Koh Larn ~ Exploring Thailand’s Coral Island

We had been in Thailand for less than a week and already lost track of time, including what day it was.  I suppose that is the goal of any successful vacation, and this one had exceeded my expectations in nearly every way.  It was our third or fourth day, and the topic of visiting the island had been planned prior to leaving home.  Under the shelter of another open air, tin-roofed building our little group made an impromptu decision to visit the island of Koh Larn.  It was still early in our trip, but the pattern of hazy, spontaneous decisions was quickly taking hold.  Even on vacation, necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Continue reading Koh Larn ~ Exploring Thailand’s Coral Island

Symbolism, Patriots and the plight of angry, frightened voters.

I was recently moved to participate in something I rarely do anymore; I sat through several political ads.  It wasn’t because I thought there was a chance in a remote corner of Hell that the adds would reveal even a shred of truth or insight into a candidate’s intended agenda.  It was instead more of a reconnaissance mission, aimed at gathering evidence indicative of an effort – however covert – on the part of the candidate and his or her financial backers to influence fence-sitting voters by means of a symbolic slight-of-hand.  And let’s be honest right up front; money does provide opportunity for mass media exposure, giving those with greater resources the upper-hand in the advertising arena.  And while we’re being honest let’s put another “it goes without saying” anecdote on the table; not everything you see and hear on TV and the radio are true.  Imagine that.

I decided long ago that the moderates and centrists within each political party were either gone or on their way out of the American political system.  These are – were? – the independent thinkers not enslaved by party dogma and ideology, and hence the most willing to negotiate, and even offer compromise, when it proved necessary to achieve legislative goals.  It’s a concept that appears entirely absent in our current political construct, which has become counter-conducive to promoting an atmosphere where thinking-men proudly gather in great halls for the purpose of providing effective, representative government on behalf of their constituents.  Continue reading Symbolism, Patriots and the plight of angry, frightened voters.

An evening at the Methodist Church with Sabrina Butler.

When you have a reputation of being curious and open to documenting just about anything, it certainly provides opportunities that would otherwise not be accessible.  And I certainly appreciate the opportunities, as most of my unexpected and often unconventional opportunities have been informative and interesting.  These moments also serve as a reminder that it is easy for us to remain unaware of the much larger world around us.  For some there is comfort in remaining unaware.  For others, remaining unaware is a discomforting feeling they equate to perceived ignorance.

The point of this particular story is not to discuss civil activism and responsibility, or to debate how each of us should measure our relative involvement in public policy.  Having said that, I hope this story does make each of us at least somewhat more inclined to be cognizant of events that reflect our social conscience.  Our legal system should reflect our collective preferences and acceptable levels of tolerance for personal conduct, while at the same time demonstrating our collective interest, and willingness, to undertake whatever efforts are necessary to uncover and establish the truth, however inconvienient that truth may be to our stated objective of true, effective justice. Continue reading An evening at the Methodist Church with Sabrina Butler.