Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002.
Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage pick-up days,
Tuesdays and Fridays.
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|[“A Soldier’s Journey”] As a young man I was one of those assholes who harassed the anti-war protesters, a real asshole. There was a big protest at our state capitol, right in front of my apartment. I went there with the intention of kicking some hippy ass. A little before the mob reached the steps of the Capitol, I made my way to the front of the protesters to get at the leader. I was going to clock him and leave. Before I punched him, I had to say something asshol-ish so he’d know who knocked him down. He misunderstood me as being a friend, there was so much noise; and he didn’t expect it. He was frantic from trying to keep his protest under control and on its peaceful mission. It’s a lot of work keeping thousands of pissed-off anti-war protesters organized and peaceful and it looked like he was alone, the only one in charge. If I knocked him down the protest would turn to anarchy or maybe even violent. It didn’t go that way. He smiled and asked for a favor and handed me his two-thousand-dollar Nikon camera and asked if I would care for it while he lead the protest. He was frantic. I said, “Sure” and thought, “Oh boy, a free camera.” As I was walking away (thoughts of punching him were replaced with thoughts of my new camera) he chased after me, smiled and said, “Hey, I don’t even know your name and I’m giving you my camera!” Then he produced a small scrap of white paper and a pencil and said, “I’m so-and-so, what’s your name?” I was dumbfounded and confused by this guy’s niceness. I assumed he was some kind of Communist monster. It was like asshole meets nice guy under adverse circumstance. He seemed good. I was so dumbfounded that I completely reversed my attitude right then and there forever. I gave him my real name and phone number and became a war protestor. I followed him around until the protest went as he planned. He thanked me and I returned his camera. I never saw him again. It never dawned on me to take pictures with my new camera of that big event, I was so intent on making my getaway.
Could humans survive on Dune’s Arrakis? A supercomputer and climate model reveal the truth behind stillsuits. Link
|[Really Living] Man sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present: the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived. ~Dali Lama
|[“A Soldier’s Journey by John Donnelly”] A Soldier’s Journey ~by John Donnelly Prelude: The Pentagon now admits the drone strike ordered by the commander-in-chief in retaliation for the Afghan killing of 11 marines, 1 Navy corpsman and 1 soldier did not kill any terrorists but did kill 10 innocent civilians, including 7 children. Sixteen years after my being wounded on a … Link
|[“A Soldier’s Journey”] An impressive and striking account of an individual’s search for truth and meaning. This superbly written article provides the reader with an authentic experience, which can add purpose and understanding to their lives. Mr. Donnelly was an extraordinarily talented teacher and courageous warrior. He now can add outstanding author to his credentials. Thank you for publishing this awesome and breathtaking tale of discovery and personal triumph. Link
[False Advertising] Non-stick pans last about a week then it sticks. I don’t care it’s Teflon, that copper colored pan or any other non-stick pan. They all stick after a very short time. Try frying an egg in your non-stick pan.
|[“A Soldier’s Journey”] I feel for all Vietnam vets. Can you imagine how the Afghan vets feel after dying for 20 years for nothing. Link
|[Heinz Pure Food Products] Heinz Sweet Relish: high fructose corn syrup, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (as preservatives), guar gum, aluminum sulfate, xanthan gum, polysorbate 80, artificial flavors, FD&C yellow no. 5 and FD&C blue no. 1.
If this is what Heinz calls “pure food” I’d hate to see what they consider bad food.
|[Friday Joke] When I grow up, Dad, I want to be a model maker.
What kind Son? Ships? planes? cars? buildings? what?
Blondes, redheads and brunets, Dad.
Halloween in Florida.
|[“A Soldier’s Journey”] Whenever I read about a Vietnam veteran’s experiences my heart squeezes the breath out of me. So much so that I was an active anti-war protester. I knew the lies and waste of that phony war. Feeding the military industrial complex did seem to be the only legitimate reason to be there. Link
You know what’s cheaper than therapy? Admitting you’re batshit crazy and running with it.
|[Ripping-off Americans] The U.S. Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services are considering payments that could amount to close to $1 million a family, though the final numbers could shift, the people familiar with the matter said. Most of the families that crossed the border illegally from Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S. included one parent and one child, the people said. Many families would likely get smaller payouts, depending on their circumstances, the people said. Link
|[Only Seminoles Are Native] “Affordable Housing is just an invitation for out-of-town people to move here”] Oh do tell. What Key is your family twig native to? What city in Florida? US1 was a two-lane road where exterior mirrors met on the bridges when I moved there. I left when I had different “neighbors” each week and had to listen to stories of the old days (“Back in 2000, bla bla”) Very few are from the Keys and sadly I’ve fled too and hate that I’ve imposed on another’s turf. But I’m ova heah, now, not down theah.
|[Friday Joke] I was driving when I saw the ﬂash of a traffic camera. I ﬁgured that my picture had been taken for exceeding the limit even though I knew that I was not speeding. Just to be sure, I went around the block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly, but again the camera ﬂashed. Now I began to think that this was quite funny, so I drove even slower as I passed the area once more, but the traffic camera again ﬂashed. I tried a fourth and ﬁfth time with the same results and was now laughing as the camera ﬂashed while I rolled past at a snail’s pace. Two weeks later, I got ﬁve tickets in the mail for driving without a seat belt. You know, you just can’t fix stupid.
[Biden Visits Pope] Bless him, but remember that no one chooses to be a Catholic. People only become Catholics because their parents were. Who wants to be part of a cult that forgives and blesses pedophiles and squanders the gold from little old ladies to support the Vatican’s corrupt and lavish lifestyle.
|[“A Soldier’s Journey”] Brilliant and purposeful tale of one’s struggle and liberation from the abyss and delusions of the material world. Thank you Mr. Editor for publishing John Donnelly’s phenomenal and enlightening essay.
|[Plague] The real hero of this awful plague is the vaccine. Never before has such an effective vaccine been developed so fast with so few harmful effects. It has already saved hundreds of thousands of lives. If we’re ever to be rid of this virus it’ll be the vaccine that did it and nothing else!
|[Crypto Currency] It’s got more mood swings than my wife.
|[John Donnelly] “A Soldier’s Journey” is a magnificent story thoughtfully developed and presented. Mr. Donnelly’s uncompromising determination to make sense of his journey provides an analysis of events that are refreshingly genuine and thought-provoking. My family, friends and fellow Veterans are grateful you publish this article. Link
|[Manatees] You can best help protect our manatees by leaving them alone! They get all the water they need from the plants they eat and do not need supplemental water. Feeding or giving water to manatees encourages them to spend more time in canals where they are exposed to propeller threats. Do not feed or water manatees!
To avoid charges of harassment, do not give food to manatees or use water to attract manatees to your boat, dock, or marina where manatees may be harmed more. Link
|[“Dania Beach vintage motorcycle show] Dania Beach was one of the most charming beach towns when I was growing up there. Beautiful beach. Jackson’s Ice Cream. I taught SCUBA on the beach! They had a great reef in 12′ of water. And of course Dania Jai-Lai. You could go on a Friday night, have dinner, win a few bucks then do a bar run on the beach. Mickey Rats, Oceans 11, Le Tub – the 70’s and 80’s heyday of South Florida are no more.