November 22, 2019

JRR Letter To The Editor, December 5, 1975: "He Criticizes Catholic Church's View Of World"

Joseph Rosenberger lit a firestorm of controversy with a short letter to the editor, published in the Chicago Daily Herald on December 5, 1975:
He Criticizes Catholic Church's View Of World

The fact that 74 per cent of the pregnant teen-agers counseled at Crossroads Clinic, in Palatine, come from Roman Catholic homes (as reported by The Herald) in which "they had little or no sex education, including discussion on emotions and morals," should surprise no one even vaguely familiar with history.

Sex, common sense and progress have always been big no-nos to the church. After Columbus discovered America and thereby proved that the earth was round, universities in Europe were still forced to teach that the planet was flat. The earth remained "flat" for almost 300 years. How could the Popes be wrong?

The same stupid and backward attitude prevails today. The Roman Catholic stand on abortion is only one example, with Catholic pressure being applied on lawmakers to pass laws that would forbid any woman in the United States to decide what to do with the baby growing in her own body! In short, Roman Catholics are dong their damndest to legislate their religious beliefs into the Constitution of the United States! How long must intelligent people tolerate this superstitious cancer eating at the body of American society?

Joe Rosenberger
Buffalo Grove

One week later, ten letters were published in response, with eight of them opposing Rosenberger. I can imagine JRR enjoyed stirring up a lot of anger. Another letter in opposition was published three days later. Some highlights:
Rosenberger Letter Stirs Response

Where does Mr. Joseph Rosenberger get the audacity to think that a woman can do what she wants with the "baby growing in her womb"? She did not create that baby. Only God can create. Women just have the privilege of procreating. ...

Mrs. Jane O'Reilly
Arlington Heights


The church has existed for all these centuries in spite of the human weaknesses of its members and will continue to exist long after Mr. Rosenberger is gone and forgotten. ...

Phyllis Mack
Buffalo Grove


Joe Rosenberger's attack on the Catholic Church is both frightening and pathetic. To call Catholics "superstitious" because they believe that every person has a right to life shows not only ignorance of biology, but also an attitude reminiscent of Hitler's death camps.

Joan Anderson
Arlington Heights


After reading Mr. Rosenberger's interpretation on how a group of teenagers became pregnant I feel a responsibility to take issue less some unwitting soul read and believe such a fatuous and illogical explanation. ...

Amazing conclusions have been reached through the manipulation of arithmetic but Mr. Rosenberger's suppositions lack an intelligent basis and to the contrary reflect a bigoted attitude toward the Catholic Church. ...

Mr. Rosenberger, this is still a free country and from the content of your article it is immediately apparent that you lack the objectivity to publicly air your opinion on the material contained in your letter quoted in The Herald.

Earl K. McDonald
Arlington Heights


If you are even vaguely familiar with history, Mr. Rosenberger, you will clearly realize that many great men in the history of the world have had their ideas and inventions rejected, including Edison, the Wright brothers and Fulton, to name just a few. The Pope had nothing to do with the rejection of their inventions. In short, we found your letter very hostile toward Catholics for no discernibly good reason. Shame, shame Mr. Rosenberger, your prejudice is showing.

Judette Tummillo
Jackie Flynn
Elk Grove Village


Mankind has always been plagued. Sometimes by drought, sometimes by floods, sometimes by pestilence. But every couple of years that part of mankind known as Roman Catholics have Rosenberger of Buffalo Grove crawl out from under his rock. ...

[T]oo bad your mother didn't share your views when you "were the baby growing in her own body!" Rosenberger, it is you who are the "cancer eating at the body of American society."

I've learned from my own personal experience when anyone constantly condemns and chews at something he personally hates (in your case, Hitler, the Roman Catholic Church), it is just a case of jealousy, pure and simple. Merry Christmas, Rosenberger, under whichever rock you are.

Alice Willes
Arlington Heights


The letter by one Joe Rosenberger of Buffalo Grove is rather infuriating. I only wonder if a newspaper should print such a bigoted letter. It reeks with half-truths. If this man were anti-semitic or a racist, his letter would either be "filed" or ignored. Why was this man allowed to take all those "cheap shots" in his obviously anti-Catholic letter. ...

Sex, common sense and progress are areas where the church admits backward ideas, but in the past 10 years the church has come a long way and maybe even has a long way to go, but it is aimed in the right direction. ...

Frank Vito


I was not aware that God was living in Buffalo Grove. After living in Prospect Heights for 20 years I have been enlightened by the "words of wisdom" from Joe Rosenberg. Such statements, as made by him in the Fencepost on Dec. 5. are food for war — the Catholic Church has not professed common sense, has never spoken on sex, nor made any progress since its inception? Where have you been Mr. Rosenberger? I would like to respond to the issues you brought to the readers of The Herald.

Did you not know that Catholic priests are among the finest sex counselors in the world? Has not the Catholic Church demonstrated sound, ordinary sense and progress in the changes and strides they have made over the past century? You sincerely believe that the Catholic Church's stand on abortion is stupid and backward? ...

It is people like you who breed contempt, not the Catholic Church, and it is people like you that will destroy the body of the American society!

Marilyn J. Schneider, R.N.
Prospect Heights
Manager, Surgery and Recovery Room
Holy Family Hospital
Des Plaines


It was refreshing to read Mr. Rosenberger's recent letter criticizing the Catholic Church's 15th century philosophies.

If enlightened-thinking, open-minded Catholics would stop and think about it, their goals are similar to those who devote time and effort to controlling our runaway population problems.

Both parties might violently disagree on abortion, but both should agree that the best possible solution would be to have no unwanted pregnancies.

Taking the next logical step, how could this be accomplished? Obviously by instituting meaningful, explicit sex and contraceptive education courses in our schools.

Yet those same people (Right-to-Life, etc.) who profess such concern over mother-with-child after-the-fact situations are the ones who yell the loudest when meaningful sex education courses are considered for local school curriculums.

Taking this a few steps further in one jump, those Americans who are not religious had better begin speaking up and asserting their views.

Those who do not believe in religious mumbo-jumbo (and recent statistics show 112.3 million Americans currently do not attend church at all) are going to have to decide whether they want to continue supporting churches.

That's right, even if you don't attend, you're still paying for it.

ITEM: U.S. churches' total real estate (tax-exempt) wealth is estimated between $80 billion and $103 billion — this exceeds combined assets of the nation's 10 largest industrial corporations.

ITEM: U.S. churches' gross (non-taxable) revenue is greater than the combined income, after taxes, of General Motors, AT&T, Standard Oil, Ford, Texaco and Sears.

ITEM: Roman Catholic assets and real estate holdings in the United States exceed the combined assets and holdings of Standard Oil, AT&T and U.S. Steel.

ITEM: Churches commonly use an ingenious (but not illegal) scheme known as leaseback to share their tax-exempt status with private enterprise business.

Guess what? All the monies that are not collected on church properties, church leaseback schemes with businesses and other goodies like church-owned retirement homes come out of your pocket. You pay these uncollected monies. Think about it.

Jim Peterson
Hoffman Estates

June 17, 2019

Kung Fu (Mace) #2: The Year of the Snake


The grip of terror was so widespread that the family Tongs asked Mace, the Master of Kung Fu, for help.

Mace landed smack in the middle of a protection racket battle and became the new target. He had to teach the kids that street violence was no match for Kung Fu.

But the chain of command went much higher than uneducated youth gangs and it look a lot of savvy to find out how far up the devious smokescreen for control went. . . .

* * * * *

Joseph Rosenberger's second book in the Kung Fu series (written under the name Lee Chang) was published in February 1974, one of 10 books Rosenberger published that year. It hit paperback racks one month after Death Merchant #7 and one month before Murder Master #2.

The Year of the Snake opens with Victor Mace, the "Kung Fu Monk Master", in the middle of a brawl against six members of the Lan Kwai Association. A week earlier, Mace had been asked to come from San Francisco to Manhattan by Wu Chih-p'u, the leader of the Mong Ti Ko Tong, to rid Chinatown of the Lan Wai, a gang of 200 hoodlums (also known as the Blue Devils) engaging in extortion and murder. Mace ends up demolishing 13 men in about five minutes - while also flashbacking on his training as a young boy, which he did about six (increasingly) annoying times in the first book.

After a very thin plot for the first book in this series, Rosenberger employs the exact same blueprint he had been using for his Death Merchant books: He starts with some action, pulls back to set the scene, the hero has three or four more encounters with the bad guys where he kicks total ass, there are a handful of chapters from the point of view of the bad guys, then everything comes together for the big, violent finale (with the carnage described in the most minute detail you can imagine).

P'eng Yi-po (described as "an animated tub of lard"; he's 5-7, 357 pounds) is the secret owner of The House of Kee, a Queens whorehouse staffed by young hostesses, each "mattress-tester" with "a shape that would have shaken the libido of a blind methuselah". John Dong Kee is the front man who runs The House of Kee for Yi-po and Chinese mobster Jan Lee Kumling, the head of the Lan Kwai, reports to Kee.

Harrison "Wild Bill" Hickok operates Fun World in Queens and he has ambitious plans to kill Wu Chih-p'u and make Yi-Po the new head of the big tong and, through him, take over Chinatown.

A few days later, Mace interrupts five of Kumling's Blue Devils in a laundry, while they are making their rounds collecting extortion money. Mace uses some ridiculous voice trick, so that when he screams, the sound impacts the Blue Devils' ears with the "force of a super-charged hand grenade" and kills them instantly. Mace then leaps out a broken window to take on the other 10 Devils in the street. Watching the choreographed mayhem, complete with Mace leaping six feet in the air and somersaulting backwards over the heads of the goons and landing 10 feet behind then, someone named Mike Three-Ducks realizes "any attempt to beat Mace to the ground with bare hands would be as ridiculous as trying to explain the movie Deep Throat and do it in good taste!"

Yi-po meets with Hickok and they decide to hire two karate experts to kill the Ching brothers, with whom Mace is staying, and frame Mace for the murders. It seems to work, as Mace is arrested for the crimes. The room in which Mace is held has "the sweet stink of tragedy, with the special sourness of finality ... after the Computer of Fate has spit out the card of Death".

Mace has no alibi, since when the Chings were murdered, Mace was busy killing a dozen Blue Devils. But he uses "Ch'i" to snap the cuffs (as he did in Book #1) and then he attacks the cops, at one point diving head first down a flight of stairs and executing a back-spring in mid-air and landing on his feet!

Hickok and his partner Efrem Kartlis fear that Yi-po will blab to Mace and then it is only a matter of time before Mace comes for them. Kartlis admits that "the thought of meeting that creep gives me triple chills", so they hire six "non-wop shooters", professionals "who can bow the ass of a flea if they have to".

Mace knows he has to prove who killed the Ching brothers to clear his name. He goes to Yi-po's restaurant supply factory to force him to confess to ordering the murders and reveal who did the killing. But Yi-po was "not the type of man to permit his fear to anesthetize him into a lethargy of inactivity", and he heads off with two bodyguards to Fun World. Mace attacks and we get a play-by-play even though the point of the ambush no longer exists - Mace offs one hood so fast that he "rocketed into Hell so fast the Demon of Reservations was caught unprepared".

Mace and a couple of others head to Queens, scouting out Fun Word from a nearby cemetery. The park looked empty, "as devoid of people as a derelict's funeral". They knock out three watchmen and cut through the wire fence and slip inside. However, Hickok has armed men hiding throughout the park, and a big battle eventually ensues. (Mace's greatest trick may be employing the "principle of gentleness" while also being "a machine of killing".)

Mace methodically goes through waves of goons, stopping at times to insult them, referring to their mothers as "diseased prostitutes who could copulate only with filthy apes". He actually pulls one guy's heart out of his chest! Mace's spear-hand to the chest landed "with all the force of a sharp ax, the hand actually slicing through clothes, skin, and bones, the long fingers closing around the man's throbbing heart, and when Mace jerked back his hand, the bloody beating muscle came with it!" later on, he kills another goon in a similar way. "It was as though his hand has smashed through an over-ripe melon and he was reaching for the clusters of seeds. Only when the hand withdrew, the fingers were wrapped around several gray-white ropes of intestines!"

Locating Hickok and Kartlis, he ended up tossing them out the window and forcing Yi-po to write a full confession, which Mace pockets just as the police arrive.


Rosenberger ends seven consecutive sentences on page 83 with exclamation marks!

"The Kung Fu Master wasn't worried, knowing he could exercise his option of retreating to the inside of the China Farm. He could, but knew he would not. For that matter, he couldn't."

"a dome as bald as the dirty snow piled along the curb"

"He wondered what it felt like to be dead. A few minutes later he found out."

"Kee's frigid stare would have melted an Eskimo!"

"Mace's death-dealing Nukite had all the final force of a decapitating guillotine blade, his fingers making instant apple juice (unsweetened!) of two Adam's apples!"

"This guy's so stupid he probably thinks an aircraft carrier is a stewardess with V.D.!"

"He barged through the door of the J.D.K. grill faster than a theologian rewriting mythology ..."

"We've got you dead to right!"

"An eerie feeling raced down Kee's spine, little fingers of fear clutching at his brain!"

"Tiny-Boy had the mind of a retarded ant and the strength of an ox dosed with Spanish Fly!"

"The .38 revolver dropped, and so did Buster, as dead as the hope for honest government."

"The john had her squeezed up against the wall and was bread-doughing her boobs! Getting in his feelies for free!"

"Shit fire and save matches! He was as crazy as Mace!"

"Long-dead days that weren't worth a box of new rubbers"

"Well, twist my neck and call me screwy."

"get his pipes blowed for half a bill"

"The apparent 'luck' of the past is nothing more than an oil spread by time, just as adversity causes some men to break and others to break records."

"Okay, man! I didn't mean to put pepper on your balls."

"[Tom & Joey, who] looked as mournful as once-favorite nephews who had recently learned they had been cut out of Uncle's will!"

Ignots "with his beard and long hair, resembled a biblical prophet, with the exception of his clothes. Biblical big-mouths hadn't worn pink jumpsuits and a gold ring in one ear!"

"Such a three-way combination of attack could have been Butcher's day for an ordinary karate exspert, but to a Kung Fu Monk Master, karate was only the first grade in a career that ended with a Ph.D. in mass mayhem!"

"The man might as well have been hit by the United Nations Building!"

"The freak suddenly got the feeling he was about to die! He was! "UGGGGGgggggggg" shot from his throat ... ending his bike-riding days forever!"

"He dropped faster than a wino grabbing a bottle of Muscatel in a supermarket, dribbling blood and brains all over the gear-controls of an automatic screw machine."

"Don't make any mistakes or this deal will turn out to be worse than eating cold spaghetti!"

"Mace always wore the same inscrutable expression, his face as devoid of emotion as the Sphinx ..."

"Yi-Po felt proud of his cleverness. Ah so ..."

"It was obvious to the six Blues that they didn't have a chance - unless they ran like hell. That's what they did!"

"Fuck a duck and cornhole an alligator! Who is that motherfucker?"

January 19, 2019

Le Marchand De Mort: French Translations Of The Death Merchant

Here are six Death Merchant paperbacks, published under Gerard de Villiers's French imprint in the 1980s.

The voluptuous, negligee-wearing, cigar-smoking babes on the covers are the very definition of false advertising. Having a woman like this appear in a Death Merchant adventure is about as likely as Richard Camellion delivering a six-page endorsement of socialism.

December 27, 2018

JRR Letter To The Editor, March 12, 1974: "Anti-Abortion Stand 'Twisted Logic'"

The Wheeling Herald, March 12, 1974:
Anti-Abortion Stand 'Twisted Logic'

Regarding Thomas H. Dittmer's letter regarding the evils of abortion, I have only one comment: here again we have the results of stupid, bigoted thinking, of half-truths and twisted logic, the worst of which is a comparison of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to the tactics of Adolf Hitler.

Unlike Hitler, the U.S. Supreme Court has not ordered anyone eliminated. The U.S. Supreme Court did decide that a woman has a legal right to decide for herself whether or not she wants an abortion. This decision also meant that no individual (take note, Mr. Dittmer), nor church, nor organization, has the right to try to cram its belief down the public throat.

Mr. Dittmer, you wrote that "The right to life is the supreme right of God to give or to take away."

Have you talked to God lately, Mr. Dittmer? Did he tell you that? How do you know what God wants, other than what you have been taught by previous know-it-alls? In the Old Testament we read how God told the murderous Jews to treat their captives – "save the virgins" but kill the soldiers, plow 'em like fertilizer.

This sort of makes God sound like a sort of cosmic Hitler to me! Of course, God didn't say any such thing, but it was a helluva slick trick on the part of the Jewish leaders who could make their people believe anything – and they're still waiting for their Messiah!

You write, Mr. Dittmer, of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!" I suggest you practice what you preach and permit others to pursue this philosophy without telling them how to do it, without deciding for them what is right and what is wrong in the mind of "God!"

Personally, I find it odd how bigoted fanatics are always convinced how "God" is on their side and/or just "know" what "God" wants!

When you, Mr. Dittmer, and your know-it-all kind are willing to take care of the thousands of unwanted children (that would be born into the world if you had your way), when you're willing to put out hard cash for the cost of their birth, for their food, clothing, medicine and schooling, when you're willing to put your money where your big mouth is – you still will not have earned the right to tell other people how to live.

I would also suggest you keep the facts straight and quit twisting the truth to suit your own hell-fire-religion purposes. Tell it like it really is: that the United States Supreme Court is not forcing abortion on any woman: the decision only permits the individual woman to decide for herself. And don't give us the claptrap what the "American people" want, because poll after poll has revealed that the vast majority of Americans – and this includes Roman Catholics – approve of this decision, in spite of the lies screamed by the Right To Life minority, which isn't fooling Congress the least bit.

Congressmen, realizing how votes are buttered, aren't about to "amend" this decision, they know that eventually all crackpots turn to other noble causes.


Joe Rosenberger
Buffalo Grove, Illinois
Rosenberger's letter prompted at least six letters in opposition. One of them, from Patricia Nichols of Mount Prospect, included this admonition (April 8):
I am tired of your name calling. In every letter you write you must resort to childish name calling. Your last letter had such adolescent words as "stupid, twisted logic, bigoted fanatics, crackpots." I wish you could state your ideas in an adult-like manner.
Jim Peterson of Hoffman Estates offered support for Rosenberger (April 22):
... I thoroughly enjoyed and concur with Mr. Rosenberger's letter.

On second thought, I disagree when he refers to some anti-abortion views as twisted logic. I see no logic at all in their arguments, twisted or otherwise. ...

Now let me get down to the point which really frosts me. Since it is unlikely that [two previous letter writers] are going to shop around for an abortion, why must you insert your collective noses into other people's business when they wish to obtain a legal abortion?

If you are so concerned about lives, and children's lives in particular, there is no end to the need for your services.

Two thirds of the people in the world (two-plus billion) are malnourished (don't get a proper diet, usually protein deficient) and one third of the people alive in the world today (one-plus billion) are undernourished (don't get enough of any kind of food).

Furthermore, since 40 per cent of the population of the underdeveloped world is made up of people under 15 years old, these children are usually the ones who comprise the bulk of the 3½ million people who die of starvation each year (3½ million is a conservative estimate).

Granted, it would be more convenient for you to help these people if they lived next door in Mount Prospect, but I'm sure you'll understand they haven't been able to scrape together the air fare yet.

October 3, 2018

Kung Fu (Mace) #1: The Year Of The Tiger

A Big Score of "H" on the High Seas –

but the San Francisco Mafia needed a respectable boat to make the transfer. Ho Li Wing and his fishing vessel Dragonwind were picked. Too bad they didn't realize Wing had a visitor from Hong Kong – his Eurasian nephew, Mace, who was a Kung Fu Master.

When the goons strong-armed Wing, Mace warned them. When they came on strong with Mace, he pulverized them and sent them limping away with a second warning.

Then they came up with an idea they thought couldn't miss! They kidnapped Wing's wife and daughter.

Too bad they didn't understand Kung Fu . . .

Joseph Rosenberger had published six Death Merchant books when The Year of the Tiger appeared in September 1973, under the name "Lee Chang". Rosenberger also debuted another series that year, as Murder Master, hit paperback racks in November.

There are eight books in the Kung Fu series, but Rosenberger wrote only the first five. Len Levinson wrote #6 (also as Lee Chang) and Bruce Cassidy wrote #s 7 and 8 (as C.K. Fong).

Rosenberger uses a similar template to his Death Merchant books. We begin with an action scene before stepping back to lay out the plot of the book (such as it is). There are several more fight scenes before the grand finale. Similar to the DM books, our hero (Victor Mace) has super-human abilities when it comes to fighting and each battle is described in the most intricate detail.

And yet even by those flimsy standards, The Year of the Tiger barely qualifies as a narrative. It's somewhat like a boxing match, with the lengthy fight scenes interrupted by the characters going back to their respective corners and not doing much of anything until the bell rings for the next round.

The San Francisco Mafia is attempting to convince Ho Le Wing, an honest local fisherman, to let them use his boat to make a deal for $2 million in pure heroin (often referred to as simply "H") in international waters. Wing's nephew Victor Mace is visiting from Hong Kong when the goons make their first move. Mace kicks their asses. The Mafia tries another tactic a little later. Mace kicks their asses. The stubborn Mafia tries yet again. Mace kicks their asses. Apparently, Wing is the only man above suspicion with a decent-sized boat in the Bay Area.

Throughout the book, Mace recalls his youth in Hong Kong, and his years of instruction with his master, En Sheng. There are far too many of these flashbacks and they eat up a lot of pages (one even includes a six-page fight scene!).

This is early in Rosenberger's action-adventure writing career, so his sense of humour (intentional and otherwise) is everywhere in this book, in his bizarre descriptions, off-beat analogies, and graphic depictions of violence. He also throws exclamation points around like confetti on New Year's. You might think he was getting paid by the exclamation point! They are everywhere! Even on short, boring sentences! Like this one!

There is not much in the way of social and political rants, but there is some criticism of the United States' gun culture and its simultaneous exploitation of and prudishness about sexuality:
[Mace] stood there thinking of how savage and barbaric the United States was, a truly wild country in which almost any man could purchase a firearm. Such a pity that the United States was still a pioneer nation, a violent nation, a nation still living in brutality, such as existed in its days of the Old West. ...

[A fascination with brute force] seemed to be a large part of American culture and one that frankly puzzled Mace. Most nations honored their intellectuals, their poets and artists, their philosophers and scientists, according them positions of reverence and respect. Not so in the United States, a paradoxical nation where people were honored not for the quality of their minds but for their ability to throw, or kick, or bounce a ball! A childish and immature nation, always preoccupied with the sexual function in a deranged sort of way: while men and women were prominently displayed stark naked in magazines and in motion pictures, "morals squads" still spied and snooped hi public rest rooms to ensure prim and proper sexual behavior!

Poor repressed Americans ... immature and untutored in the virtues of a sane and sensible life .. . not to realize that shame is but nature's hasty conscience ...
At one point, Mace recalls En Sheng telling him that the idea of turning the other cheek is "an unnatural credo put forth by the Western Christians, who have never comprehended the nature of man."

In "An Insider's View to the Death Merchant" that ran in the back pages of some of Pinnacle's other series (The Executioner, The Penetrator), Rosenberger claimed to have "originated the first kung fu fiction books" and to have worked as "an instructor in 'Korean karate'".

Joe Kenney reviewed this book in June 2010 when his Glorious Trash blog was not even three weeks old! He stated that Manor Books was "capitalizing ... on the then-popular Kung-Fu TV series starring David Carradine". Based on the scant information online and my own research, Rosenberger treated the truth as highly elastic when it came to his own background. He almost certainly did not teach "Korean karate".

In a short interview printed in a 1981 fanzine, Rosenberger says he wrote under the name Lee Chang. He may have outed himself as Chang at that time, but I find it next-to-impossible that anyone who was familiar with the Death Merchant series would not immediately recognize Rosenberger's rather unique style.

Early in the book, Joseph Rupert Rosenberger writes that one of the Mafia goons "had the unlikely name of Rupert Rosenbacker!" He did something similar in The Devil's Trashcan (DM #43), when one of Richard Camellion's buddies makes a passing comment about "a joker I know" named Rupt Rosenberger. ... I don't know what to make of this.


"Mace was a man who'd hit himself over the head with a sledge hammer just to keep in practice."

"Both men might as well have tried to stop a rhinoceros with toothpicks!"

"He had all the chance of a crippled turtle trying to outrun a bolt of lightning!"

"... making suki yaki of his face, egg foo yung of his ribs and chop suey of his guts"

"as slick as a puppy's nut"

"... stalked by something gigantic, venomous and incredibly malevolent. Blackness!"

"Uncle will be surprised that we've come to the dock to see him and Jimmy leave. Then again, he might not."

"Confusion is the little brother of misery and the twin of uncertainty; yet all confusion dies before the sword of facts."

"... two moving engines of destruction, two juggernauts of pure King Fu"

"They're dangerous! They're like two cans of nitro!"

"The man went down, gurgling like a waterfall, his brain a pounding kettledrum of approaching death."

"You're so damned bright that you think Sherlock Holmes is a housing development."

"... falling the remaining 15 feet with the speed of a meteor"

Big John Jenessio could barely walk "and when he did shuffle along his battered balls became a tubful of misery".

"... the ultimate aim of Kung Fu ... is to aspire to the high grades where one's understanding and practice of the art provide the entrance to the philosophical plane where the principles of the physical practice are applied to life."

Mace: "They didn't harm you in any way ...?"
Sue: "That man Vance. He even made us a pitcher of lemonade."

"I'll get those killers if it's the last thing I do!"

"There was a quietness about the two vessels that wasn't natural, a kind of waiting malignancy that seemed to be building to an unexpected spring ... waiting ..."

"A nagging fear kept growing in Ho Li's mind, spreading with all the rapidity of a cancer."

"Mace exploded over him with all the ferocity of a spreading cancer!"

"The Pacific Ocean was a friend to no man ..."

"... his malevolent mind trying to sponge up current events"

"... hideous shock ... his think machine did what it had to do! It died!"

"... his lungs wondering where all the air had gone! They stopped wondering a few seconds later."

"The savage burst blasted the body wide open, with all the razor-sharp efficiency of a knife slicing open a hot dog! Bone, blood and grayish ropes of bowel splattered like a spring shower all over the interior of the wheelhouse. The corpse dropped to the floor. It was one helluva way to perform an autopsy!"

"The certainty of what he had to go bloomed in Mace's mind like a large flower, each petal fragrant with honor and justice."

"... multiple-finger thrusts that were constant ripsaws of justice with hatred or retribution without malice"

"... the rugged hole gaped like some metal vagina, a long slit surrounded by curled and buckled plates"

"Their only mistake was that they didn't know the depth of Mace's training! How could they possibly have known that a Kung Fu Master, while whirling and dancing and throwing, is practically superhuman, the Nage seeming to travel along unfamiliar lines of space-time. Such a man becomes pure art, moving easily in the midst of ferocious blows and flying tackles, not by opposing but by joining. He deals with the strongest attack by Nukishomen-uchi, by embracing the attack, by drawing it instantly into a wide circle of concord, which joins him with the essential unity and harmony of the universe."

"... a feeling of sadness turning the turnstiles of his mind"

"Jimmy Wing, his eyes as big and round as two small saucers ..."

Rupe was "as big as a small house"

The ship shuddered "like a sick old man who wanted to be with Jesus, but didn't want to die"

"His left ear, having been half-bitten off in a fight, appeared deformed, and it was."

"Mace's years of training now served him well, his reflexes releasing themselves with a speed that could only be explained, to an average man, as an abstraction beyond infinity."

October 2, 2018

JRR Letter To The Editor, August 30, 1973: "Suggests A Bible Ban"

Chicago Daily Herald, August 30, 1973:
Suggests A Bible Ban

I was more than just a little amused when I read that the school board of Dist. 96 was considering a policy that would apply censorship to all educational materials used in the district's three schools.

I trust that Big Brother Censors will not forget the Tarzan books, since Tarzan and Jane were never "joined in holy wedlock." Damn it! Tarzan and his broad are living "in sin" – and this is a big no-no!

I also suggest that the Bible be banned, that perennially popular book of fairy tales which is filled with sex and violence. Not only is the Old Testament filled with descriptions of orgies, but even incest, in the form of Lot and his daughters, rears its ugly head, not to mention prostitution and homosexuality.

Tch, tch. Such reading is not good for innocent children.

On the other hand, good Christians and god-hucksters on TV tell us that we should follow the "Good Book" and live accordingly. Since "an eye for an eye" and a "tooth for a tooth" is mentioned in the eternal fairy tale that never grows old (only more boring), I submit that we should toss out our hard-working, over-criticized police and indulge in our own personal, "Christian" brand of justice.

We could also revert to a plurality of wives, some good old fashioned polygamy, since King David and other Biblical characters had more than one wife, not to mention the "in" they had with the Creator.

As I see it, all this would be moral and proper for the good Christians of 1973 because it was all very moral and proper and legal in Biblical days – and if the Bible was the word of God then, isn't it still – right now?

We know all this happened because the Bible says so, stating that "God was with King David and all he did." And old King David was one helluva swinger – and so was King Solomon, who chased teenagers! Whether or not he was "wise" is a moot question.

Shucks, if we followed the Bible, we could even go about beheading those who stray off the path of Christian "morality," since we are told that God bid Moses to "take all heads of the people and hang them up before the Lord against the sun." Well, the daughters of Moab should have behaved themselves and not have been Biblical swingers. On the other hand, what was good enough for Charlton Heston – I mean Moses! – is good enough for me. After all, Moses conned a lot of people. Ask the Israelis! A lot of these dumbbells still think a "Redeemer" is going to come down out of the clouds and save them. So far, their only "Redeemer" has been the United States, with its gun and ammunition!

Yes, if we are to censor books, if we are to ban them, if we are to toss out the sandbags of common sense and soar away to an idiot world on a balloon of stupidity, let's do it right: let's follow the "Good Book," or else ban that mess of pornography!

Naturally the Bible will not be banned because the censors and would-be book burners are bigoted Puritans sick with the illness of smug fundamentalism, sado-masochists who love dwelling on "sin," fools who would condemn to their silly hell anyone who persists in thinking for himself and refuses to conform to their crazy spiritual dictatorship.

Joe Rosenberger
Buffalo Grove, Illinois

As you might expect, there were several angry replies. (I'm guessing that provoking or offending as many people as possible was Rosenberger's goal.)
She Staunchly Defends Bible

To Joe Rosenberger:

You suggest a Bible ban for various reasons, some of which are: it is filled with sex, violence, incest, homosexuality, etc. You call the "Good Book" an eternal "fairy tale" and cite cases from the Old Testament to make your point, then call this the "Christian" way.

True, the Bible does contain stories filled with the things you mention – and more – which only proves that it is NOT a book of "fairy tales." If it were the stories would be just the opposite – showing the "goodness" of man. But, since it is NOT a book of "fairy tales" it "tells it like it is," showing the true nature of man – not his goodness, but his sinfulness.

Obviously, you have knowledge of "things" contained in the Old Testament, but you do not know the God which is revealed therein – the God who loves us IN SPITE of our sinful nature which results in the things you mention, violence, sex, etc. You do not know the God who came to earth in the person of Jesus the Christ to redeem us from this sinful nature.

You quote from the Old Testament then say this is the "Christian" way, such as "an eye for an eye . . .". It would seem that your knowledge of the New Testament is very limited – possibly non-existent, for most of the Scripture you quote is from the Old Testament.

Here is an example of the "Christian" way: In the book of Matthew, chapter five, Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say . . . if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also . . ." He tells us not to resist evil with evil but to overcome it with love. Hence, the "Christian" way is not violence but love.

A brief reference you do give to New Testament Scripture is "A lot of dumbbells still think a 'Redeemer' is going to come down out of the clouds and save them. So far, their only "Redeemer" has been the United States, with its gun and ammunition!" If, as you say, our only 'Redeemer' is the United States, then truly we ARE lost and without hope – just take a look around you!

The truth, whether a person wants to believe it or not, is that the only Redeemer for mankind has come to earth (Jesus the Christ), is living now (in Heaven), and will return to earth one day! God said it in His written word (the Holy Bible), therefore it is TRUE and man's opinion regarding it will NOT alter this Truth one iota!

Patricia A. Johnson
September 7, 1973

Bible 'Misunderstood'

A deplorable situation is created when an individual exercises his right of free speech in blatant ignorance, such as Joe Rosenberger did in his Fence Post letter appearing in this paper on Thursday, August 30. His ironic suggestion that the Bible be banned due to its pornographic content merely reveals his own narrow-mindedness and prejudice.

To be effective, or even credible, a critic must demonstrate that he comprehends the material he criticizes, or at least he must display a working knowledge of the subject matter at hand. Mr. Rosenberger shows us he possesses neither.

His obsession seems to be exposing the horrible sins of Old Testament characters, which, given the consistency of human nature, hardly surprises anyone. Any knowledgeable Bible student who "rightly divides the Word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15) can readily ascertain that the Old Testament was given to us so that we might profit from both the good and bad of our predecessors (II Timothy 3:16). While Mr. Rosenberger is hung up on recounting the sexual delinquency of the human race through biblical history, he entirely overlooks or avoids the pertinent Grace message in the New Testament (primarily conveyed in the Pauline Epistles) which reveals God's present economy involving mankind (Ephesians 2:8 and 9, Titus 2:11 and 12). Omitting perhaps the most significant portion of a work, in writing a critique, is hardly considered equitable to either the work or to the author.

Remember, Mr. Rosenberger, that book, which you apparently deplore so greatly, was one of the foundations upon which the American Democracy was laid, by men who believed firmly in their God and his word, the very same Bible. These men were hardly the type who would "soar away to an idiot world on a balloon of stupidity" or believe firmly in "a mess of pornography" as you have labeled the Bible. And they were quite tolerant of one's "thinking for himself," as evidenced by their foresight in establishing such a system as the one which currently allows both you and I to express our opinions.

Thomas and Paula Moore
September 10, 1973

Bible Defended

In reply to Mr. Rosenberger's letter, "Let's Ban the Bible."

No, Mr. Rosenberger, the Bible will not be banned and not because of bigoted Puritans as you stated. By its own weight the Bible will remain in existence. Peter does remind us, "The Word of the Lord endureth forever."

What book down through history has been already burned, banned, ripped and scorned more than the Bible – yet has survived intact? Obviously, it was not only divinely inspired, it has been divinely protected.

Yes, it contains sex and violence, but God does not condone everything He reveals. As the author of truth He must tell all – like it is – and the Bible is full of warnings against human debauchery.

The Bible also contains, love, peace, joy, wisdom, beauty, justice and power. It's unfortunate that so many minds are unaware of its content.

As for Christianity – many people who dismiss the Christians have never personally examined the grounds for the Christian claim. They have never read through the New Testament documents, particularly the Gospels, with an open mind.

Mary M. Wells
September 13, 1973

August 8, 2018

JRR Letter To The Editor, August 22, 1973: "Pornography Foes 'Crackpots'"

From The Chicago Daily Herald of August 22, 1973:
Pornography's Foes 'Crackpots'

Mr. William D. North of Arlington Heights is to be congratulated for his brilliant analysis regarding the paradox of "pornography," his dissection of the prevailing situation clearly and concisely giving evidence to the fact that "pornography" is what any particular person might think it is.

Unfortunately, every society in all periods of history and in every nation, has had its Watchers of Morals, those "saintly" morons who try to cram their own brand of Right vs. Wrong down the throat of their neighbors. Today, we see this brand of dictatorship not only in those completely hazy areas regarding "pornography," but in all subjects with which the Know-it-Alls disagree.

Abortion, for example. Completely ignoring the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court said it was any woman's right to decide whether or not she should have an abortion, there are those who are still screaming "sin" and "murder" simply because they do not believe in abortion; and they cannot be wrong in any moral pronouncement! This is another way of saying that they would deny the rest of society the very basic freedom of choice. In short, these damn fools would deny another person the right to his own belief!

It is the same crackpots who, in their frantic effort to make the rest of society conform to their own personal beliefs, are now making a big, useless noise about "pornography," the same breed of Nut who would have the police act as Censors – and who would probably have society read nothing but the Bible. My advice to the police is to ignore these crackpots.

Should censorship ever work, what would be the next logical step? Censorship of the free press, the same free press that exposed Watergate? Or perhaps they would decide how their neighbors should vote, or the religion in which their neighbor should believe. Since they are immune to all logic, they will quickly tell you that their religion is the only "truth faith!"

Medieval Europe saw this very thing happen, and for over 200 years the arts and sciences came to a complete standstill! Why? Because they, in the form of the Pope and other crackpots, decided that all anyone needed to know was contained in the Bible! It was this same believe-as-I-do-or-else that led to the Italian and Spanish Inquisition, in which millions of innocent people – even children – were torn apart with a savagery equalled only by the Nazi sadists in Hitler's Germany.

John F. Kennedy summed it up very well when he said: "Censorship is basically against human rights. The lock on the door of the legislature, the parliament or assembly hall, by order of the King, the Commissar, or the Fuhrer, has historically been followed or preceded by a lock on the door of the printer's, the publisher's or the booksellers."

President Kennedy forgot to mention the local crackpots who watch everyone's morals but their own!

Joe Rosenberger
Buffalo Grove, Illinois