2016 in 48 photographs

On the overseas travel front, I went to Mexico and visited with El Rancho Del Rey boys for the third time, traveled through West Sweden for the second time, and experienced Iceland for the first time. In-country, I went to New York a few times, Georgia, Alabama, Cape Cod and Boston.

News fodder is dangerous

Those news agencies that aren’t as ingrained into the online community haven’t fallen prey to this click-bait storytelling concept: these organizations haven’t sensationalized the Hampshire College story, because it’s trivial.

As an example: 22News, a locally based 24-hour broadcast news station covering Western Mass. has written and posted 42 articles about Hampshire College. The Springfield Republican, a newspaper (not 24/7), which posts its stories on MassLive.com (which is 24/7), has written roughly 15 stories. Western Mass. News, which is on the 24-hour cycle, driving its profit from online traffic, has written about 20 articles about the controversy.

In contrast, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, a local paper covering Hampshire County, not on the 24-hour cycle, has written about 10 articles on the controversy, with about another 10 or so letters and columns submitted to the paper by its readers.

My back porch

Cars pass by sending mist up into the night. Slowly, slowly, the moon creeps up over the mountain’s edge, casting pale light onto the peaceful valley, painting soft texture into shadows in the back parking lot of Jerry’s Place. My perch, about 15 feet up from the ground, is a perfect alcove of serenity in the midst of a pretty chaotic existence down below.

Peace which surpasses understanding: a 9/11 tribute

“Where were you when the towers fell?” That question will be posted on every social media platform today, or asked in coffee shops and around dinner tables, as it is posed to billions of people around the world. It’s the defining question of my generation, and has forged an entire social identity of patriotism, influenced wars and rallied a nation to unity, violence, hate and peace.

I’m so sick of waking up to another bloodbath

Yes, there is deep-seated racism in the United States that stems from a mass genocide slave holding culture that segregates the entire nation and causes black men and women to suffer under the chains of an unequal justice system; that forces people with dark skin to walk uphill their entire lives — can’t I fight against that inequality, and at the same time, say that the vast majority of law enforcement officers deeply care about the people and communities they serve and would step in front of a bullet for anyone?