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Editor’s Blog
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A Heartfelt Thank You To Brian McMillan and Flagler County

| February 14, 2014

Palm Coast Observer Editor Brian McMillan surprised FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam with a moving, supportive column this week, illustrating the contrast between the two competitors, and the true meaning of community.

A Flagler Farewell to 2013: The Local Year in Review

| January 1, 2014

A tornado, plane crashes and mishaps, Flagler County going bonkers for clunkers, a spate of murders in Palm Coast, Flagler Beach’s firehouse follies, Bunnell’s reality show: 2013 is ending not a moment too soon. But first, a review.

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.

Of Thanksgiving Day Parades and Friends in Exile

| November 28, 2013

Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS was a bit like being waterboarded, but matters improved very quickly when the channel changed and the aromas of the day began invading the house, along with just the right spirits: Praise be to Beaujolais Nouveau.

The Zimmerman Trial and Kathleen Parker’s Courtroom Camera Ban

| July 10, 2013

After watching the Zimmerman murder trial, Kathleen Parker concludes that it’s time to ban television cameras from courtrooms again, though not any other type of media. She’s wrong: the distortions of cameras on justice are not nearly as dangerous as the distortions of masked justice.

The Cruel and Unusual Justice Thomas

| June 19, 2013

The cruelties of the self-loathing, self-pitying Clarence Thomas were on display again this week when he provided the deciding vote that had the Supreme Court managing to turn the right to remain silent against the accused, and using that silence as evidence of incrimination.

Death in the Afternoon

| April 13, 2013

It was that the death rattle. You’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it if we live south of the Mason-Dixon Line. This one broke the silence of a perfect Palm Coast afternoon. But an investigation proved to be a succession of decapitated assumptions.

Invitation to an Execution

| April 10, 2013

Larry Eugene Mann was executed at Starke state prison Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. by lethal injection. I traveled to Starke with a Catholic Church group to witness the vigils–pro and con–outside the prison grounds.

Should Teachers Be Able to Spy on Students’ Study Habits?

| April 9, 2013

An electronic-textbook company called CourseSmart lets teachers track whether and how their students are reading assigned textbooks, allowing them to tack on “engagement index” scores to the students’ performance. It’s the latest form of intrusion in private habits driven more by marketing and gimmickry than good intentions.

Argentina’s Jorge Mario Bergoglio is Francis I, Church’s First Non-European Pope, Post-Columbus

| March 13, 2013

76-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires is the first-ever South American pope, the first non-European pope in a millennium, and the first-ever pope to name himself Francis (Francis I), after St. Francis, patron saint of the poor.

Israel’s Apartheid Bus Lines

| March 7, 2013

Israel’s transportation ministry gave in to Israeli colonists’ demands that they not have to ride buses with Palestinians, and started two segregated bus lines for Palestinians only.

This Is London: Of Returning to England After 34 Years of Happy Exile

| February 16, 2013

Making a return trip to England to celebrate a brother’s 50th birthday, after a 34-year absence, is occasion for reflection about the meaning of time, an unlikely vacation and the most seductive sounds of a train announcer anywhere in the world.

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.

Obama II

| January 21, 2013

Far from a dud, as these second inaugurals tend to be, Obama’s today was bracing in its realism, and hopeful, ironically, for having finally shed the imagery of hope for hope’s sake, replacing it with an agenda for equality, little heard of since the days of the New Deal and the Great Society.

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.

Palm Coast City Council’s Bill Lewis: Two Minutes, Six Errors, Countless Sneers

| November 21, 2012

When Palm Coast City Councilman Bill Lewis took to the floor of a council meeting to correct a fact in a FlaglerLive column, which had already been corrected, he committed more than six errors of his own, including about his own personal history. Lewis’s errors bear correcting as publicly as he committed them.

Obama and the Southern Tradition

| November 12, 2012

Mitt Romney and his diminishing white-male-America coalition wanted to put Barack Obama in his place. He failed. But certain realities of southern tradition endure, as does a racism in American politics that coursed through the 2012 election.

Election Antidote: A Schubert Sonata

| October 31, 2012

Between smarmy candidates who speak like hobbits on furlough from Neverland and the increasing juvenilia of the presidential campaign, there’s not enough oxycodone on earth to dull the torture. But there’s Schubert.

The Orlando Sentinel Endorses Romney

| October 19, 2012

Right-wingers’ elation at the Romney endorsement aside, to call the Orlando Sentinel liberal of course is to seriously misread the house organ of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, central Florida edition.

Romney’s Foreign Policy Vacuums

| October 8, 2012

Today’s foreign policy address by Romney, to the Virginia Military Institute, was better suited for the Hoover Historical Center in Canton, Ohio. He spoke for about half an hour. He said absolutely nothing that might have told us what his foreign policy would be–or what he thinks it is today.

Two of My Favorite Jews

| October 1, 2012

Sam and Dave Markowitz celebrate birthdays with Duke Ellington, from behind the paywall of Volusia County’s Evin prison.

Where Obama Fear and Loathing Comes From

| September 30, 2012

Charles Kesler’s new book on Barack Obama loathing is a window into the closing of the conservative mind, which Mark Lilla’s review opens a notch to let in a breath of wit–unusual for unusually dour liberals.

Editorial Notebook: September

| September 27, 2012

Vagrant scratches and notes from FlaglerLive editor Pierre Tristam on issues of the day, fugitive quotes, hit-and-run readings, insurgent observations and reflections picked up from the cutting room floor.

Editorial Notebook: August 2012

| August 31, 2012

Vagrant scratches and notes from FlaglerLive editor Pierre Tristam on issues of the day, fugitive quotes, hit-and-run readings, insurgent observations and reflections picked up from the cutting room floor.

Editor’s Note: When Comments Are Swift Boats’ Docking Hooks

| July 12, 2012

I’ve been asked why certain comments in the John Pollinger-Anne-Marie Shaffer case were approved, considering their lavish innuendoes and borderline slanders. The decision bears explaining in light of this year’s distinctly foul election season.

Lord of the Flies On a School Bus: The Bullying of Karen Klein

| June 22, 2012

Karen Klein is the 68-year-old school bus monitor from Greece, N.Y., cruelly bullied by seventh graders and recorded on a YouTube video that went viral. The middle schoolers are acting out the persecuting spirit that christens their daily lives.

Heckling Obama

| June 15, 2012

Neil Munro, a reporter for the Daily Caller, heckled Obama at the president’s announcement of a new policy regarding young immigrants. Munro’s behavior is indefensible.

The Fear of Mormons

| June 4, 2012

“Making Mormons look bad helps others feel good,” J. Spencer Fluhman, a Mormon scholar, argues, but it neither explains nor justifies the unresolved prejudices and self-serving veils that cling to Mormon dogma.

Joe Biden Outs Himself

| May 7, 2012

Joe Biden unequivocally endorsed gay marriage in a Meet the Press interview Sunday, sending the Obama administration scrambling for its latest tangle in hypocrisy.

Rush Limbaugh, Slander Slut

| March 2, 2012

If there ever was a need for a prophylactic to syphilitic discourse, Rush Limbaugh’s latest attack on women makes the case. But insurers won’t cover it.



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