Post is the most entertainment you can possibly buy for a quarter!” 

So, thirty years later, I really feel that Pot Stories is the most entertainment and information you could possibly buy for five bucks. (And it's only three now.  I'm raising the price soon.) 

I really love reading Barbara.  That stuff on the gnostics, most people have no idea who they were because the church did such a great job persecuting them and obliterating their memory.  Barbara is an expert on the period. 

Did you get to "The Islamic Holocaust"?  As I said she was an early feminist writer and the level of compassion for Islamic women is extraordinary.  It's institutionalized misogyny.  Just that piece alone should be more read to expose the horrors that Islamic women at going through. Only world zeitgeist can change things. 

Dig this:  Outrageous. Believe me, Barbara Walker is one of the best historians I ever came across. She rivals Will and Ariel Durant in footnoting and documentary skill. She's not making up the following.  It's true.  The west, not just Christians, should be rubbing the mullahs' noses in it and crying out loud:  This is Islam!   

From Barbara's essay: 

"In Atlanta in 2008... twenty-five-year-old Sandeela Kanwal was killed by her father because she was seeking a divorce from the designated husband... When Ayaan Hirsi Ali went on a one-woman crusade to get the Dutch police simply to keep track of the number of honor killings in Holland, she was scorned for exaggerating the problem -- until a pilot program in just two of the country's twenty-five regions found eleven such killings from October 2004 to May 2005.  After the United States 'liberated' Iraq from the secular Baath Party regime and handed it to the Shiites, there were forty-seven documented honor killings in 2006 in Basra alone.  Ayman Udas was killed by her brothers in Pakistan for bringing disgrace to the family by singing on television.  Harry Potter film actress Afshan Azad was attacked and nearly killed by her father and brother this summer for dating a Hindu. A four-year-old Palestinian girl who was raped by an adult was allowed to bleed to death, to preserve the family's honor.”

A historical note on this:  With the advent of Emperor Hirohito in 1926, Japan took on an ultra nationalist, military, supremacist regime called the Shōwa Period.  By the ‘30s, the country was so immersed in their power absolutely no dissent or criticism of the government was tolerated.  Free speech was eradicated.  Same as in Germany, thousands were either assassinated or send to prison.  In the early thirties, the junta was so powerful it invaded Manchuria, and the Nanking Massacre is well documented with 350,000 people was killed, many by being buried alive. 

My point is suppressing and abolishing free speech leads to horror.  We are witnessing many horrible acts right now and we should make the connection between the Charlie Hebdo incident and the atrocities we read in the media every day. 

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Comment by Rich Goss on March 31, 2015 at 9:55am

Thanks for the astute comment, Donald, Concerning Barbara's Walker's "Islamic Holocaust" in our book, she's one of the most thorough researchers I've ever known and reports that only a small percentage of atrocities against women are ever reported or known about.  Most crimes against women occur in remote tribal villages and are quickly submerged in the community's collective subconscious and never even mentioned. 

Female genital mutilation, for example, is a lot more prevalent than people surmise.  Barbara gives names and details of the atrocities and books to consult for people interested in the tragic phenomenon. 

Comment by Donald R Barbera on March 30, 2015 at 8:40pm

There are close to a billion followers of Islam or more. Yet, the infinitesimal acts of a few (less than .5%) are hammered into the evening news. As a former journalist, the common refrain around the copy desk was,  "If it bleeds, it leads." A good example of this was the deadly Ebola virus. Less than 20 people in the United States died of the virus. Less than, Twenty! The story of the cases and subsequent scare was pushed and publicized on the evening news. Meanwhile, last year 36,000 people died of the flu and another 200,000 were hospitalized. Yet, this never showed up in the media, at least not as a lead story. 36,000 deaths. It has no "drama, pizazz or dirty laundry. This does not excuse the horrific acts done by a few Islamists. However, it is a warning about the broad brush approach and remember to always consider the source and who has something to gain by such news. Also, it might be interesting to find who leaked, planted it or tipped off the media. My journalistic instincts always warned be to beware of "Greeks bearing gifts." Exit--The Trojan Horse

Comment by Michael Penn on February 17, 2015 at 12:48pm

Nice reading, and yep, Joan is awsome.

Comment by Dyslexic's DOG on February 10, 2015 at 5:07am

Yes, Richard, Joan is also one of my heroes.

As well as your self. 

I lack the insight and the ability to write interesting dialogue as in your blog.

Joan has had and will continue to have a much greater impact than I could ever hope to achieve with her activities, insight and fervour.

I may debate theists in public, but that achieves nothing.

It's lobbying and attacking irrational theistic bigotry based government policies and social bigotry is where the real need exists.

I don't have the intellect, position nor the insight to work the magic that the likes of Joan, Brother Richard and other front line active members have achieved so far in influencing people.

Debating theists is like pissing into the wind.

Very few people take any notice these days of such debates and if I'm lucky I may only get a little wet. 

Once upon a time, when this region was highly theistic, my attacking theists and creationists on the streets and in the university, had some affect, but now it doesn't even attract onlookers, they just ignore the confrontations.

Though I haven't seen a street preacher nor a creationist in months, so I'm not sure any exist in my region any more, or maybe they are all in closets.


Comment by Joan Denoo on February 9, 2015 at 1:30pm

Richard, this history is appalling and needs to be told. Freedom of speech is critical to recognize what happens in a society, and to bring justice to those who are powerless. 

Sadly, I have not opened your book for a few days, trying to catch up on my mail. It seems I stir people's energies, either because they like or hate my writing. I look forward to opening the pages of your stories very soon. 

The well-documented abuses that occur in this country, when told by news outlet puts a sensational tone to the story and does not define the underlying problems of domination and oppression of some over others. The fundamental idea of supremacy, domination, exploitation for one's own pleasure applies if it is the rape of a child or the crimes of big banks and corporations. Thanks for your fine work. 




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