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Pierre Tristam
Category archives for: Pierre Tristam

Palm Coast Voters Lose Again: The City Of Low Turnout Gets a Spoiled Election

| April 11, 2014

Even if Palm Coast and Supervisor of Elections Weeks work out their differences, as it now looks like they have, voters have already lost as this months-long manufactured controversy will become election campaign fodder for candidates who don’t have anything more substantial to offer.

Farewell To Bookstores:
Why I Won’t Miss Books-A-Million

| March 30, 2014

The closure of Books-A-Million is not as bad as it sounds: the chain bookstore was not living up to its billing as a cultural hub, and bookstores these days are becoming irrelevant thanks to Amazon, audio books and Google, which make the world’s libraries immediately accessible at a click.

Flagler Kills Together:
Bill O’Reilly’s Re-Assassination of JFK

| March 14, 2014

Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Kennedy,” this year’s choice for the annual Flagler Reads Together event, is not the usual O’Reilly polemic and provides in parts a fair summary of Kennedy’s presidency and the assassination, but it also has many flaws, writes Pierre Tristam.

Palm Coast’s Red-Light Cameras: How the City Council Locked In a Fraud on Taxpayers Through 2019

| March 7, 2014

Palm Coast’s red-light cameras siphon off more than $2.5 million out of the local economy every year, in the share that goes to the state and to ATS, the company that runs the scheme, yet the city council quietly approved the deal through 2019, long past the terms of every one of the council members and some of their successors.

Angel’s Diner in Palatka: Radiant Relay

| March 4, 2014

Angel’s Diner in Palatka is reported to be the oldest diner in Florida, across the street from the stately Larimer Arts Center and a toast’s throw from the St. Johns River. It’s also proving to be the ideal relay on the way to a nuking.

Denying Service to Gays and Lesbians: Right of Conscience Vigilantism Meets Stand Your Ground

| February 28, 2014

Bills in four states that would let businesses deny service to gays and lesbians on religious-freedom grounds are based on the same faulty justification of Stand Your Ground laws on self-defense grounds. In both cases, the 1st and 2nd Amendments are perverted into defenses of vigilantism rather than protection of rights.

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.

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.

How Obamacare’s Enemies Turned a Victory For Workers’ Freedom Into a “Job Killer”

| February 9, 2014

The prediction that Obamacare will lead to the equivalent of 2.5 million fewer jobs has nothing to do with businesses cutting the workforce and everything to do with workers being finally free of job-lock, now that they don;t need to stay in a job to have health insurance. That’s a good, and very American, thing, not the job-killing catastrophe Obamacare’s enemies make it out to be.

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.

Judge J. Michael Traynor’s Alarming Equivalence Between an Attempted Murderer and His Victim

| February 2, 2014

When Judge J. Michael Traynor sentenced Nathaniel Juratovac to four years in prison for the attempted murder of Flagler County firefighter Jared Parkey last week, the judge managed to blame both men for the violent incident that led them to the courtroom, a stunning and immoral leveling of blame in a state that too easily excuses gun violence.

Tea Party’s Allure Dims. Its Zealots Shout On.

| January 26, 2014

Just 64 diehard Republicans opposed the recent budget bill, among them, sadly but unsurprisingly, our own Ron DeSantis, who thinks being a Congressman is a game of grandstanding and TV time rather than dealing with the more prosaic business of compromising in Washington and constituent services in his own district.

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.

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.

Putting Bach Back in Christmas

| December 22, 2013

Rather than cheat Christmas by limiting it to December 25, WKCR’s annual BachFest is a 240-hour celebration of the holiday through the music of Johan Sebastian Bach. It’s also a front seat at the Creation.

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.

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.

Monique Haddad Branon
Beirut 1938 – Palm Coast 2013

| November 25, 2013

Monique Haddad-Branon, née Safa, who died peacefully on the evening of Sunday 17 November 2013 in Palm Coast, had been a fixture in Lebanon’s media of the 1960s, 70s and 80s as a television and radio and newspaper reporter and columnist before evolving into a novelist and poet in her American years.

The Time Will Come For a New Palm Coast City Hall. This Isn’t It.

| November 18, 2013

Landon and the council want their $9 million city hall the way petulant children want a new toy. But there’s a lot more arrogance than prudence in the city’s approach. So it’s pretty simple. If the city is convinced that this is a good thing for itself and for residents, just ask residents what they think. That’s a yes or no question all of us would welcome.

Unearned Audacity: On Economic Development, Flagler Tells Voters to Drop Dead

| October 27, 2013

State law requires Flagler County to ask voters permission in a referendum, every 10 years, to give new companies tax subsidies. The Flagler County Commission wants to trash that law and let a supermajority of four commissioners make the decision for voters instead. It’s the latest example of a commission more enamored of its power than in tune with voters.

Congressman Ron DeSantis: A Tea Party Fanatic Who’s Earned His Walking Papers

| October 20, 2013

Ron DeSantis, who represents Flagler County, is not interested in governance. A standard-issue tea party reactionary, he’s a saboteur. He derails, with self-righteous bombast and distortions. He is part of the suicidal extremists willing to plunge the country in default over Obamacare, rather than fight to amend it legislatively. He should pay the price of his recklessness.

Why Malala Yousafzai Should Have Won The Nobel Peace Prize

| October 10, 2013

Malala Yousafzai is the 16-year-old Pakistani girl and activist for girls’ education who a year ago was shot in the head by a shaking, demented terrorist whose allegiance to the Taliban tells us all we need to know about the lethality of religious fundamentalism. Any kind of fundamentalism, really.

Shutdown Geezers: The Medicare
Generation’s Immoral War on Obamacare

| October 4, 2013

Opponents of Obamacare think that by doubling down on hurting Americans through a shut-down, they might stun them into submission. They must be stupider than they let on. The Affordable Care Act has its issues. Lacking for moral high ground isn’t among them.

Sheriff Manfre Drafts the Press to Fight The Bogus Epidemic of Fake Pot

| September 16, 2013

The bogus drug-bust news conference was a specialty of former Sheriff Don Fleming, as it has been for innumerable police agencies since the dawn of Nixon;s war on drugs since 1971. Last week, Sheriff Jim Manfre unfortunately joined the parade, this time amplifying fears of a fake epidemic of fake pot.

Obama’s Born-Again Missile Envy Over Syria: Wrong on All Counts

| September 6, 2013

Whether the Syrian regime used chemical weapons or not, Obama would be wrong to attack, even if Congress approves. It’s not America’s war to fight, it’s not Obama’s judgment to make, and his red line is an absurd marker when contrasted with two and a half years of atrocities, and 100,000 deaths, that never got a peep.

Memo to Palm Coast Council: Don’t Let an Unelected Manager Dictate Democracy in the City

| August 29, 2013

By letting Jim Landon’s feud with Supervisor of Elections Kim Weeks drag on at voters’ expense, the Palm Coast City Council is improperly letting its unelected city manager set early voting policy while reminding us why it bears a big share of the blame for sending election turnouts in Palm Coast tumbling to record lows for the past several cycles.

Lies, Distortions and Delirium: The Flagler Tea Party’s Kaput Take on Common Core

| August 23, 2013

Diane Kepus, a self-styled researcher and common core opponent, was the Flagler County tea party’s speaker this week. Her presentation on common core, mostly inaccurate or outright false, explains to some extent why the school board has been on the defensibve, as have other boards and states, against a misinformation campaign that has not been countered effectively.

Contempt and Deception: How Flagler County Sealed a Dirty Deal for the Old Hospital

| August 16, 2013

In the end, County Administrator Craig Coffey and the commission insulted the public’s intelligence by claiming to have been transparent about the hurried and expensive deal to buy the decrepit Memorial hospital as they hid behind cherry-picked documents Coffey stage-managed to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion.

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