Hong Kong Protests for Democracy

I was watching the protests in Hong Kong for a proper democratic election, and I thought it was wonderful to see just how many people were involved.
This video on Facebook shows a drone aerial view of the protest, so you can get an idea of the scale of the protests.
Another video worth watching is an interview with prominent protester Tanya Chan, who shaved her head in support of the pro democracy movement, and has been a long term advocate for democracy. Any protest against the Chinese government is not without risk, I find her devotion to the cause inspiring. One could argue that there is no way the Chinese government will ever back down, because of fears, that other regions would follow suit and seek democratic elections. Though history is filled with people who have brought about positive change in the face of incredible odds against them. I strongly support civil disobedience and peaceful non violent protest.
I think democracy is essential to World Peace. However, I think a proper democracy requires three things.
1. The public voicing their opinion and ensuring that their elected officials carry out the will of the majority of people within their electorate. Far too often, political leaders, let power go to their head and think they are in charge, when in effect they are nothing more than public servants elected to carry out the will of the majority of people. I am absolutely certain that the majority of people in any country do not want to go to war.
2. When a particular political party is elected, those supporting the opposition need to be graceful in the defeat of the political party they support. Far too often, in certain countries, you see fighting between supporters of different political parties continue after an election is over. And in the case of Thailand, as we all know, the military have intervened under the guise of restoring peace and order.
3. The absolute transparency of political donations and the complete removal of politicians who have a vested interest or stand to gain from political decisions being made. I think the worst instances of this happening have been in America, where in the past, people who have have been in a position to send the country to war, have also stood to profit immensely as a consequence of those actions. I find it obscene that such things have been allowed to happen. An excellent drama tv series which I highly recommend is “House of Cards”. Whilst it is a fictitious TV series, I do think it gives an insight of how things are being played out, which the public never sees. I do feel optimistic and think things have dramatically improved in the last few years. That is no more evident than to see President Obama come out and speak in favour of taking positive actions against Climate Change, which must be in direct contradiction to what the fossil fuel industry must be advocating.

International Day of Peace 2014

Its International Day of Peace, and as a world peace blog, I feel obliged to post something positive about it. But I feel that would be fake, so instead I will just write about how I feel.
On the one hand, I think it is fantastic that people can unite on one particular day to celebrate peace around the world. However, as much as I support the concept and the work of the United Nations, I don’t think they have the answers to being able to achieve a true world peace. They have incredible people working for the United Nations, and I do not mean to undermine their work, but they have been in existence since 1945, and people continue killing each other, a large part of it in the name of religion but there have also been other issues. I think they are too restricted by trying to be politically correct and not wanting to offend anybody by addressing some of the fundamental causes of war.

The site http://www.peaceoneday.org says “A Day of Global Ceasefire and Non Violence” They lobbied for the International Day of Peace. Well, a day or even a year or a decade of ceasefire/non violence does not equate to a true world peace. I feel more as if it is an International Day of Ceasefire.
I feel a bit strange saying that, I have been a big defender of the United Nations, when it came under criticism from others. I think they do fantastic work, and I don’t mean to be critical myself, but I think a different approach is needed.
I think a true World Peace day needs to address the concepts of inner peace and truth on an individual level, as well as ways of uniting together in friendship. I want to address World Peace in a different way, which is why I have been writing a book to put some of those thoughts and ideas on to paper, so that people can read or listen to those words and decide for themselves if this is something they would like to be a part of. Do I think I will see world peace in my lifetime. Honestly, the answer to that questions is probably not. I am under no illusions as to how big a task is at hand. Do I think that together we can plant the seeds and lay the foundations for a future world peace, absolutely yes. I firmly believe World Peace is possible and will one day be a reality. Lets take a look at the other option for a moment.

We have watched Wars go on in different part of the world, and to a large extent people have become complacent. It doesn’t affect me, or it is no big deal. For a large number of people it is just something they watch on the nightly news. To an extent, it has been no big deal, as since World War 2, those wars have been conflicts between smaller non nuclear superpowers. But with the growing tension and possibility for the escalation of a conflict into a World War between USA and Russia over Ukraine, or USA and China over the disputed islands and seas they are claiming territory over, war would be taken to a whole different level. We now have nuclear weapons, and we have proof that countries are not afraid to use them in a conflict. America used them towards the end stage of a war that they were already winning and did not really need to use in my opinion. So you can clearly see that the losing side in any conflict, if they had nuclear weapons, would have absolutely no hesitation in using them. When you see the movie “On the Beach” you see that nuclear fallout affects everybody on the planet. I don’t believe in the title “World War 3”, I think a more appropriate title would be “Global Suicide”

So if you feel in your heart a passion towards peace, please take a minute to join our small group http://www.worldpeace.com/join. Together we can make a difference!

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I went to the cinema this afternoon, to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Although I was not born when the original Planet of the Apes movie was released in 1968, as a kid I have always been a big fan of the series.
This movie did not disappoint, it really is amazing just how lifelike the animation of today is.
I think each of the movies tend to carry an important message about war and peace and this one is no different. Throughout the movie, you get a sense that in any conflict, there are parties on both sides who are good and kind and just want peace, but as is so often the case, bad things happen when bad people take control. I also found similarities from the movie to what has happened in real life with the fabrication of evidence to try and justify going to war.
You also get a sense for what challenges a good leader can face when dealing with those who are banging the drums of war.

Laughter for World Peace

Lately there have been a lot of rather disturbing scenes on the news, some far too gruesome to mention. There is a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche which says
“And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you”
I do not care to gaze into the abyss or dwell on it and let it affect me and have no intention to post about such things here. Sure I will still mention some negative things, but merely to highlight the importance of world peace, things which although they may seem negative, I feel in some way have inspired me to action or to work for the cause of world peace.

Which brings me to the topic of this post, from a lot of posts it may be clear that music is a big part of my life. I love music, its like food or oxygen for the soul for me. But equally as important is laughter. Sure I have moments of seriousness or times when I may be sad or upset, but for the most part I don’t like to take life too seriously. I love to laugh and joke around and I like people that make me laugh.
When I look at all of the stuff that I watch on youtube, guess what they have all have in common? Yes thats right, they all make me laugh.
Some of the you tubers that I watch are Kidbehindacamera, Boogie2988, DoseofFousey, Alex Mandel Vlogs, Roman Atwood and vitalyzd. Nearly all of them are pranksters and they all make me laugh. I firmly believe that people gifted with the talent of making others laugh play an important role in making the world a better place.

When you see all those people on the news, spouting words of hate, doing unspeakable acts, do you ever notice how serious they are. Even certain world leaders, if they don’t laugh or can’t joke around, I just don’t seem to trust them that much. You don’t see laughing and joking around in a lot of the leaders of the biggest religions of the world, with the exception of the Dalai Lama, who I have seen laugh and joke. So to borrow a catchphrase from Roman Atwood, “Smile More”, laugh more, I firmly believe it is good for your inner peace, which in turn can only be good for World Peace. ūüôā

#FreeAjStaff Free Al Jazeera Staff

I have been watching the case of Peter Greste on the news for several months now. The news I watch in Australia is ABC, a government funded news station and Peter Greste was an ABC Journalist, so I think it is safe to say he would have presented the news in a professional manner with a high level of integrity. Our own Australian Prime Minister spoke to the Egyptian President in support of Peter Greste, and I believe he does deserve credit for his attempts.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has also spoken to the Egyptian president on this issue.
Unfortunately Peter Greste has been sentenced to 7 years in jail. I understand that politicians cannot intervene in court decisions, but I hope the Egyptian President does give Peter Greste and his fellow Al Jazeera staff a pardon.
We can do our bit by putting pressure on our own politicians to intervene and continue to put pressure on the egyptian government. These journalists put their life on the line to bring us the news of the world.
If you are on twitter, #FreeAjStaff is the hash tag that is being used to show your support.

Obama on Climate Change

I have liked President Obama right from the start. I think he is essentially a good person trying to do good positive things, unfortunately I cannot say the same for some of the american presidents of past who have just been out to serve their own self interest. To finally see an american president get serious on the topic of climate change, was both surprising and refreshing.
According to the NASA website

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,1and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.

Yet the fossil fuel lobby industry is a powerful one, they yield power in the form of political donations, and to date they have had a strong influence on policy making in Washington. Let’s hope that changes, and we start to see decisions which are in the best interests of the mainstream public and not special interest groups.

The War Game

This BBC film made in a documentary style drama depicts the aftermath of a nuclear strike on the UK. It is approximately 45 minutes long and in black and white and was banned in the UK in 1965 when it was made as it was deemed too horrifying to broadcast on TV. It was not until 1985 that it was actually released.

A quote from the film that struck a chord with me was by a scientist who said

Technically and intellectually, we are living in an atomic age. Emotionally, we are still living in the Stone Age. The Aztecs on their feast days would sacrifice 20,000 men to their gods in the belief that this would keep the universe on its proper course. We feel superior to them.

I fully concur that to a large extent our collective consciousness has not kept up to pace with our technological advancements and that represents a serious danger.
The full documentary can be viewed on YouTube.com I highly recommend checking it out.

Cosmos 2014

Over 33 years after the original Cosmos TV series was released, National Geographic are remaking this brilliant TV series and have modernised it with the latest information that we know. While the old series is clearly dated, it is brilliant and still worth watching for the late Carl Sagan, a man who I have the deepest and utmost respect for. Carl Sagan explained things in such a touching and eloquent manner, that few could possibly match. The new series is presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson, I am so looking forward to seeing it. 

Four Corners – Inside North Korea

I watched this documentary today by Four Corners Australia called Inside North Korea. It was sad that in modern times, this is still happening in parts of the world. Inspiring to see people put their life on the line to bring about positive change. Also interesting to see how the internet and media are seen as the enemy to maintaining strict control in some countries in the world.

Peace and freedom, many of us take it for granted, but it is something we should cherish.

The documentary is probably only viewable by people in Australia, and will be limited to a few weeks. It can be viewed here.

Four Corners is by ABC a government owned broadcaster, it would be nice to see them put their documentaries on youtube.com for the world to see for free.

Ai Wei Wei – Never Sorry

I watched a documentary the other night called Ai Wei Wei. It is the story of a famous Chinese artist who dares to voice his dissent against the Chinese government. Despite all of China’s prosperity, this documentary offers a valuable insight on how tightly things still are controlled.
Towards the latter part of the documentary you have to wonder, if not for his high international profile and support, whether his voice would have been silenced.  Without divulging too much of what happens, there is an interesting scene where they show a clip from Hilary Clinton. You get to see how people can have a positive global influence by lobbying their politicians.

The clip below is just a movie trailer, not the full documentary.