Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brides For Sale?

Brides for Sale?

By Shobhan Bantwal

Author of THE DOWRY BRIDE – On sale now

Recently I read an article in Newsweek titled “The Bride Buyers.” At first I was shocked and dismayed to read about some website called that offered young girls for sale as brides. Teenagers of 15 and 16 years of age were being offered by their parents for thousands of dollars. What was more, the site got millions of hits within a week after it appeared on the Web. It just goes to show how many pedophiles are lurking in cyberspace – a frightening prospect!

However, later on the article explained that the whole thing was a hoax, and I exhaled a breath of relief. The website’s creator, John Ordover, a viral-marketing consultant based in Brooklyn, N.Y. set it up as an experiment to see where it would go. It looks like he was rather surprised himself at how many hopeful grooms were willing to pay hefty sums of money to acquire pretty and accomplished pubescent girls, and how many crazy parents were actually insane enough to place an ad to sell their daughters.

This article brought to mind my own debut novel, THE DOWRY BRIDE, a story set in India about a young bride, Megha, who is coerced into marrying a man who is willing to accept the lowest dowry. Even that small dowry is too high for her debt-ridden parents and her in-laws are about to kill her for not producing the promised money. Megha discovers the murder plot in the nick of time and escapes. She embarks on an extraordinary journey to freedom with the help of a young man who puts his own life on the line to protect her from a gruesome death by fire. More information is on my website:

Upon reading the Newsweek article, I sadly realized that the dowry system in India, although the opposite of bride-price (buying a bride instead of buying a groom) is no less perverse than the idea behind Many desperate parents, in the hope of finding their daughters a good husband and a secure home, are willing to go into debt for life to raise enough money to pay an acceptable dowry.

If there was such bizarre websites in India and other parts of the world where dowry is blatantly practiced despite laws banning the custom, the title could easily have read: or The only difference would be the price – the lower the asking dowry the more flurry of interest from potential brides and their families.

Unfortunately this type of site would probably receive millions of hits each and every day. The sadder part is that neither the law enforcement agencies nor social codes of ethics seem to deter the folks determined to grab a dowry.

Read the Newsweek article:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Boycott by Illegal Immigrants Could Fuel Tensions with African-Americans

September 14, 2007
for Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Bramwell

Planned National Boycott by Illegal Immigrants Could Fuel Greater Tensions with African-Americans

Political Analyst Warns in His Forthcoming Book

The Latino Challenge to Black America

A spokesperson for Mexicanos Sin Fronteras (Mexicans Without Borders) says that his group will call for a national boycott of employers and businesses on October 9. The group wants to send the message that illegal immigrants don’t take jobs from Americans and indeed are productive and law abiding workers. Many American workers, and in particular African-American workers, reject that message.

Author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson details the anger and hostility that many African-American community activists and rank and file workers express toward illegal immigrants in the workplace in his forthcoming book The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation Between African-Americans and Hispanics. They vehemently contend that illegal immigrants do take jobs from blacks, especially poor, unskilled young blacks.

Hutchinson assesses the impact of illegal immigration on jobs and the economy in black communities. "Illegal immigration has touched a raw nerve among many blacks, "says Hutchinson, "they are absolutely convinced that they contribute to crime, violence and chronic unemployment in black communities. Hutchinson also closely examines the views of immigrant rights groups. They are just as vehement in disputing the notion that undocumented workers have created the economic ills in black communities, and indeed in American society. Hutchinson says the polar opposite views of many blacks and immigrant rights groups on illegal immigration could result in even greater tension and conflict between the two groups. He tells why and how the planned October 9th boycott could add to that tension between blacks and Latinos.

Interview Earl Ofari Hutchinson 323-296-6331

"The job loss to blacks that they attribute to illegal immigration is as much perception as slight reality. However, when the perception becomes a widely-held public belief and is continually repeated as fact, it soon takes hold in public opinion. The sensitivity of blacks over jobs and illegal immigration has made even top black civil rights leaders tiptoe lightly around on the issue. "

Excerpt from Chapter 9, "Illegal Immigrants versus Black Workers," in the Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African-Americans and Hispanics

(Middle Passage Press, Los Angeles , October 2007).

Religion Has No Place in the Federal Funding Decision for Stem Cell Research

Contact: Yvonne Perry

Valerie Connelly, Publisher

Religion Has No Place in Government or in the Decision Regarding Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

Metaphysical Author Challenges Separation of Church and State in Her Controversial Book on Stem Cell Research

NASHVILLE, TN--A new book written by Nashville author, Yvonne Perry, challenges preconceived ideas in hopes of changing the way Americans view blastocystic (embryonic) stem cell research. Right to Recover: Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America (ISBN: 978-1-933449-41-8) will be released this fall by Nightengale Press to coincide with the start up of the 2008 presidential election campaigns.

You may not realize it, but America was not founded upon Christianity. That may be what you were taught in school, but proof of such is not reflected in the writings of our founding fathers. Billy Graham agreed that the United States of America is not a Christian Nation. In a televised interview on May 30, 1997, David Frost asked Mr. Graham, “Say, is this still a Christian Country?” To which Billy Graham replied, “No! We’re not a Christian Country. We’ve never been a Christian country. We’re a secular country, by our constitution. In which Christians live and which many Christians have a voice. But we’re not a Christian Country.17

There can be no religious freedom whenever religion controls the masses through the government. Yet, this is exactly what has occurred in the U.S. Each time a law is passed giving government jurisdiction over what happens in a person’s home, marriage, healthcare or religion, we lose another personal right that was assured to us in the founding documents of our country.

Time and time again, religious groups have violated our Constitutional right to keep church and state separate. The neoconservative and fundamentalists’ unfounded opinion about blastocystic stem cell research is hindering the physical health of our nation.

“Only a lack of knowledge and stubbornness could cause someone to oppose this science and fight to withhold funding for research that offers such potential to help humanity,” says Perry. “In my book, I will address the lack of knowledge with factual information provided from the experts I have interviewed. Many people who oppose the research do not know why they believe what they believe because they have been programmed by religious leaders to think a certain way. I will take modern-day Christianity back to its original roots in order to challenge the limited mindset that stems from organized religion and show how it does not belong in government.”

Right to Recover is set to be released by Nightengale Press in October 2007. To preorder your copy now, go to . For more information about the book see or contact Valerie Connelly at Nightengale Press at to review a galley copy.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research—a Leveraging Tool for the Democratic Party

Federal Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research—a Leveraging Tool for the Democratic Party in Presidential Campaigns

Right to Recover: Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America—a new book by Nashville Author, Yvonne Perry, is a Must-Read for all Candidates.

Nashville, TN – The pub date for Right to Recover: Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America—a book thoroughly covering all types of stem cell research—has been strategically selected to coincide with the start up of the 2008 presidential election campaigns this fall. As the debate heats up over who will take the seat in the White House, issues such as federal funding for blastocystic (embryonic) stem cell research will be a topic of importance for voters deciding which candidate to vote for.

Recent polls and studies show that 70 percent of Americans and 63 percent of Democrats agree that research should be allowed on IVF-derived blastocysts leftover from couples seeking assistance with fertility regardless of the date they are created. Most Republican leaders have adamantly opposed the research due to their belief that a human life is destroyed in the process. This comparison has been used by the Bush Administration to garner additional support for adult stem cell research which already receives federal funding. Ultra-conservative right wing groups report that multipotent (adult) cells have the same characteristics and abilities as pluripotent (blastocyst) cells, yet this theory has not been proven. In fact, adult stem cells have proven safety and efficacy on only nine conditions.

In order to help members of Congress better understand blastocystic stem cell research, Ms. Perry is sending a free advanced reading copy (ARC) of her book Right to Recover: Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America (ISBN: 978-1-933449-41-8) to Senators who respond to her offer. Since the topic will be a leveraging tool in the Presidential election campaigns, it also would be beneficial for all Presidential candidates to take notes from Perry’s book.

Yvonne Perry is a published author and the owner of Write On! Creative Writing Services. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. With over 400 hours of research and interviews with scientific and religious experts, Perry presents an educational tool to readers in Right to Recover while expressing true hope for healing through all types of stem cell biology.

Interviews included in the book are with: Dr. Madan Jagasia, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Susan Fajt, a patient who was scammed by the creators of the fabricated Prentice List and Mary Schneider, whose son was infused with his own cord blood stem cells. Facts were checked by Don C. Reed of California’s Prop 71 and Shane G. Smith, Ph.D. Science Director, CNS Foundation, Former Science Director, ‘Yes on Proposition 71.’

Dr. Smith says, “Yvonne Perry counters long-standing myths of the American stem cell debate with bright, accessible prose. Policymakers and everyday citizens who want to make informed choices about stem cell research need to read Right to Recover.

To preorder your copy now, go to . For more information about the book see or contact Valerie Connelly at Nightengale Press at to review a galley copy.