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Flagler, Florida and Beyond

Pierre Tristam, Author at FlaglerLive
Author Archive:

Panic: On the Prospect of a Trump Presidency

| September 23, 2016

“I spent the past year making fun of Trump and taking it for granted that Hillary Clinton would demolish him. I didn’t take into account her fabulous skills for self-destruction or the country’s ripeness for mass delusion.”

The National Anthem’s False Notes

| September 9, 2016

Blasphemous as it seems, Colin Kaepernick’s freedom to sit out the Star Spangled Banner is written in the anthem’s very words, though his tormentors are more disturbed by his message, which they would rather not hear.

Ransom Rubbish

| August 28, 2016

Oliver North would have you believe that the Obama Administration paid a $400 million ransom to Iran in exchange for three Americans. His history and compass are off. Here’s a little reminder.

In My Father’s Court: Baalbek

| July 19, 2016

The Roman ruins at Baalbek in Lebanon were among my father’s favorite haunts. He was a professional photographer. Lebanon was his studio. We discovered the country, and ourselves, through his eyes.

As Exceptionally American As It Gets

| June 17, 2016

Our mass shootings have developed their own set rituals and denials, none so lethal as the complicity with murder that blames the wrong targets while excusing guns.

Transgender Indecency

| May 24, 2016

There were pragmatic ways to ensure access to bathrooms for transgender people until lawmakers hijacked the process with predatory bans that dehumanize people and make a mockery of decency.

The Republican Responsibility to Reject Trump

| May 8, 2016

Derision, racism, default and brutality are strange ways to go about making America great again. Let’s hope for the GOP’s sake and everyone else’s that Republicans have the clarity not to fall for Trump’s latest reality show.

Palm Coast’s $9 Million Scam at Taxpayers’ Expense

| January 15, 2016

Since 2008, Palm Coast government has wasted over $9 million in taxpayer money to subsidize its privately run, money-losing golf and tennis operations, which serve a small group of people. It’s been a colossal scam perpetrated on taxpayers.

As Paris Bleeds

| November 14, 2015

The Paris attacks strike at the mother democracy and culture, but they’re the continuing consequence of 15 years reckless militarism in the Middle East. More of the same will solve nothing.

I Identify As American

| July 4, 2015

Political independence is easy. The unalienable right to choose who and what we want to be down to our most basic identity, including one’s race, religion, sex and culture, has been harder to secure.

April 13, 1975

| April 12, 2015

April 13, 1975, marks the first day of the Lebanese Civil War. On the 40th anniversary, FlaglerLive editor Pierre Tristam remembers that day as he lived it in Lebanon, and reflects on what the date has meant for two generations of Lebanese.

Indiana and Arkansas Retreat From Hate Laws. Florida Plows Ahead.

| April 3, 2015

Between Sen. Frank Artiles’ war on transgender people and a House bill protecting discrimination against gay parents, Florida verges on making bigotry state policy again, harkening back to Jim Crow days, but against the LGBT community.

Ebola Isn’t a Problem in the U.S.
Hysteria and Xenophobia Are.

| October 26, 2014

There is not going to be an Ebola epidemic in the United States. There isn’t one now. But there is a an epidemic of hysteria and cowardice that’s costing more lives in Africa, and that could threaten the West if segregationists have their way.

Maya Angelou, On the Pulse of Mourning

| May 28, 2014

Starting with ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ Maya Angelou’s seven-part autobiography redefined the art of memoir writing while giving voice to a form of literary jazz and blues that trace the liberation and triumphs of a black woman in a culture that, as a result, bears her mark.

Global Warning Olympics: Closing Ceremonies for Winter

| February 23, 2014

Watching the Olympics requires too much of a suspension of disbelief to make the effort worth the time or the self-deception. There was an added and quite massive invention to these games: faking winter in a warming world, though in that regard we’re all self-deluded Russians.

The Diagnosis

| February 5, 2014

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam learned he had cancer over the holidays. He describes the experience and his travels since, mostly down and up the abyss that becomes a premier tourist spot for many of those coming to grips with the diagnosis, even though death row appears, in his case, a very long way off.

The Shame of Guantanamo, 11 Years On

| January 4, 2014

The irony should not be lost on us that our congressional district is represented by Ron DeSantis, the sort of fanatic who had no trouble advertising his brief service in Guantanamo’s kangaroo courts as a badge of honor while leaving silent his employment with a more legitimate Florida corporate law firm. With political charlatans like that in Congress, it’s no wonder Guantanamo endures.

Before Florida Made an Ass of Christmas, Philadelphia Gave Us a Founding Nativity Scene

| December 20, 2013

The Rick Scott administration’s illiterate interpretation of the Bible and the first amendment turned the Florida Capitol rotunda into a comedy of absurd Christmas displays and discrimination, all of which could have been avoided with a reason and respect–for the holidays and the Constitution.

Holding a Candle to a Citizenship Oath

| December 16, 2013

Twenty-seven ago today I was one among a few hundred Technicolor-skinned and Babel-tongued immigrants who jammed into an enormous hall in Federal District Court in Brooklyn and recited the oath of citizenship. A candle-lighting has marked the occasion every year since.

Pam Bondi’s Pot Problem

| December 6, 2013

It’s a matter of time before marijuana is legalized, for medical uses or not, even in Florida. But Attorney General Pam Bondi is doing her best to preserve a prohibition that relies on disinformation to benefit cops and jails at the expense of greater safety, less crime and more compassion, were marijuana to be legalized.

Mother’s Day Confidential: News of My Mom’s Death Was Slightly Premature

| May 12, 2013

Receiving a condolence note about my mother sent in error by the hospice company caring for her should have been disturbing. It was merely disappointing–for not being true.

Facebook Effect: For Workers On or Off the Job, Individual Rights Are Dead

| April 7, 2013

Employers’ presumptions on workers’ behavior on and off the job have more in common with the inquisition or police states than with the bill of rights. Transgressors are routinely humiliated, silenced, censured or fired over speech or behavior companies should have no right to police.

Don’t Cram Your Heterosexuality Down My Throat

| March 31, 2013

Several years ago around Christmas I was standing at a Walmart checkout counter with my son when a stranger behind me felt compelled to make me his homophobia’s bosom buddy. “What’s wrong with that?” I told him. “My son is gay.” My son was 2 at the time.

Missing Memorials to Two Lost Wars

| March 17, 2013

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war, but as Iraq and Afghanistan have been lost, the focus of memorials has shifted from wars to the cult of the soldiers, while victims of war are as always passed over in silence.

Ben Webster’s Danny Boy

| January 23, 2013

Ben Webster played with Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway, Benny Carter, and was overshadowed by the likes of Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, but only in his lifetime.

Arming Teachers Isn’t Enough:
A Proposal of Modest Caliber

| January 13, 2013

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre is proposing having an armed guard in every school. That’s insane, because it’s not enough: teachers, principals, librarians, counselors, bus drivers should all be armed, and of course children, too, should be armed.

Showing Cops the Middle Finger

| January 6, 2013

When John Swartz was arrested for flipping off a cop, he sued, and appears headed for a win–as he should: rude expression is not a crime, and the obscenity is far surpassed by that of cops exercising arbitrary authority over bruised egos.

The Soft-Core Terrorism
Of Florida’s Gun Worship

| December 16, 2012

Florida’s gun-worship is part of a lethal, juvenile romance for guns and a national disease that doesn’t hesitate to lock and load the words “gun” and “hobby” in the same chamber while vilifying those who’d imply a connection with the consequences.

Morning Sickness: From Kate Middleton To a Dead Woman on I-95

| December 6, 2012

Between a nameless, homeless woman killed on I-95 Wednesday evening and Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, only one of those two items is news. Our media’s pornographic interest in royal exhibitionism ensures that it’s the wrong one every time.

Mocking the Pledge of Allegiance

| November 25, 2012

A reporter is fired after only reluctantly mentioning that a city councilman refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in the latest example of ignorance replacing the very values the Pledge stands for, values that apply especially for those who choose to sit it out.



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