Islamic symbols on a decorative grillwork door, Reales Alcázares de Sevilla, Spain.
Excerpts from Dave Barry's column in the Miami Herald, Feb. 24, 1997:
"No one is hand-to-mouth shocked anymore. No one makes a fuss. Maybe that's what's wrong.
"I'm reminded of the 'Broken Windows' theory advanced by criminologists James Wilson and George Kelling. They argued that minor infractions left unattended - a broken window in an abandoned factory, for instance - set the stage for more serious transgressions. The idea is that in places where it's perceived that no one cares, criminals are emboldened, crime more brazen. But where people are willing to make a fuss, even about the small things, there is relative order...
"...If the awful has become the ordinary, we must remember that it happened in increments, not all at once. It happened when we accepted graffiti on our walls, broken bottles in our streets, trash in our schoolyard. Happened when we stopped talking to strangers, stopped going out, ceded whole city blocks to lowlifes...
"Each time, the line in the sand moved further...Each time it became easier to yield. The surrenders were getting bigger, but we didn't notice.
"So that now it has come to this, to the very knife's edge of crisis. And decision. Our children are dying. We cannot accept this."
Today my thoughts and prayers are with the brave pro-democracy protesters of Egypt, in the hope their peaceful quest for freedom is successful. Go here to see the vlog of a courageous woman who helped instigate the January 25th protest movement in Egypt.