Friday, July 11, 2014

Literary Friday: Prayers for the Stolen, plus A RARE RANT FROM ME: PLEASE PRAY FOR THE CHILDREN AT OUR BORDER!



This week I read Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement.  I picked it up in our local library, and the story is much better and more complex than the blurb on the book jacket led me to believe.  Jennifer is an American who grew-up in Mexico, and she has continued living there as an adult. Interestingly, she received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction for this book, which is spooky if you think about the timing.  You'll understand what I mean once you've read my review.

Book Flap Says:

Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce, funny and smart. She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing. In the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, women must fend for themselves, as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Here in the shadow of the drug war, bodies turn up on the outskirts of the village to be taken back to the earth by scorpions and snakes. School is held sporadically, when a volunteer can be coerced away from the big city for a semester. In Guerrero the drug lords are kings, and mothers disguise their daughters as sons, or when that fails they “make them ugly” – cropping their hair, blackening their teeth- anything to protect them from the rapacious grasp of the cartels. And when the black SUVs roll through town, Ladydi and her friends burrow into holes in their backyards like animals, tucked safely out of sight.

While her mother waits in vain for her husband’s return, Ladydi and her friends dream of a future that holds more promise than mere survival, finding humor, solidarity and fun in the face of so much tragedy. When Ladydi is offered work as a nanny for a wealthy family in Acapulco, she seizes the chance, and finds her first taste of love with a young caretaker there. But when a local murder tied to the cartel implicates a friend, Ladydi’s future takes a dark turn. Despite the odds against her, this spirited heroine’s resilience and resolve bring hope to otherwise heartbreaking conditions.

An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of an unjust war, PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.

This book is a difficult read.  The violence is disturbing and heartbreaking. The abuse of young girls is horrific.  And what makes it even worse is that Jennifer Clement interviewed many women in Mexican prisons as part of her research for the novel.  A big part of the book reminds me of Orange Is the New Black, and her plot point of hiding girls in holes actually stemmed from these interviews: Clement was told how one mother hid her daughter in a hole in a cornfield, and the prisoner explained to her how this was a very common practice in Guerrero.  I think this is a very well-written book, and very important, too.  I highly recommend it. 

END OF BOOK REVIEW…..Now on to the children on our border, and an open post to our leaders…

While reading this book this week, I've also been saddened and angered about the innocent children being used as political pawns on our own border. I know that these children aren't from Mexico but are from other Central American countries, but they had to travel through these dangerous parts of Mexico, and Mexican thugs are huge players in the tragedy we're currently witnessing.

I know that I rarely post anything political on my blog.  I have readers who are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Tea Party Conservatives, and Libertarians.  Everyone is welcome here.  My long-time readers know that I have spent a majority of my adult life as a children's advocate, both publicly and privately.  I guess that's why this situation is driving me crazy, and I am fighting mad.  I've spent far too much time watching and reading the news from a variety of sources this week because I'm so worried about what's happening to these little children.

These sweet innocent children are being used as political pawns.  Many are ill, and many have been abused.  There are reports of sexual abuse, especially among the young girls.  Our children could pay a price by being exposed to these diseases.  They are here because of irresponsible comments President Obama made.  What does the President hope to achieve in this crisis?  We.  Are.  Broke.  We can no longer afford to pay for our own needy children in this country, not to mention thousands from Central America.  

President Obama has claimed that he has a pen, and he has a telephone (meaning he doesn't mind circumventing Congress to further his agenda).  He also has Air Force One and Marine One, but he can't seem to quite make it to the border to see the children being held (essentially) in cages.  He can rewrite his own Obama Care Law dozens of times circumventing Congress, but apparently his pen and phone are powerless to help these children. Obama mocked concerned Americans, stating that our border is secure, and they aren't satisfied.  He even used hyperbole to suggest that these Americans wouldn't be satisfied until there's "a moat filled with alligators" at the southern border.  How disingenuous.  How secure is our country if children can cross it?  How many who want to kill us and destroy our way of life have already crossed over, too?  It's just a matter of time before we're victims of this border stupidity.

The Republicans aren't really helping, either.  They are too scared to criticize these abusive policies.  Too scared they'll be called racist for criticizing Obama….too scared to rock the boat while the administration is making such a mess of a tragedy caused by careless words…too disorganized and inept to be of any help to these children.

We are in DIRE NEED of competent leaders across the political spectrum. William Butler Yeats said in his poem "The Second Coming":

The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.

I am begging for some brave men and women in Washington to man-up, put on your big girl panties and do SOMETHING MEANINGFUL to help the kids here and secure our border!

In the interim, our president refuses to visit the refugee camps at the border. He was in Texas, but turned down Governor Rick Perry's invitation to visit. Obama said  about the border crisis:  "This is a problem. I'm not interested in photo-ops; I'm interested in solving a problem."  Okay.  This makes no sense to me.  Logic dictates that better decisions are made when one has all the facts.  Another thing that doesn't make sense is that the administration isn't allowing any photographs at the refugee camps: Our elected officials from these states aren't even allowed to take photos.  So why is our president concerned about photo ops when his own policies aren't allowing photography or reporting?  This is crazy sauce!  I feel like I've fallen down the rabbit hole…It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.

What disappoints me about our president is that he is very intelligent and well educated.  But President Obama is not very wise.  There are some universal truths that I've learned in my lifetime, and our leaders, not just Obama but virtually all of them, either have not learned these truths or they think these rules do not apply to them.  


RULES I'VE LEARNED:

1.   Karma really and truly is a bitch.
2.   God is just.
3.   Those who abuse children are soulless.
4.   Weak people blame others for their failings.
5.   Incompetent people rarely surround themselves with competent people.
6.   History is never kind to bullies.
7.   The above rules ARE UNIVERSAL and they DO APPLY TO EVERYONE!


Even my eleventh grade daughter has learned number 6.

These rules are relevant, and they still apply.  My prayer is that our leaders will learn them, and apply them.  I also pray that God will turn their hearts.  

Now, I know that I'm a mommie blogger from the woods of Alabama, and I might not have a super powerful pen and cellphone.  But I do have the power of prayer and a God who listens.

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 19:14.

I'm asking you to pray for these kids.  If you don't pray, then send them your thoughts, and one thing we can all do is call and email our representatives.   We need to secure our own children's future by reducing the debt and closing our borders.

Sorry for the rant, but I've thought of practically nothing else this week.  I've been unable to blog, and I've tried to put on a happy face with family birthday parties this week, but it's been hard for me.


Literary Friday


Until next time…

Blessings!
Ricki Jill


5 comments:

  1. I'm not sure how to feel about his role in all of this. I can respect that he's trying not to use them as photo ops as you rant about in the post, and I can also respect the fact that no matter what he wants to do-the republicans have done everything in their power to stop everything, even the good things. They all said they'd tell him no just to tell him no, regardless of the consequences! It's a mess, and I personally feel like the government needs a complete overall. Fire them ALL and start from scratch-because at this point it's just like you said-a rabbit hole. It's a big flaming pit of corruption, and no matter who's best intentions or what president we elect, the corruption remains at the base of it all.

    We're this country that's constantly fighting for individual rights but then saying other individuals can't have them. A country that's more concerned with taking away a woman's right to choose what to do with her own birth control methods because "babies have to be born" (whether or not there's no conception-because you know the pill or condoms prevent it and that's bad) but we're not fighting for the needs of children in this very country-that's what astounds me. Our public school system is terrible. We treat our teachers badly and pay them poorly, and yet we wonder why we're so far down on the list of education... It's sad.

    And now I got off on a rant. I agree with you about taking care of our children here. I also feel like something should be done to help these poor refugees. And I think our government needs an overhaul.

    Also I linked up, two books in one month and I'm on a roll!

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  2. Love this post and I agree with your thoughts. We need to secure the border right now! To build the full border fence would only cost 6 billion dollars, and Obama is asking congress for 3.7 billion just to deal with this crisis, which could have been averted by a secure border.

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  3. Amen Sister!! My husband and I have talked so much about this in the last few days. There's a part of me that thinks American forces need to stand at the border and turn people away. But goodness only knows where they would go and what would happen to them. Then on the other hand, I can only equate this migration to something the Jews might have done when sending their children away in WWII. What mother would send her kids off into the giant world without any knowledge of their well being unless she thought there was absolutely no other choice? I can't even imagine. I'm not saying any of this is ok, I'm just trying to relate to the mothers. We live in Texas and I will tell you that it's terrifying to know that thousands of people are flooding across every day with no end in sight. Apparently there are over 5,000 kids here now just in San Antonio.This state can not afford it and neither can the federal government. We certainly don't have any procedures for something like this to take care of and place this many children safely. It seems like the President is nonchalant about it when he speaks. I'm praying with you and I'm hoping there is some answer that will keep the kids and us safe.

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  4. Your timing with reading this book may have been through guided hands. The entire subject manner is very disturbing and sad, so sad.

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