Where has all the hope gone?

History seems doomed to repeat itself as is evident in the news everyday with stories of suicide bombers, protests, and government failing to do right by its people. Reading these stories everyday makes a person wonder if hope has ever existed due to history’s lack of viable reasons to say otherwise. Every war and protest seems to follow the same patterns of behaviors and missteps taken by those in authority who believe they are doing right by their people without consulting their people. Even as a kid we are all told when we get older we will understand but as an adult I understand less now than I did as a child. What purpose does war serve and violence for that matter? Reading through the new and deciding what to write today was a challenge as I grow tired of the hopeless and sad stories I read about North Korea, South Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and so many more. Today, I look to history to guide me and the music to inspire me.

One of my favorite songs, “Where have all the flowers gone?” by Pete Seeger came to mind while reading the news today. One particular line struck me over and over…when will they ever learn? That is a question I am afraid will never be answered as humanity is already on the path to calamity as tensions rise around the world and through violence more has been accomplished than through peace or so it seems. Even looking at everyday occurrences, it doesn’t take much to see that the world has headed down a dark path not just with war and protests on a large scale, but look at everyday life with children killing children, the increase in suicides, violence against women, and the threat to a happy life for all. How as humans do we process and accept such a bleak reality?…by looking at the past of course.

When will the pattern of behavior change or when did it become okay to threaten violence in order to get the point across? It seems largely ignored when something good comes out of something so horrible because the story is not in the good but in a bad. Do we reinforce bad behavior as good? Maybe. How do we as a society end the cycle that history has found so hard to break? Do we unilaterally lay down arms or do we find peace through strength? I think I have more questions now than I did as a child.

Peace anthems seem to be a thing of the past but to me will ring true as long as people walk the earth and long after the song writers dies. It is there message to the world. I read something interesting on YouTube about Pete Seeger from a user called Thespadecaller:

On July 26, 1956, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite Pete Seeger and seven others (including playwright Arthur Miller) for contempt, as they failed to cooperate with House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in their attempts to investigate alleged subversives and communists. Pete Seeger testified before the HUAC in 1955.
In one of Pete’s darkest moments, when his personal freedom, his career, and his safety were in jeopardy, a flash of inspiration ignited this song. The song was stirred by a passage from Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel “And Quie Flows the Don”. Around the world the song traveled and in 1962 at a UNICEF concert in Germany, Marlene Dietrich, Academy Award-nominated German-born American actress, first performed the song in French, as “Qui peut dire ou vont les fleurs?” Shortly after she sang it in German. The song’s impact in Germany just after WWII was shattering. It’s universal message, “let there be peace in the world” did not get lost in its translation. To the contrary, the combination of the language, the setting, and the great lyrics has had a profound effect on people all around the world. May it have the same effect today and bring renewed awareness to all that hear it.

Headlines full of accusations, disapproval, propaganda, violence, fear seem to outweigh human rights, human survival, and hope. Why does it take human tragedy to inspire a small change and why can’t we look to the past to inspire us to be a better version of the past? Pete Seeger a single man sparked a change in his time and his government saw him as a threat…a single man not a million. The song with a melancholy melody and repetitious lyrics lends to the haunting reality of the words that history continues to repeat itself, but with everyday that passes I hope that people begin to understand how to change not only themselves but the world.

Iraq War Missing

 

 

Orange County Shooting Spree: Several People Dead After 25-Minute Ordeal, Police In California Say

Orange County Shooting Spree: Several People Dead After 25-Minute Ordeal, Police In California Say.

As the debate over gun control heats up between second amendment protectors and gun control supporters, another shooting has happened in California just days after a young girl was shot after attending Obama’s speech about gun violence in Chicago. Is there really a debate when it comes to protecting the people who live in any country? Compromises will have to be made in order to fix the growing gun violence problem which is only one of several problems the government needs to fix. Whether in favor of gun control or not, these shootings should be few to non existent with the appropriate gun measure put into place.

A woman in Tustin, California just 35 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, was shot to death in her home Tuesday by a young man who then went on a carjacking shooting spree across Orange Country killing two more people and wounding three others before killing himself. According to Tustin Lt. Paul Garaven, many were shot out but no one was hurt. The motives of the shooter were unknown and could only be described as in his 20s. The connection between the victims and shooter are unclear at this time said Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino. The shooting happened at 4:45 a.m. when a call came in about a woman shot multiple times in a house in Ladera Ranch about 55 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Several shootings occurred over the next hour at other locations including a carjacking on interstate 5 which left the carjacking victim uninjured and left an innocent bystander shot and taken to the hospital. The gunman also fired at several other vehicles on the freeway. The gunman soon ran out of gas in the pick up truck he carjacked, so he then stopped on Route 55 and McFadden Avenue in Santa Ana and executed another victim before taking the man’s BMW. The shooter then drove to a Tustin business and carjacked a utility type pickup after wounding one person and killing another. When officers tried to stop him in the city of Orange he got out of the vehicle and killed himself. The southbound 55 McFadden Avenue off ramp was closed til further notice.

Pedro Reyes Turns Guns Into Musical Instruments

Pedro Reyes Turns Guns Into Musical Instruments.

I thought this was truly a unique idea and send a clear message to people about how something that causes so much hurt can bring so much joy… take a page out of his book NRA. The guns of northern Mexico have found a new purpose instead of causing so many more deaths they are now making music. Mechanical hammers ping against once used ammunition magazines from assault rifles, while gun barrels cut to different lengths ring like marimbas and pistol parts strike metal plates like cymbals. Sculptor Pedro Reyes told the Associated Press that “it’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons, as if a sort of exorcism was taking place.”He continued to say,”the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost.”

The title of the project is called “Disarm” and he had the opportunity to choose from 6,700 guns that were seized or turned in by the army and police in Ciudad Juarez, a city that sees 10 killing a day in a population of 1.3 million people. The city had a murder rate of 230 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the nationwide rate for the U.S. was 4.8 for the year. Reyes said in an interviews while demonstrating his instruments that,”the dramatic thing is that this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the weapons that are seized every day and that the army has to destroy.” Reyes was well known already for his 2008 project called “Palas por Pistolas,” or “Pistols to Shovels,” where he used melted down weapons to make 1,527 shovels same as the number of weapons and planted the same number of trees. The new project began last year as Reyes explains,”normally, they bury or destroy them, but someone who works in the government said, `Would you be interested in making a sculpture with this metal?'” Reyes hopes to take his message global,”this project has a pacifist intent, to create a global consciousness about arms trafficking.”

Violence has become a theme in Mexican art as another artist, Teresa Margolles, uses artifacts collected from crime scenes from the violence plagued state of Sinaloa. The reason behind Reyes musical sculptures are explained,”It occurred to me to make musical instruments, because music is the opposite of weapons. This exercise of transformation we see with the guns, is what we would like to see in society.”

Accused ‘Witch’ Kepari Leniata Burned Alive By Mob In Papua New Guinea (GRAPHIC PHOTO)

woman burned alive sorcery

Accused ‘Witch’ Kepari Leniata Burned Alive By Mob In Papua New Guinea (GRAPHIC PHOTO).

Has the world gone crazier as the new year starts off or is more just coming to light? This week according to multiple reports, a young mother, Kepari Leniata, 20, was burned alive in Papa New Guinea after townspeople accused her of being a witch. She was tortured and killed in front of  a mob of hundreds in Mount Hagen. The woman was stripped, covered in gasoline and burned alive on a pile of trash by relatives who accused her of sorcery that lead to the boy’s death. Agence France-Press wrote that the woman admitted to killing the boy who died from stomach and chest pains Tuesday. Police and firefighters tried to save Leniata but were chased away by overwhelming crowds. The photo above shows that on Feb. 6 the young mother accused of sorcery was naked, tortured with a branding iron, tied up, gasoline poured on her and lit up on a pile of rubbish in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. According to Post-Courier newspaper she was torched by villagers with police outnumbered by onlookers and unable to intervene. The U.S. Embassy and Australia’s high commissioner have condemned the murders and according to BBC, police chief Supt Kaiglo Ambane told the media her killers would be brought to justice. AFP notes that people in the island nation believe in sorcery rather tahn natural causes. Even though the 1971 Sorcery Act outlaws the burning of allege witches, the practice still happens as a woman was burned alive in 2009 for sorcery. According to the Huffington Post:

 

 

 

In a 2009 blog for The Huffington Post, Zama Coursen-Neff, the director of Human Rights Watch’s Children’s Rights Division, said that that this incident and other similar killings have become indicative a larger, more troubling trend.

In Papua New Guinea, research indicates, two-thirds of women experience domestic violence, and 50 percent of women have experienced forced sex. The Australian development agency AUSAID just issued a new report identifying violence against women as a major barrier to Papua New Guinea’s development.

Violence Flares In Egypt After President Declares State Of Emergency In 3 States

 Violence Flares In Egypt After President Declares State Of Emergency In 3 States.

Another bout of violence in the region as tension flairs between the president of Egypt and the people. In Cairo a man was shot dead Monday in the fifth day of violence that has killed 50 people so far and the Islamist president to declare a state of emergency hoping to end the blood shed. The emergency rule covers Port Said, Ismalia, and Suez and the army has been deployed in two cities allowing soldiers to arrest civilians approved by the cabinet. Protestors are accusing Morsi of high-handed security tactics the very same they ousted President Hosni Mubarak for. Even though Islamists won parliament nd presidential elections, the opposition has united against Morsi since last year when he moved to expand his power and push an Islamist leaning constitution. He is also being accused of leaning toward his Islamist allies and breaking a promise to be president of all Egyptians. Islamists say their rivals want to overthrow their freely elected leader by undemocratic means. The violence that erupted on Jan. 25 2012 marked the second anniversary of one of the bloodiest days leading up to Mubarak’s ousting. Instability in Egypt has many concerned in the western world where officials are concerned with key players who have piece deals with Israel. The political unrest in the key cities of Port Said, Ismalia, and Suez has further been marked by violence linked to the death penalties imposed on soccer supporters convicted of involvement in stadium rioting a year ago. Rioting in Cairo on Monday resulted in a 46 year old bystander being killed by gunshot as police threw tear gas into a crowd of stone throwing protestors. It is unclear who shot the man. The opposition Front has distanced themselves from these flare ups stating that Morsi should of acted sooner to impose security measures while other activists say that these measures could backfire on the president. Thousands of mourners joined funerals in Port Said for the latest death toll adding 7 more people who were killed on Sunday when residents joined marches to bury 33 others who were killed earlier most by gunshots. The emergency rule reminds many of the 30 year rule of Mubarak who kept Egypt under his thumb by implementing emergency rule allowing police to muzzle dissent and round up opponents even Morsi himself. Heba Morayef of Human Rights Watch in Cairo said that this implementation will undermine Egypt’s efforts to create a more efficient and respected police force.

Egypt Riot After Soccer Violence Verdict Kills 27

Egypt Riot After Soccer Violence Verdict Kills 27.

People have lost their minds. To me, this story is a lot of senseless violence that is not only happening in Egypt but around the world. In Cairo angry relatives and residence charged the streets of a port city on Saturday in response to a judge sentencing two dozen soccer fans to death for their involvement in deadly violence after a game last year. A total of 38 people are dead in two days that includes 11 people killed in violence between police and protesters. This marks the second anniversary of the overthrow of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. The violence in Port Said was a direct result of ajudge sentencing 21 people to death for the Feb.1 soccer melee that killed 74 fans of the Cairo based Al Ahly team. The defendant were not all present for sentencing but can appeal the verdict. The remainder of the 52 people involved in the incident will be get their verdicts March 9 and the charges range from murder to assisting the perpetrators. The Ultras, die hard fans from both teams, partially hold the police responsible for not stopping the blood shed and criticize President Mohammed Morsi for not reforming the police force or judiciary since stepping into office in July. The opposition has said that Morsi who was the first freely elected, civilian president and his Muslim allies has done nothing to restore stability among the continuing political turmoil and crime pointing to a worse economy. The main opposition National Salvation Front has said that Morsi has used excessive violence to deal with protestors, while the Brotherhood said the media is to blame for encouraging protestors to be violent. After the verdict was televised, residents and relatives stormed every government building in Port Said trying to free the defendants or take over government offices even killing a few officers in the process. The police fired tear gas and rubber bullets even live rounds into the crowds outside of the prison. The army had been deployed to deal with the protestors but little progress was being made to subdue the protestors. Many of the young men who led the violence were Ultras who see the police as part of Mubarak’s authoritarian rule and as their nemesis. Many believe that Mubarak loyalists had a hand to do with last years attack causing distrust between the public and police. The Al-Masry fans stormed the pitch after the game attacking Cairo’s Al-Ahly fans. Authorities shut off the lights in the stadium and chained the gates causing many to be crushed under the crowd as they tried to break the chain on the gates. Some people especially those who loved ones died in last years soccer melee are satisfied with the verdict, others feel it is politically driven, while others believe that the Ultras were behind the gates being chained suffocating people to death and most if not all that were sentenced were from the rival team Al-Masry.

 

 

 

 

 

NRA Puts Its Mouth Where Its Money Is With Ad Targeting Obama Kids – DailyFinance

 NRA Puts Its Mouth Where Its Money Is With Ad Targeting Obama Kids – DailyFinance.

Before President Obama released his gun control proposal on Wednesday, opponents of the gun control plan were taking action. On Monday, Attorney General Edwin Meese  like others before suggested that the president could be impeached for such actions. The National Rifle Association also was busy releasing their ad that asked views, “Are the President’s Kids More Important than Yours?”which made comparisons between placing armed guards at school and the Secret Service detail assigned with protecting Sasha and Malia Obama. The ad called the president an “elitist hypocrite.” Not only has the president receives more than 30 death threats a day, Sasha and Malia have also been threatened as well I guess it comes with the territory. The NRA and its board of directors are not much different as they have also received death threats.

However, the NRA has a large financial stake in the game so no surprise they are hitting below the belt. The organization pulled in $227.8 million that includes $100 million in memberships and $71 million in contributions and grants many from gun manufacturers. The firearm manufacturers have a lot to loss with Obama’s proposal about $4 billion to be exact, bit I agree with AOL that going after his children who have nothing to do with this gun fight is ridiculous. The NRA and for that matter the gun manufacturers should be putting their efforts towards a long term solution not a lazy one. The problem here is not only gun and in a matter politicians with their fingers in several pies that only benefit them, but the need to re-examine the whole system and process in buying guns. Let’s face it NRA and gun manufacturers, regardless of whatever regulations are put into place people are still going to buy guns and unfortunately Obama and Congress no matter what gun measures you put into place like in all of these mass shooting if there is a will there is a way whether legal or illegal to get guns. This is what should be the focus to stop that.