Mother’s Day Quotes (Repost)

Hello Mothers of the world.

I don’t know about Spain or Costa Rica or Australia or Japan, but in the United States it is Mother’s Day on Sunday. I am sending every mother I know, and love, a greeting and a few quotes about mothers which I thought were nice (I particularly liked Aristotle’s take on it).

Some of you may be new mothers, some of you may be old(er) mothers, and at least one of you may be an expectant mother. We are all tied by a common thread and so,

Happy Mother’s Day!

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made Mothers
~old Jewish Proverb~

My mother had a slender, small body, but a large heart – a heart so large that everybody’s joys found welcome in it, and hospitable accommodation.
~Mark Twain~

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
~Elizabeth Stone~

Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate.
~Charlotte Gray~

Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own.

The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.
~Henry Ward Beecher~

You may have tangible wealth untold;/Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold./Richer than I you can never be -/I had a mother who read to me.
~Strickland Gillilan~

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.
~William Makepeace Thackeray~

A mother understands what a child does not say.
~Jewish Proverb~

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.
~Spanish Proverb~

~When a woman is twenty, a child deforms her; when she is thirty, he preserves her; and when forty, he makes her young again.~
Leon Blum

Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same; and most mothers kiss and scold together.
~Pearl S. Buck~

And one added by my daughter’s mother-in-law:

Children hold their mother’s hand for a while, but her heart forever.

I hope all of you mothers do something nice for yourselves this weekend.

Feeling a Bit Apocalyptic

(Spoiler: this post may contain hyperbole.)

Things are looking bleak for the human race. Dire warnings from Al Gore have largely fallen on deaf ears and right-wing Republicans seem bent on steaming ahead spewing carbon into the atmosphere, burning as many fossil fuels as possible, gutting regulatory agencies, and generally acting irresponsible.

There are also fringe groups convinced the world will end in 2014 on 21 December 2012 because the Mayan calendar ends that year. I think they might have it down to a particular month, but the year itself is close enough for discomfort. And let’s be clear, a good segment of the Christian population is going by the Good Book, banking on the apocalypse for their final salvation, so there’s really not a large segment clamoring for restraint. Those are my friends and relatives and judging by the all the madness I think we’re outnumbered.

With the threatened meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants in Japan (SIX of them in a row!), we are racing toward self-destruction at an unprecedented rate. The earth may be ready to be rid of us, too. I have this theory, based on a comment my father once made, “Final proof that there is intelligent life in the rest of the Universe? They have not contacted us.” My theory is that we were dumped on earth by those very beings—a bit like criminals sent to Australia— and they put those huge spheres, Easter Island statues, and perhaps the pyramids as warning symbols to any space craft that ventures too close to earth. STAY AWAY. Locos live here!

I watch the news coverage because I can’t pull my eyes away, so my days are bombarded by idiot humans fighting each other in Africa, corporate minions trying, without much success I might add, to contain a power source whose half-life is longer than most people.The arrogance to think we can control it!

Man makes his plans and the gods laugh.

I ache for the people of Japan and am sorry their culture has bowed to corporations now calling the shots when it comes to their public safety. Note to self: the Republicans are close to accomplishing the same thing in the United States by gutting the EPA and its ability to regulate. They are fond of saying that businesses feel an “uncertainty” with the current state of affairs under the Obama administration. Judging from the compassionate response of BP during the Gulf oil spill we are due to experience what the Japanese are dealing with on a unprecedented level soon.

Time for the wake up call, but I think it’s falling on the deaf, too filled with hate or greed or ignorance to care.

I prepare for the End.

New Book Review- Stolen World

My review of Stolen World: A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers, and Skullduggery by Jennie Erin Smith is up at the Internet Review of Books.  I loved this book. It’s full of larger-than-life personalities involved in under-the-table activities.

“With a cast of characters straight out of a Carl Hiaasen or Elmore Leonard novel, Jennie Erin Smith takes her readers on a wild ride into the world of reptile trafficking. And, yes, much of her new book, STOLEN WORLD: A TALE OF REPTILES, SMUGGLERS, AND SKULLDUGGERY,  takes place in Florida, and it’s all true.”  To read the rest of the review click here.

Apparently some other reviewers have hinted they don’t entirely believe in the veracity of the book. According to Smith, in a discussion on her facebook page, a few reviewers have suggested that she “embellished” it. They warn, at the very least, that her book be read with a skeptical eye because of her sources. To me, this is a bit like saying that Woodward and Bernstein’s Watergate stories should be questioned because of their sources. Perhaps those reviewers live in a world where they don’t bump up against the sorts of shady people in her book.

I happen to live in a place where cads and misanthropes far outnumber your regular citizenry. Maybe it’s because this Caribbean coastline is a tropical playground, maybe because cads and misanthropes always look for the easiest way to survive— make a living seems a bit of a stretch—think no central heating needed. Really, no house needed. Whatever the reason, they are here. So, I have no trouble believing her book is true.

I also note that Stolen World was published by Crown publishing. As she says in her rebuttal there were three sets of legal teams that went over the material, sometimes insisting on changes, or pseudonyms, because of legal issues. Surely the reviewers were aware of this. Or, as Smith put it:    “… I do think they would have to be aware that any nonfic book would have serious legal vetting/review when the sources involved are 1. alive, 2. named, and 3. feisty as all hell.


In Solidarity, but Tired

It’s spring in Costa  Rica, and I think my head needs a good cleaning. There seems to be more clutter in there than needed. I’ve been caught up in our seemingly endless law case (into Limón numerous times, to the courthouse for this and that, a failed attempt at the trial itself, and a meeting with our lawyer), books that need a review written (got that done yesterday), and various and sundry other things (those, whatever they are, are still pending). And the unsettling news from the United States. I’m thinking of turning the TV off and canceling all electronic newspapers. I guess we really can’t call them “papers” anymore, maybe news “feeds” is a better term, and I’m overstuffed.

It’s the news from the US that has me the most upset. It’s no surprise what the GOP and the Astroturf Tea Party is up to, it’s just that I’ve seen it my whole life, and I’m tired of fighting them at every turn.

This whole union busting thing in Wisconsin has me worried for the future of the American worker. Right now, as you probably know, there are thousands of teachers, nurses, and other public employee union members protesting and fighting for their very survival on the steps of the legislature in Madison, Wisconsin. Many of the demands the governor and the Republican leaders want are, if not palatable, at least acceptable to the union members. They have agreed to pay into their health care and to take a pay cut, but that’s not enough for Governor Scott Walker. He wants to strip them of the right to collective bargaining. Why would he want that?

Well, because if he, Karl Rove, and the Koch brothers can break the unions and their ability to organize and give to Democratic causes, there will be no competition for the money in the next election. The Citizens United decision already opened up Big Money for the Republicans in 2008, and the Koch brothers and the Chamber of Commerce flooded the coffers of right-wing candidates across the country. Now, it seems, they are bent on destroying the liberal-leaning unions and stripping the middle class of any collective power it has left.

It is a sad day in America, but the Right has fought to take complete control since the country was founded, and they have certainly worked tirelessly to obliterate any safeguards that Franklin Delano Roosevelt enacted for poor people. The part I find the most ironic (or is that moronic) is that the very people who are supporting these powers will ultimately be hurt by them.

I know that eventually things will come into the open. Perhaps it will become public knowledge that Clarence Thomas should have recused himself from the Citizens United case because he was involved with the Koch brothers. Maybe people will find out that the father of two Republican legislators from Wisconsin is the head of the State Police, a public employee union exempt from Gov. Walker’s red pencil. Maybe. But, if there is no decent education in the country it will be all that much easier to manipulate an ignorant population.

As I said, I think my head needs a good cleaning, but I’m not sure what to use to get it done. I will go for a walk and  meditate on my solidarity with the union workers in Wisconsin.

Book Review: The Tenth Parallel

My review of Eliza Griswold’s book, The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line between Christianity and Islam, is live at The Internet Review of Books.

“Journalist and poet Eliza Griswold spent seven years investigating and reporting on religious conflict around the globe. That she lived to tell about it is remarkable. Her travels took her to some of the most troubled, and often violent, countries in the Eastern Hemisphere: Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.” To read more….

While I found the majority of the book to be a fairly bleak forecast due to politics, global climate change, not to mention religious intolerance, I was heartened this past week when thousands of Egyptian Muslims stood watch as human shields so Coptic Christians could celebrate their Christmas worship without fear of violence. To see a modicum of tolerance and unity among differing faiths was uplifting.

Perhaps the United States could take a cue from that event.