CORRECTION: The original headline for this article stated, “Immigrant Bicyclist Hit by Car and Handed Over to ICE on the Spot”. That was incorrect. The immigrant was arrested by Border Patrol, a division of Customs and Border Patrol. Click here to see the incident report.
by Thomas L. Knapp……. “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety,” US president Donald Trump told Coast Guard Academy graduates on May 17, “has been treated worse or more unfairly” than himself. A day later, in the wake of the US Justice Department’s appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate allegations of “Russian meddling” on his behalf in the 2016 presidential election, Trump once again offered a grandiose reference to his place in history, this time [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. According to the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department, the nation’s capital reported 135 homicides last year. One of those homicides, the killing of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich on July 10, 2016, continues to make news ten months later. Who killed Seth Rich, and why? We may never know for sure. On the other hand, a significant piece of the puzzle may have just fallen into place. Fox News, citing a federal investigator as source, reports that Rich may [continue reading…]
by Rick Boettger……. The late, great Connie Gilbert was the hearty soul of the Key West chapter of the National Organization of women since she moved here and started it in 1996. While it had a dues-paying membership in the dozens and had dozens proudly wave signs on Women’s Suffrage and Roe v. Wade days, the required monthly meetings had dwindled to Connie and just a couple of other regulars. With Connie’s death and the moving away and illness of the other two board members, [continue reading…]
by Kim Pederson……. Few things in life are constant. One of them, or so I thought, is the speed of light (186,000 miles per second in a vacuum). The uncertainty about light speed gets raised in “Understanding the Speed of Light, How Much Do We Know?” by Ryan Young. Young notes that the speed of light might be affected by something called “quantum vacuum fluctuations,” which is not, as I initially thought, what happens to my Hoover whenever there’s a power surge. No, QVFs, in [continue reading…]
by John Donnelly……. High browed Psychiatrists and Psychologists, along with many credentialed mental health professionals; frequently lack an ability to relate, understand and identify with their disturbed patients. Outside a clinical or classroom setting, their deficiencies are highlighted by an experiential absence and ineptitude, which diminishes their capacity to grasp the underlying realities of mental illness. An understanding that can best be awakened via wounds endured on the firing line of life. Friction generated by the rubber meeting the road, creates the requisite heat for [continue reading…]
Butterfly Against the eager surf pounding the monuments of stone, unperturbed, a butterfly in pantomime carves a yellow arabesque – a hieroglyphic script engraved with an instant’s wing on the oblivious air. I, reading the runic sign, would hope or, God willing, would be certain just as I am certain I should be sure – oceans and insects, like men, for seasons or eternities, equally, as they say, endure. Kirby Congdon
by Ray Jason……. The waters of the Archipelago of Bliss have been a wondrous reservoir of inspiration for me as I meander through my Middle Years. My secluded life amidst these tranquil islands has blessed me with a perspective and clarity that is difficult to attain by those chained to the cacophony of the Real World.
by Thomas L. Knapp……. Like most monopolies, the US Postal Service isn’t interested in changing its business model. An enterprise hemorrhaging cash in a free market would cut prices, improve service, look for new revenue streams, or simply close its doors. The USPS solution, as usual, is to raise prices and hope for the best. Alternative proposal: Let’s put it out of its misery. The Service posted losses of $562 million in the first quarter of 2017, the Associated Press reports. This year will likely [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. With the US occupation of Afghanistan well into its sixteenth year and the country no closer to becoming a stable democracy than it was in late 2001, Antiwar.com reports that this isn’t an “all options are on the table” scenario. President Donald Trump seems to have rejected the idea of withdrawing US troops and ending the war. Instead, he intends to become the third president in a row to roll the dice on a “surge” — that is, to send in [continue reading…]
by Kim Pederson……. Thought to ponder, from John Banville’s novel ancient light: Even here, at this table, the light that is the image of my eyes takes time, a tiny time, infinitesimal, yet time, to reach your eyes, and so it is that everywhere we look, everywhere, we are looking into the past. If you’re thinking “he [me] must be reading that Time Travel book again,” you’d be right. If you are exceedingly discerning and/or prescient, you might even be thinking “now he’s going to [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon……. Raking up the past in dead piles of withered leaves, we dance around the little things we missed as that song of grief we sing becomes a pagan howl of rectitude to redeem whatever victories we did not win. So losers begin their lives again and watch the trash bags almost burst their straining seams as perfection’s world unfolds in listless imitations of those dust-laden dreams that younger men in their routine on garbage trucks lift on up with weightless ease.
by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Get out of the tent! Joe Sanders had just woken up to deputies yelling orders. As he peers through the slit in his tent his eye suddenly focuses on the barrel of a deputy’s gun 6 inches away and pointed straight at him. Now, according to the federal government, Joe had pitched his tent on public land.
by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…….. Abba: “Money, Money, Money–M-O-N-E-Y”[i] “Money, money, money Must be funny In the rich man’s world” A private prison corporation, The GEO Group,[ii] located in Boca Raton, Florida, was recently awarded a contract[iii] by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop and operate a $110 million dollar 1,000-bed Detention Facility. The private prison facility, to be located in Conroe, Texas, is expected to generate “approximately $44 million” for the Geo Group “in annualized revenues and returns on investment.” [iv]
by Kirby Congdon……. Al Markowitz and Mary Franke have produced another solid issue of their Blue Collar Review, Journal of Progressive Working Class Literature for Summer 2016 with a tidy sketch on its cover. Two men on their knees are giving attention to a third laying on his back. The perspective is accurate. We feel the tension on a man’s back, see the strain on the side of another man’s face while the man who is prone raises questions that are not answered. The suggestion of [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. More than half a century ago, Congress passed the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Since mid-April, US president Donald Trump has twice invoked one of the law’s nearly forgotten provisions, ordering Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross to investigate the possibility that steel and aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security.” If Ross says they do and Trump agrees, the law empowers him to “take such action, and for such time, as he deems necessary to adjust the imports of such article and [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. As former US president Barack Obama’s second term drew toward its close last July, he exercised his veto power for the eleventh of 12 times, shutting down “The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act of 2016.” The bill, which easily passed both houses of Congress, would have reduced former presidents’ pensions and staff allowances dollar for dollar if their other incomes exceeded $400,000 per year. In the wake of Obama’s decision to accept a $400,00 fee for a Wall Street speaking engagement this [continue reading…]
by Kim Pederson……. At the end of the 19th century, French commercial artist Jean-Marc Cote created a series of illustrated cards envisioning what the world would be like in the year 2000 (see examples here). Besides the classroom shown below, where the teacher grinds up books and feeds them electronically into students’ heads, Cote foresaw things like flying firemen, whale-powered submarine commuting, an electric floor scrubber, and a mobile home. These cards were first put in cigar and cigarette boxes and then printed as postcards. [continue reading…]
by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. By the time tragedy struck last year Depoo Hospital’s mental health staff had sent many distress signals. The Blue Paper has collected reports about staff being attacked by patients, disagreements with the police about carrying guns, understaffing, a security guard having a heart attack trying to protect staff. Finally, a patient committed suicide on camera.
by Thomas L. Knapp……. An anonymous announcement of a forthcoming public announcement: On April 26, an anonymous White House source says, the Trump administration “will outline our broad principles and priorities …. We are moving forward on comprehensive tax reform that cuts tax rates for individuals, simplifies our overly-complicated system and creates jobs by making American businesses competitive.”
by Kim Pederson……. My wife Kalo wrote a beautiful poem about searching for inspiration in various places (a donut shop, CVS, the public library) and not finding it and, in not finding it, finding it, despite her closing stanza lines “At my computer reading Bukowski: writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all. Do I believe him? Do you believe him? If only.” So what is inspiration? Fortunately, you don’t have to depend on me to define the undefinable because David Brooks, [continue reading…]
by Ray Jason……. The wind arrived swiftly. The waves built more slowly – but also more dangerously. Suddenly AVENTURA was no longer gently tugging at her anchor. She was lunging and jerking perilously. I let out more chain to calm her, but the seas kept pounding us. The gorgeous little island with its massive coral formations had protected me from the prevailing winds for the last two days. But now that we had swung around 180 degrees, those reefs were a million-machete menace. I had [continue reading…]
Wolves were here when these woods crept to the precarious edge of town. How their tails would fly at each season’s count pinned on the walls of barns! So men cleared all their troubles out. Those dark dens are dooryards now; the foliage of the wilderness is trimmed; the last murky swamp, solid ground. New wolves wait, a more patient breed, at the other end of the well-trod stairs, behind the smiles for the cocktail hour, in proper rooms of barren mien, along the streets [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. On April 18, US president Donald Trump visited the Kenosha, Wisconsin headquarters of Snap-on to speak in front of an American flag made of the company’s tools and publicly sign an executive order titled “Hire American, Buy American.” The order itself is small beans — it just orders four federal agency heads (Homeland Security, Justice, Labor, and State) to “review” policies and recommend changes that tend toward hiring and spending domestically instead of abroad. But such changes would just increase Americans’ [continue reading…]
by Kim Pederson……. In his book Time Travel, author James Gleick provides, according to the jacket blurb, “a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself.” I’m only into the first chapter so far, but Gleick seems to be living up to the blurbomise [book jacket promise of stellar content]. It all began, in literature at least, with H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, as Gleick describes: Our hero fiddles with [continue reading…]
Editor: The School Board has voted unanimously to purchase a piece of land on Stock Island for $3.25 million to locate its new transportation center. There was no discussion as to why this piece of land as opposed to any other is so important as to pay above the appraised value. The land also contains a building about which there was no discussion as to its condition and usability. More importantly, the School District plans to do its due diligence regarding the property after the [continue reading…]
Two weeks ago we featured a story, Is Key West Military Housing Making People Sick? [March 31, 2017] This week we share information provided by Trice Denny, Public Affairs Officer, Naval Air Station Key West, in response to our questions about whether Sigsbee housing is causing health issues for local military families.
by Thomas L. Knapp……. At the beginning of their first terms in office, US presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama were invited (and accepted the invitation) to speak at the University of Notre Dame’s commencement ceremonies in South Bend, Indiana. This year, university president Father John Jenkins tried to avoid an obvious and seemingly inevitable controversy by snubbing new US president Donald Trump, going instead with a “safe” speaker: Vice president Mike Pence. Not safe enough, Father Jenkins. In fact, according to student protesters, [continue reading…]
by Rick Boettger……. The County will vote April 12th to give the SPCA an extra $150,000 a year “effective immediately” to operate the Marathon animal shelter. This further compounds, until the end of time, the already-$1,000,000 taxpayer loss I have described previously due to the County’s illegal demolition of Stand Up For Animals (SUFA) in 2010 and its replacement by a group of Commissioner George Neugent’s friends, SHARK, who ran it into the ground. Shortly after the County extended SHARK’s’ contract for the Middle Keys shelter [continue reading…]
by M.J. Taylor……. Did you know that Nelson Mandela was labeled a ‘terrorist by the US government as recently as 2008? The label was not removed until 18 years after his release from prison, 15 years after he was awarded the Nobel peace prize, and 14 years after his election as President of South Africa. An act of Congress in 2008 removed that label 5 years before his death. Nelson Mandela was not protected by our First Amendment, a Constitutional protection many US citizens take [continue reading…]
by John Donnelly……. If people recognize no force superior to their desires; then they must fight when their desires collide. Penetrating an eye socket with one’s fingers, so as to detach said eyeball and disable an opponent, might be the outcome from such collisions. Syrian atrocities and “child murder” have been established as the new normal. Acceptable levels of violence and killing have become “standard operating procedure”, as long as such destruction appears to be occurring at a safe distance. Indifferently disposed leaders and media [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. As I write this, two key questions remain unanswered, and a third mostly unasked, about a deadly daybreak attack on Khan Sheikhoun, a northwest Syrian city of (pre-war) 50,000. Hundreds were wounded and as many as 100 killed, apparently chemical weaponry (Turkey’s health ministry believes the agent in question was the nerve gas sarin), on the morning of April 4. The two most obvious questions are who did this, and why? The US government (and unfortunately most American media, acting as [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. On April 4, US president Donald Trump signed a bill repealing some of the previous administration’s rules on Internet Service Providers’ handling of user information. Privacy advocates raised Cain over the legislation, but let’s put it in perspective: The rules in question were only created last October and hadn’t even really been implemented. Internet privacy is going back in time a whopping six months, if that. The sky is not falling. That said, if you’re worried about Internet privacy, there are [continue reading…]
by Ray Jason……. I was awoken this morning by a tropical alarm clock – the joyous sound of wild parrots flying above my anchored boat. Their airborne chirping reminded me that the last thing that I heard as I dozed off the night before was also from the non-human world. It was the raucous barking of a troop of howler monkeys. Perhaps it was because my sleep had been book-ended by these emissaries from the realm of Nature – but I felt radiantly refreshed. Lying [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon……. With political matters becoming more urgent everywhere, this writer has found that one should avoid bringing these conflicts into the medium of poetry. Discussing them or otherwise reacting to them is better handled in an editorial way, as in public letter-writing forums. It is not that such matters are not worth our attention. They are, indeed, our concern. But a poem about a particular event soon becomes out of date and its sense of concern loses its strength as history reconciles a conflict [continue reading…]