Tag Archives: Politics

Banning Books

serveimage-1By Sherry Pasquarello/WWH – 

The 3rd of October was the last day of Banned Book Week. Every year I check on the new books added and the reasons why. Just now I checked in at the Library of Congress site online exhibition on books that shaped America.


I found that there are many on this list that I read in jr. high and high school that I did not see listed as books to read before 12 th grade graduation.

Then I looked up the list of banned and challenged classics.


Damn Skippy! THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London and FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS by Hemingway, THE JUNGLE by Upton Sinclair, THE LORD OF THE FLIES by Golding, 1984 by Orwell, THE GREAT Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, OF MICE AND MEN, Steinbeck…

WTF? I read all of these and more before I got out of school. No, they were not assigned but they were available and considered classics. I don’t have a problem with age appropriate guidelines but that is all they should be – guidelines for parents but every child is different and these books and others should be made easily accessible. I think they should be required reading in high school but that is just my opinion. As it was I read books that I bought from the paperback book circular list that we got in 7th and 8th grade that would probably have some parents up in arms today. I loved those book order circulars. They were discount priced because we ordered from the school. I remember reading A RASIN IN THE SUN and WEST SIDE STORY years before I saw the films. Geez, we are either not giving kids today credit for having brains or we are dumbing them down, by accident or design.

I think it’s far better to let kids read and then discuss with them if they have questions. Start with the classics and branch out. There are lists of new books that have been banned as well. Books aimed at teens and tweens that I find no fault with. Think how ass backwards we’ve become. We ban fiction and scare the hell out of our youth with terrorist boogeymen around every corner. We see kids killing kids every damn day on the news and school shootings almost as frequently but we ban Steinbeck? What a bunch of spineless hand wringers we have become. If our schools and local libraries have been frightened by the censors and their shrieks then please take your kids and grandkids to a bookstore and let them pick up a banned book-or two.



All Pope ALL of the Time!

serveimage-2By Sherry Pasquarello/WWH – 

Geez, now you know from my last column on the man that I have an admiration for the message he is trying to convey BUT wow, the media really needs to cool it. If you think its overkill where you live you should try living here in Pittsburgh right now. Not only are we close enough to Philly to drive, I think the local news channels are working with a skeleton crew because they’ve sent so many of their on air talent to cover every movement of this Pontiff.

Pittsburgh is still a Catholic town. You should have seen the coverage when the man two popes ago died. I swear even my gramma would have been flinging her rosary at her television screen!

Me? I swear they are negating all of the good things he has said while here by driving most folks crazy every time they turn on their T.V.

Think on this; IF we lived in a Theocracy (pick a faith-ANY faith) this sort of thing would be an everyday event. Minor I agree from faith based laws but still this is the type of thing that really wears on a person. Imagine coming home from a long day and instead of having a hour or two to unwind before bed and another work day, you get some anchor yammering on and on about what the head of the official religion decided to say that day. Folks tend to forget how religion can creep into everyday life. Remember the Blue Laws? I do, I’ve even read posts where some have called for them to be reinstated. Imagine your schedule as it is now and not being able to run to a store on a Sunday. Nothing is open and you just about have no entertainment but your T.V. WHICH will be chock full of holy and not much else.

Sound like your idea of life in America? If not, now is the time to make sure it doesn’t become our future. Vote!


The Hippie Pope

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 8.48.23 AMBy Sherry Pasquarello/WWH – 

Yes, Pope Frank aka Francis, is the closest thing to a hippie Pope I think we will ever see. Trust me. I have grown up with enough of them to say it with confidence.

Oh yes, there is still a LOT of points that I take issue with but believe me I thought I’d see kangaroos bouncing through the hall of the Vatican before I’d see a Pope that really gave a fig about the poor or had the balls to stand up the Cardinals that rule with an iron fist there. Don’t think for one second that Francis isn’t up against powerful opposition to his messages of peace and inclusion. These men dressed in red are incredibly well educated and they run the church like a corporation; which is exactly what it is, a very large and powerful corporation that merges state and church.

This man, Francis came from very humble beginings. He grew up scrubbing floors and when he got older was a bouncer for a time. This is someone from the streets. He also got himself a first rate education and rose through the ranks even though his idea of the duties of the church and the orthodoxy must have clashed numerous times. Me? I can’t understand how those businessmen in robes even elected him. I’m glad that they did. I’m not sure that many of them are now.

Now I’m very interested in his trip here. He is pissing off a ton of the Republican congress and FOX news already. I wonder about the SCOTUS.A lot of our congresscritters and the majority of the SCOTUS are Catholic. They are not happy about Frank! Oh they were in love with the last two Popes. John Paul II for all his high profile and the length of his papacy never really strayed from the Vatican line, the retired Pope made me think of a Nazi. This Pope is making the very rich and privileged uncomfortable and in some cases, angry. The poor and the working class are supposed to be happy with their lot in life, offer up their sufferings to Jesus and look forward (if the behave) to their reward in heaven. Francis has other ideas. He is going by the words of Christ and paring down all of the stuff that the aristocracy over centuries put into place to control the majorities.

So to me, this Pope is headed in the right direction. Peace between nations and faiths and concern for the poor and the ignored, the used and abused among us. He isn’t working as fast as some want but damn, for the Catholic Church he is flying through to the future in a rocket ship. I hope that he stays safe and alive long enough to complete his vision of unity and peace. I have my doubts.


Brazilian Indians kidnapped by ranchers


The community of Guarani leader Lide has been brutally attacked by ranchers' gunmen.
The community of Guarani leader Lide has been brutally attacked by ranchers’ gunmen.
© Survival International, 2015

Members of one of Brazil’s most persecuted tribes have been kidnapped by the ranchers who occupy their land, who have also attacked their community and forced women and children to flee.

The Guarani Indians of Pyelito Kuê community reoccupied a fraction of their ancestral land two days ago, and have been under attack ever since. One Guarani woman was reportedly raped and beaten up, and is now in hospital.

Earlier today gunmen employed by the ranchers attacked the Indians again. Reports indicate several were injured, with many fleeing in panic into a small patch of forest. Around 30 Indians were forced imarcinto the back of a truck and driven away. They were eventually dumped by a roadside.

Watch Marcio Guarani from Pyelito Kuê call on Brazil's government to map out their land (via Tribal Voice in July 2015)
Watch Marcio Guarani from Pyelito Kuê call on Brazil’s government to map out their land (via Tribal Voice in July 2015)
© Survival International, 2015

Communications equipment from Survival’s Tribal Voice project, which the Indians had been using to speak to the outside world, was destroyed by the gunmen.

The Indians have endured years of living in overcrowded reserves, on a tiny plot of land trapped between a river and a sea of soya, and in the middle of a eucalyptus plantation. All their lands have been taken over by ranchers, whose gunmen regularly attack the Indians.

Community leader, Marcio, told Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, today: “It’s terrible here. The gunmen attacked us in the middle of the night. They burned all our belongings. They shot at us. Some of my relatives were injured and many people fled. I don’t know where or how they are now. We’ll do everything it takes to get our land back. We will not give up.”

The Pyelito Kuê community filmed gunmen driving past their village and firing shots at them in April 2014.
The Pyelito Kuê community filmed gunmen driving past their village and firing shots at them in April 2014.
© Aty Guasu/Survival

This is the latest in a series of violent attacksby ranchers against Brazil’s Guarani tribe. According to Brazil’s constitution, all the tribe’s land should have been returned to it by 1993, but 22 years on, many remain landless and destitute.
Read this online: http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10913

Survival International is the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights. We help tribal people defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures. Founded in 1969.

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