Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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Thanks again,

In just under a week, my photos from the Middle East received just under 6,500 views. Thanks for your support!

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Israel Photos: Making a statement

Just wanted to say thanks for looking! Photographs in the Israel Photo Set have been viewed over 3,000 times in less than a day. I hope you have been enjoying them. If you have yet to see them, you can view them here: Israel 2010

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Photo’s from the Middle East

Well, photos from the mid-east have been online (flickr) for about 12 hours and they have already had over 2,000 hits. If you haven’t yet seen the first batch, check them out here: Israel 2010

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BACK FROM THE MIDDLE EAST/BULGARIA

I have returned! Although it has been a while since I have spent any time on this blog, please make your way to http://makfoto.tumblr.com/ where you will find new work from abroad. Additionally, check back every now and then as new stories emerge from my four weeks overseas.

Mike.

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He wants to be like me

For the lot of you that are unaware, I adopted a Puggle about a year ago from May. When I got him, he came from his second family, making me his third owner in his short life. I don’t consider myself a lucky person in the least, but sometimes things occur that re-enforce my faith in some supernatural force that guides our lives. The day I met Ryley was definitely one of those days.

Aside from chewing up every sock I own, avid attempts at digging holes in the middle of my bed, and misdirected yet impressive intelligence that has aided him in figuring out how to open the trash can with a weighted lid to pull out what scraps may lie inside, he is the perfect buddy. (Although I can’t lie, all of it is pretty adorable)

What I have found amazing is his ability to adapt to environments and people. The first few weeks with him, he was timid, shy, and close on my heels whenever around a large group of people. Now though, he’s independent, confident, and a social butterfly when confronted with populated places. He has been known to head up stairs and jump into bed when the night grows late, and he certainly has no problem with alerting me that he needs to go out or wants to play as a tug-o-war rope draped over my face has become a morning routine.

He still follows me wherever I go, which I assume will never change and I hope it doesn’t. His curiosity is admirable and I wouldn’t change it for the world. One thing I have noticed over the past few weeks that I hadn’t paid attention to before is his mimicking though, especially when it comes to eating habits.

When I sit down to eat, you can bet that he’ll be right there, puppy eyes open wide, ears perked up, and tail wagging enthusiastically. As I have tightened up on giving him people food, he’ll wait, wait, and then go eat the dog food. What I find interesting is he controls the portions. When I have a meal, he’ll clean his bowl, when I have a snack, he’ll eat only a bit. It’s like he wants to be like me, and do what I do. Maybe it’s more common than I think, but I have never seen anything like it and maybe I’m crazy but it’s fairly interesting to watch.

Before you all form your opinions and think I have completely fallen off the deep end I encourage you to meet him. After a couple of hours watching this dog, you’ll understand why I am so infatuated with his actions. He acts more like a person than a dog and all who have spent time with him can attest to that.

He’s a great little guy and I’m sure he is just as thankful to have been found by me, as I am to have found him. (Just a little update on the pup that I thought you’d enjoy)

For more pictures of Ryley visit the Ryley photo set on Flickr: Ryley

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Nuclear Summit met by human rights protest






Over 100 people gathered this afternoon just outside iron gates that currently make up the temporary security perimeter surrounding Washington Convention Center, site of the 2010 Nuclear Summit hosted by President Obama in Washington, DC. From their mouths one clear message denoted their cause, “free Tibet”.

The context of this summit had indicated that there would be a number of various protests with a variety of foci scattered throughout downtown DC while leaders of over 40 nations met. Instead, a small but vocal group of Hu Jintau protestors and “Free Tibet” supporters was all that could be found.

Hu Jintau is the current leader of the People’s Republic of China and public enemy number one in the eyes of the supporters of a free Tibet. For those that are foggy on the topic, Tibet was an isolated nation in the hills of the Himalayas that came under Chinese control in 1949. At one point this peaceful “country” was comprised of those who deeply believed in Buddhism and took their cues from a highly respected community and religious leader known as The Dalai Lama. They spoke Tibetan and adhered closely to Tibetan practices based exclusively on Tibetan tradition.

In 1949, China aggressively took control of Tibet, assimilating it into the communist province of China it is today. During this transition and for years to come, Tibetans have been the victims of oppressive and aggressive Communism. Many are not permitted to practice a free religion with exceptions such as The Dalai Lama, while almost none have the right to free speech. They adhere closely to the practices of their communist parent with no room for free choice. Worst of all, Tibetans find themselves involved in peaceful protests nearly every day, which meet a very physical and often times, deadly response by Chinese soldiers. It is assumed that nearly 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed in clashes to date.

“Free Tibet” supporters gathered today at the corner of 10th and Massachusetts to have their voices heard by world leaders meeting less than a football field away. Their words rang through the empty streets as buildings propelled their echoing messages; “free Tibet”, “world leaders speak for Tibet”, “stop the killing in Tibet”, and “Hu Jintau, go home now”.

The frustrations of these supporters lie in the fact that so many world leaders are currently recognizing China, specifically Hu Jintau, as a critical cornerstone to the nuclear weapon security issue yet provide no pressure for the protection of human rights in Tibet.

As the day progressed, loud voices transitioned into deep rumination as many supporters put down their megaphones and resorted to meditation in groups throughout downtown DC.

Meetings were conducted safely and successfully inside a complex heavily guarded by Police, Federal Agents, Army Soldiers, and Secret Service. Hu Jintau met productively on the issue of nuclear security with President Obama, while the issue of human rights in Tibet has yet to be recognized.

Meetings continue tomorrow, April 12, 2010. “Free Tibet” supporters will be gathering again for a daylong protest as well.

For the complete photo set and a video of today’s protest please visit: Free Tibet Protest @ Nuclear Summit

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Spontaneous post

Howdy,

I was going to wait a while before posting anything after yesterdays post about the demonstration for the simple reason of letting that get the headline for a couple of days. Instead i’m putting up a couple of photo’s I took today (Wednesday). I just thought a couple of them were pretty good and that the collection offered a pretty dynamic range of subjects. As always, I hope you enjoy and pay it forward.





You can view the rest at my flickr page: flickr

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Protesters clash with corporate insurance executives









Members of organizations such as Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Credo Action, Move-On.org, citizenpeace.org, and the AFL-CIO joined forces with everyday, non-unionized Americans to flood the streets of Northwest DC mid-day Tuesday, March 9th in protest of meetings being held at the Ritz Carlton between insurance company executives and Capitol Hill lobbyists.

Although it is said that their intentions were to infiltrate the bowels of the hotel, protestors were kept out in the streets by a riot-ready police force equipped with manpower, tear gas, and pepper spray guns. Amongst the anti-corporate health care sentiments being verbally hurled at the hotel, several speakers addressed the crowd including president of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka who called on Americans to stand up for their right to the Public Option.

The bill facing congress currently allows for a government sponsored health care system where individuals can choose the insurance they want and are protected from discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. The bill also provides universal protection for citizens from drastic rate hikes. The plan would undoubtedly cause insurance executives to face a considerable loss in profits.

Over a thousand individuals from across the United States gathered to place their footprint in history. Although the demonstration stayed relatively peaceful, it did effectively close down streets throughout northwest DC as the mass paraded throughout the city.

During the demonstration a “Warrant” was purportedly delivered to the executives meeting in a Ritz Carlton conference room. The warrant listed the many acts of indiscretion that corporate insurance companies are “charged with” and allegedly “guilty of”.

Towards the end of the demonstration, songs by popular revolutionist rock group Rage Against the Machine were blasted throughout the streets. 15 or so protesters were escorted away by police after breaking through human barricades in an attempt to enter the building.

The crowd then continued to march down 22nd street before dispersing at Dupont Circle. The meetings were successfully conducted safely inside.



View more photos from the protest here: Health care reform demonstration

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WASHINGTONIAN.COM Runners-up


WELL WHAT A SURPRISE!

In the process of searching for photo contests online, I came across the tail-end of Washingtonians February Photo contest and found something familiar… a photo I submitted on February 2nd, is now being featured as a runners up on Washingtonian.com! The photo is a silhouette of my roommate Shane Krieger inside the Kennedy Center tunnel following “The Blizzard of 2010”. The contest criteria was “stripes” and this was submitted for not only th stripes that frequently painted the road, but also the light play on the tunnel walls and ceiling that created its own stripes.
View it here: Washingtonian.com
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