Oct 212016
Why Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Should Read "The Great Gatsby"

by Kim Pederson……. More years ago than I like to admit, I was a graduate student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. I was also a teaching assistant and, since I was in the English Department, our assignments were to teach first-year English classes. At times in those courses, I would ask students to read aloud from whatever piece of fiction or nonfiction we were studying. At times, I was shocked to see some of them read very haltingly, even sounding out unfamiliar words [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #189, Kim Pederson 1 Response »
Oct 212016
Book Review: The Contemporary Art Gallery, Display, Power and Privilege

Book Review by Kirby Congdon……. An advance copy of Darren Jones’ compendium, The Contemporary Art Gallery, Display, Power and Privilege, arrived here at Baker’s Lane a few days ago. This is a reference book instigated about five years ago as a project by David Carrier, an authority in the art world. It will appear in publishing circles on November 1st, 2016. The information took several years to compile with verbal descriptions enhanced with 32 photographs. Cambridge Publishing Company specializes in art books and asked to [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #189, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 142016
Trauma Star vs. LifeNet Fees

by Larry Murray……. Editor: Recent reports suggest that the Sheriff’s Department Trauma Star medical evacuation program should break even this year and be in the black in 2017. That indeed is good news. Given those reports, I contacted the Sheriff’s Department regarding Trauma Star costs. Finance Director Mike Rice provided me with the following data. A medical evacuation from Lower Keys Medical Center to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami costs $24,471. Costs from Fishermen’s Hospital and Mariners Hospital to Ryder Trauma Center are $21,353 and [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #188, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Oct 142016
War Crimes: John Kerry's Really Got Some Kind of Nerve

by Thomas L. Knapp……. US Secretary of State John Kerry opined (in an October 7 appearance with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault) that Russian military actions in Syria “beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes.” French President Francois Hollande echoed the sentiment. Kerry might want to keep the fate of his German predecessor, Joachim von Ribbentrop, in mind when making such statements. Ribbentrop, Hitler’s Foreign Minister, was hanged after trial at Nuremberg. Kerry complains that Russian forces — in Syria helping that country’s government [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:43 am Issue #188, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Oct 142016
Surveillance State 2016: Orwell was an Optimist

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Reuters reports that troubled Internet giant Yahoo! “complied with a classified US government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI.” According to surveillance experts consulted by Reuters it’s probably “the first case to surface of a US Internet company agreeing to an intelligence agency’s request by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.” Disturbing? Yes. Surprising? [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #188, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Oct 142016
It Warn't So. I Tried It.

by Kim Pederson……. The September 2016 issue of Scientific American features an editorial titled “The Tweets We Hold to be Self-Evident.” The op-ed subtitle reads “The US presidential election shows how far the political conversation has degenerated from the nation’s founding principles of truth and evidence.” The editors go on to quote Huck Finn saying “It warn’t so. I tried it.” and call this “one of the most powerful lines in American literature because “a respect for evidence is not just part of the national [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #188, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Oct 142016
The Huxlandia Trap

by Ray Jason……. In my previous essay I tried to convince you that two of the great masterpieces of 20th Century literature have been disturbingly accurate in predicting the Human Trajectory. In George Orwell’s iconic 1984, he argued that humankind faces a totalitarian future where every individual is controlled and monitored by the State. “Submit or die” might be the most accurate way to describe his dark vision. Aldous Huxley, in his prophetic BRAVE NEW WORLD, suggested that the State would dominate the masses not [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Island Voices, Issue #188 2 Responses »
Oct 142016
Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste death but once. - - - - William Shakespeare "Julius Caesar" (2.2)

by John Donnelly……. The 200,000 + children and civilians murdered in Syria, have not fared very well under the Obama and Clinton Regime. Of note, 25% of those killed by explosive weapons in this hell hole have been women and children. Since Obama publicly threatened the Syrian leader, while Clinton was Secretary of State, with his “Red Line” strategy; the slaughter of “Innocence” has exponentially increased. Obama’s targeted drone strikes and bombings of at least 2 “Doctors Without Borders Hospitals”, along with assorted civilian deaths [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am Issue #188, John Donnelly No Responses »
Oct 142016

Perspectives We know the room where we live and the window’s familiar view. Here is where a space, confirmed, is the place a mind can feel at home as its body speeds with each day’s turn on the very edge of this earth’s rim. A spider also spins and, suspended, hangs its weight before my face. With studied care it takes me in as some distant kin that floats like him as we stare immersed at our busy worlds of boundless air where even silence [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Artists ~, Issue #188, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 142016
Local Mission to the Bahamas

by Rick Boettger……. Pulling into a checkout lane in Publix last Friday after Matthew, I saw dirt on the floor. The checkout lady was wiping up dirt from all along the counter. The cause? A dozen potted plants in one of four grocery carts stuffed with goods. The buyer had walked away to get his credit card approved, because, I saw on the screen, his bill was $2,760 dollars. When he got back to swipe his card, I said, “That’s the biggest grocery bill I’ve [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #188, Rick Boettger No Responses »
Oct 082016
Part II: Shady Management; Shady Dealings:  Who Runs the Lower Keys Hospital System --  Unpacking the Nesting Dolls

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. Like a set of increasingly small wooden Russian nesting dolls placed one inside the other, Key West’s hospital cannot be understood by unpacking it.  Reputed as community and tourist-unfriendly, our hospital system consists[i] of two for-profit hospitals—dePoo Hospital on Kennedy Drive [ii] — and Stock Island’s, Lower Keys Medical Center. These two privately nested hospitals are part of a corporate superstructure dubbed, ‘Key West HMA LLC.’ But the Alpha corporation within our hospital system’s nesting set is the Delaware/Tennessee for-profit corporation, [continue reading…]

 October 8, 2016  Posted by at 4:23 am * Featured Story *, Martha Huggins 11 Responses »
Oct 082016
Neugent Punished by Ethics Commission ... but Not Enough

by Rick Boettger……. George Neugent avoided going before a state Administrative Law Judge by stipulating that he committed three violations of the Florida Constitution and Ethics Statutes. As reported here in August, he did not declare his free golf club membership for many years, and made numerous material false reports on his financial disclosure forms.

 October 8, 2016  Posted by at 2:00 am * Featured Story *, Rick Boettger 4 Responses »
Oct 072016
School District Declares "Gorilla" War on Employee Speech

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Teachers’ aide Jane Wood Allen “has been relieved from duty and is no longer an employee of Forsyth County Schools,” the Georgia district announced on October 3. “Racism and discrimination are not tolerated in our school district.” The district’s announcement omits specifics (“[a]s this is a personnel matter, the district will provide not further comment”), leaving the casual observer to assume that she must have tried to force a Muslim or Jewish student to eat pork, or perhaps to segregate student [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #187, Thomas L. Knapp 2 Responses »
Oct 072016
Papers, Please: Polling Place Edition

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On September 30, a federal judge threw a new wrench into Wisconsin’s voter ID law, ordering an investigation into whether the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles employees properly implemented measures to ensure availability of identity documents to prospective voters. Those employees seem to caught in the middle, torn between assisting the disproportionately African-American poor in getting “documented” on one hand, and fulfilling Republican politicians’ aims of suppressing black voter turnout on the other. Cue world’s smallest violin. At one time — [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #187, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
Oct 072016
Getting Plotto

by Kim Pederson……. Everyone looks for guidance. Some things, many things, in fact an innumerable number of things are too hard for us to figure out on our own. We are all “dummies” in one way or another and, given how much there is to know, that’s not a surprise nor a slur. We can’t know it all, even though some people like to give that impression (no names will or need be mentioned here). Fortunately, there always seems to be someone willing to help [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:51 am Issue #187, Kim Pederson 1 Response »
Oct 072016

Each leaf that falls is its own monument for the life it had leaving a shadow’s shape, each edge enterred in the depths of air providing our summer with a season’s name and my own body with a time inside the brain defining those eternities a man would claim with every sense of his being as always or forever in the present tense, like an elegant fence standing alone surrouning a memorial’s weather-proof stone. Kirby Congon

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #187, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 072016
Orwellia and Huxlandia

by Ray Jason……. Two of the most enduring novels of the 20th Century are Aldous Huxley’s BRAVE NEW WORLD and George Orwell’s 1984. Unfortunately, these dark masterpieces have proven to be stunningly prophetic. Much of the grim, totalitarian future that they predicted has already materialized. And we are steadily careening towards a nightmarish Tommorowland even more diabolical than they predicted. Each author foresaw a bleak future where the Individual was completely subordinate to the State. Fortunately, we have not yet fully descended into a serf-like, [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Island Voices, Issue #187 1 Response »
Oct 072016
Methodically Extinguishing--The Last Full Measure Of Devotion...

by John Donnelly……. Such confusion and self-righteous indignation coming from the crusaders sitting comfortably behind their computer screens in the safety of their air-conditioned abodes, condemning the conduct of those facing a committed, effective and credible enemy; whose murderous pursuits have grown exponentially, while morphing into an epidemic of genocidal proportions. With meager and scant interest, lacking any real skin in the game; how quaint and sanctimonious of the media and journalistic elites to critique and judge the conduct of those fighting against an enraged [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #187, John Donnelly No Responses »
Sep 302016
Part I: Shady Management; Shady Dealings—For-Profit Health Care in Key West

Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D……. The Physicians’ Hippocratic Oath includes the sacred pledge to serve “according to my ability and judgment, prescribe a regimen for the health of the sick; …[and] utterly reject harm and mischief.”  Just in case such a pledge becomes unimportant with health care’s profitability,  “hospital districts” and their boards of directors sometimes become a community’s watch dog over healthcare operations.  For its part, the Board of the ‘Lower Keys Hospital District’ oversees “hospitals, medical facilities, and other health care related facilities and [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:10 am * Featured Story *, Issue #186, Martha Huggins 7 Responses »
Sep 302016
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Amnesty International’s mission is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.” Unsurprisingly, the organization’s latest report collects “first-hand testimony of survivors, court documents, medical records and various other forms of evidence relating to 74 cases of torture” in Thailand and urges that country’s legislature and military government to follow through on their claimed commitments to bring an end to the practice. After [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #186, Thomas L. Knapp 5 Responses »
Sep 302016
One Millionth of One Percent

by Kim Pederson……. “We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.” This quote from Thomas Edison appears in the lead paragraph of The Book of General Ignorance. In that same paragraph, authors John Mitchinson and John Lloyd make this observation: “There’s an idea going about that the human race basically understands how the universe works…. Regrettably, that’s not the case.” They then go on to ask and answer 230 trivia-jewel questions like “What’s the name of the tallest mountain in the world?” and [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #186, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Sep 302016

With the stillness in the morning, can this silence predate the begining of time? Or do those colors in the farthest depths of the sky howl and rage like a brain gone dry? Dawn comes like a whisper. A solitary bird flies by. Mute witness, ignorant of how or why or what survives there and then, I can still identify with here and now and for the moment assert I am, once more, alive.              Kirby Congdon

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #186, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 232016
“In other words, this was all a setup to give the contract to somebody else.”

by Rick Boettger……. County Attorney Bob Shillinger on Destroying SUFA: “In other words, this was all a setup to give the contract to somebody else.” That was his response in an attorney-client closed session to Commissioner George Neugent’s question, “Where do we stand right now?” This was in April of 2012. The County had destroyed Stand Up For Animals, which had an outstanding record of animal control in the Middle Keys for 7 years, by freezing their funds. The Third District Court of Appeals had ruled [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am * Featured Story *, Issue #185, Rick Boettger 11 Responses »
Sep 232016
@Snowden: Give That Man a Medal, Not a "Pardon"

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In the days leading up to the official premiere of Snowden, Oliver Stone’s eponymous biopic of America’s exiled whistleblower, an international movement came together to pressure US president Barack Obama for a pardon. Executive absolution would make it possible for Edward Snowden to return from Russia without facing a show trial and a life (or even death) sentence for his heroism. It’s a fine idea. I support it. But I think it does get things backward and sends the wrong message [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #185, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Sep 232016
Lies, Damned Lies, and Hewlett-Packard Printers

by Thomas L. Knapp……. September 13 was an unlucky day for an unknown number of Hewlett-Packard printer owners. Instead of going dutifully to work, their printers displayed the error message “One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace them with new cartridges.” The cartridges weren’t damaged, though. The printers had been sabotaged with, for all intents and purposes, malware. And the saboteur was Hewlett-Packard itself. The company built a digital time bomb into its firmware to stop owners of HP printers [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #185, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 232016
Beware the Croc in Beach Clothing

by Kim Pederson……. There are times when I don’t believe the old saying “there’s a word for everything.” That’s usually when I make up a word to fill the gap, a process I call “partermition.” There are other times when I’m not so sure there’s not a word for everything. I had this thought the other day when Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day popped up as “eclogue.” An eclogue is a poem in which shepherds converse. That’s right. There’s a word made up just to [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #185, Kim Pederson No Responses »
Sep 232016
Simple Consolations

by Ray Jason……. It was the silhouette hour. A cayuco came paddling towards me in the deep dusk as I sat with my back against AVENTURA’s mast. The oarsman’s stroke was smooth and strong. There was a child in the back tending the fishing line as her dad rowed. When they were 20 yards away I realized that it was not a father – it was a grandmother. Even though she was as ancient and weathered as her hand-carved cayuco, she propelled it like a [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Island Voices, Issue #185 No Responses »
Sep 232016
Dancing Through The Betrayal...

by John Donnelly……. Some journalists and authors from established media outlets, to include “The New York Times”, have devolved into proliferating merchants of misery for anyone thinking differently than they. If a real or imagined challenge threatens the sanctity of their beliefs, a reflexive conditioned response will provoke them to unleash an iron-fisted attack upon the perceived menace; collateral damage be dammed. Although such conduct has become all too familiar and accepted, it’s not the mark of an accomplished publication that has boasted of only [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #185, John Donnelly 6 Responses »
Sep 162016
Saying No to Amendment 1 Says Yes to Solar

by Michael Welber……. “Masquerading as a pro-solar energy initiative, this proposed constitutional amendment, supported by some of Florida’s major investor-owned electric utility companies, actually seeks to constitutionalize the status quo.” Those are the words of Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente who wrote a strongly worded dissent back in March when Amendment 1 came up for approval by the court. She went on to call the proposal “a masquerade and a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am * Featured Story *, ~ Column ~, Issue #184, Michael Welber 4 Responses »
Sep 162016
Mayday!! Fishing Boat Lands on Top of Rock Jetty [video]

The U.S. Coast Guard responded early Tuesday morning to a Mayday call on vhf radio sent by fishing vessel “Little Angenette.” About an hour before sunrise the “Little Angenette” missed the entrance to Key West harbor. The captain initially reported that he’d hit a channel marker and was sinking fast.