Jump to Navigation
Our Columnists
Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Pierre Tristam's picture
"As an immigrant I’m always abroad in my own home -- happily so: American politics and culture in their Florida dialects are eternal attractions rich in paradox. My columns are an attempt to decipher this continuing experiment in American nation-building."
Monday, October 08, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

Private investors aren’t big on nuclear power. It’s not cost-effective. That’s why not a single new nuclear reactor has been built in the United States in three decades, despite generous federal loan guarantees and tax credits to utilities that shift much of the cost to taxpayers.

But in 2006, the Florida Legislature decided the rules of free enterprise don’t apply to big utility companies....

Monday, October 01, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

One wonders sometimes what our elected officials are smoking. Especially in light of the hysteria over synthetic marijuana and bath salts.

Local governments all over Florida are racing each other to ban those little packets of “incense” sold in convenience stores for $20 or $30 a pop under the name of Spice, Galaxy Gold, Mr. Nice Guy or K-2, among others.


Monday, September 24, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

They are two of the most repeated claims you’ll hear every four years: This is the most important election in our lifetime. Partisanship is demolishing the country.


I’ve been voting since the Reagan-Carter contest of 1980, when some of us thought electing Reagan would mean war...

Monday, September 17, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

It was quite a week for fanatics.

A juvenile and insulting movie about the Prophet Muhammad that barely drew a dozen people to its Hollywood premier this summer hit the big time through YouTube.

In the Islamic world, rioters went on rampages, killing four Americans, including the...

Sunday, September 09, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

When Paul Ryan produced his Medicare reform plan a little over a year ago, he was just a congressman from Wisconsin, but he had what his fellow-Republicans have had trouble formulating: ideas.

Ryan’s Medicare plan could be summed up in one word: privatization. But it created an illusion of big savings and used seductive words like “free markets” and “competition.” And when Mitt Romney elevated...

Monday, September 03, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

While visiting American troops in Korea in 1966, Lyndon Johnson said in a presumably bonding moment that his great-great grandfather had died at the Alamo. It was a lie. The historian Doris Kearns Goodwin asked him why he’d said it. “God damn it,” Johnson replied, “why must all those journalists be such sticklers for detail? Why, they’d hold you to an accurate description of the first time you ever made love, expecting you to remember the color of the room and the shape of the windows. That’s exactly...

Sunday, August 19, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

It is a biennial reminder of how pathetic Floridians’ sense of civic responsibility can be, of how empty such words as “community” and “citizenship” are beyond the back-patting of Rotary Club meetings: Barely 20 percent -- one in five registered voters -- cast a ballot in last week’s primary.

That’s not even the whole picture of irresponsibility. One in four Floridians isn’t even registered to...

Monday, August 13, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

Every morning the first thing I’ve done the last couple of weeks is check the Olympic medal count. I must say I’m a little ashamed. Every time I saw China at the top and the United States in second, I pulled a McKayla Maroney, scowling like an adolescent dissed.

This isn’t what the Olympic ideal is about. We have enough chauvinism in the world, and quite a bit of it in the United States, that it...

Sunday, August 05, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

In early 2007, attorney Charles Stimson, the Pentagon official then in charge of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, called for a boycott of every law firm representing prisoners there. He even read a list of targets on the radio. It wasn’t enough that the prisoners could barely see an attorney and to this day, can’t know their accuser or the evidence against them. Stimson wanted them to lose their most fundamental right.


Monday, July 30, 2012 — Pierre Tristam

I’m now convinced The Exorcist wasn’t a horror movie. It was an allegory about election season, and Linda Blair’s character was actually a politician running for office. Of course she was possessed. It seems to happen to them all once they hit campaign mode. Otherwise perfectly reasonable, intelligent people suddenly become unrecognizable creatures with permanent foam at the mouth. It starts at the top.


by Dr. Radut.