An incredible story

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The author peeks up from behind her mother’s back around 1980.

I READ A LOT because I’m smart, or maybe it’s the other way around.

Aside from my frequent mentions here that I often read a spell during the late afternoons down on the plaza, accompanied by a café Americano negro, I don’t do book reviews nor do I plug them, usually. But I’m gonna make an exception.

The Girl With the Seven Names.

girlIt’s written, along with a Welsh ghost writer named David John, by Hyeonseo Lee. I believe all Koreans are named either Lee or Park. That’s not the name she was given at birth but one of the seven she picked up along the escape route.

She fled North Korea. It’s not the first book I’ve read by North Korean defectors. It’s the second or third. But it’s by far the best, the most gripping, the most incredible.

This book was on the New York Times Best Seller List in 2015, so you may know of it. I pay no mind to best-seller lists anywhere, so it was new to me.

Kindle recommended it.

Something I did not know was that although North Korea’s southern border, the one with South Korea, is heavily guarded and difficult to pass through, the northern border with China is a walk in the park to cross. The problem with escaping that way is that the Chinese will send you right back if you’re caught.

Lee was just 19 years old when she crossed into China. The years-long, often harrowing tale of her trek to South Korea and then the added, equally gripping, story of how she managed to get her mother and brother to South Korea too is something you don’t want to miss. It’s a story of terror, love, deceit, cunning and sheer luck.

It takes you through China, Laotian prisons, Vietnam and tense bus journeys.

North Korea is usually referred to as communist, but it’s about as communist as I am. It’s an old-school Oriental despotism that’s totally misplaced in today’s world. A bit more communist, but not all that much, was Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s Red China.

These facts support the common leftist claim the communism has never really been implemented, and that is quite correct. When the pie-in-the-sky notion of communism is tried, human nature swiftly comes into play, and despotism follows.

This is a wonderful book. It ends happily, and Lee is beautiful. How has this not been made into a movie? She’s in her late 30s now and lives in South Korea.

War on Christmas

THIS BEING Christmas Day, it’s appropriate to celebrate the 95% defeat of the secularists’ War on Christmas.

And what better way to do that than to have another guest post by the Fox News celeb Bill O’Reilly?

As people on the left will, almost to a man, deny having any clue what the term Political Correctness means, they also deny any knowledge of the War on Christmas.

Longtime Moon visitor Kim G* says he hasn’t spotted any War on Christmas anywhere, surely not in his social milieu.

He is a Christmas War Denier!

Without further ado, here’s a great take on the very real, but mostly defeated, War on Christmas. Take it away, Bill!

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bill“Let’s tell a few harrowing stories of past combat, at least the verbal variety. The War on Christmas, widely ridiculed by our cultural elites, was very real and genuinely damaging to many traditional and faithful Americans.

Remember this one? Only a decade ago some major retailers ordered their workers not to say ‘Merry Christmas’ because that might offend customers.

When millions of outraged Americans threatened to take their money elsewhere, ‘Merry Christmas’ was soon back in the retailing lexicon.

How about the skirmish when Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee decided to call his state’s tree a ‘holiday tree?’

Never mind that it was Christmas and the tree was adorned with Christmas lights, the word ‘Christmas’ was put out to pasture in Providence.

Ironically, that city was named to honor ‘God’s merciful Providence.’ Hard to believe Chafee didn’t exactly mesmerize the electorate when he ran for the presidency this year.

There were other disturbing anti-Christmas efforts across America. School boards banned religious music from ‘holiday concerts,’ religious symbols were forbidden from ‘holiday parades,’ and so on.

Some of the anti-Christmas efforts were laughable, but others were downright despicable.

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, a card-carrying secular-progressive, allowed atheists to put up a sign in the capitol rotunda.

Their lovely message, that religion enslaves people, was just a few feet from a manger scene with the baby Jesus.

Truth is, the Christmas-haters were gaining ground, forcing their Grinch-like attitude on schools and stores and municipalities across America.

Then something happened that might be considered a modern-day Christmas miracle. We fought back!

Fox News, churches, Christians, groups like the Thomas More Society, and sane people of all faiths decided it was time to stop the madness. We identified the most ridiculous examples, we called out the Christmas-haters by name.

And, yes, we won. There was no formal ceremony of surrender, but most of the radical secularists retreated back to their caves and back into the woodwork.

Sure, they occasionally raise their heads and lob a few grenades, kind of like the Japanese soldiers who never gave up the fight on Iwo Jima.

Right now the most militant anti-Christmas organization is the Freedom From Religion Foundation, with headquarters in the uber-left city of Madison, Wisconsin.

That contemptible group recently prevented little schoolchildren in Indiana from staging a Nativity scene.

How proud they must be!

The organization also spends money on banners and billboards that diminish religion as ‘a myth and superstition.’

One suspects the brave folks at the Freedom From Religion Foundation have yet to set up a chapter in Saudi Arabia or Syria. ‘Bravery’ comes cheap where liberty prevails and where a Constitution written by men of faith protects even the stupid.

But aside from those occasional dustups, the War on Christmas has been noticeably absent this year.

Jon Stewart, who mockingly dismissed the war as a figment of Christian imagination, no longer has his Comedy Central megaphone with which to ridicule traditionalists.

But even last year, when Stewart was still at the helm, there were few major battles.

So give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back for defeating the Grinches, at least for the moment. But don’t get too comfortable because they will almost surely be back.

It’s worth remembering that North and South Korea are technically still at war with one another, 66 years after the shooting began. They co-exist under an armistice signed in 1953.

New ImageSimilarly, the pro-Christmas good guys are now living under a cease-fire of sorts with the secular naysayers.

Enjoy it while you can. In the meantime, we here at The Factor wish all of you a very, very MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

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* A good egg in spite of his lamentable politics.