Author: Hyejin Kim
Publisher: Midnight Editions
Hyejin Kim's poignant first novel takes the reader on a harrowing journey as Jia comes of age in the totalitarian and famine-stricken North Korea. After the last page is turned, every reader will feel enormous empathy for the plight of the countless North Korean refugees whose brave struggle for freedom and survival continues to this very day.
The gentle daughter of a dancer who died at her birth and a father who was disappeared for owning foreign books, Jia grows up in a North Korean mountain gulag where her grandparents have been sent as punishment for their son's supposed treason. When her grandfather manages to smuggle her out of the gulag, Jia's journey takes her first to an orphanage in Pyongyang and then to a dance school where she performs for foreign dignitaries and the Great Leader himself. As life in the capital city worsens, Jia and her friends struggle to survive the capricious political winds of modern North Korea.
The style of writing is unlike most novels one comes across in the West. The author's approach seems simple and straighforward, but the reader learns just how complex on many levels this story becomes. It is written in a journalistic style. If one wants to know about life in the Hermit Kingdom, this book is a must read.
Title: Song of the Cardinal
Author: Gene Stratton-Porter
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Genre: Nature Romance
A delightful and endearing story of a Cardinal growing up in the Limberlost swamp. Finds himself exploring the river area, and eventually meets an old farmer and his wife. The bird makes his home in a big sumac tree on the property and becomes fast friends with the farmer. Eventually the Cardinal finds a mate and brings her to the sumac tree, and there has his first of three families. The relationship the bird establishes with the farmer and his wife is simply amazing. Unrealistic but amazing. The bird is definitely the main character of this tale.
Anyone who loves birds and nature will simply fall in love with this story. It is the first of the Limberlost series. Originally published in 1903. Sometimes it is just wonderful to go back in time when things seemed simple and straightforward, and forget, even for a few hours, the complexity and harshness of our present age.
[ I would like to preface this post by saying I was raised a Christian fundamentalist until my 18th birthday. I left to study a variety of religious faiths before becoming a humanist in 1994. I have studied fundamentalism off and on most of my life. The three volume master work, The Fundamentalism Project, by Martin Marty had a profound impact on my life.]
There is a new movement a foot today in America. It is an offshoot of Christian Dominionism. It is known as the "Seven Mountains", or as the press would say, Seven Mountain Dominionism.
This movement originally started in the Pentecostal churches of America. This movement is known as the NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION or NAR by its insiders. It is nothing more or nothing less than a cult in the classic sense of the word. It is a weaponized form of Christianity. Why do I say that? Their tactical posture is called "spiritual warfare" and their motto is "Above salvation is Occupation."
This occupation theme is not some religious abstraction however. The seven mountains stand for seven major areas of society. After they secure their own personal salvation, they are called upon to infiltrate, take over and control important areas of our country, including media, schools, Congress, the White House, as well as other institutions.
The objective here is to restore America back to a Christian nation controlled by Christian leaders in all walks of life. They even worship our 45th President as the King Cyrus spoken of in the Old Testament. They call him "Cyrus Trump" because he is chosen and annointed by God. It is because of this bizarre interpretation they can completely overlook Trump's character flaws on every level.
Some of the more public figures associated with this cult of Trump or Christian Nationalism are: Rafael Cruz ( Senator Cruz's father), Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, Lance Wallnau, and now Glenn Beck. At least 13 members of the House of Representatives are Seven Mountain Dominionist.
This is a dangerous movement because it weds religion and politics in a weaponized form that is in sympathy with White Supremacy worldviews. Go to the below link for more information on this bizarre cult that is rapidly spreading through the Christian religion.
The following is a paraphrase of Richard Dawkins word on safe spaces at universities.
A university is not a SAFE SPACE - nor should it be. It should be just the opposite - where your cherished beliefs and opinions are put to the fire by your peers and professors. This is called learning. If you are unable to deal with this fact of life, then go back home and live in your parents basement, suck your thumb and play computer games, until such time as you are ready to be an adult.
I did not vote for Mr. Trump in 2016 for the following (and obvious reasons):
1. He's a Globalist.
2. He's a Crony-Capitalist.
3. He's a White Supremacist sympathizer & race-baiter.
4. He's a failed businessman who relied on government bailouts/handouts to the nth degree, just like Ross Perot did.
5. He failed to communicate effectively and professionally long before his candidacy.
6. He discriminated against blacks in his real estate housing projects - proven by court records.
7. His complete systemic moral failings in his personal life - no public remorse/apologies.
8. He's a fake Republican.
9. He's a fake conservative.
10. He's a fake Christian.
11. He believes and spreads wild conspiracy theories constantly in the face of proof otherwise.
12. He's scientifically illiterate - doesn't even meet college level standards of knowledge.