Aug 212015
 
The Illusion of Nation

by Alex Symington……. As the sit-com distraction of presidential candidates and their campaigns heat up absurdly early (stumping now for primaries starting January 2016 and torturing us through June 2016 and the general election still fifteen months away!) I thought it might be a good time to look and see what we are being distracted from. In my search I came across a short Forbes Magazine article titled “Super Rich Hide $21 Trillion Offshore”. Staff writer, Frederick E. Allen informs us (while we have been focusing [continue reading…]

 August 21, 2015  Posted by at 12:28 am Alex Symington, Issue #128 3 Responses »
Aug 142015
 
Random Thoughts and Questions

by Alex Symington……. If the American Civil War hadn’t happened back in 1860 does anyone out there believe it never would have happened and enslavement of Africans and their descendants would be ongoing to this day? If you answered, “yes” you may stop reading now and go back to your bunker with your guns and canned goods. The answer is, of course, it was inevitable. The economic engine of the southern “one percent” antebellum days of African slave labor was unsustainable and doomed by the [continue reading…]

 August 14, 2015  Posted by at 12:36 am Alex Symington, Issue #127 32 Responses »
Jul 172015
 
The Onion?

by Alex Symington……. What a fascinating country we live in! A country where, not only, can a billionaire gas bag with a dead cat on his head be a legitimate presidential contender, but also find people out there that support him! In these early days The Donald is actually out in front of the perennial pack of right wing republican radicals. As I said, fascinating. Trump’s gloves-off openly xenophobic and racist remarks have struck a chord with a demographic we have become all too familiar [continue reading…]

 July 17, 2015  Posted by at 12:46 am Alex Symington, Issue #123 7 Responses »
Jul 032015
 
American Exceptionalism

by Alex Symington……. I would have thought by now nothing would surprise me, but the reaction to my essay last week on guns and racism was an eye-opener for a couple of reasons. Last week I committed the journalistic cardinal sin of writing about TWO subjects at the same time and inadvertently discovered which is more important to the readers. Yes, it is anecdotal, but still troubling. The less disturbed casual reader does not feel compelled to respond to someone like me and goes about their [continue reading…]

 July 3, 2015  Posted by at 12:36 am Alex Symington, Issue #121 8 Responses »
Jun 262015
 
Collective Insanity

by Alex Symington……. Looking back three and a half years ago I finally had to admit we have gone collectively insane as a country with the passive acceptance of the Newtown, CT massacre of twenty toddlers and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. With that nightmare I had thought, well, finally the nation will come to its senses and at least make it harder for crazy people to get a hold of weapons of mass murder. Nope. Other crazy people we elected to [continue reading…]

 June 26, 2015  Posted by at 12:42 am Alex Symington, Issue #120 12 Responses »
Jun 192015
 
Why the Silence on Sanders?

Dear Editor: I find it very telling that the mainstream media is diving into the 2016 presidential coverage sixteen months in advance of the actual event and is blithering on about such republican long shots as Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina and on the “left” it’s Hilary, Hilary, Hilary 24/7, as if divinely chosen, but is silent as a tomb on Senator Bernie Sanders. The Ministry of Propaganda is concentrating on the perennial shopworn issues of is this or that candidate too young, too old, [continue reading…]

 June 19, 2015  Posted by at 12:22 am Alex Symington, Issue #119, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Jun 122015
 
Goal Posts

by Alex Symington……. An informal tally of pro and con responses to my essay in last weeks Blue Paper on Bernie Sanders was about 50/50, but the content of the pro and con responses was telling in and of itself. The pro Bernie responses were well written expressions of varying concurrences with the essay and had their own nuanced thoughtful contributions to add. Not so much the cons. I liked the Koch’s Libertarian Party anti-government paste-and-copy from the head office. I would suggest replacing the [continue reading…]

 June 12, 2015  Posted by at 12:41 am Alex Symington, Issue #118 3 Responses »
Jun 052015
 
Bernie?

by Alex Symington……. These last few days I’ve been thinking how am I going to resolve my internal conflict with my total loss of faith in our ersatz “two party” system, but still be some kind of participant? Just when I was going to resign myself to the grim idea of the “choice” between Hilary and “Jeb” (whoever), along comes this disheveled rumpled suited Vermonter-via-Brooklyn guy named Bernie Sanders. Here is someone who is unafraid to speak the truth and just when I was at [continue reading…]

 June 5, 2015  Posted by at 12:32 am Alex Symington, Issue #117 8 Responses »
May 292015
 
Fear and Loathing

by Alex Symington…………… Last week in Key West the Newspaper [The Blue Paper], I wrote about the quiet coup of corporate co-option of our government and listed the glaring evidence to that truth. Towards the conclusion of the essay I had used the word “revolt” in, what I thought, was contextually appropriate. I submitted the piece and after the editors read it they cautioned me on the word “revolt” and sent me a link to The Cornell University Law School web site “Legal Information Institute” [continue reading…]

 May 29, 2015  Posted by at 3:02 am Alex Symington, Issue #116 11 Responses »
May 222015
 
Dinner Party

By Alex Symington…. I went to a dinner party at an old friend’s house this week held in honor of some other old friends that had left Key West ten years ago and returned for a visit. I would describe those in attendance as a lively liberal minded, educated people from different countries, backgrounds, sexual orientation and racial make up… in other words a Central Casting conservative’s worst nightmare. The food was spectacular and the verbal intercourse stimulating. Naturally, talk of politics, political wishes and [continue reading…]

 May 22, 2015  Posted by at 12:33 am Alex Symington, Issue #115 3 Responses »
May 152015
 
Frankenfood Revisted - Anti-GMO March this Saturday

By Alex Symington… On Saturday, May 23, 2015 people in Key West and cities and towns all across the US and many other countries are marching against Monsanto, the maker of such lovely concoctions as DDT, Agent Orange, Round-up and genetically engineered “Frankenfood”. The Key West march will start at Mallory Square at 4:00 PM. [FACEBOOK event] The following essay was originally published in The Blue Paper November 1, 2013. Absolutely NOTHING has changed. Scratch that. It has gotten worse. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I was talking with [continue reading…]

 May 15, 2015  Posted by at 1:02 am Alex Symington, Issue #114, Special Event 7 Responses »
May 082015
 
Baltimore

by Alex Symington… Will Baltimore be the spark that finally ignites compassion and understanding of what black Americans have to contend with every single day of their lives? Will their story of daily fear for their safety and the safety of their loved ones finally be heard? Listening to activists like Deray McKesson eloquently explain to Wolf Blitzer of CNN the realities of black American life is a breath of fresh air. The automatic knee-jerk response of many white Americans to any black anger and [continue reading…]

 May 8, 2015  Posted by at 12:55 am Alex Symington, Issue #113 15 Responses »
May 012015
 
The Mythology of Ideology

Following up on last week’s contribution to the Blue Paper I wanted to elaborate on and counter the notion that privatizing publicly funded entities is the panacea for all things governmental. It is not. As I pointed out there is an on-going relentless effort by private/corporate business to sell the idea to the American public that no matter what the pursuit, the free market will always work more efficiently and be more cost effective than any government run enterprise. Again, not true. History and personal [continue reading…]

 May 1, 2015  Posted by at 1:00 am Alex Symington, Issue #112 2 Responses »
Apr 242015
 
Here We Are

by Alex Symington…. After attending the annual ACLU meeting, Policing In Paradise, last week at the Harvey Government Center, Key West, I came away with a realization that today’s police misdeeds and brutality are part and parcel to and a direct bi-product of a much greater challenge that America faces; the intentional destruction of civil liberties and social contracts, the corporate co-option of our government and the privatization of nearly everything formerly in the public domain. This phenomenon has not been an organic or random [continue reading…]

 April 24, 2015  Posted by at 12:55 am Alex Symington, Issue #111 13 Responses »
Apr 172015
 
Letter to the Editor: Dick

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the computer, there he is, Dick Cheney, blithering on about Obama being “the worst president the country has ever had!” I think it’s safe to say history will prove that statement false. Once again, Dick entertains us with his stunning projection and denial that is a medical textbook case study in projection and denial. The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud first coined the word “projection” to identify the mental aberration “that thoughts, motivations, desires, [continue reading…]

 April 17, 2015  Posted by at 2:05 am Alex Symington, Issue #110, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Apr 102015
 
Good News

It certainly is refreshing to hear some good news from the world stage for a change. That good news being the promising preliminary agreement between the nations of Iran, the US and the European Union that would “end” Iran’s nuclear weapons manufacturing process. Of course the devil is in the details, but it certainly is looking good on paper and all the players are pleased with the agreement thus far. This complex and vexing issue of the balancing of a sovereign nation’s autonomy and its [continue reading…]

 April 10, 2015  Posted by at 1:35 am Alex Symington, Issue #109 14 Responses »
Apr 032015
 
Letter To the Editor: Bad Manners

If the subject of global warming/climate change and the reactions it elicits are any indication of the subject’s incendiary nature, I guess we can add that to the things to never discuss at a dinner party; Politics, Religion and Climate Change. Actually there is very little that remains to discuss that hasn’t been painted with the left/right political brush now that weather has been politicized to the point of paralysis. What used to be considered harmless conversation is now a minefield of highly charged emotional [continue reading…]

Mar 272015
 
Ground Zero

by Alexander Symington… I went to the movies the other night and saw a preview for a documentary called, “Merchants of Doubt”. I was curious about it, so I did a little interweb sleuthing and discovered that the documentary exposes professional science deniers as a group; well funded by special interests that have found a niche career casting doubt on overwhelming scientific evidence that is deemed a threat to the corporate status quo. This particular hatchet job is currently being focused on climate change science, [continue reading…]

 March 27, 2015  Posted by at 3:55 am Alex Symington, Issue #107 18 Responses »
Mar 202015
 
Barbarism Du Jour

by Alex Symington… As Louis Petrone’s article, “Mass Killings Common” in KonkLIFE (link below) pointed out there is nothing new to the horrors of man’s inhumanity to man, referring to the latest incarnation that is ISIS. I could not agree more. Mr. Petrone recalled several examples of atrocities, starting with “our own backyard”, of mass killings and beheadings of Native Americans upon the arrival of the English to their shores and murders and beheadings of African salves that had the audacity to rebel against their [continue reading…]

 March 20, 2015  Posted by at 3:40 am Alex Symington, Issue #106 10 Responses »
Mar 132015
 
Letter to the Editor

It used to be you could expect some fairly unsophisticated and unprofessional behavior from the 435 odd members of the house, but one could always rely on cooler more restrained heads in the senate. We found out this week that is no longer the case. We saw forty seven Republican Senators shoot off a letter to Tehran to explain how they feel the president is over stepping his authority (he isn’t) when it comes to negotiating with Iran on nuclear arms. This following on the [continue reading…]

 March 13, 2015  Posted by at 2:40 am Alex Symington, Issue #105, Letter to the Editor 16 Responses »
Mar 062015
 
Infantile Narcissism

by Alex Symington…. Don’t we each, individually, consider ourselves to be our own person, free in mind and body; autonomous, sentient beings possessing free will and masters of our own destiny? Sure we do and it is mostly the case, but not entirely. In reality we are what Leon Russell dubbed, “a hippie commune bona fide” in the sense we are social animals and our great successes as a species have come about by communal cooperation. Early hunter/gatherer families did ok as far as it [continue reading…]

 March 6, 2015  Posted by at 1:50 am Alex Symington, Issue #104 25 Responses »
Feb 192015
 
FOX Skews

by Alex Symington… Now wait just a minute! Let me get this straight… Brian Williams gets suspended from NBC for six months, without pay for telling tall tales about his exploits of daring while covering military actions that he never actually took part in? Really?! Why is Brian Williams being targeted? A little ego inflating canard and he is the devil incarnate, yet our friends at FOX lie on an hourly basis and have the audacity to call themselves “fair and balanced”! Why no hue [continue reading…]

 February 19, 2015  Posted by at 11:25 pm Alex Symington, Issue #102 31 Responses »