Oct 282016
 
White Privilege

by Alex Symington……. I was checking out my Facebook feed and came across a photo/meme of a young white woman holding a sign that read, “Even White People Are Sick of Other White People’s Racist Bullsh*t”. I immediately concurred. Many voiced their feelings on the subject, both white and black. One response from a white woman in particular caught my attention. She agreed that she was over white folk’s racism, but added another complaint. “Seriously am, and further more….I sure would like to know what [continue reading…]

 October 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am Alex Symington, Issue #190 2 Responses »

OIL

Sep 092016
 
OIL

by Alex Symington……. The ongoing protest of the Bakken Oilfield pipeline by Native Americans in North Dakota is especially significant and highlights much of what is wrong with our fossil fuel dominated energy policy; wrong as in the House and Senate’s unwavering servitude to the interests of Big Fossil Fuel to the detriment of the people and the environment. The Standing Rock Sioux Indians are rightly concerned with this pipeline so close to their land rupturing and poisoning their water supply. Oil pipelines have a [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Alex Symington, Issue #183 7 Responses »
Sep 022016
 
Post Primary Blues

by Alex Symington……. I made a pact with my self that I would reserve judgement on the POTUS candidates until after the primary. The primary is long over, but confusion still reigns. Questionable behavior by the DNC and it’s now-disgraced leadership by Debbie-Wasserman Schultz has left a stink on Hillary Clinton’s legitimacy. Bernie Sanders graciously acquiesced to the supremacy of the Clinton machine and urged his supporters to throw in with his, here-to-fore, political nemesis. It made me think back to when Al Gore acquiesced to [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:49 am Alex Symington, Issue #182 1 Response »
Jun 172016
 
Roseburg Redux

by Alex Symington……. Back in October 2015 there was, yet again, another shooting spree in Roseburg, Oregon. In exasperation I wrote this: Now we can add Roseburg, Oregon to the infamous list of communities traumatized by mass murder. Another mentally ill (this one obsessed with religion) young man, with “small arms” (innocent sounding name of things so deadly) killed nine people in his community college English class then killed himself. You and I knew it was only a matter of time. It was inevitable. In [continue reading…]

 June 17, 2016  Posted by at 12:57 am Alex Symington, Issue #171 4 Responses »
May 132016
 
Thoughts on Hillary Clinton

by Alex Symington……. Because I express my views, I must expect opposing views. That is only natural. For most ideas and thoughts, there are counter ideas and thoughts, however, when I express my thoughts on Hillary Clinton I am confronted with a whole array of copy and paste presumptive reactions. “You are a sexist!” “You are in a boys club!”“Why don’t you just say it, you hate Hillary Clinton.” How to respond to that? First of all, I reserve “hate” for the deserving, not someone [continue reading…]

 May 13, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am Alex Symington, Issue #166 8 Responses »
Mar 042016
 
Reality TV

by Alex Symington……. I’ve tried to remain silent, hoping Donald Trump would finally say or do something so outrageous that he would have to bow out of his race for the ultimate bully pulpit. He has said, “I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and people would still vote for me.” That didn’t do it. He has called Mexicans rapists and murderers, demanded all Muslims be kept out of the country indefinitely, called Pope Francis a stupid weakling, yet he is reserving judgement on the [continue reading…]

 March 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Alex Symington, Issue #156 No Responses »
Dec 182015
 
Guns

by Alex Symington……. I don’t know about you, but I am so damned tired of this topic of debate I could spontaneously discorporate and happily enter a different dimension inhabited by the rational and sane, but that isn’t going to happen, is it? So, here I am scratching my head in wonder and amazement at the fresh hell of NRA sponsored, Government sanctioned death from hand-held personal weapons of mass destruction. Representatives of this God forsaken empire of dirt must come up with new and [continue reading…]

 December 18, 2015  Posted by at 12:42 am Alex Symington, Issue #145 29 Responses »
Dec 182015
 
Zombie Questions

by Alex Symington……. Did you ever wonder what’s behind the psychology of the “Zombie” genre? You know, that scenario of human survivors battling the animated dead? Everybody, EVERYBODY identifies with the uninfected healthy people, but NOBODY identifies with the poor zombies! This begs the question; in every human vs zombie portrayal, why are there so many zombies and so few healthy survivors? How is this still attractive? This train of thought is evident in every day life, as well. The enthusiastic supporters of the shark-tank-last-man-standing-hyper-capitalist [continue reading…]

 December 18, 2015  Posted by at 12:39 am Alex Symington, Issue #145 2 Responses »
Dec 112015
 
Fascism or Populism?

by Alex Symington……. Last week I voiced my suspicions that deceitful and misleading pronouncements are being passed off as gospel by the right wing POTUS candidates and the political right wing in general. The reason being is they can, because the corporate sponsored press will not confront these shameless fabulists, they simply repeat all of the unexamined absurdities in their entirety. As in the old joke about lawyers, when Donald Trump’s lips are moving… you know the rest. Ben Carson takes the Rod Serling/Twilight Zone [continue reading…]

 December 11, 2015  Posted by at 1:04 am ~ Column ~, Alex Symington, Issue #144 2 Responses »
Dec 042015
 
It’s Just Sad

by Alex Symington……. The world seems to be coming apart at the seams and events of just the past few weeks are making my head spin. I have to wonder, are the fundamentalist radical Christians correct about the apocalyptical end times or are they just frantically engineering it into existence with the help of their Abrahamic cousins? We are living within a perfect storm of fear, hate and religious/political extremism being made much worse by an impotent press. Corporate sponsored media is more concerned with [continue reading…]

 December 4, 2015  Posted by at 12:40 am Alex Symington, Issue #143 25 Responses »
Nov 272015
 
The Divided States of Embarrassment

by Alex Symington……. I cannot begin to register the depth of my disgust with those of our elected officials denying sanctuary to men, women and children that have lost everything, except for their lives, in the Syrian civil war. The post Paris fear mongering has surpassed 9/11 proportions of hysteria and, is as misguided and wrong headed as was the focus of our retaliation for that event. In point of fact, that baseless reaction created the very thing that today is causing us to go off [continue reading…]

 November 27, 2015  Posted by at 12:38 am Alex Symington, Issue #142 15 Responses »
Nov 202015
 
Paris (Beirut Kenya Yemen Nigeria)

by Alex Symington……. I don’t want to write about the Paris attacks, but I feel compelled because, like effective therapy, writing and talking about a horror make it real and once made real it can be exorcised. Upon learning the identity of those responsible for these vile murders, as if on cue, France’s President Hollande vowed “to retaliate with a pitiless war on the terrorists.” Really? Just what has the West been doing up to this point in time? Baking cakes and sending flowers? Can [continue reading…]

 November 20, 2015  Posted by at 12:44 am Alex Symington, Issue #141 15 Responses »
Nov 132015
 
Bait and Switch

by Alex Symington……. As so many celebrate (and rightly so) Obama’s smack down of the Keystone Pipeline project as a victory for environmentalists and a validation of the science of global warming, there is an even greater threat the president is soft peddling, yet with corporate media collusion managing to keep on the down low. This is a bit of razzle dazzle, bait and switch. While we are dancing in the streets at the death of the Keystone project Obama is quietly ushering in the [continue reading…]

 November 13, 2015  Posted by at 12:44 am Alex Symington, Issue #140 5 Responses »
Nov 062015
 
True Identity and Paul Ryan

by Alex Symington……. We human beings have an obsessive need to identify and label every manner of thing in existence. Every animal, vegetable and mineral have scientific names in Latin, as well as more numerous “common” names. Take the Oak Tree for example; “An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus (/ˈkwɜrkəs/;[1] Latin “oak tree”) of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are approximately 600 extant species of oaks. The common name “oak” may also appear in the names of species in related [continue reading…]

 November 6, 2015  Posted by at 12:44 am Alex Symington, Issue #139 21 Responses »
Oct 302015
 
Enough to Live On

by Alex Symington……. I recently watched a first-rate documentary about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Crash of ’29 and the inception and successful creation of the Works Progress Administration, better know as the WPA. “Enough To Live On: The Arts of the WPA” written, directed and narrated by Michael Maglaras and partner Terri Templeton is a lovingly crafted, historically significant work of art in its own right. Most Americans are aware of the ambitious effort by our federal government to employ Americans during the Great Depression of [continue reading…]

 October 30, 2015  Posted by at 12:26 am Alex Symington, Issue #138 12 Responses »
Oct 232015
 
Commies and Socialists and Maniacs, Oh My!

by Alex Symington……. In his typical tedious and malicious style, Donald Trump called Bernie Sanders a “maniac” and a “communist.” When asked for a response, Sanders’ press secretary, Symone Sanders (no relation) said this about the school yard bully’s aspersions, “If we weighed in every time Donald Trump said something stupid we wouldn’t have time to do anything else.” Symone is wise beyond her twenty five years (and funny). I bring this up as an example of the confusion Trump and many others have in [continue reading…]

 October 23, 2015  Posted by at 12:32 am Alex Symington, Issue #137 4 Responses »
Oct 162015
 
Double Down Doublespeak

Dear Editor, The “double-down” lie is a significant ingredient in the deterioration of productive political dialogue. Critical thought has been replaced with the sound bite. The idea is when caught in a lie, DO NOT be contrite; become indignant and repeat the lie and keep repeating it. Today, there are no consequences for lying; ergo a lie is as good as a truth. Somewhere Orwell shakes his head. The lie as a tool to control and manipulate the citizenry is as old as human civilization [continue reading…]

 October 16, 2015  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #136, Letter to the Editor 11 Responses »
Oct 092015
 
Massacre du Jour

  by Alex Symington……. Now we can add Roseburg, Oregon to the infamous list of communities traumatized by mass murder. Another mentally ill young man with “small arms” (innocent sounding name of things so deadly) killed nine people in his community college English class then killed himself. You and I knew it was only a matter of time. It was inevitable. In America gun mass murder events are as regular as Yellowstone’s Old Faithful. Yes, regular as clock work and fast becoming as traditional as [continue reading…]

 October 9, 2015  Posted by at 12:38 am Alex Symington, Issue #135 17 Responses »
Oct 022015
 

by Alex Symington……. I have been following the congressional inquisition of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, President Cecile Richards and it is everything I would expect from the Republican inquisitors. The glee with which Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) attacks Richards for making a decent annual salary would be comical except for its ugly misogynistic tone. This undisguised open disdain for a woman making a respectable income was not overlooked by Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Cummings started by pointing out Cecile Richards’ salary is commensurate with her job as president [continue reading…]

 October 2, 2015  Posted by at 12:46 am Alex Symington, Issue #134 18 Responses »
Sep 252015
 
Senator Bernie Sanders

by Alex Symington……. In case you didn’t know, there are other candidates besides Hillary Clinton vying for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Recently the heat has been turned up on the Democratic Machine and the DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to be more inclusive of other Democratic contenders. However, Debbie is making it clear she is not interested in anyone other than her presumed future boss, Hillary, and is obstructing a growing demand by the left to give voice to Bernie [continue reading…]

 September 25, 2015  Posted by at 12:32 am Alex Symington, Issue #133 16 Responses »
Sep 112015
 
Labor Day

by Alex Symington……. As the annual celebration of the American worker and another Labor Day weekend fades into memory I am compelled to relate a telling moment I experienced during the holiday. I saw a shared meme (photo w/text) posted on Facebook of a cargo plane interior loaded with American flag draped coffins; casualties from an unspecified military conflict, wishing everyone a “Happy Labor Day”. This innocent enough posting implied the forty hour work week, fair wages, the eight hour work day, the end of [continue reading…]

 September 11, 2015  Posted by at 12:44 am Alex Symington, Issue #131 6 Responses »
Sep 042015
 
Fact or Feeling?

by Alex Symington……. I wrote an essay about a year ago on the physiological difference between the conservative and liberal mind and how information and external data are processed. I won’t rehash it except to say, wow, they are different. Being of the liberal persuasion, I’ll give you my take on the simple question, “How are you?” When someone asks me that, I might pause and think about it. First, the answer depends on who’s asking. If it is a casual acquaintance or a stranger [continue reading…]

 September 4, 2015  Posted by at 12:41 am Alex Symington, Issue #130 5 Responses »
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 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 »
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 »
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 »
Jan 302015
 
Satire and Propaganda

by Alex Symington… I was reading contemporary satirist, Andy Borowitz, and it occurred to me that satire and propaganda share a common denominator. They both require a kernel of truth to be effective. Neither can be total fabrication or they ring hollow, although that doesn’t stop FOX from trying. Andy’s work fits well with our short attention span and fondness of sound bites because they are brief little pokes at the political foibles and theater of the absurd that is in all three branches of [continue reading…]

 January 30, 2015  Posted by at 1:25 am Alex Symington, Issue #99 3 Responses »
Jan 232015
 
Slow Descent Into Mindless Adoration...

Happy Martin Luther King Day! The biggest grossing film of all time over the MLK four day weekend was “American Sniper” grossing 105.3 million dollars, beating out the previous title holder, “Avatar”. Almost fifty years after MLK was murdered, our heroes have morphed from MLK to Chris Kyle and Hollywood is no longer making “Platoons” and “Full Metal Jackets”, but “Lone Survivors” and “American Snipers”. Seth Rogen drew a parallel between the American sniper, Kyle, and the hero worship of the Nazi sniper in “Inglorious [continue reading…]

 January 23, 2015  Posted by at 12:50 am Issue #98 4 Responses »
Jan 162015
 
Key West Literary Seminar 2015:  How The Light Get's In

by Alex Symington Our little island city has many charms to crow about; gentle warm weather in January, an exciting swashbuckling and idiosyncratic history, New-England-meets-the-South architectural style, great theater and music venues, but the crown jewel, I submit, is the Key West Literary Seminar. Our near century long history as a refuge for artists and writers is well documented, making Key West the most natural place on the planet for literary greats to gather once a year, (this being the thirty-third) and talk shop to [continue reading…]

 January 16, 2015  Posted by at 12:40 am Alex Symington, Issue #97 3 Responses »