We’re all caught up in circumstances, and we’re all good and evil. When you’re really hungry, for instance, you’ll do anything to survive. I think the most evil thing – well, maybe that’s too strong – but certainly a very evil thing is judgment, the sin of ignorance. – Anthony Hopkins
The human race is a herd. Here we are, unique, eternal aspects of consciousness with an infinity of potential, and we have allowed ourselves to become an unthinking, unquestioning blob of conformity and uniformity. A herd. Once we concede to the herd mentality, we can be controlled and directed by a tiny few. And we are. – David Icke
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. – Bertrand Russell
Mira is hungry. Starving, actually. Alone. Isolated. Brutalized by family, hated by a whole town, to whom she is known as “Crazy Mira” and “Mira the Witch”. She suffers attacks – verbal, emotional and physical – from the town-turned-human pack. Even those who don’t attack turn their heads, ignoring the pain that Mira suffers. Ignore her youth, her loneliness, and her literal starvation. The humiliating acts and viciousness of the townspeople makes it hard, nearly impossible, to come to town, to buy even the simplest of food supplies with her meager funds.
The amazing thing? Mira is not bitter. Instead, she accepts – no, she expects their treatment, and doesn’t blame. She considers it her due. After all, she has never known anything but cruelty in her life, so there must be something wrong with her.
Mira lives alone, on a mountain deep in the woods, in a falling down shack left to her by her uncle (An uncle who died on the bathroom floor in a pool of his own alcoholic vomit.)
Out hunting her woods, hoping with all her might to bag a squirrel or rabbit, to ease the terrible pains of days of starvation, she comes across something she never expects. The town ‘pretty boy’ and member of one of the “five families” of their small town, Caleb McCreedy, is sprawled on her land, bleeding to death as a massive grizzly bear eats his horse – in all likelihood as an appetizer before eating Caleb.
Saving the pretty boy is hard – Mira’s life has left her terrified of people, especially those whose personal power can make her miserable existence even worse. But save him she does. And though she tries to warn him that being attacked by that particular grizzly may mean that he hates her for saving his life rather than appreciating her deed, he doesn’t listen. She is, after all, only “Crazy Mira”.
Let’s face it. There are a lot of paranormal romances out there. Some good, some not so good. But this particular PR is something different. Something better. Yes, it is a PR, and a well written one at that. But it is more important, at least in my estimation, as a lesson in the human condition. A lesson in how superstition and the pack mentality can turn even the best of us into cruel monsters, without a drop of compassion or kindness.
“My bones stuck out so much and my skin was thin as rice paper. When I hit something, it would split me open, and I was too young to know how to stitch myself up yet.”
This book is well worth your precious reading time if you want something different from the normal “boy meets girl, they boink, they marry, the end”. No. This is something richer, fuller, which I have now on my “keeper” shelf. T.S. Joyce’s books are bargains – anything from .99 to 2.99, or free with kindleunlimited, so there is really no reason not to enjoy them. I haven’t read her before, but I am looking forward to reading more to see if they are as good as this one.
Two pastors and an elderly advocate for the homeless have reportedly been charged for feeding the underprivileged. The issue stems from a recently-passed city ordinance in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that makes sharing food with the homeless an offense.
Is anyone other than me TOTALLY APPALLED? And remember this – Florida is where this country’s federal elections are won or lost. Do we really want this state’s kind of cruelty to decide our fate as a nation?
If you find this as nasty as I do, I hope you will feel free to repost.
Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger … for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created…. The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. – Christopher Hitchens
They’d lived in a country that was run by a butcher. That did not make them butchers. In fact, they were just the opposite. – Jan Coffey, The Janus Effect
The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble individual – for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost. – M. Scott Peck
In 1988, with the full might of the US Government and the force of the Regan White House behind him, Saddam Hussain facilitated what was known as “The Anfal Campaign.” Named for the eighth sura, or chapter, of the Qur’an, Saddam’s Anfal was a mammoth campaign of civic annihilation, displacement and mass killing. Saddam tapped his cousin, Ali Hassan al–Majid, a man well–known for his brutality, to take charge of northern Iraq. Al–Majid quickly deployed military resources to, in his words, “solve the Kurdish problem and slaughter the saboteurs.” He ordered Iraqi aircraft to drop poison gas on PUK and KDP targets and civilian villages, killing thousands indiscriminately. The Iraqi regime had become the first in history to attack its own civilian population with chemical weapons. Al–Majid came to be known as “Chemical Ali.”
There were eight Anfal attacks in all, each following a similar pattern. First, air attacks dropped chemical weapons on both civilian and peshmerga targets. Next, ground troops surrounded the villages, looting and setting fire to homes. Then townspeople were herded into army trucks and taken to holding facilities, the largest being Topzawa, an army camp near Kirkuk. At these camps, men and boys deemed old enough to carry a weapon were separated from women, the elderly and young children. Routinely and uniformly, these men and boys were taken to remote sites, executed in groups, and dumped into pre–dug mass graves. Many women and children were also executed, especially those from areas that supported the Kurdish resistance. – Dave Johns, The Crimes of Saddam Hussein, 1988: The Anfal Campaign
When the dust, chemicals, and biological weapons had settled, 90 percent of Kurdish villages had essentially been wiped off the map, and the countryside was strewn with mass graves, and with land mines to discourage resettlement. The response from the international community was muted, as many nations, including the United States, had supported Hussein with money and arms during the Iran–Iraq war.
“Half of writing history is hiding the truth.”― Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy
One of the worst of these attacks was against the city of Halabja, a peaceful, working class Kurdish city. Al-Majid ordered the destruction of the city with chemical and biological weapons, including mustard gas, nerve gasses such as sarin, VX and hydrogen cyanide, and a new, unidentified gas “that made people crazy (they tore off their clothes, laughed for a while and then dropped dead). Around 8000 died immediately. Overall, hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Kurdistan were slaughtered, without pity. And yet, what do we, the American People, know of the atrocities committed by our government in our insane quest for cheap oil?
Out of this wasteland of indiscriminate death and destruction begins The Janus Effect, one of the strongest novels I have ever read. Utilizing strong research, close ties with the people of Kurdistan, and a depth of personal compassion that is unmatched, Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick, writing as Jan Coffey, have written a novel that deserves to be on every person’s reading list. And yes, you really should read it, not just let it sit there and look pretty on the shelf. This is an amazing and horrifying story that will send chills up your back, and make you think, long and hard, about the meaning and reality of true evil.
In the middle of nowhere Maine, something has happened. Something horrific; unbelievable; and frightening beyond words. Two families have arrived on a small coastal island for a summer vacation. Within a matter of hours, they are all dead and rotting with unimaginable speed. Soon, those that find the bodies are also dead. Ten fatalities, within hours rotted beyond recognition. Only one aspect is possibly familiar. A strand of bacteria found in a bombed out lab in Iraq in 1988 shows many of the same constituents of this new, deadly killer. And to learn about that bacteria, what it is, and how it is developed, Austyn Newman is traveling to Afghanistan, to the infamous Brickyard Prison, there to question the one person who may have answers – the scientist who developed the bacteria in Sadaam’s laboratories. Traded between various “black” prisons for the past five years, Dr. Rahaf Banaz has been lost in a system of total isolation, a ghost, with no record, no rights, and having never been charged with, or convicted of, a crime. Questioned, tortured, and finally left to rot, Newman finds his quarry in a hole in the Brickyard, cramped into a cell so small she cannot even stand. Starved, shaved bald, and with only a filthy blanket, she is, indeed, a ghost of a human being. And she is, he believes upon meeting her, something else as well. She may not even be Dr. Banaz.
As the story unfolds, Newman and Dr. Banaz, Dr. Fahimah Banaz, Rahaf’s sister who has taken Rahaf’s place in prison in order to allow Rahaf to continue her medical relief work, travel from the Brickyard at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan through the ruins of cities and the beauty of the stark mountain landscape to the city of Kermanshah, Iran, in search of Rahaf, in search of answers. And during their travels, we learn too of the atrocities of sadistic politicians, both Eastern and Western, the horrors of the victims of war, and the lengths humans will go to in order to destroy one another for power, money and glory. And also? Also, the lengths that humans will go to in order to save and protect those they love. And even those they do not know.
This is a powerful story. Thriller, suspense, medical thriller, history, it’s all there, wrapped up in a story to break any thinking person’s heart. Lies and deception; truth and brutal honesty; and above all the agony of a people forgotten, written off by a culture that cares not for those who are crushed under the weight of a brutal, sadistic war machine. With heartbreaking twists at the end, this story written from the outlook of someone who loves the country and its people should be honored for both it’s excellence and heart.
“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince
I received this book from StoryCartel.com in return for a realistic review. I highly recommend that you read it. I got a nice note from the authors, it was indeed a proof copy I received. It has been professionally edited.
Thanksgiving. The celebration of the survival of the first group of White colonists to live through their arrival on the new continent, soon to be called “America.” The Native population helped them to survive, teaching food gathering, how to build shelters, and how to survive the harsh Eastern climate.
Hence began the genocide of whole cultures, the slaughter of women and children, and the modern day environmental disasters of the White invaders.
But be that here nor there, Thanksgiving is now a celebration of family, friends, and community. Though in this day and age, there is way too much hunger in this land of plenty. Job loss; home loss; women and children living in cars and on the streets. The pressures on the American people are crushing. Hunger is out of control, and the systems that provide food and shelter for those in need are being squeezed tighter and tighter to pay for military costs and the greed of the top 1% of the country – those who caused this nightmare in the first place.
So, before you sit down with family and friends, you should consider doing your part to help. Call in a donation to your local shelter or soup kitchen. Better yet, grab up the turkey and stuffing and carry it with you, and your friends and family, and volunteer. The needy will be fed, and you might be surprised at just how wonderful it makes you, and those you love, feel.