Archive for the world Category

We had him…

Posted in culture, ideas, music, world with tags , , , , on July 8, 2009 by artofpeace

Written by Maya Angelou


Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.

Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.

Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.

His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.

And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana’s Black Star Square.

In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England

We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

Primed Minister

Posted in ideas, photography, views, world on March 11, 2009 by artofpeace

2255805126_bc0f394267The photography on this Flickr account is something rather extraordinary.  Breathtaking landscapes, and exotic once-in-a-lifetime moments plucked from obscurity by the talents of photographer Primed Minister.  His colors are amazing and the vast perspectives leave much for the eyes to feast upon.  It will humble you, and amplify the provincial nature of your life.  Beautiful life-changing work.


A better, brighter apocalypse

Posted in culture, humor, ideas, world with tags , on July 20, 2008 by artofpeace

I’ve been away for a bit, so busy, and also trying my hand at writing in other realms. But in the “gnaw the ledge” tradition, I had to come back from the brink of oblivion to bring you a great article from an awesome group of individuals at It is a website filled with great blogs on how we should think about the world “after” green. Meaning that, okay, conservation and buying a hybrid and using plant pots made out of cow dung is great, but how do we move past that and change our world profoundly; the ways in which we live, breath, consume, and waste for the future.

One conception that we must change is the all-or-nothing proposition of “the apocalypse” and what it does to our ability to think about the future and changing what has been almost accepted as inevitable. I’m as guilty as anyone of buying into the Y2Ks, and the 2012s, and the illuminati conspiracy…it’s all in fun and dread, but it might not be as bad as we think. Blogger Alex Steffen gives us several ideas to think about as far as “why the apocalypse makes us dumb”

Read it, you might like it…dummy.


Going Back to Cali

Posted in politics, world with tags , , , on June 27, 2008 by artofpeace

Curtailing the steady rise of Global Warming is a lot like the price of oil, things won’t change until the money starts to change directions, not to mention the fact that much of what we do now to try to reduce emissions and greenhouse gases may not prevent the heating of our planet into the near future. There is always cause for hope though, and a recent article in Wired speaks to the effort of California legislators to start pushing for a new energy policy in the state. A blueprint signed into law called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 devises a timetable for green policy in the state. The main crux of the plan would be to slash greenhouse-gas emission in the state by about 30 percent by 2020. This would not only make the state’s plan the most ambitious of its kind, but could dictate national and global energy policy for years to come.

Of course, the bureaucracy always has some fun with progress, and this is no different. Some obstacles will include the exact terms of the cap-and-trade system that the government sells or gives away. In other words, corporations are vying for unregulated (aka free) permission to continue their current carbon output. Legislators on the other hand want to sell these permits and use it to bolster green energy policies and tax refunds for consumers and the like. Follow the money, and you will see where this could be headed.

If the next president does a good job of realizing our need for such policy, the benefits could be enormous, at least in the short term. An intriguing look at the proposed numbers of the plan give us reason to pause and reflect on what could be as one staffer says, “cutting down emissions could save over 300 lives and up to $2.4 billion dollars..mostly from decreasing asthma and lost-work days.” Breathing easier might prove to be just one of many benefits from going green in Cali.


Dare to Struggle! Dare to Blog!

Posted in technology, world with tags , on June 16, 2008 by artofpeace

The Internet.  The world’s last bastion of free thinking and unregulated media.  I guess the oppressive powers-that-be are starting to catch on as a Unversity of Washington report details.   The use of the cyber medium to expose heinous human rights violations, or relaying criticisms of a governments’ policies, have been leading to arrests in areas such as China, Egypt and Iran. As the report states:

Arrested bloggers exposed corruption in government, abuse of human rights or suppression of protests. They criticised public policies and took political figures to task.

The report said the rising number of arrests was testament to the “growing” political importance of blogging. It noted that arrests tended to increase during times of “political uncertainty”, such as around general elections or during large scale protests.

Jail time followed arrest for many bloggers, said the report, which found that the average prison sentence for blogging was 15 months. The longest sentence found by the WIA was eight years.  

It is a little scary to think that a few words written on someone’s blog can throw them in jail, but the proverbial Big Brother is out there and seems to be winning that fight.  To that, I say….Fuck the Police!


The inspiring work of photographer Sriram

Posted in art, world with tags , on May 29, 2008 by artofpeace

After yesterday’s post, I have to admit I was feeling very sad about the state of affairs. Then this morning, I ran into the most beautiful collection of pictures by Indian photographer Sriram. His website Traces captures the unique imagery of India, with an innocence and sincerity that warms the soul. Great photographers can take an image that we routinely overlook and turn it into pure magic, Sriram’s work is no different. Some food for the soul. Enjoy!


No justice, No peace

Posted in world with tags , on May 27, 2008 by artofpeace

It’s been revealed that Humanitarian aid workers and United Nation peacekeepers have been sexually abusing children in exchange for food and money. According to a report released Tuesday by Save the Children UK:

Children as young as 6 have been forced to have sex with aid workers and peacekeepers in return for food and money, Save the Children UK said in a report released Tuesday.

After interviewing hundreds of children, the charity said it found instances of rape, child prostitution, pornography, indecent sexual assault and trafficking of children for sex.

The idea that the people who are sent to uplift and aid those in need, are the same ones taking blatant advantage of them is appalling. As one 15-year-old girl from Haiti told researchers:

My friends and I were walking by the National Palace one evening when we encountered a couple of humanitarian men. The men called us over and showed us their penises.

They offered us 100 Haitian gourdes ($2.80) and some chocolate if we would suck them. I said, ‘No,’ but some of the girls did it and got the money.

For every hopeful thing that gives you strength each day, just one instance such as this, can bring it all crashing down. Reading this article left me with a numb feeling, which quickly turned to anger and rage. I have to admit, as a recent father myself, the idea of any child suffering pain or neglect when it can be prevented hurts me deeply.

According to CNN, “Save the Children is calling for a global watchdog to tackle the problem and said it was working with the U.N. to establish local mechanisms that will allow victims to easily report abuse.” Please read about these heinous abuses and do what you can to learn about and support those organizations who seek justice for these victims.

Link to CNN article

Link to Save the Children Report

Forever Loving Jah – Bob Marley

Posted in music, world with tags on April 25, 2008 by artofpeace

So old man river don’t dry for me
I have got a running stream of love you see
So no matter what stages, oh stages, stages
Stages they put us thru we’ll never be blue
No matter what rages, oh rages, changes.
Rages they put us thru, we’ll never be blue
We’ll be forever yeah!

Rice Rocket

Posted in world on April 23, 2008 by artofpeace

Here is another alarming article related to the rise of food prices around the globe. Rice, a traditional staple food around the world since time immemorial “has risen about 68% since the beginning of the year” according to BBC.

This reality has recently hit home, as most of my family in the Philippines are feeling the pinch.  Much like our complaints regarding gasoline prices in this country, I’ve heard the same thing coming from them regarding the price of rice.  Amazingly, much of the rice consumed in the Philippines, once a chief producer of their own supply, are now being imported from India and Thailand, two areas hit hard by “high fuel costs, bad weather and land allocated to biofuels.”

This development rarely registers a blip on the American economic landscape, but could be symptomatic of larger realities that will soon affect the entire global food market in the next decade.


Videos on rice hoarding in the Philippines and over pricing in India

Conservation as Lifestyle

Posted in ideas, world with tags , on April 22, 2008 by artofpeace

Since today is Earth Day, I thought it would be a good idea to talk a little bit about the idea of conservation. According to Wikipedia, the idea for Earth Day came about when “U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on the environment.” Since then, the day has grown to symbolize humankind’s need to tend to their only planetary home and to cultivate life, health, and greeniness throughout world.

Oftentimes, the idea of being “green” means that we should increase our recycling habits, drive a hybrid, and produce less waste and in turn, lower our carbon footprint upon the planet. While all of these actions would certainly be a big step in the right direction, I think we can also begin to look at conservation as a larger lifestyle choice.

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