[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: July 2006

Monday, July 31, 2006

fidel to raul

AP reports that fidel castro has "temporarily" handed over power to his brother raul due to his suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding.

I don't know about you, but it seems to me like Juan Manuel Cao's question to fidel about the status of Hilda Molina made fidel bust a gut, literally.

Anyway...stay tuned to Babalu for updates as I'm at work and unable to provide continuous info.

We Don't Want Your Stinking People

Another One Bites the Dust

Begin thumping bass line...ta-da-duhn...duhn...duhn

And another one down, and another one down....

The firings as a result of the Herald's House of Lies series reminds me of when you turn on the kitchen light and see all the roaches scurrying for cover.

Let's see how many more of these jerks get bagged. Hopefully, all of them.

Cutler Bay Needs Your Help

The fine folks of Cutler Bay are looking for ideas for their town logo. As a former resident of Cutler Ridge Bay, I figured the best I can do is to spread the word.

All you folks out there with artistic talent (that means I'm excluded), let's give them some ideas.

Town officials have laid a few ground rules that we should be aware of:
"We don't want the generic sun and palm tree like other South Dade municipalities.''

They're also looking for something that won't become dated, like the cows and farmland in the Miami Lakes logo.

Nor do they want a logo that reflects the town's most infamous landmark: the South Miami-Dade landfill -- better known as Mount Trashmore.

I'd love to see how they're going to come up with a logo that doesn't include anything related to life in the subtropics. And with the unfortunate and misguided decision of residents to rename the town Cutler Bay (no one there lives on the bay, trust me), I'd love to see how they're NOT going to throw in a palm tree or two next to a rendition of sparkling Biscayne Bay. As much as the officials hate to admit, Mount Trashmore is the only significant "geographical" landmark that's within city limits and within sight of most of the residents there. A logo with the dump on it would actually be more representative than one of sweeping bay vistas.

I'm looking forward to see what they come up with. My bet is that it will have something to do with the diversity of the community.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Miami Nice (A Continuing Series)

This letter to the editor is what happens when someone lets go of their perceptions of what a place should be, and accepts a place for what it is - good and bad, along with the personal responsibility for making things better.

Required reading, especially for those who can't seem to find anything good about Miami.

I finally ''got'' Miami.

It wasn't my idea to come here. A year ago, my wife was offered a job that meant moving to Miami. Before relocating, I read one of many books by Miami historian Arva Moore Parks to get a sense of the place.

Discovering, among other things, that Miami means ''sweet water'' in Seminole did little to prepare me for what we found: drivers who took my turn signal as a sign for them to speed up and block the lane I wanted to move into; the builder who didn't care that our house wasn't finished and cared even less about the impact on our lives; the on-duty firefighter who used a hook-and-ladder truck to get take-out from the Mexican place one evening; the police officers who would rather sit in their cars and watch a traffic jam than get out and do something about it; and the dry cleaner who thinks that understanding English and returning all of my shirts are optional parts of our relationship.

I was developing a full-blown antipathy for Miami. It all seemed to come to a head recently when we came home to discover a car parked on our newly sodded front lawn. It had rained all day, and the car left deep ruts in our lawn. Down the block, there was a party in progress. I went to the house and rang the doorbell, thinking: "These people have never so much as introduced themselves to us.''

My new neighbor walked with me to look at the lawn damage. He was apologetic. ''This is not the way I wanted to meet you. I really am a great neighbor. I'll take care of it.'' I assumed that meant he would get his gardener on it. He's a lawyer and a partner at a big firm. I thought darkly, that only means they get their hands dirty in court.

Not so. One morning, my wife walked into the house and said, ''Our new neighbors, Ed and Sandy, are out in front laying sod on our lawn.'' Indeed, there were Ed and Sandy, knee-deep in our front lawn, sweating in the morning sun, repairing my view of Miami. I was -- and still am -- humbled. My neighbors gave of themselves to make certain we knew that we were welcome in their neighborhood. If I never have another thought, let it be the image of Ed's muddy hand gripping mine in welcome.

I watched last fall during my first weeks in Miami as neighbors helped one another in the wake of Katrina and Wilma. I'm ashamed to say that I missed the real Miami. All I saw was the damage that had to be cleared.

As Parks points out, South Florida was the last part of the Continental United States to be settled. Miami is just more than 100 years old and, dare I say it, ''we'' are still struggling to get it right.

The truest measure, though, of who we are as city residents is what we do about our problems. As a new Miamian, that also means me. I can carp about what's wrong or follow the lead of my new neighbors and get knee-deep in the life of my new city. Only then will I know how sweet the water really is.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

castro challenges Bush

From today's Miami Herald:

Cuban leader Fidel Castro celebrated the 53rd anniversary of the start of his revolution with an invitation Wednesday: President Bush should visit his communist island and see for himself what a real national health care plan looks like.

Castro also mocked the Bush administration's recently released Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba report, which offered infusions of health, education and vaccination programs for a democratic Cuba.

Entering daydream mode:

President Bush takes up castro's invitation and visits the island. Bush visits Cuba's lauded hospitals and medical care facilities. Bush gets to choose which hospitals and centers to visit, not fidel. Bush sees the following:

Photo Courtesy of The Real Cuba

One can dream, right?

For more photos of Cuba's wonderful and FREE healthcare system, please go here.

July 26th

Just a typical summer date, right?

Yes, unless you're Cuban or of Cuban descent.

July 26th is the anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks by fidel castro and his band of "revolutionaries" back in 1953. This day is widely celebrated in Cuba as a sort of "Independence Day". Of course, it's really the exact opposite.

In commemoration of this day, and in the spirit of the question that Channel 41 reporter Juan Manuel Cao asked fidel during the Mercosur conference in Argentina recently, I thought it would be interesting if we could come up with our own "virtual" questions that we could ask fidel. We can't count on Cuba's press to ask him the tough questions, so it has to come down to us.

As we know, and as the video clearly illustrates, fidel is quite bothered when confronted with questions about the truth. Maybe, just maybe, if the vibes from our virtual questions reach him, he'll keel over from the anger and stay asleep for a while....a long while.

I couldn't think of a more fitting way to commemorate July 26.

Video courtesy of The Real Cuba.

Monday, July 24, 2006

My View on Isreal/Lebanon Conflict

I don't profess to be an expert in Middle East relations. I rarely, if ever, blog about the topic.

Nevertheless, opening up today's Herald and reading a series of articles really frustrated me and has driven me to post briefly on the Isreal/Lebanon conflict.

We get this report from the United Nations humanitarian chief in which he condemns the Israeli bombing of civilian areas.

No statement from the chief on the killing of Isreali civilians, of course.

The report goes on to describe the feelings of Lebanese Christians who were once sympathetic to Israel now favoring Hezbollah as a result of the Israeli attacks.

This report highlights the increasing anger towards the United States in the Arab world (nothing new there, right?).

Is there any doubt about the intentions of the Islamofascists to destroy Israel?
Hezbollah's representative in Iran struck a defiant tone Monday, warning that his Islamic militant group plans to widen its attacks on Israel until "no place" is safe for Israelis.

Hossein Safiadeen also reinforced earlier threats by Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah to widen the scope of attacks, which have included unprecedented missile strikes deep into northern Israel.

"We are going to make Israel not safe for Israelis. There will be no place they are safe," Safiadeen told a conference that included the Tehran-based representative of the Palestinian group Hamas and the ambassadors from Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.

This has been going on for decades, not days. Israel has a right to defend itself. War is definitely not a quick and clean affair. But when you are fighting the Islamofascists, you are fighting people who are not only hell-bent on destroying western civilization, but even those who sympathize with them.

Here's a quote from Israeli reserve officer Brig. Gen. Avigdor Kahalani who spoke at the Bet Shira Congregation in South Dade yesterday:
Israeli's attempts to destroy Hezbollah's weapons caches have been hampered by the group's tendency to store weapons among civilians, the key reason behind the number of civilian casualties, Kahalani said. But he also portrayed some Lebanese civilians as accomplices to Hezbollah, rather than as the victims of an occupying terrorist group.
This quote brought to mind something that has been known for a long time, and that is the Islamofascist terrorists' knack for putting civilians in the way of danger in order to draw sympathy from the moderate Arabs and the rest of the world. It also brought to mind the following picture which I received a long time ago and have been hesitant to post because of its strong nature, but which I feel reflects what's going on now, and what's been happening for years.

Am I biased? Yes. Do I support Israel? You bet.

If you support democracy and the superiority of Western civilization over the culture that Islamofascists want to impose on Israel and eventually the rest of the West, then you should support Israel as well.

Europe's Shining Light

The Czech Republic has long been the only country in Europe to support tough sanctions against the Cuban government. For that they should be strongly and heartily commended. It's also unfortunate that they're the only country in Europe that has a deep understanding of the real situation in Cuba, and that knows where to apply the pressure. Where most countries blame the United States for imposing an unfair "embargo" on Cuba, the Czechs know who is really at fault.

fidel castro called the Czechs "toadies" and "U.S. lackeys", as well as puppets of the feared Miami Mafia!

As Jim Mandich would say....AW-RIGHT! They're in fine company.

I would bet that if the rest of Europe followed the Czech Republic's lead and imposed tougher sanctions on Cuba, the Cuba transition plan released recently would already be in place.

Grab a bottle of Pilsner Urquell, toast to the Czechs, and read the entire story here.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Cuban Migrants Reach Miami (CORRECTION)

The Miami Herald reports on the Miami arrival of a group of 28 Cubans who were intercepted at sea after the US Coast Guard shot at the boat which was carrying them. One person, a pregnant woman died as a result of blunt trauma after apparently hitting her head on the boat (thanks Rick for the correction).

Good news, but with mixed feelings. Good because the freedom-seekers have attained their goal of reaching the U.S. Good because the smugglers who transported the individuals will be prosecuted (that's how the 28 were able to come, a deal was worked out in which they would testify against the smugglers).

Unfortunately, someone had to die in the process. There's never any purely good news associated with Cuba, it seems. There's always some type of bad mixed in. That's life, I guess. There's no doubt that smuggling has to be strongly discouraged, otherwise we'll continue to see events like this one happen again and again.

And of course, the catalyst behind all this is the misguided wet-foot/dry-foot policy. Revoking it would help to end hostile high-speed confrontations between Coast Guard and refugee vessels, and give fleeing Cubans captured at sea a chance to plead their case to come to the United States.

President Bush, are you listening?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

South Florida Cities Among Top 100

Coral Springs - #27
Boca Raton - #30
Pembroke Pines - #51
Miramar - #81

If you live in any one of these cities, congratulate yourself. You live in the top 100 best cities acccording to Money Magazine. These were the only 4 cities in the entire state of Florida to make the top 100.

You see, it's not as bad here as it seems.

These types of lists do have quite a bit of subjectivity, of course. My own community, Kendale Lakes, although it didn't make the top 100, actually rated closely in most categories with Miramar and Pembroke Pines. Even if your location isn't in the top 100, don't feel bad. It's all about location, right?

Read the Herald's story on this here.

Surprisingly enough, I couldn't find anything from the Sun-Sentinel.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Here We Go Again (UPDATED)

I'm sorry folks, but I had to scratch my head and wonder what Emilio Izquierdo's real motivations are after reading this article in the Miami Herald which states that he and his daughter are filing a complaint to the School Board regarding the book Cuban Kids (not to be confused with the now-infamous Vamos A Cuba).

At the very least, you have to question Izquierdo's timing. I respect his right to protest and complain about anything he feels is wrong, even though I may not personally subscribe to his choice of issues to protest. I definitely won't question Izquierdo's belief in freedom of expression, as Rick did yesterday.

By waiting until two prior complaints be rejected and for the Vamos A Cuba controversy to heat up, Izquierdo's and his daughter's complaints appear to be contrived.

Question to Izquierdo - Why now, and where were you a few weeks ago?

UPDATED (7 PM EDT): I didn't catch the paragraph in the Herald article about Izquierdo apparently being arrested in 1999 while protesting the Los Van Van concert in Miami. My bad there.

Nevertheless and despite that incident, the guy still has a right to protest within the law, whether we agree with him or not.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hope in Liberty City?

This is what I'm talking about.

Outdoor church services are being held every Friday night in an effort to spur a spiritual revival to curb the violence in Liberty City.


'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.''
-- Luke 14:23

JoeAnn Glover walked the sidewalk quoting the verse, heading toward a group of teenagers, her eyes glued on a young woman sitting with two children.

''We're holding a church service around the corner,'' Glover said.

''I have four kids with me, and they're really hungry,'' the girl sighed.

''Well there's gonna be a lot of good food. Make sure those babies come get something to eat,'' Glover replied.

Hungry kids, single mothers and impassioned ministers were among 200 people who attended a church service Friday evening outside New Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Liberty City.

They were drawn to the gathering by Glover and a team of parishioners who canvassed the Pork 'n' Beans neighborhood late into the night. Going door to door, they passed out fliers and stopped cars for more than an hour. Their mission: take back the streets.

''We can't wait on the government or the politicians. They only come when the cameras are here,'' Dan Goodmond said as he passed out fliers.

``The church has to be at the forefront of saving this neighborhood.''

More than 30 ministers from churches throughout Liberty City have committed to holding an outdoor church service every Friday night at Pork 'n' Beans in an effort to spur a spiritual revival to curb the violence plaguing the community.

''We just decided to do God's work. We're in a crisis right now, and the church has always been the savior in the black community,'' said Rev. Devin Brown, who spearheaded the effort.

Rooted in urban America's tumultuous soul, the church has been a steadfast force in the community even as poverty rocks its walls daily.

At Pork 'n' Beans, the church finds itself faced by a most formidable foe -- the community's apathy.

Nine-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins was killed July 1 by a stray bullet while playing in her front yard. Neighbors say they're doubtful another innocent child won't die.

''They [the killers] just don't care. It's like your kids can disappear,'' Regina Miller said.

''That little girl was just playing when she got shot,'' she said.

Sitting in front of her apartment, Miller gazed at Goodmond and the other church members.

''It's good to see church folk out here. I know they care if nobody else does,'' she said.

For Goodmond, the winding alleys and broken fences were an all-too-familiar scene.

''I remember being hungry . . . tormented,'' he said. ``I was a drug addict before God saved me.''

As the group headed back to the service, a patrol car sped by, an ambulance siren echoed in the distance.

''The devil won't stop God's work tonight,'' Glover said.

Meanwhile, a sermon by the Rev. Gregory Harris was met with thunderous applause from the growing crowd.

''Our young boys are being arrested at an alarming rate. The single mother is doing all she can. She feels no one cares!'' he bellowed. ``But Jesus cares!''

He continued: ``Sherdavia got shot playing in her yard. Will anybody cry for her? Jesus will!''

Glover, Goodmond and the others formed a prayer circle and recited in unison:

``Lord, thank you for bringing the message to your people. Thank you for using us to bring blessings to your children. Amen.''

Friday, July 14, 2006

Word Play

Just to show that we Cuban-American bloggers actually do have a sense of hunor, let's take a welcomed break from all the uber-serious book ban talk, shall we?

Ponder these new advertising slogans Cuba might want to consider when fidel kicks the bucket:

"Feel the raw naked Raul Castro of the road"

"Tonight, let it be Raul Castro"

"Raul Castro, the appetizer"

"I'd walk a mile for Raul Castro"

"You can really taste the Raul Castro"

"It takes a tough man to make a tender Raul Castro"

This gross-out courtesy of Slogan Generator via Babalu.

The staff and advertisers of 26th Parallel will not be held responsible for any lost meals caused by the above content.

Thank you. Now back to our regularly-scheduled Raul Castro.

Finding a Middle Ground on Book Ban?

Last month in this post, I promised not to write anymore about the Vamos a Cuba book ban.

I broke my promise, sort of.

I posted a comment to a post over at Stuck on the Palmetto last night concerning the book, and Rick was kind enough to feature my comment in another post this morning. I wasn't sure whether to turn my comments into a post of my own, or just leave the comment at SOtP. In the end I did both, with an extra post courtesy of Rick thrown in.

Thanks Rick.

My SOtP comment was an attempt to try to make people understand why it's tough for many Cuban-Americans to pick a side here. Too much hostility and lack of respect has been on display, on both sides. Of course, politics had to get involved, which always does the bad deed of shifting the focus from the real issues to pandering. This is not the fault of the Cuban-American community at-large, but of a few who are trying to capitalize on a controversial and potentially polarizing topic. Tuning out the politics and concentrating on the real issues is hard, but must be done if we're going to learn something from this.

I normally don't like being in the middle on things. I like to form a definite opinion, even if it's not a strong one. I'm sure at some point I'll come up with one for Vamos A Cuba and possibly the other book now being questioned. But for now, I'm willing to sit back and let the dust settle a bit.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cuban Immigrants Adjust to U.S. Life

"In Miami, life is hard. But it's not a lie.''
The above quote comes at the very end of a very well-written article in today's Herald by Oscar Corral. It deals with the touching stories of several recent arrivals from Cuba. Stories about their struggles in Cuba, the culture shock of arriving and adjusting to life in freedom, and the network of downright nice Miamians (OK, Hialeahans to be exact) which is making the hard adjustment a bit easier for those brave folks.

In a town where cynicism rules, where nothing is perceived to be genuine, "normal" and "as it should be", this story should warm the hearts of even the most jaded Miamians, as well as those elsewhere.

The American Dream is alive and well in Miami, Florida in 2006. We can all learn something from the article and from these folks who came here for a better life and don't take their newly-found freedom for granted.

Click here to read the story in its entirety, along with pictures and an extra article which is also highly recommended reading.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Cuba Report Released

The Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba (CAFC) has released a report to President Bush highlighting the steps necessary to hasten a transition in Cuba as well as supporting a transitional government. You can read the full 93-page report here, or you can go to Babalu Blog and check out the various pertinent statements here.

There's nothing really new or earth-shattering in the report which suggests a change in the U.S. stance towards Cuba. This has led many to wonder, "why even bother with a lengthy report"? The fact is that it is a well-thought out document with many good ideas, ideas that make sense.

There are some problems, however. Primarily, the plan assumes that a transitional government is in place after meeting several conditions, one of which is free and fair elections. This means no castro (fidel and raul) nor any of their cronies would be involved. How do we get rid of them without direct and potentially forceful U.S. involvement?

The CAFC report states:
Recommendations to hasten the end of the Castro dictatorship include: measures to empower the Cuban people to prepare for change by strengthening support to civil society; breaking the regime's information blockade; a diplomatic strategy to undermine the regime's succession strategy by supporting the Cuban people's right to determine their future; and measures to deny revenue to the Castro regime that is used to strengthen its repressive security apparatus and to bolster the regime against pressure for change.
Sounds good, but we're a long way from even coming close to achieving these goals.

The Lexington Institute, a non-partisan public policy research organization, deals a lot with Cuban issues, mainly from the standpoint that current US policy towards Cuba is severely flawed. There's no doubt that current policy has some serious holes. In its latest Cuba Policy Report, it states the following (thanks to Phil Peters for his permission to publish the report).
Sanctions. Following the assumption that the ups and downs of the Cuban government's hard currency earnings affect its hold on power, the Administration tightened economic sanctions on Cuba in 2004 and estimates that it has cut Cuban hard currency earnings by $500 million per year. Meanwhile, the CIA estimates that Cuba's economy grew at a rate of eight percent last year, a $3 billion increase in economic output. Advances in the tourism, mining, and energy industries, combined with credits and subsidies from Venezuela and China and relationships with other economic partners, are allowing Cuba to absorb, if not ignore, the impact of Washington's new sanctions. Officials argue that the sanctions drain resources that Cuban security agencies need for surveillance and repression of political dissidents - but reports from Cuba indicate, if anything, that the repression is increasing. The sanctions seem to have two consequences: They hurt the Cuban families who are their direct target, and they are a propaganda boon to the Cuban government.
I agree with the propaganda boon part, but I don't see where the sanctions are hurting Cuban families any more than the regime has hurt them on a daily basis for the past five decades. The sanctions place too much importance on the embargo, which is a crutch that is used by both sides, pro and anti, to make their cases. We all know how weak the embargo really is.

The Lexington Institute agrees:
It also bears noting that given Cuba's improved economic position, normalized relations with the United States and an end to the embargo may not be urgent priorities for Castro's immediate successors. In its old age, the embargo is neither the carrot nor the stick that it used to be.
The current sanctions are toothless unless there is bilateral support and enforcement. Neither of these are occurring, nor have they occurred for a very long time. The European Union has been more interested in dialogue and face-to-face contact with the regime, with no success whatsoever in accomplishing the goal of improving the average Cuban's quality of life. One can only wonder what would happen if Europe adopted a much tougher stance on castro. Instead, we sit here 47 years later and castro is still in power.

Back to the issue of how to deal with a successor government. The Lexington Institute has this to say:
Washington will be well prepared if Cuba promptly enters a transition to democracy and free markets. But in the more likely event that Cuba carries out a constitutional succession to a new socialist government, the United States will face challenges that are all but ignored in the 2004 commission report. Should Washington begin a dialogue with the successor government in Havana? What should the message be? What should trigger an easing of U.S. sanctions, or should they be dropped unilaterally?
Unfortunately, the 2006 version of the report doesn't address this either. It describes measures to arrive at a transitional government, which is fine and well, but how long will it be until that happens?

In the end, everyone agrees that castro and the regime needs to go away. I think a tougher stance is required: tougher and multilateral sanctions. The Bush Administration, as with previous administrations, has failed on both counts.

Again, the CAFC report is well written and one can learn a lot about the situation in Cuba by going through its several sections. It is a good blueprint for success once the current regime is eliminated.

However, the devil is in the details, both figuratively and literally.

Que Lástima

What a shame, the title reads.

No, it's not because of the lack of activity on this blog (with two small kids, a large backyard with a pool and a very demanding full-time job, what the heck was I thinking when I thought I would have the time or energy to make daily postings?). I'm on vacation now, maybe I'll have time for a few posts of enlightenment. ;)

It's not because of Guillermo Fariñas, despite his continued hunger strike for unlimited, uncensored internet access and an excellent editorial by the Bradenton Herald, getting overlooked by most MSM outlets in favor of moonbat extraordinaire Cindy Sheehan's "rolling fast".

It's not because of the tragic death of 9-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins last week, killed when a spray of bullets from some hoodlums struck her while she was playing in her front yard in Liberty City last week. And it's DEFINITELY not because of the overwhelming lack of witnesses willing to step up and tell police what happened or who may have done this.

When will enough people in Liberty City and other crime-ridden inner city neighborhoods start caring about THEIR OWN? When will they stop pointing fingers at others?

But I digress.

This post is about the final exit by Zinedine Zidane. The French soccer star butted his way out of the World Cup and into retirement yesterday with an inexplicable bashing of his head against his Italian opponent's chest.

Arguably the world's best player, playing his last international match, in overtime of a World Cup Final (a World Cup FINAL), and he gets ejected for an amateurish move. I don't care what the Italian defender told you, just suck it up, help your team win and shut his ass up that way.

Instead, soccer-haters all over the United States (does anybody hate soccer outside the US?), have more ammunition to fill their ignorant claims that soccer is a stupid, boring sport played by stupid and boorish athletes.

Que lástima.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, USA

To the country who has taken in so many from so many different places.

To the country where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.

To the country where rights and laws are respected.

To the country that is one from many, yet respects individual customs.

The USA isn't perfect, after all nothing is. We sometimes fail and make mistakes. Not all the things listed above happen 100% of the time.

Regardless, there isn't much doubt that what we have created here in the United States of America is about as good as it gets on this Earth. That's why so many people flock here from all over God's green earth.

230 years strong.

God Bless America.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Remnants of Desperation

''It's just so incredible. It's history. They're going to be lost, maybe never to happen again,'' Bruce said. ``So it's fascinating to see how much effort these took. I've been to Cuba so many times, and you see how desperate the people are.''
Key West artist Benjamin "Dink" Bruce, commenting on the boats and other makeshift crafts that Cuban migrants have used to reach the U.S., many of these left behind in the Marquesas Keys and other isolated keys.

It's no secret that Cubans are known for their ingenuity, for the resolver attitude that enables them to get by in hard times and also to find a way to make it through the treacherous Straits of Florida to freedom.

Bruce has photographed the boats and other salvaged items that the freedom-seekers have left behind.  The Herald has a nice article and slide show of some of Bruce's photos.

Please check them out here.  On this Fourth of July holiday, it's hard to come up with a better example of what freedom is all about and why so many want to reach our shores to taste it.