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Jim Brantley

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About Jim Brantley

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  • Birthday 06/27/1946
  1. My name is Jim Brantley. I'm a retired Newspaper Opinion Columnist. I am writing the people of Thailand to express my deepest sorrow. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was admired by many millions of people around the world. I was one of them... and still am. I live in Florida, U.S.A., It is very hot and the humid here during the summer. So, my home is not too far removed from Thailand when it comes to weather. I don't like hot, muggy summers; they suck the life out of a person. That being said, I am totally infatuated with Thailand. I think this "affair" was the direct result of my fondness, admiration, and respect for the late King. Now, anyone who has read one of my newspaper columns knows I am no fan of the 1 percent, much less royalty. The world is full of Kings, Queens, Sheiks, Dictators, Presidents, and other leaders who are nothing more than bloated, elitist figureheads way too full of themselves. King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the exception. He was the one world leader I consider "Royal". He was a true King; a compassionate man who loved his people and ruled with the heart of a Monk. I have seen every sort of meanness one man can assert towards another in the name of God or country but could find no intolerance in this gentle man's heart. He is why I am so taken with Thailand and the Thai People. I have met many Thais, and most mirror the king's kind and gentle ways. The King is gone now, and the world is poorer for his passing. I can't imagine how much he will be missed by the Thai people. I can only mourn with them, and for them. Long live King Maha Vajiralongkorn. May he honor his father by reigning with love, dignity, a gentle heart, and pure soul.
  2. The Thai Government seems to be working overtime to kill the tourist industry. With other countries fighting and winning, the war for tourist dollars, Thailand passes laws, closes attractions, and fails to maintain so much as clean beaches. Thailand cannot survive as a tourist mecca on its fading reputation alone. Given the trouble in the South and ongoing bad press, it's only a matter of time before Thailand's tourist industry slips away.
  3. If you are going to beg, do so in your own country. When you have enough money then you can go on vacation like a normal human. You are not poor, you are not a family in need, you are trying to leech a good time from an honorable country who have real poor people to take care of. It's rude and selfish.
  4. It all seems rather passive to me. But I'm used to seeing the arrest made in my country. Here, the suspect would have been tazed, beaten into submission, kicked, or even shot. No, compared to my country (USA) the Thai Police were gentle, if not rash.
  5. SURVEY: Should Street Food Vendors Be Banned?

    When a country is competing for tourist dollars it really isn't a very good idea to eliminate one of the things those tourist find attractive. Removing the food vendors would turn Bankok into just another Asian city; a city without a part of the rich texture that made it one of the most desirable places to visit.
  6. I live in Florida, U.S.A. We, like parts of Thailand, depend on tourist dollars. This makes us a service-oriented culture, and we don't mind at all. We gladly share our beaches and sun for the money brought into our economy. We understand that the more enjoyable and convenient it is for the tourist, the more likely they are to extend their visit, or at least return again. There are a few simple guidelines we follow to keep a smile on the faces of all tourists. 1. We understand that many visitors come from the more Northern Latitudes. They are either unaware or unprepared, for the dangers involved with exposure to the heat and burning rays of the sun. Hotel pamphlets, radio ads, and various other means promote the importance of sunscreen and the dangers of overexposure to the sun. 2. Cabana (umbrella) vendors are licensed and controlled. Children are especially susceptible to sunburn and on duty, beach patrol is constantly on the lookout for anyone who may be suffering from overexposure. The thought of telling tourist they must suffer two days a week without the protection of shade has never even been entertained. There are trash receptacles strategically placed up and down the beach with signs reminding visitors that littering is a finable offense. This seems to work very well, leaving only a minor cleanup effort for the daily beach crew. 3. Understanding that tourist will require food and drink have led to the licensing of vendors for this purpose. They may sell their products from carts located along the edge of the beach but are not allowed to "troll" the beach or approach tourist in order to sell their goods. The tourist must come to the cart. There is more, but it's really just a matter of respecting each side's needs and desires and then finding a way to meet them.
  7. English is the world's lingua franca. It is also not a language one can learn in five days. It would be more effective to teach the officers some basic phrases, their meaning, and context for five days and then have them attend one hour English classes during their off-duty time. As a Communications Expert, I taught English to many company employees around the world. The ability to communicate on a basic level is a priority which can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time; expanding the basics is a must, but is an ongoing process. There are no shortcuts.