Daily Archives: May 18, 2019

Sadness Is a White Bird Book Review

There are many (myself included), who strongly believe in one side of the narrative when it comes to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. However, there are others may have a more nuanced and complicated view of the conflict.

Moriel Rothman-Zecher is one of these individuals. His new novel, Sadness is a White Bird, is the story of a young man who is torn between two ideologies. Jonathan was born in Israel, raised in America and returned to Israel two years before the novel begins. He is ready to do his duty and protect Israel via his service with the IDF. However, his best friends are Palestinian twins and Jonathan begins to see that his world view is not so black and white.

In this semi-biographical novel, Rothman-Zecher explores the grey areas of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and how the human experience is often ignored in favor of bold faced headlines and cold facts. What I liked about this book is that it presents both the Israelis and Palestinians as fully human, reminding the reader that there are human beings behind the headlines.

I may not agree with the author, but if there is one lesson to be learned from this book, it is that if we are to live with our neighbors, we must get to know them on an individual level and not just as a member of their specific cultural or religious group.

I recommend it.

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Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life Book Review

Every genre has a standard narrative. When a reader opens up a biography, he or she expects the standard womb to tomb narrative. Lucy Worsley‘s new biography of Queen Victoria, Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life, both adheres to the standard narrative and steps out of the box.

Ms. Worsley tells the story of Queen Victoria via 24 days in her life that had a life altering effect. From a 2019 perspective, the Queen might have been viewed as an everyday woman: she was balancing a demanding career, raising children and maintaining her marriage.

What I liked about this book is that Ms. Worsley does not write the predictable womb to tomb biography. In choosing the specific moments in time, Ms. Worsley brings out her subject’s humanity and ordinary-ness, making her seem like just another woman instead of one of the greatest Queens in human history.

I recommend it.

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Thoughts On the Alabama Abortion Bill

Anyone who knows me (or at least has read this blog regularly), knows that my political views are pretty liberal. It’s therefore not hard to imagine that politically, Pat Robertson and I standard very far apart when it comes to politics and other sensitive subjects.

I was surprised to read that he is against the new Alabama abortion bill, stating that lawmakers have gone too far. If Pat Robertson is against this law, that says something.

The thing that strikes me about abortion laws is that they are used by men to control women’s bodies, but men’s bodies are never controlled by women or other men. This idea of a man controlling a woman’s body goes back to the not too distant past when a woman was chattel to her father, husband or other nearest male relative. There are some men (and some women) who still believe that a man has the right to control a woman’s bodies.

The only out that a doctor may have for not potentially going to jail for 99 years is if the abortion is determined to be medically necessary. There is no out for a woman who is raped or whose pregnancy is caused by incest.

The irony of this law is that it was signed by Alabama’s female governor, Kay Ivey (R-Alabama). According to the news report, the lawmakers who supported and signed the bill hope to us it as an avenue to eventually challenge Roe V. Wade in the Supreme Court.

While I respect that those who are pro-life have the right to the opinion, I think that if one is pro-life, why not focus on the children who are already living? There are so many children who are growing up in less then ideal conditions, why not focus your time and energy on those children?

I wish that in 2019, the issue of abortion and the government intervening on woman’s choice on whether or not have an abortion did not exist. But it still does and until the issue does not exist, I an and many others will continue to fight.

P.S. It takes two to tango and two to conceive a child. If these male lawmakers are so concerned about abortion, perhaps they should be making sure that the snakes are kept in the cages or condoms should be made readily available to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and a possible future abortion.

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