Photo Essays, Spot News and Stock Photography

Posts from the ‘Editorial’ category

Drink sensibly.

DRINK SENSIBLY

In October 2018 I underwent a triple bypass open heart operation. I was hospitalized for almost a week. I was moved into a private room after spending time in intensive care. The night before I was to leave the staff asked me if I would not mind if they moved another patient into my room so I would be then sharing the room. He had not long to live and I said of course.

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July 12, 2011

WITHER EGYPTIAN DEMOCRACY

The Arab Spring, remember? Egyptians protested the Mubarak regime only to get a new one with al-Sisi. Perhaps the moment was lost. Al-Sisi’s problem was the support for the Muslim Brotherhood within the Egyptian population. In a free election they might have gained control so he set about to crush them. Democracy has to be earned as well as the rule of law, and these concepts have never been institutionalized in Egypt. You cannot simply hand democracy to a country and expect it to flourish. Freedom is not free. Now al-Sisi is trying to eliminate the last bastion of the free press in Egypt, Mada Masr in Cairo. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that Egypt is among the leading countries in jailing journalists. Read: “Police Raid Egypt’s Last Independent News Outlet” – WSJ (11/25/19). Opportunity lost it seems for the goal of the Arab Spring in Egypt. We can only hope that it is not too late. Revolutions have a life of their own as demonstrated in the French Revolution. L’Ancien Regime was overthrown only to institute Napoleon. Photo for this blog is: “Egyptians Protest in Tahrir“, Cairo, Egypt (July 12, 2011). Photo essay by Joseph Mayton for DPI.

December 14, 1972

PACINO vs. DE NIRO

My two favorite actors. Hard to pick one over the other, but only in Hollywood could this happen. In “Heat” (1995) Pacino kills De Niro while in “Righteous Kill” (2008) De Niro returns the favor and kills Pacino. In the real world life is quite different. In the real world the tragedy remains a tragedy: “Homicide on Collins Avenue“; in Miami Beach, Florida (December 14, 1972).

Vietnam: The Marine Corps

VIETNAM: THE MARINE CORPS

I enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1968. Four days after taking my last final exam at City College (CCNY) I began my military service on January 29, 1968, one day before the beginning of the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam. How’s that for timing? During training you had some sense of the war, but it was still far away. When orders came down I was given a choice of assignments in either Korea or Greenland. Greenland would have been the safer and smarter choice, but I guess that I was not that smart.

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Workers pour concrete at the border fence between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico.

WHY WALLS DON’T WORK: THE SIEGE TOWER

We have discussed this issue several times in the past. Wall’s don’t work. From the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall people have been able to pass through, under, over or around walls if they have been determined enough. Three thousand years ago and throughout much of antiquity the siege tower has been employed on the battlefield as the way to scale a wall. The film Kingdom of Heaven (2005) has been acclaimed as historically accurate. This film recreated the siege of Jerusalem by Saladin and his army in 1187 A. D. near the end of the film. Siege Towers are used to scale the walls although the outcome of the battle between the Crusaders and Saladin’s army turns on the use of trebuchets and vastly outnumbered Crusaders defenders.

As I view DPI’s “Border Wall Construction” (2019) taken by David Barak, I cannot help but wonder what the world reaction would be if Central Americans began building siege towers on the southern side of the wall. Seems plausible as we are not talking about building pyramids out of massive stones hauled from a quarry hundreds of miles away through the desert. Rather they could be assembled from wood brought from the interior. Can you imagine the reaction to seeing siege towers under construction? The propaganda value would be immense. The towers would not have to used to scale the wall, rather their mere presence would send an incredible message to the rest of the world. This is one message that I would never want to see. But our immigration policies become more bizarre by the day. This is not the America that I went to serve in the military. Do you see what is happening? The screws are being tightened from refugees fleeing crime, death and natural disasters to potentially legal immigrants who are not deemed to be welcomed. The Wall Street Journal (9/12/19) reported on immigration in Japan with respect to foreign workers. Foreign workers can only live in Japan if they are seen as necessary to help the economy for a relatively short period. They cannot enter Japan with their families. In addition they are drilled in Japanese customs and language. They are given only one opportunity to pass an exam at the end of their training. Failure means a return to their home country. For hundreds of years Japan has had a most restrictive immigration policy. Is this where we are heading in the U. S.?

If you accept restrictions on what you always assumed were your freedoms they will slowly be taken away. This is how it is done. Slowly, very slowly until one day you wake up and realize that it is too late.