War and the Pulitzer Winners

Unfortunately, war is the word, again. The Pulitzer winners have been anounced. This were the winners in the photo section. This shows the real world, where life has a different meaning. I always thank for being born in a peaceful place…

Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse won the Breaking News award for his “heartbreaking image of a girl crying among a pile of dead bodies after a suicide bomber’s attack at a crowded shrine in Kabul.”

Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post won the Feature Photography prize for chronicling “Colorado resident Scott Ostrom’s struggles with severe post-traumatic stress disorder.”


Journalism was assassinated

A newspaper can be a very powerful weapon, having a tremendous impact in the public opinion. In Uganda, the Rolling Stone newspaper featured, in the front-page, a list of Uganda’s 100 “top” homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: “Hang Them.” Alongside their photos were the men’s names and addresses. This is not journalism, it is a direct attack to the Human Rights, it is a crime. I do not remember to see such an outrage – a newspaper encouraging the people to kill. Journalism must inform and give the necessary tools to enable the reader to create his own opinion. I must say that this paper distributed in Uganda is not a newspaper, it is an homophobic manifesto devoid of knowleadge and rationality. This kind of behavior reflects a lack of tolerance and respect. Africa really needs to invest in education, because the Rolling Stone’s article send us back the the medieval era.

Life before Radar

There was times where the airplanes were free. The air warfare was just a baby and the sound was the only way to detect an incoming enemy. While we were waiting for the Radar system, the military developed a very simple method – the Acoustic Ears. Have a look!

Pax Romana and the prosperity of the empire

It is easy to fell in love with the Roman empire. It involved near the totality of the “Known World”. If we bring it to the XIX century, it can be compared to the biggest empire ever, the British. In a world were the highest speed was a sailboat or a galloping horse, how could the Romans run that empire. My analysis is based on the behavior of the people. Is it possible to control by force that massive portion of land? No, it is not. The Romans approach, in some provinces, were more political than military. Rome was prosper. In an era were fight was in every corner, must of the times associated with civil war, Rome offered the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), were business and commercial relations were stimulated. European people from the II century could not imagine a world without Rome. I am not saying that there was no crime in the Roman empire, not at all, the banditry was a big problem. But war between tribesmen was less common. People always prefer peace and stability. Despite the cruel Roman approach to insubordination and the struggle for power in the city of Rome, the political apparatus was stabler than the previous political model of tribe and clan. In my point of view, the Pax Romana was one of the pillars of the Roman economic prosperity. The Roman iron fist was better than endless war.

Today is a sad day

This post is necessary. North Korea tried to launch a ballistic rocket under the argument of spacial endeavor. Pyongyang is lost in the past, they did not wake for the post Cold War period. The men in office want to be a nuclear superpower, instead of creating quality of life to their citizens. North Korea is an impoverished nation with a deficit of 400,000 tons of food every year. The launch site cost $400 million and the rocket and payload cost an additional $450 million. So, the impoverished nation destroyed $850 million. The regime propaganda must be very accurate and the regime must be relentless about insubordination, because people might get angry. History shows that most of the fighting rebels join the cause when they have nothing to loose. Hunger could be the ignition.

Photo by AFP:


Caesar: life of a colossus, by Adrian Goldsworthy

Caius Julius Caeser is a real colossus. Probably, he is the most famous figure of the ancient history. Remarkable politician and  military genius. He conquered Gaul and returned to Rome as an emperor and, at the same time, Consul of Rome. His political status were unusual, a “republican emperor”. Unusual is the right word. Why did he forgive his old Roman enemies, Brutus and Cicero, those who organize his assassination in the Senate. Brutus keeps a secret, he was probably son of the “colossus”. Actually, some say that the last words of Caeser were “Et tu, Brute“. I know that the forgiveness of Caeser is also connect to the search of political support. He achieved that goal, becoming dictator for life. Adrian Goldsworthy describes Caeser has the politician and general, concentrating his research in the life of the man who changed the Roman political constitution. Caeser was not a real emperor, but he started something similar. Even in the beginning of the XX century, the title of the European emperors, like Czar and Kaiser, wore directly derived from Caeser. Goldsworthy brings in this book a very interesting subject. Was Caeser an amoral character? He forgave old enemies and local tribesmen, but was also cruel and very pragmatic about power and insubordination. Goldsworthy give us a good starting point for a deep reflection.

Berlin had a wall

In 1961, Germany was divided in two by a huge stone wall called Berliner Mauer. It is easy to remember the day when the wall fell, in 1989. But, what about the beginning. Fortunately, the British photographer Don McCullin was in Berlin and immortalized that historic event.


Amarastii de Sus, the awkward village

In South Romania, there is a calm little town where the dead die twice. Strange? Indeed, but it is an ancestral tradition. People believe that the dead can return to disturb the living world. In their beliefs, the dead can became a Moroi, a kind of phantom. To avoid this, the villagers stick a stack in the heart or stomach of the dead. This remind us the Vlad III, the historical character that inspired Bran Stoker. And there is more. They cry the death of the loved one for 40 days, and leave a glass of water or wine in the window sill of the family house. Both measures to avoid the Moroi. Consequences? Well, the Moroi can dry the cows milk, weaken the men, floods and drought. Finally, Amarastii de Sus has nice taverns!

Vlad III, the Impaler

The end of the World

The nuclear war shall frighten the intelligent. The World cannot support such conflict, because it could be its Jack Ketch. Lori Nix, an artist from New York, created an apocalyptic environments, giving us a possible result of nuclear warfare. An empty World, full of objects.

Falkland Islands, the struggle

As in 1982, the Falkland Islands are on the top of the international agenda. That Atlantic islands are sought by Argentina, but the United Kingdom has the sovereignty. In the eighties, Margaret Thatcher led and won the war against Argentina, becoming a patriotic leader and consolidating the Conservative Party Government. Today, President Cristina Kirchner is working in the global sphere to find support and conditions to pressure the British nation in order to, in her words, restore Argentine islands. In 1982, the war was like this:

Photos by Julian Thompson, BBCA Royal Navy Wessex 5 helicopter delivers mortar ammunition to the front line during mountain battles above Port Stanley.

Royal Marine patrol passing the submerged fin of the Sante Fe at South Georgia.

The destroyer HMS SHEFFIELD on fire after being struck by an AM39 Exocet missile fired by an Argentine aircraft.

A column of 45 Royal Marine Commandoes march towards Port Stanley.

Two Royal Marines of 3 Commando Brigade “blacked up”.

The flag is hoisted by the 40 Commando, Royal Marine at Port Howard.

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