Category Archives: Current Events

Bob Shell: Pacifism, Guns, Religion, Revolution, etc.

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Pacifism, Guns, Religion, Revolution, etc.

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I’m a committed pacifist (what used to be called a peacenik). No apology.. I hate war and everything associated with it. I believe that human disagreements are best settled by peaceful means. This is not something I came to later in life, I’ve never read Gandhi or Martin Luther King, it’s just always been my philosophy. In the 1960s I was part of the anti-war movement. While living in Washington, DC, I picketed the Whitehouse and was teargassed on the Pentagon lawn. Later, in Richmond, I was associated with SSOC (Southern Student Organizing Committee, pronounced like “sock.”). We were the southern equivalent of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) which was more of a northern group. I toyed with communism, even had my own “Little Red Book,” The Sayings of Chairman Mao, for a while., but outgrew that phase pretty quickly. Politically, I’m a social ultra-liberal and fiscal ultra-conservative.. I believe in what Woodrow Wilson once said, “I don’t want a government that takes care of me, I want a government that keeps other men’s hands off of me so that I can take care of myself.”

I believed then, and still believe today, that war is one of the few things in the universe that is truly evil.

When Dwight David Eisenhower ended his term as President of the USA in 1961, he gave a speech in which he warned of the dangers of what he called “the military industrial complex.”. As a military man himself, he’d seen the growth of war as a business, and a damned big one. The world today is full of manufacturers of the machinery of war. Almost all developed countries have companies that make and profit from war machinery. What happens to these companies if there’s no war anywhere on the planet? They go broke. And they and their stockholders simply can’t allow that, so they stir up regional and tribal conflicts to create and sustain a customer base. Can’t sell more guns, bullets, grenades, tanks, attack aircraft, missiles, etc., if no one is killing anyone else.

Making money from human misery and death is simply wrong, wrong no matter what religion or philosophy you profess. It is ironic that most religions preach peace, but more people have died in religious wars than for any other reason. Christians killing Muslims, Muslims killing “infidels,” even Buddhists, who should be the world’s most peaceful people, killing innocent Muslims in Myanmar. Most of this is caused by an “us and them”mentality. If you’re not one of “us”, you must be one of “them,” and we hate “them.”. Why? Because they’re not “us,” they’re different, and being different is bad, and they probably kill babies or do something else really bad. I think most of “us” and “them” just want to get by and be left alone.

“Thou shalt not kill,” is good advice, but very few heed it. I’ve read that a more accurate translation of that biblical commandment is “Thou shall not murder,” which has a subtle but important difference in meaning. Murder is unprovoked killing, and is rightly prohibited.

Is killing ever justified? I’d have to say “yes,” under certain circumstances. If an enraged man is pointing a gun at me with every indication that he intends to kill me, I’d have no reservations against shooting him first if there was no alternative, but I’d probably try to disable rather than kill. Yes, I’m a pacifist who doesn’t hate guns. I have no problem with guns used properly. Before my arrest, I had two guns, a Remington single-shot bolt action .22 rifle and a 9mm Beretta pistol. I had fun target shooting with them, but never fired either one at anything living, and never would. Both were gifts from my father who thought every young man should learn to handle a gun safely. He gave me the rifle when I was in my teens, and the pistol many years later.

Am I in favor of gun control? Yes. No individual has a realistic need for a machine gun, or semiautomatic rifle of any sort. Remember, when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, and for years after, the state of the art in firearms was the muzzle-loading rifle and single shot pistol. Multiple shot guns of any sort just didn’t exist. And those simple black powder guns were what the authors of the Second Amendment knew and had in mind; guns for hunting, defending the homestead, and for the fun and challenge of hitting targets at a distance. Oh, and for that vanished “gentleman’s sport” of dueling. They didn’t envision personals arsenals like many have accumulated today.

I’ve spent a lot of time in England and Germany, countries with tight regulation of firearms. I could live happily in either country without missing guns. I’m in favor of rational gun control in the USA.

I was just listening to the old Jefferson Airplane song Volunteers, which was one of the late Paul Kantner’s anthems calling for a new American revolution. When that song came out in the early 70s we all thought the revolution was coming in a few years. We envisioned America of the future as a sort of “electric Tibet,” to quote Tim Leary. Well, it didn’t happen. Today it finally seems to be happening, but slowly and against powerful opposition. The legalization of marijuana in all of Canada, the decriminalization of all drugs in Portugal, and loosening of draconian drug laws in many US states are all steps in the right direction, but we still have governments that are far too repressive on people. My body belongs to me, not some government. “There shall be no property in human flesh.” I firmly believe that I have the right to do anything I want so long as it harms no one else. I’m not a Wiccan, but I admire the Wiccan philosophy, “An it harm none else, do what you will.”. That was written for Gerald Gardner, founder of Wicca, by Aleister Crowley, whose own motto was ” Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”. Crowley toned it down for Gardner, although to the knowledgeable it means exactly the same thing.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-the-digital-era/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Engineering, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Travel

A.H. Scott: Blade of Power

Tony Ward early work composites grass blade

Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

Poetry by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2019

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Blade of Power

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Which is stronger?
Grass or is it concrete?
A blade of grass is stronger
Stronger not because of heft
But, because of its’ ability to adapt and transform itself
Survives and thrives in ways that are miraculous
It pushes through that hardened ground and strives towards the sun
Like a magnet it rises up, even when it seems it doesn’t have a chance
Human beings have the choice of form
Cold concrete for some
Transformative blade of grass for others
Never staying down under the weight of the hard times in life
The blade of grass pushes forward with tiny might
Little warrior is that blade of grass
Even when crushing concrete seems to be kicking its’ ass
Blade doesn’t give up
It waits in the cut
Wiggling its’ way through the fissures that cause small cracks
Sun is calling
Blade is answering the bell
Who knew something so small could be like Hercules
Look down at the sidewalk and remember what you see
Among the gray ground, green slivers break on through
We are the blades of grass
Believe you me
For the battle upward through the concrete is our trip to clarity
Be that blade of grass
Not broken by wind or rain
What seems crushed by concrete, is only taking a break to a revival
We are the blade of grass
Concrete may ignore us
But, we must hold fast
Sun’s rays are waving us towards the sky
Tiny miracles come in the blink of an eye
Blade of grass survives all the storms
This is what you and I are
And, for generations to come
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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here: http://tonywarderotica.com/a-h-scott-yes-she-is/
 
Also posted in Affiliates, Architecture, Art, Blog, Contemporary Architecture, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, News, Popular Culture, Science, Travel, Women

Katie Kerl: Take me to the Disco

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Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Take me to the Disco

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Reflecting on this Miami Music week, I have to say it was the best one to date. I have incredible friends and family that made this birthday beautiful. It started off with our friend Bob upgrading Amiee and My flights to the admirals club, and TSA pre check. We got in a few pre flight eats and cocktails. We touched down in Miami ready to shake shit up. 

Bob arranged our room the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse. The staff was the nicest there. I highly recommend it. We went right to the roof for their happy hour and for photos of course. There were beautiful views of South beach in every direction. We shopped a bit on the city walk and ate before getting ready. 

After more than a few drinks in the room, we were off to our first party at Do Not Sit On the Furniture. It was the Sweeeet Party with Dennis Ferrer & DJ Sneak. I love that old school funky house vibe. The venue was intimate, and there was so much room for dancing.  I have to say it was amazing for a small setting . We walked back to the hotel and got a few hours of sleep. 

I woke up on my birthday around 7am, and went to see the sunrise on the beach for the first time and not in a club. I realized that this trip was different, a much more mature way of doing it. I sat with my Cuban coffee pondering life, and what was in store for the day .It felt amazing to be alive and 35. When everyone was awake we headed to the classic News Cafe for breakfast. I really needed that Bloody Mary, chicken, & French toast. 

The Esscala Pure Trance yacht party was next on the Musette with Gabriel & Dresden, Solarstone, and Simon Patterson. 

One thing about yacht parties, the drinks are the least expensive you’re going to find in Miami. Needless to say we left a little wobbly after dancing for 5 hours. After a disco nap we were ready for the coming night, which was The Paradise Party at Space.

Amiee and I went to that and gave Bob a break. We were in the front of the DJ booth and it was pure musical happiness. One thing I noticed, I didn’t need to stay till the end . By end I mean to be determined into the next afternoon. We went back and slept around 5am. 

We got up and ate at Puerto Sagua the best Cuban diner you’re going to find in South Beach. Aimee had the whole diner singing Happy Birthday to me over my tres leches. 

From there we walked to Wet Willies. 3+ hours of Call-A- Cabs , and one entertaining Britt offending people’s outfits , talking in a Brad Pit pike like voice from Fight Club , we were more than on our way to a good night. 

After that hilariousness, Aimee and I walked back to the room. Of course we got side tracked by the shopping mall with a bar and Dj outside. When in Rome (Miami) you order more frozen cocktails. 

By the time we got back to the room, I had fallen asleep with a trail of gold fish behind me in the bed, and my hand still in the bag. 

After my 4 hour coma, I rallied & we were off to the Laser Face party at Mana in Wynnwood. Gareth Emery put on an amazing show! It was something I usually would not have picked, but was so happy I went, as did my voice from there on out for the entirety of the trip. 

I found myself wanting to get up and do the things I hadn’t before. The next morning I walked the ocean drive market, saw the Versace Mansion, got fresh coconuts, and just laid on the beach. 

Now, to many people this may seem normal for vacation, but not this week in Miami. Usually, you pass the beach on the way to a party, or coming home from one. I’m so happy I slowed down enough to enjoy the city I already loved even more. That final day we ate at the hotel restaurant Havana 1957. The lobster /seafood dish we had was amazing. 

Then, we went to the Spinnin Records pool party at the Sixty Nautilus hotel on Ocean Drive. We walked up and who did we see? Only Sander Van Doorn, the headliner doing an interview. The pool was beautiful, and even the 71$ drinks were worth it. Leaving a bit before it ended, we ran into Erick Morillo. He just ended his pool party at The National Hotel. He was nice enough to take a photo with us. I rarely ask Djs for photos, but his energy while performing his sets is amazing. 

We went back to the room for the last time, but I wasn’t done just yet. I went back to Mana in Wynnwood for Elrow. I decided that hanging with the new friends I had made was better than trying to get out of that place at 6 am. 

I made my way back to the hotel.

We had week ending mimosas at 7 am and back to Philly we went. 

I must say that I feel like a completely rejuvenated 35 year old. Who has some seriously amazing people in her life. I will never stop going to Miami on my Birthday. 

Music heals your soul and the friends you go to dance with make it perfect.

I’m one lucky girl. 

Cheers till next year Miami! 

Kerl Up with Kate 

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Katie_Kerl_we_love_Miami_blog

Katie Kerl: Miami 2019

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About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Attended Drexel University for Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kateTo access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-picking-up-the-pieces/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Friends of TWS, Travel, Women

Upcoming Events: Heroes Awards Brunch

Heroes Awards Brunch: Hotel Monaco, April 7, 2019

Heroes Awards Brunch: Hotel Monaco, April 7, 2019

 

 

PHILADELPHIA

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Upcoming Events: Heroes Awards Brunch

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HEROES was started over ten years ago to spotlight and honor the unwavering dedication of community leaders and organizations to advance the rights and wellbeing of the greater Philadelphia regions LGBTQ community. Through the nomination process, HEROES identifies youth, adults, nonprofits, straight allies, and businesses who have bold ideas, act with selfless intention, are admired for their integrity, and are regarded as courageous in advancing LGBTQ equality in the Greater Philadelphia Area and beyond. DVLF honors these HEROES annually to celebrate their character and to encourage others to act heroically.

 

Since 1993, DVLF has served the greater Philadelphia LGBTQ community through philanthropy. More specifically, DVLF works to empower and advance the LGBTQ community through grant-making, scholarships, advocacy, community leadership development and education. DVLF has established an endowment that provides crucial support to the diverse array of LGBTQ nonprofit organizations and programs striving to address our community’s pressing needs. This includes: youth homelessness, civil rights, the elderly, cultural/ educational entities, and more.

 

As we enter its 26th year, we are looking to partner with businesses, individuals and organizations that share our values and which are interested in deepening their connections with our dynamic donor base, our stakeholders, and our region’s LGBTQ community, including its thought leaders.

To access tickets for the event, click here: https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d2/default.aspx?wid=71189

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Editor’s Note: There will be a live auction in which and original vintage photograph by Tony Ward will be auctioned to benefit the LBGT community.

 

Also posted in Advertising, Announcements, Blog, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, Men, News, Philadelphia, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women

A.H. Scott: Yes, She Is!

A_H_Scott_Artwork_Tony_Ward_Studio_graphics

Artwork by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2019

 

 

Text and Artwork by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2019

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YES, SHE IS!
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She is mother
She is daughter
She is sister
She is affection’s flourish
She is a forthright ally across the horizon
She is comfort like no other
She is half of the Celestial puzzle
She is magnet to your core
She holds heaven’s surprise
She stands with principle
She falls
She crawls
She is fire
She is demure
She is a sigh
She is roar
She is all that the world can endure
She is days of past
She is the warrior that outlasts
She is now
She is beacon of tomorrow
She is wisdom in a wink of an eye
She is mystique
She is spry
She is unique
She is all which you seek
She is contradiction
She is delectation
She is infatuation
She is spotlight’s siren
She is dismissal’s damsel
She absorbs the tears you cry
She is protector of the weak
She is I Can
She is I Can’t
She is silence
She is rant
She is courage
She makes a plan
She battles the strong
She kisses destiny whenever she can
She is dawn of anew
She is morning dew
She is I
She is you
She is her
She is what, why, when, where, how and who
Yes, she is everything through and through
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About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by A. H. Scott, go here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/a-h-scott-sour-moneybags-dumbasssss-song/
 
Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Environment, Friends of TWS, History, Popular Culture, Women