The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: Hypocrisy?

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (signed in 1968) is supposed to be about stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and only five nations are ‘allowed’ to have nuclear weapons…United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, China, and France.  Although it is better to be a nuclear-weapon free world, it is a form of hypocrisy for America or the other four nuclear weapon nations to not want places like North Korea and Pakistan to build nuclear weapons, but we are creating weapons with nuclear technologies/energy.  Political leaders have even threatened to ”push the button’ (use nuclear weapons) if another country that is not ‘allowed’ keeps testing their missiles.  Yet, America dropped atomic bombs on two full cities (Nagasaki and Hiroshima)…no one else has ever used nuclear weapons for warfare in history.  In my opinion, the Non Proliferation treaty is less about having a nuclear weapon free world for the future, but it is more so about power and control. It’s like: ”Yeah we can drop nuclear weapons on other countries if we have to go that far…but you guys are not allowed to build any or do what we do. Those are the rules.”  Nothing good comes from using nuclear weapons on nations no matter who is ”allowed” to have them or not. America has its pros and good, but hypocrisy has always been prevalent. Destabilizing nations and then trying to ‘help’ them is one of the many problems America has when it comes to international relations. Yes, we should all help/aid other places & people if they need help or rescue…but playing/imitating the ‘hero’ is different from actually being a genuine one. The treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is supposed to be about promoting peaceful usage of nuclear energy and a future free of nuclear weapons. However, it seems as if the ‘future nuclear disarmament/elimination goal’ that the NPT claims to promote does not apply to everyone because there are people who prefer power & control over true positive change.

Inspirational Photography: Encouraging Positivity Captured by The Lens

Uplifting photography that represents positive messages are captivating and symbolizes just how beautiful life is…especially the ‘simple’ yet priceless & precious moments/creations we should never take for granted.  Here are some of my favorite photos that are delightful, inspiring, and interesting to reflect on. Of course, people may not always share the same perspectives, but I sincerely hope these amazing photos can inspire more happiness/hope and encourage us all to have a wondrous/positive viewpoint on life.

Children laughing in a field of marigold flowers in Panskura, West Bengal, India. The picture won the Families category in the worldwide photography competition

 

Third place – "Winter Sunrise Over" by Stephen Banks

Stephen Banks/VELUX Lovers of Light 2014

I want to go to Africa someday and take pictures like this and show the would a smile can change all..

 

duckling climbing - a picture is worth a thousand words

David Bitton

 

 

Twin Baby Elephants, East Africa {by Diana Robinson}

Twin Baby Elephants, East Africa by Diane Robinson

Survival

 

 

 

 

A Homage: Marley Marl, Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records Legacy

Image result for Juice Crew Members

During the ‘Golden Era of Hip-Hop’, innovative producer/DJ Marley Marl and DJ Mr. Magic (1956-2009) formed the legendary Juice Crew. Groundbreaking artists that were a part of the Juice Crew created music with Marley Marl on the Cold Chillin’ Records label, which includes Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Masta Ace, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Roxanne Shante, and MC Shan. The collaborative music team helped usher in a new era in music, and of course…there was the well-known ‘beefs’ with the Boogie Down Productions. The famous ”Bridge Wars”, which partly started when lyrics were misinterpreted in MC Shan’s ”The Bridge” and then KRS-One/Boogie Down responded with ”The Bridge is Over” and ”South Bronx”. Not to mention the ”Roxanne Wars” series started by a then 14 year old Roxanne Shante (which influenced at least 100 response songs about the ”real Roxanne” created by different artists). The Juice Crew created a distinct collection of songs that are timeless and a great reference to the ”Golden Era”. Some of my personal favorites includes Biz Markie’s ”Vapors” and Big Daddy Kane’s ‘Long Live the Kane’ album. Marley Marl produced a variety of classic projects, which includes L.L Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ album, and Marley Marl’s first album ‘In Control Volume 1’ introduced one of the most influential and recognized songs in classic rap…”The Symphony”. Some of the legendary artists who consider Marley Marl an influence are Biggie Smalls, RZA, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock. When paying homage to those who helped create the ”Golden Era of Hip Hop”, it is important to always remember innovator Marley Marl and the Juice Crew. Their music still sounds amazing and refreshing.

 

Positive Thought: ‘The World I Know’ by Collective Soul Analyzed

The thought provoking lyrics and perspective of the 1995 classic ‘The World I Know’ by Collective Soul is a great song/video to analyze. How I perceive this song is that it’s okay to question and feel deeply bothered with the state of our world,  but we should always try to not let this reflection prevent us from encouraging more positivity and good progression within our planet. I love this song and whenever I listen to it, the overall composition is compelling to me. I encourage all to never give up on our world…to never be comfortable or numb to the evil & unfortunate happenings that may be prevalent in our world. One of the many beautiful reasons why hope still lingers on is because this world also includes inhabitants/souls who are conscientious, good-hearted and genuinely care to implement/spread positive change. Therefor, let’s never feel as though this world is mainly full of only gloom and despair…because it is not. We all are each equally important & vital in implementing positive change, and there are people who still sincerely care for the pain/suffering others experience.  If we can’t seem to find many, then let’s be one of the light-filled souls we seek and desire. I also love how this video encourages people to never give up on life and that there is always inspiration/positivity we can grow from and contribute to.

Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on
I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don’t know why

Are we listening
Hymns of offering?
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?
All the words that I’ve been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding
Into one, into one

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York City
And I don’t know why, don’t know why

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below

And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

Songwriters: ED ROLAND, ROSS BRIAN CHILDRESS
© KAREN SCHAUBEN PUBLISHING ADMINISTRATION

Making America Great… ‘Again’?: Historical Hypocrisy & Modern Change

President Donald Trump claims to want to make America great…again. The word ‘again’ is a stretch, because depending on who you ask and their personal experiences throughout the history of the country…America was never great. Nevertheless, for those of us who still have faith that America can someday be great & actually reflect what it has promised/envisioned, it is obvious that hypocrisy and systematic discrimination thrives in the land of the free. The poem by Emma Lazarus on The Statue of Liberty in New York, ”the New Colossus” is suppose to stand for immigrants and refugees coming to a welcoming and compassionate/empathetic safe haven , a home for those who desire to leave or force to flee their homelands. Of course, Trump is not the first who discriminated against certain groups of people because for as long as the poem was first engraved on Lady Liberty in 1903, the poem’s message has always had it’s ‘terms & conditions’ depending on what ethnic or religious group people belong to. There is a clear long history of America showing more acceptance to certain groups of immigrants & refugees in comparison to others. Still, there are many immigrants, refugees, and forced migrants who have continued to have faith in America and want to come through the ”golden door” despite hostility/prejudice towards them . I encourage all to not be discouraged or faithless, but to continue to make our own positive marks in the world…let’s not wait on political leaders to make America (or anywhere) great. President Trump’s executive order and extreme vetting policies for Muslim-majority countries is just one of many hypocritical happenings that should not be accepted or validated if we want to make America great for everyone…not just selective groups. Over a century ago, The New Colossus was as new and promising as the Liberty Statue it was engraved on. Now, in modern times and after hypocrisy has continued to be prevalent in the U.S, it seems as if it’s the ”Old Irrelevant Colossus” because often times throughout the years…Lady Liberty is not a truthful representation/image of the actual freedom, justice, and liberty that is denied to many. However, instead of just complaining about the cons of America and hypocrisy in the nation, we should also encourage and implement positive change/actions. No matter who is in office, what awful/evil doings we witness personally or see constantly on our news’ channels…stay faithful and remember we are all equally important in creating positive change with our actions and mentalities, triumphing over negativity in the world.

 

The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What Would You Do? Parents Being Verbally/Emotionally Abusive to Their Children

If you ask someone what defines being verbally abusive to a child, then you may get different answers and perspectives. Some people share the ideology that if it is not your child, then do not interfere unless they are being physically harmed/assaulted. However, what a parent says to their child can be just as hurtful and have a negative impact on them mentally like physical abuse. Someone once told me that they heard a frustrated mother call her son a ”punk bitch” in a grocery store and no one said anything…they just stared at the mother in shock for a moment. The child was a toddler and his mother called him this…so this likely means she is verbally abusing her child at home repeatedly. Letting that sink in, this is a very ugly situation, can have negative psychological & relationship impacts on the child, and it hurts my heart to know children are being treated in this manner. I just really feel as if someone should have spoken up for the little boy even if the mother had a problem with input from a stranger.  Nevertheless, no one wanted to interfere with the mother and her child, but people knew it was awful and wrong.  Some people may have the ”well it’s not my child” mentality or were afraid to speak up. Personally speaking, my conscience would have been bothering me all day. Verbal abuse is often a more controversial subject that some do not see eye to eye on compared to actual physical abuse. Some people feel as though one should only step in if the verbal abuse is ”extremely harsh”, while others feel as though all types of verbal abuse is very harsh. Often, the child’s parents were verbally abused, and a person may feel the way they talk to their child is okay, so they continue the cycle. There are also parents who take their frustrations and dislikes out on their kids even though it is never the child’s fault…innocent children who never asked to be created or born into this world. I am thankful that my parents were never emotionally abusive to me, but it still hurts that countless children experience this every day.  Verbal and emotional abuse is just as evil and harsh as physical abuse, and often the scars may not be visible, but it is forever embedded in their mind. It is easier to build up a child, then to try and repair a broken adult.

**Some helpful and informative organizations that try to prevent Child Abuse includes Childhelp.org (1-800-422-4453), and Child Welfare Information Gateway. **

Trip Hop & The Bristol Sound: A Few of My Favorites

Trip Hop originated from Bristol ,U.K, & the sound has been partly influenced by jazz, hip-hop, funk, and soul. The Bristol Underground scene of the 90s involved experimenting with art and music, particularly with drum & bass. Trip Hop’s drum-based breakdowns and sound involves several types of music styles , and is a good example of just how diverse electronic music is…there are literally no less than one hundred ‘subgenres’.  When I think of some of the most interesting and diverse sounds in electronic music, it seems only right to mention Trip Hop greats/legends such as Howie D, Morcheeba, and Nightmares on Wax. To pay homage, here are a few of my favorite classic Trip Hop songs & artists of the 90s, an amazing innovative time for Electronic music.

 

Never Again,huh?: When Genocide Keeps Reoccurring After The Holocaust

After The Holocaust, the United Nations General Assembly came together and passed the Genocide Convention. The agreement and idea was to prevent genocidal acts & punish criminals who slaughter victims because of an ethnic, religious, or national group they may belong to.  However, Post- World War 2 genocide events have continued to happen after the U.N and people all around the world vowed never again. There has been a reoccurrence of events where massive amounts of people have been deliberately killed from particular ethnic groups & nations and many of the perpetrators have never been convicted or punished for their crimes against humanity. What exactly is really qualified to be termed a genocide? The term ”ethnic cleansing” has been used to describe mass torture/murders like the crisis in Darfur instead of genocide, and Aleppo is one of many heart breaking situations where the term ”genocide” is fitting. We, humanity, have not effectively learned enough from the mass extermination during the Holocaust or any other similar atrocity evidently. The world is forced sooner or later to be aware of what is going on whether some of us try to ignore it or not. Those of us who are immensely sadden by what is happening continue to feel disgusted, impassioned, & mournful as we pay attention to all that is unfolding. What is happening in places like Aleppo is a repeated pattern that may not always be consistently televised or included heavily in the media. As sickening as it is, there are photos and footage of children, sweet innocent babies, that have been dismembered, bloodied, and attacked…images that actually need to be seen despite how horrible they are. Families displaced, bombed, tortured, whole lives shattered, and their crying pleas are gut wrenching and extremely painful to see & hear but should not be ignored or forgotten . There are politicians & country leaders that are also responsible for murdering countless people, just as contemptible as ‘warlords’ and terrorist groups like Isis. Yet, only certain types of war crimes, mass killings, and attacks towards groups of people are considered genocidal. However, no matter how we may try to relabel it or pick and choose just what is a genocide act, the truth is: The term Holocaust, which is also defined as the mass slaughter of people, is a evil part of humanity’s history that was supposed to never happen again in modern societies, but it has shamefully occurred over and over.

Feel Good Song Inspiration: Golden Time of Day by Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly

This beautiful song has a peaceful and serene vibe to it, one that inspires with it’s lingering melody and inspirational lyrics. This song reminds me of so many simple yet lovely/amazing things in life, and I can visualize the tone, feeling, & mood of what Frankie Beverly is describing in the song. The overall composition is timeless, and although this song was made in 1978, it is still modern/current, very relevant and positive.

 

                              Golden Time of Day

There’s a time of the day when the sun is going down
That’s the golden time of day
It’s a time that the sun turns a gold all around
That’s the golden time of day
At the end of the day when the wind is soft and warm
Don’t it make the flowers sway

When the sun settles down and it takes a lovely form
That’s the golden time of day

People let me tell you
There’s a time in your life when you find who you are
That’s the golden time of day
In you mind you will find your a bright shining star
Ooh that’s the golden time of day
When you feel deep inside all the love your lookin’ for
Don’t it make you feel ok
Like the time of the day when the sun is going down
That’s the golden time of day
That’s the golden time of day
That’s the golden time of day

Shining can’t you see it shining ooh ooh ooh ooh
Shining can’t you see it shining ooh ooh ooh ooh

The Decision to Remain a Virgin: Others Who Are Abstinent After Teen Years

Of course, it is normal and common for people to have already engaged in sexual activity before they are well into their twenties. However, deciding to be abstinent and remain a virgin after adolescent/teen years is a choice that can often have an awkward phase/stage at certain points & times in life. Personally speaking, although I still do not regret my decision to not engage in sexual activity now, there was a time when I did feel awkward & from the ”outside looking in” in relation to some of my peers’ experiences. Now, in the present I am comfortable and at peace with my decision and here are a few encouraging words for people who are abstinent/waiting for whatever reason & who may feel awkward, uncomfortable, or aberrant. Not an overcritical perspective, just positivity, encouraging confidence, and inner peace from a personal point of view.

  • Deciding to remain a virgin should not feel like a burden. Just like the decision to have sex, it should be an embraced choice that feels like the best option for oneself. Letting people who are not you validate your choice/reasoning will only cause internal conflict and over thinking because everyone will have their own opinion/beliefs in relation to your decision. So many voices belonging to others in one head is not healthy and can delete our own unique voice/intuition. At the end of the day and reflecting, we are the ones who have to be comfortable and think , ”yeah, it is/was worth it.”
  • There is this false rationale accepted by some that implies a person needs to be with someone intimately/romantically  to feel & be whole and truly happy. Many people often correlate being single for a very long period of time with something negative or as if the person has a flaw that keeps them ”alone”. I know sex is probably amazing and positive romantic love is beautiful, but focusing on what we’re passionate about and what makes us happy can help immensely while being abstinent. There are a variety of experiences and memories, beautiful ones, that you can create and partake in while being abstinent, which will contribute to inner happiness.
  • Not everyone is abstinent for religious reasons, but spirituality certainly helps in the process of waiting for whatever reasons. If someone truly feels in their spirit that what they are doing is the best choice for them, then it will create peace and assurance which grows. When I decided that I wanted to wait and remain a virgin when I graduated high school, I asked God to help me with my choice because this was a decision that I really wanted for myself. I am only in my early 20’s, but I am no longer in the ”awkward phase” where I felt weird for refraining from sex and often contemplated how realistic it was. I hope who ever is still a virgin long after teen years, or even those who may be celibate, to keep your faith in why you’ve made your choice, create peace within yourself with your decision, and don’t let those who are on the outside looking in dictate or influence the choice YOU have to live with.