Saturday, March 26, 2016

More Than One Message Captured in Brussels Airport Photo

Did you see this photo after the latest round of ISIS attacks in Brussels? The shell shocked woman sitting on the bench covered in ash and bleeding from the foot, wearing her shredded yellow jacket that leaves her midriff exposed. You could not have missed it as her portrait was plastered on the front page of every major newspaper. A photo that so eloquently captured the aftermath of terrorism on the face and body of everywoman.

But this photo really disturbs me now that I know the actual story behind the photo, which sends a strong message in more ways than the obvious. This photo was taken by a Georgian journalist, Ketevan Kardava, who was also at the airport that morning. Since she felt she could not help any of the victims in this emergency situation, her journalist instinct took over, and she took pictures of victims of the aftermath of the bombing until she was asked to leave the airport. She took the photo of Nidhi Chaphekar, a flight attendant and mother of two from Mumbai, that has come to symbolize this attack in Brussels.

An interesting story, yes? But how could you not stop and help these people even if you were not a nurse or a doctor? As she worked her way through the airport with her iPhone and snapped photos, did she assist any of the victims she encountered or just photograph them in their state of shock and disbelief? Maybe she could have saved someones life instead of taking their photo. 

It is bad enough that this terrorist act happened in Brussels and people were killed and injured. But when people see it as their "duty" to take photos instead of assisting the victims of a bomb, you have to wonder about the state of humanity in this media-dominated world.

What would you have done? Would you have taken photos of people in distress or dying? Or would you have stopped to help Nidhi. Even if stopping to help just meant being with her or using your own intact clothing to stop her bleeding.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


The political establishment in Washington, DC is rattled to the core. The aftermath of Super Tuesday II has left many both Inside and Outside the Beltway wondering what is happening with this Presidential election. Like many, I'm watching from the sidelines and keep waiting for the political wind to shift. I may be waiting for a very long time; as Donald Trump gives the proverbial bird to the Washington establishment this new political reality is not scattering in the breeze.

According to recent HuffPost/Pollster polls of Unfavorable Ratings:
  • Hillary Clinton 53.8%
  • Donald Trump  62.3%
Do you know what these numbers mean? The majority of Americans do no like the top two Presidential candidates! This is a sad state of American politics. How can we vote for candidates that no one really approves of? Couldn't either the Republican or Democratic parties put up better candidates that the majority of Americans might actually like? The only one coming out on top is President Obama...his approval rating is hovering just above 50%. Thanks to American voters dislike of Clinton and Trump, Obama actually looks pretty good. 

With many months remaining before the general election in November, I hold out hope for a strong, intelligent, somewhat likable candidate who might actually know something about how to govern a country like the United States. Like many Americans, I do not like the climate of this election that leaves me feeling rattled and uncertain. 

I desire a candidate with a plan to ease the migrant crisis in Europe and work to eliminate terrorism worldwide. A candidate who has an immigration policy beyond building a wall between the US and Mexico. A candidate who is transparent and who will not cover up past mistakes with lies.  A candidate who can see the bigger world beyond our shores who wants to work with the global community to solve problems, not create new problems. A candidate who cares about the size of the US economy and not the size of his own personal appendage. Is that too much to ask?