by Thomas L. Knapp……. The New York Times reports that US and/or US-allied forces in Syria may be using white phosphorous munitions in the assault on Raqqa, capital city of the Islamic State in Syria. The use of white phosphorous in war is a perennial complaint among human rights activists. And while it’s valid as far as it goes, it misses a larger and more important point. White phosphorous — nicknamed “Willie Pete” by the US mortar, artillery and air forces who use it — [continue reading…]
by John Donnelly……. Toxic barbs by design are authored with the intent to weaken and disable their target. Enlightening and illuminating discourse are not sought nor desired by such poltroons. Absent the wisdom and creative genius accrued by Self-Realized and Self-Actualized individuals, these bottom feeders haven’t anything of authenticity to write about. Not dazzling you with brilliance, they shall baffle you with their bullshit. For generations these types of ideologues have given rise to the bureaucracies and ineffective policies proffered to remedy our defective educational [continue reading…]
Review If you forget me do I die? Does memory last for man or his name? Was it your love or mine that kept us alive? Whatever we do is lost in time but the flesh is defined as partly divine. Does a universe survive within the measuring mind when the depth that we share is as deep as it is wide? Kirby Congdon
Rejection Slip Is there any tension that one can mention deeper than the apprehension of condescension in the printed invention that says “your ability to write with facility has held our attention. Good luck elsewhere.” In practising hypocrisy it takes agility to convey civility with such serene duplicity. Kirby Congdon
by Kim Pederson……. “Surely we’re all mad people, and they whom we think are, are not.” This line from Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy (TRT) appears on the title page of Joe Orton’s play What the Butler Saw. TRT was first performed in 1606 and then published in 1607. It has been described as a subversive black comedy. Orton’s play is one also, as are his other works Loot and Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Some examples of SBCs in film are Nurse Betty, Pink Flamingos, They [continue reading…]
Of interest from other sources: Below are some FAQ’s from the Immigration Resource Center on the legality of local law enforcement involvement in enforcement of immigration laws. [Slightly outdated in terms of the detainer holds – guidance and form was recently updated – however, there is no substantial material change to the analysis as a result of the new detainer hold policy guidelines.
by Rick Boettger……. This is the last straw. I’m fed up with the low level of journalistic integrity displayed by all of the media in the Keys except us, KWTN. As reported here last week, a Honduran immigrant was hit by a woman in a large SUV on his bicycle in a crosswalk on Stock Island. A Sheriff’s Deputy asked him his immigration status as he lay injured in the street. Then the Florida Highway Patrol gave HIM a ticket for “obstructing traffic,” And, finally, the [continue reading…]
by Larry Murray……. For those of you who have been wondering what was to become of the Marathon Manor property, wonder no more. For those of you who have been worried about how the School District would recoup its $7.4 million plus investment of 12 years ago, worry no more. All will be revealed at the School Board meeting on June 13. A School Board member has repeatedly assured me that all would be fine with the Marathon Manor property despite the passage of time. [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, Oregon, wants to control who can say — and hear — what. He’s asked the federal government to cancel one permit and deny another, both for “alt-right” demonstrations at Portland’s Shrunk Plaza. His excuse: Portland is “in mourning” and its “anger is real” over an incident in which an anti-Muslim bigot, Jeremy Joseph Christian, allegedly harassed two women on a commuter train and then stabbed three men who came to their defense, two of them [continue reading…]
by Thomas L. Knapp……. On May 31, a panel of three judges on the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld the conviction and sentence of American political prisoner Ross Ulbricht. It’s been two years since I last devoted a column to Ulbricht’s plight, so a refresher seems in order: After a show trial so obviously fixed in advance that Stalin’s pet prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky would have blushed with embarrassment to participate in it, judge Katherine Forrest sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison [continue reading…]
by Ray Jason……. Today is the fourth anniversary of my little blog. It has been a delight sharing my unusual perspective on the world with you, and I greatly appreciate your support and encouragement. Thank you so very much. Highlights from these last 12 months include the publication of my 100th essay and clicking over a quarter of a million visits to my site. Most amazing and pleasing. Special thanks to Naja who edits The Blue Paper in Key West. They have re-posted almost all [continue reading…]
by John Donnelly……. The youngest United States Marine killed in action while serving in Vietnam was 15 years old. This teenager doctored his birth certificate at age 14 in order to join the Marines. This courageous African-American Marine from New York City was killed a month after I was wounded, while running to the aid of his heavily outnumbered colleagues with ammunition, so they might prevail in battle and not be killed.
by Ray Jason……. Years ago, I nick-named this modest little spot The Domino Triangle. It was too tiny for an actual building, so a tarp had been slung to provide shelter from the sun and the rain. Beneath it was a folding card table and some battered chairs, where the locals would play dominoes. When the tropical heat would begin to lessen in the late afternoon, the men would start gathering. They arrived with beer and a little pocket money. They also brought something that [continue reading…]
by Kim Pederson……. If you’re lacking scary things to ponder these days, here’s something that might fill the gap: “If every infinite outcome were equally likely, we’d never come to be.” This obtuse statement sounds ominous, perhaps more so because I don’t have a clue as to what it means. It serves as the subtitle for Ethan Siegel’s article “The odds of your unlikely existence were not infinitely small.” My first reaction to this seemingly more optimistic pronouncement was “Oh! Good!” and then a moment [continue reading…]
by Kirby Congdon……. Donald Trump’s reference to the age of the dictator of North Korea, Kim Yong Un, came as a surprise. To be 27 with all that power is revealing for both of them. Love and affection seem to have been denied them in their early development as human beings. The thrill of saying, “You’re fired!” or in executing an annoying uncle replaces the attention and independence they feel they have missed out on. Other more rational ways to be recognized and appreciated is [continue reading…]
First published on May 19, 2017 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 Protection. Of interest from other sources: 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…]