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Leaving the place better than we found it
Seeing with my eyes closed
Thomas Jefferson on gun control
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Our hardy heartland
Breaking the cycle
How to catch the sun's comings and goings
Thoughts from the inside
Leveraging the internet to build our walls
Twitters from the past
And the invincibility of youth
Without ego projection
Yet another gift of the road
The charming side of obstinance
The creative part of photography
A movie critic looks in the mirror
We are not alone
As part of the system
Defecting from the rear guard
The end of Kumbaya
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Running out of dirt
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The Bay of Fundy, where the sea breathes
How to photograph them with anything, even your cellphone
A simple question we get every day
We may be failing to fail
You are on this page
Becoming a hero in one's own life story
A writing assignment
A new discovery of something old
Finding new eyes to see old landscapes
Hick humor
Toys for photographing wild places
Experiencing life with God
A radical thought about our radicals
Redemption with style
Hidden heroes among us
Resetting our parallel processor
A village with heart
A lesson from the road
The bullet dodged
A soul sparkles
Isolation in style
Painless ways to lose your virginity : 11/12/15
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Roots
And why no one should hesitate to examine them
07/19/16

Our origins will always hold a dear place in our rememberings, even if in my case the common "Where you from?" gives me three options. I can cite my Hungarian birthplace if the inquiry comes with an accent, or California if geek credentials are apparent, but my youth was spent in New Jersey.

So it was that I began my NJ tour in Camp Kilmer, a defunct US Army base that housed the refugee camp where the Shikli family was first welcomed to the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Camp Kilmer's decaying barracks now house lawn mowers for Rutgers University, and give little sign that dreams were born there among the lost and fearful. From the day we stood in the chow line with our steel trays, unable to move because the spoons were turned toward us, we assumed a bureaucratic mistake and waited for the servers. One of the soldiers asked if we were aristocrats. We stuttered about how some of us may take too much. "Take whatever you will eat," was the reply. We stared at the spoons and asked ourselves, "What kind of a wondrous country have we stumbled into?"

We were not upset at all to be questioned about whether we had any communists hiding in our midst. My father had fought the communists and their Soviet garrison during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which is why we were on the run. We needed no encouragement to be on the lookout for such interlopers. If they looked, spoke, or acted like a communist, we were happy to rat them out before someone took the matter into their own hands.

So it is that I'm confused why we find it politically incorrect to identify terrorists by their looks, religion, or country of origin. My guess is the refugees from the terrorist countries feel like we did back at Camp Kilmer. They have suffered as much as anyone at the hands of the terrorists and might welcome any and every technique to catch them.

I wonder if the liberals objecting to stereotyping and profiling terrorists have asked these refugees and immigrants if they also object -- seeing how they would be on the receiving end. They might be surprised to find that most of them are even more eager for a harsh hand in this than are we.

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Washington Crossing State Park, Delaware River.
They make it look so easy.


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Einstein's house in Princeton

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Princeton University

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Even the pigeons are afraid to land on him

For more pictures of New Jersey, click here.

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