Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
October is the month for weddings. Actually in the education business there are two months that seem to hold all of the weddings: October and April. These two months are important for teachers because we are not teaching and so we have time to either participate in or attend weddings. This October our school has 5 members of our staff tying the not. What's kind of cool is that 4 of the 5 are getting married to each other. Confusing? Well love in the work place here in Thailand is not really looked down at so long as it is proper, or in other words leads to a wedding at some point. What is amazing about weddings in all parts of the world is that everyone who comes wants to be as beautiful as they can, and of course this is the big reason we all go to weddings. I love to see everyone all dressed up. I guess it is like the adult version of the prom.
Last week my golfing buddy Ajarn Sak got married to my classroom partner Ajarn Pang. The events was attended by about 400 guests. The venue was wonderful, the food was delicious, and the ladies showed up looking marvelous. I think I'll just let the photos say it all. Enjoy.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The other day I met my good friend Mark for a coffee and a chat. Mark is Irish and visits Thailand to write and enjoy himself before the chilly winters of Dublin begin. He is putting the finishing touches on his PhD in French Philosophy, and is especially interested in the United States because many of the ideals that Americans hold as base values today, actually come from the French revolutionaries who preceded the construct of the U.S. I guess an obvious and natural curiosity would be here, because as a historian it is always fun to look back at ideas and see if they came to be fulfilled and fully developed.
Mark admitted he, like most Europeans, were shocked when 4 years ago the American people did not get rid of George Bush. He said it was a huge disappointment to most of the world. The thing is, America is no longer the educational power it was, technological power, or manufacturer was, but it is still a massive economy and military power. In essence the world watches our elections and hopes that those of us with the privilege to chose this world leader will chose one that can bring our nation forward and in essence bring the world forward.
Here is the thing, we as Americans have a massive opportunity here to elect a man of color to the greatest office in our government. We can LEAD AGAIN, by proving we actually value some of the words which are written in our great documents -- such as "all men are created equal" -- and we can show the world that we are not afraid of CHANGE!
By the year 2040 white America will lose its majority standing. That is still a long ways off, but that doesn't mean that white America can not benefit from a leader who is not white. This is a man who has studied hard the historical baggage of our nation, felt it first hand, and followed the fundamental beliefs of our nation all the way to this point.
Can we then, as a people, take the next step with him? Can we look past a name and a color that is not the same as every leader who has come before?
What an opportunity to show that WE CAN! In truth, we must. At every turn during the past 8 years we have marginalized people's from around the world by our extreme politics. While our leadership has been unwilling to change, grow, and accept a new leadership in the world, enemies have flourished and been able to recruit at record levels. Peace, and partnership reigns across Europe now and yet still we separate, draw lines in the sand, and make demands on nations we don't understand.
Let's take a step toward global leadership. Let's find a way to bridge gaps with nations who fear and don't believe we are truly an integrated nation who stand for peace and economic growth. In my opinion, Obama is the answer to this.
Obama for president!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Cambodia claims Thailand violated airspace
By Deutsche Presse Agentur
Phnom Penh - Thailand violated Cambodian airspace hours before a border skirmish erupted on Wednesday, Cambodian officials said.
Cambodian and Thai soldiers on Wednesday exchanged gunfire in a disputed zone near the ancient Preah Vihear temple on the Thai-Cambodian border called Eagle Field, or Eagle Terrace, 300 kilometres north of the Cambodian capital, which is an important strategic point for access to Preah Vihear.
"The Thai injuries were worse, but there were casualties on both sides," the director-general of Cambodia's Preah Vihear authority, which oversees the site, said by telephone.
"The Thai fighter jet came 8:50 am and again at 10.07 am to disturb our airspace. Cambodian soldiers wanted to fight then, but they were placated for a while.
"I do not know why fighting happened at 2.15 until 3.30 pm because I was not there," the head of Cambodia's Preah Vihear authority, Hang Soth, said by telephone from a meeting in Phnom Penh.
He said there were casualties on both sides, but that the Thai side had borne the brunt of duel M-79, B-40 and AK-47 exchanges.
Cambodian authorities said all civilians had fled the area and it was now regarded by both sides as a conflict zone.
The Wednesday shoot-out at Eagle Terrage is important to the ongoing dispute over the Preah Vihear temple because whoever controls that area controls access to the temple, which is sacred to both sides.
A similar clash at the same site on October 3 left two Thai soldiers and one Cambodian wounded.
What the hell is going on? Thailand and Cambodia are still arguing about this boarder dispute, but now guns have been drawn. Small arms fire erupted today along the Thai - Cambodian boarder. There are no reports of any dead, but wounded Thai soldiers were air lifted back to Bangkok today.
This sucks! Two Buddhist nations fighting over Buddhist temple lands. Am I the only one who sees the irony of this. Hey, Christians, Muslims, and well basically every other major religion have been killing each other since their religions were born, but come on, this is no way for Buddhist nations to act.
Here is the sad part, I believe the real problem is simply money arrangements which have been made for the future tourism of this location. Both sides have already made deals and now they fear the consequences if they can not make good on those deals. I don't know the real story, but I do know everyone needs to chill. Thailand should have no fight with the Cambodians, because they share a religion and they share a boarder that has been peaceful for generations.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I'm very tired of the right-wing, trickle down Republicans saying that none of the mess we are in now is G.W.'s fault. As my father once said, sometimes people can't see the wall in front of their face until they smash into it. I thought having a never ending war, a collapsed economy, less individual freedoms as people, and a national deficit was wall enough; however, there are still those who believe we must protect the big business men who will protect the rest of us. I say screw the rich! I say help the farmers! I say help the middle class! I'm sick of the big business game plan which always seems so eager to send the poor and middle class boys and girls off to fight for property rights and oil drilling sights. You can color shit anyway you want to it still smells like shit and if you really want to make sure my Republican brothers, take a bite and be sure it tastes like it to.
NO MORE YEARS of the BUSH linage.
I am casting my proxy for OBAMA!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Although I am an expat living in Bangkok, my blood is Husker red. I love the fact that the university of Nebraska got rid of a coach who was hell bent on ridding our program of the traditions our program had developed over the past 40 years. He did not understand the Husker Nation and it was easy to see his moves were hurting our program and running it into the ground. Now, we are rebuilding with a new coaching staff, many new players, and yet for us OLD fans it is difficult to watch the modern big red.
Missouri had not beaten Nebraska in Lincoln in 30 years. They dealt out a 30 year ass kicking on Saturday that no one in the land of red is going to forget any time soon. It really hurt to see this disaster.
I suppose we just have to be patient and let the new staff develop their ideas about the team, but man is it hard to see us this meek.