I am a harsh critic of automobile license plates. Washington DC plates feature a political statement, “No Taxation without Representation,” which is so unoriginal. Some years ago, the plate was more clever proclaiming, “Last Colony”. Santiago and I are big fans of “Live Free or Die” — no doubt there! All this intro leads me to Maine where the car license plates sport a tweeter bird or maybe a lobster with the scintillating and innovative tag line “Vacationland”. Now, Maine is certainly a place for vacations with all its bountiful forests, spectacular hiking trails and rugged coastline, and I have talked about this cornucopia with great abandon in my blogs.
Maine is also a place for “informed discourse on world affairs” as exemplified by the annual Camden Conference, scheduled 19 – 21 February 2010 with the topic “Afghanistan, Pakistan, India — Crossroads of Conflict.” The first conference was held in 1987 in the Camden Library to much acclaim, and subsequently progressed to the beautiful 19th century Camden Opera House where the upcoming 23rd conference will take place. The founders of the Camden Conference recognized that the mid-coast of Maine was home to many retired, distinguished members of the US Foreign Service, domestic and international business and academia. (To prove this point, Santiago is retired Foreign Service and I am an adjunct professor of political science — however, please do not look for our names on the agenda but you can find us in the audience!)
In addition to the main event in Camden, the conference sponsors Community Events throughout Maine from September through January. The next scheduled event is a 14 November lecture by Dr. Seth Singleton in Bar Harbor on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Question. Other events include the 3 Dec showing of a film, Outsourced, in Rockland, and a book review of Three Cups of Tea scheduled for 19 Jan in Damariscotta. My book club just read Three Cups of Tea — and gave it rave reviews. Wrapping up the community events program is the Sixth Annual Energy Symposium to be held in Belfast 30 January 2010; the Symposium is entitled, “Fueling the Conflict – Energy Issues in Central Asia.” We all suspect that energy has something to do with the problems of this region – this symposium promises to provide spirited dialogue. (Click on the hot link to peruse the entire schedule which is a dynamic and evolving process — so check the calendar often!)
See you at the Camden Conference!!