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 »
Sep 302016
 
Guest Commentary Regarding the Key West Mosquito Operations Center

Smoke, Mirrors, and Kick the Can … by Steve K. Smith……. ‘We saved the taxpayers $2 Million!’ said the FKMCD chair recently on US1 radio. Chairman Goodman, the majority did NOT save the taxpayers any money. Our taxes will go up this year and for the next two years. What the majority did was delay the inevitable and wasted an additional million or so of our taxpayer dollars. I do not support their decision. The City of Key West decided we had to move, we [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #186 13 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 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 162016
 
9/12: The Appeal to National Narcissism is Alive and Well

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “The narcissist,” someone once wrote on an Internet discussion forum devoted to the topic, “learns nothing, forgets nothing, and forgives nothing.” In conscious appeal to this tendency, the American political class flocks to shrines in New York, DC and Pennsylvania each year to once again cynically wring as much narcissistic flag-waving hoopla as possible from the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I generally avoid watching these observances. This year my sole exposure to them was video of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #184, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Sep 092016
 
DEA Declares (Kr)atomic War on Americans

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In early August, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced that, contrary to expectations, it wouldn’t remove marijuana from “Schedule 1” (“no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”). At the end of the month, DEA made another announcement: It intends to add another herbal substance, kratom, to Schedule 1. Why is the DEA picking on kratom? The agency offers numerous excuses — insufficient testing for the plant to have an approved medical use, its historical use as an [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #183, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »
Sep 022016
 
Farm Follies: The Cheese Stands Alone (With Its Hand Out)

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On August 23, the US Department of Agriculture announced its plan to purchase 11 million pounds of cheese, at a cost of $20 million. The cheese will be “provided to families in need through USDA nutrition assistance programs,” but the real purpose of the purchase is to reduce excess cheese inventories, “assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.” Economics 101: When so many people produce so much of the same [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 022016
 
Marijuana Legalization: Give Peace a Chance

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On November 8, voters in eight states will decide whether or not to legalize, to one degree or another, the possession, use and sale of marijuana. If all of the measures pass, more than 86 million Americans will enjoy increased legal access to the plant: For medical use in Arkansas, Florida and Missouri, for recreational use in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada. Earlier this month, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced it wouldn’t reconsider marijuana’s ridiculous Schedule 1 status (“no [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 022016
 
Building 103

by Ben Volpian……. Why is Building 103 on the Truman Waterfront Park Quay important? Well, 2 major reasons: 1) The city, hopefully with help from the Tourist Development Council, is prepared to spend $5 million on the design and renovation project with preparations to begin in October. 2) If designed and renovated correctly, this building can be a great addition to not only the park, but also for the entire city. Why do I say designed and renovated correctly? The way I see it, the [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182 4 Responses »
Aug 262016
 
Travel Advice for the Islamo-FraidyCat Set

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On August 18, three siblings boarded an EasyJet flight at London’s Stansted airport. Maryam, Sakina and Ali Dharas were en route to Italy for a holiday. But before the flight could take off, they were asked to debark for questioning by police. Another passenger, apparently an amateur detective, deduced that because they are brown people and the two sisters wear hijabs — Muslim head scarves — they must be Islamic State terrorists. Which, of course, they weren’t. The plane eventually took [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Aug 262016
 
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On July 28, London’s Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, aka “the Old Bailey,” announced the conviction of Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary on charges of “inviting support for a proscribed organization” (the Islamic State). He’ll be sentenced, likely to a long stint in prison, in September. On August 18, social networking service Twitter announced that it has suspended 360,000 user accounts since mid-2015 — 235,000 of them just since February — for “promoting extremism.” While Twitter is theoretically a private [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:26 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Write-in Mayoral Candidate Sloan Bashinsky's Hilarious Responses to PBA Candidate Questionaire

DADE COUNTY POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION KEY WEST POLITICAL SCREENING Candidate Questionnaire August 12, 2016 Candidate: Sloan Bashinsky Position: Mayor Address: Contact Number (s): __________________ Date of Birth: 10/7/42 E-mail Address: sloanbashinsky@outlook.com Signature: _________________________ Background: The PBA places great value in the relationships it builds with elected officials. Therefore maintaining open lines of communication is of the utmost importance. Question (s): (a) Would you contact the PBA before speaking publicly for or against any issue of importance to the Association and/or law enforcement? Please explain your [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180 4 Responses »
Aug 192016
 
Guest Column: FKMCD Board Meeting - November Can't Get Here Too Soon

by Ralph De Palma……. At the recent Florida Keys Mosquito Control District meeting (FKMCD), Commissioner up for re-election, Jill Cranney-Gage, flip flopped and changed her vote on the construction project that has been planned for the past two years, to be more in line with her mentor the Chairman and “Chief Budget Cutter” on the Board, Phil Goodman. The timing of this change appears to coincide with the pending potential 45% millage increase and the effect on her re-election campaign. That was bluntly pointed out by [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180 1 Response »
Aug 192016
 
Clinton: Unhinged?

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Following multiple damning email leaks and disclosures, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign decided, in the weirdest attempt at damage control I’ve ever seen, to invoke the late Allen Ginsberg’s “America”: “America it’s them bad Russians. Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.” Forget the content of the leaks. Just focus on their alleged (not proven, alleged) source. IT’S THEM RUSSIANS! Never mind that one of the leaks uncovered the Democratic National Committee’s secret program to deliver its party’s presidential [continue reading…]

 August 19, 2016  Posted by at 12:41 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #180, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »
Aug 122016
 
Part Two of an Evaluation of the Risks vs. Benefits of the Proposed Release of GMO Mosquitoes in Florida

by By David McKalip, M.D…… Risk: The OX513A bugs could establish a new subspecies and actually survive in nature. Implications: The FDA thinks the risk of this is low, but bases their conclusions on some assumptions that are not entirely accurate. However if the survival rate, percentage of females released or genetic assumptions are wrong, then the GMO mosquito could establish itself permanently. Introduction to Part II. The FDA has approved a genetic experiment on humanity and the ecosystem in Key West Florida. They propose to [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #179 3 Responses »
Aug 122016
 
Florida’s State Teachers Union Pays 43 Employees at Least $100K

By William Patrick – From Watchdog.org……. Next week, students and teachers will meet in classrooms across the state to begin a new public school year. A new year also means another round of dues for the state teachers union. The Florida Education Association is the largest labor union in Florida. It’s an affiliate of national powerhouses American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association, and it has dozens of local affiliates under its statewide banner. The FEA promises to provide its 128,264 members “a voice on [continue reading…]

 August 12, 2016  Posted by at 12:18 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #179 No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
$400 Million: The Partial Price of Peace?

by Thomas L. Knapp……. When the US government sends $400 million in cash, stacked on pallets, to Iran on the same day the Iranian government releases four imprisoned Americans, it looks an awful lot like ransom. On the other hand, when the US government decides to keep $400 million sent to it by the Iranian government pursuant to an arms deal for 35 years without ever shipping the arms, it looks an awful lot like stealing. And when the US government reaches a settlement to [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #178, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
Snowden and Media Friends: L'etat, C'est Nous

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “[T]he return of this information to the public marks my end,” Edward Snowden told the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman prior to telling that public — under the auspices of several journalists and publications — about the NSA’s PRISM program and other horrors of the modern American surveillance state. Snowden did indeed suffer for his good deeds: These days he lives in exile in Russia, awaiting a day when he might return home to some fate other than life in a prison [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:45 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #178, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Aug 052016
 
FKMCD Director Doyle's Resignation - Set the Record Straight

by Ralph De Palma……. Michael Doyle’s resignation is not very surprising. The proverbial handwriting has been on the wall since the Board of Commissioners rescinded his raise last year. He’s going back to the lab. It’s where he’s most comfortable. Managing a sophisticated operation like FKMCD was overwhelming and he performed mediocre at best. Managing people and processes can be tedious and boring at times not sexy like releasing GMOs. He’d never managed any organization of this size and was immediately in trouble at FKMCD. He never [continue reading…]

 August 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:39 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #178 No Responses »
Jul 292016
 
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: FKAA $3 Million Contract for Toppino

by Margaret Blank……. Posted this week on www.bigpinekey.com: The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) board is getting ready to award a $3 million contract to one of their own, Richard Toppino. Toppino is a FKAA board member with a high potential for conflicts of interest. His family business, Charley Toppino & Sons, has done millions of dollars worth of business with the FKAA over the years – a fact that the FKAA has repeatedly tried to hide. Toppino was appointed to the FKAA board in December 2015. [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #177 7 Responses »
Jul 292016
 
Watercraft, Algae are Double Whammy for Manatees in 2016

Op Ed by Katie Tripp, Ph.D. Director of Science & Conservation Save the Manatee Club The number of watercraft-related manatee deaths has been ticking steadily upward since the start of the year. Cheaper gas, a recovering economy, a mild winter, and a HOT summer have meant lots of boating in Florida. The current record for manatee watercraft deaths was set in 2009. That year, through mid-July, there were 58 manatees killed by boats in Florida waters. This year, through that same time period, 67 manatees [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #177 No Responses »
Jul 222016
 
9/11: 28 Pages Later

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In December of 2002, Congress released its report on the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.” Part of that report, anyway: 28 pages remained classified until July 15, 2016, when they were finally presented to the public with significant redactions. Why the long wait, and what do the 28 pages reveal? If we’re to believe the headlines in Saudi media (e.g. Al Arabiya) and mainstream American media (e.g. Time and the [continue reading…]

 July 22, 2016  Posted by at 12:31 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #176, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »