Thursday, February 21, 2019

Earth Day and Martin Luther King Celebration Instead of War

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is coming to the nation's capital on April 4th
 to mark its 70th birthday. Instead of celebrating NATO's anniversary, a growing 
organization is throwing a peace fest to offer alternatives
 to the largest military alliance in the world. 

While championing peace, NATO has repeatedly violated international law 
by bombing Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. 
This is not humanitarianism. Bombs do not champion peace; they kill citizens 
(women and children), destroy infrastructure such as bridges, power plants, 
and local businesses. World Wars I and II did nothing to stop this from happening 
and repeating the same does nothing to break the cycle. 

Decades later the Balkan area is still reeling from billions of dollars in damage 
and an outbreak of cancer from the 6 tons of uranium bombs dropped in the country 
in the 1990's. Princess Diana of Great Britain brought these truths to the forefront 
of the world during her visit in the 90's walking around land mines.
The war in this region never obtained the United Nations Authorization. 
NATO now accounts for three-quarters of military weapons dealing on the globe. 

War is the leading contributor to the growing refugee crisis around the world 
as well as a climate crisis. War militarizes the police which is a top cause of the 
erosion of civil liberties and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. 
April belongs to Martin Luther King and Mother Earth. Instead of saying "happy
birthday" to NATO, celebrate peace to honor Martin Luther King's speech 
against war on April 4, 1967 one year before his assassination. 

April is also Earth Day month. Those concerned about Mother Earth and 
in favor of a new policy toward the treatment of the earth should also celebrate 
by being in Washington and speaking to their representatives about their desires 
for better treatment of the earth that sustains us all by doing away with war and 
tturning our weapons into "plowshares."

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Ari Ara and The Way Between

"The Horns of Monk's Head bellowed low and sonorous. Ari Ara skidded to a halt. . . The Horns announced the change of seasons. Autumn had arrived. She (Ari Ara) leapt across the black rocks of the High Mountains. The wind flung back the hood of her thick, black wool shepherdess cloak. Her red hair burned bright against the steep slopes. The sky blazed cold blue. The wind nearly knocked her off her feet."

Thus, Rivera Sun introduces the superhero of her dystopian series "The Way Between" and its sequel "The Lost Heir."  In these two books Ms. Sun has created a world filled with all the adventure and fun of  mystics, martial arts and magic contained in "The Hobbit," and "The Ring Trilogy" and the "Harry Potter" series but with deeper messages about the struggle between good and evil like the Star Wars saga without creating losers. As Ari Ara (Not This, Not That) struggles to find the truth of her past and the people with whom she belongs the way Oliver Twist and Huckleberry Finn did in the works of Dickens and Twain, she becomes the leader of a world of orphans and misfits dealing with bullies and powerful adults who have the power of Attar- warrior force.  With the help of the Fantan Grandmother, leader of those who practice Anar (peace through avoidance) the old warrior Shullen, The Great Lady, young nobles in Mariana Capital, and dress makers and hawk keepers she stumbles upon Azar (the way between) to lead all toward unity and the dissolution of war.  

This series is a must read for students in grades 5-8. Young adults will find endless entertainment in the adventure but also realize the story is showing them a way to deal with bullies, gun violence and poverty that has been the world of children since the days of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Parents would enjoy reading this story aloud with their children as well. There are not enough superlatives to describe this series so I will use the words of authors of the Marvel Comic heroes that best describe it - Wow! Bam! and Pop!