2013 August

Friday, August 23, 2013


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(Saturday, August 24, 2013. The Coconut Telegraph is not published on Saturdays)

bank-duval-front00[The Great KW Bank Robbery] Back then in the 1960s (65?) there was a robbery at the First National Bank on the corner of Front and Duval Streets in Key West. It was considered by many to have been one of the biggest hauls ever taken from an American bank.                  

The job took place over a three-day weekend. The thieves silenced the alarm and went through the roof and into the safe deposit box vault. They broke into more than eighty of the largest boxes and absconded with the contents. The owners of those boxes, a list which read like a who’s who of South Florida, were among the most affluent people in the area at the time; the biggest land and business owners, the politicians, the purported gangsters and bolita kings – in short, everyone in the Keys with real money.

No one ever found the thieves; all they left behind were some candy wrappers. There were rumors of an inside job. How did they know just which boxes to open, how (if) the roof was wired, but no charges were filed.

Six months later, $500,000 in bearer bonds, supposedly from one of the boxes, showed up in Switzerland. That is all that was ever heard of the loot; the jewelry, cash, negotiables. The perpetrators disappeared without another trace. 

This cannot take its place among the great heists of all time, because no actual value could be placed on it due to the obvious reluctance of those box owners to reveal to anyone just what, or how much they had contained, but speculation at the time put the total at many millions of dollars.


[NSA Leaks] Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald are the two journalists Edward Snowden gave the NSA documents to that changed their lives. Both have been harassed relentlessly–to say the least.

Poitras in answer to Peter Mass’s (writing for the NY Times) questions: Yes, I have opinions. Do I think the surveillance state is out of control? Yes, I do. This is scary, and people should be scared. A shadow and secret government has grown and grown, all in the name of national security and without the oversight or national debate that one would think a democracy would have. It’s not advocacy. We have docu­ments that substantiate it.

As Snowden mentioned, “In the wake of this year’s disclosure, it should be clear that unencrypted journalist-source communication is unfor­givably reckless.”

A new generation of sources, like Snowden or Pfc. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, has access to not just a few secrets but thousands of them, because of their ability to scrape classified networks. They do not necessarily live in and operate through the established Washington networks – Snowden was in Hawaii, and Manning sent hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks from a base in Iraq. And they share their secrets not with the largest media outlets or reporters but with the ones who share their political outlook and have the know-how to receive the leaks undetected.

In Mass’s encrypted chat, Snowden explained why he went to Poitras with his secrets: “Laura and Glenn are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, [which] resulted in Laura specifically becoming tar­geted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures. She had demonstrated the courage, personal experience and skill needed to handle what is probably the most dangerous assignment any journalist can be given – reporting on the secret misdeeds of the most powerful government in the world – making her an obvious choice.”

There are lots of people angry with Poitras and Greenwald and lots of governments, as well as private entities, that would not mind taking possession of the thousands of N.S.A. documents they still con­trol. They have published only a handful – a top-secret, headline-grabbing, Congressional­ hearing-inciting handful— and seem unlikely to publish everything, in the style of WikiLeaks. They are holding onto more secrets than they are exposing, at least for now.

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an cloud picnic


[Sunny Days] I thought it was my imagination that there weren’t many sunny days this summer until I heard it on the TV yesterday.

[Revenge of the Local] It feels so good to vacation up north and drive 10 mph below the speed limit and  to look in your rearview mirror and see 20 cars behind you. Priceless!


(Ed: Would the author of Indian Sam The Shaman and Outboard Boat Engine Mechanic please contact me as I added the story to the history section and would like to attribute it to you.) History > Tidbits of Keys History > Indian Sam The Shaman and Outboard Boat Engine Mechanic

news-barometer23I would like to give my greatest thanks to the News Barometer for their support of Wetstock 9. The Barometer has been printing the local community news, events, and facts since their first publication.

We are set for the biggest and best Wetstock yet! See you there, Sunday Sept 1, Labor Day weekend at Picnic Island. 

[“Meeting lip service to attendees”] I agree that the FKAA meetings are just being done due to requirements, and that they could not care less about your input. I went to one of those meetings years ago when they were looking to place the sewage plant on the south side of Cudjoe Key. I asked the head engineer if they had done any life cycle studies showing the best place to put the plant. He yawned, said no, and blew off my question.


[Conspiracy Man] Lies, more lies, and even more lies. No one knows what to do with the Fukushima Nuclear radiation leak that’s been going on for two years now. Leaking like crazy almost to the Pacific ocean. It’s absolutely out of control and experts, and engineers have no idea how to contain this deadly hazard. This makes the BP oil spill look like a drop in a bucket. What’s to stop an event like this from possibly occurring at Turkey Point? I smell a conspiracy here. Link

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capt conch chef

About a week ago, someone posted a recipe for “Crispy Baked Potato“. It showed a potato with several vertical cuts in it. I tried it and it shows promise. But how do you get the sections to separate enough to easily put your spices between them? (Chef Captain Conch: Ah, there’s the rub! I pushed them apart with my fingers as I shook the spices in-between and got my fingers all spicy. I also put a chopstick along either side of the potato so when I sliced it wouldn’t cut all the way through.)  Menu > Recipes >Crispy Baked Potato

[“Visitors to Rootwire Music Festival charged with possession”] I feel so much safer now that these dangerous criminals are off the street. I bet they were playing devil music also.
isaksen-flood 4.23.13

[Robbery at Old Bank]  Forgive me if I am wrong, but, and I have to ask, by dredging up such an old story, is this someone returning to the scene of the crime? Somehow, someway they always do.



Shark hook removal as only a woman would do. This is what Cristina Zenato from Bahamas says about this video: ” In my daily work and dives with sharks I am always removing their hooks. In this particular case it was harder than usual. After putting the shark in tonic[?] I had to pull it from deep inside. Caution: Don’t try this at home. Video

[Boat anti-theft plan]  Want to protect your boat while away?  Do the following:
Cut power to your lift or davits at the breaker box.  If your lift/davits are not on their own circuit they should be.  Consult an electrician.
Turn battery switche(s) to ‘off’.   (Your bilge pumps should be wired directly to the batteries)
Install an in-line fuel shut-off valve in an easily accessible but not obvious location. (The bad guys won’t get far even if they manage to defeat the other measures)
Use a locking device on the steering wheel (helm).  (I use a plastic coated 3/8th inch cable through the wheel spokes and locked around the seat post with an un-pickable barrel lock..   
Install a loud, screeching alarm on the hatch cover where the battery switch(s) are located.  Thieves know they probably have to turn the batteries on, but thieves don’t like noise.
Install a GPS tracking unit. (They’re fairly cheap and you can turn it off when you’re on-board)
Insure your boat for full  replacement value to avoid the insurance company depreciation double-talk swindle.

If your boat stays in the water use the above methods as they apply. Of course the value of your boat will determine the steps and expense you’ll willing to endure.  Boat thieves, like all scum bag thieves are opportunists always looking for an easy target. They don’t hang around trying to defeat numerous anti-theft measures and will move on to another target. The $300,000 boat taken from the dock here is likely in the Islands, Venezuela or Mexico by now.

So, to all: Good boating, calm seas and cold daiquiris at sunset.

The sweetest revenge is to maintain a good lifestyle.

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flag eagle

[Reboot America] I’m one of the older folks who doesn’t want to go backwards. I love my country and want to see it be #1 again and move forward in science and compassion for our fellow man. Never backwards, never regression. Amen!

[Formerly Bradley] “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.” Donate here, please. $30,000 would be a nice start. Link


Major hats off to Keys Electric for holding their ground on being scammed with hook-ups out on No Name Key.

an fat bar


I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes 5 years in a row! 

[Global Dimming] I see a couple of posts on the masking effect air pollution has on global temperature, this is known as Global Dimming as has been the subject of a couple of documentaries  (Global Dimming by BBC & Dimming the Sun by PBS)  Both have well developed arguments presenting the case that yes, air pollution is masking the effects of accumulated greenhouse

Remember a couple of days ago the link a poster provided about air traffic? Discussed in both films is the effect contrails have on air pollution. Watch Global Dimming here. Link



[The Mediator] Between the head and hands must be the heart. ~Fritz Lang’s Metropolis 1927

RIP Elmore Leonard. The Author’s 10 Rules of Writing–Number 10: Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Link


[“Old bank robbery on Front and Duval”] The only robbery that sticks out in my memory was the one where someone made a hole in the roof. They found the bank had been robbed Monday morning and the powers that be figured it had taken the robbers most of the weekend making said hole. I can’t remember if anyone was ever caught or what they got away with.



Georgia Tech student goes all Howard Dean in epic welcome speech in Atlanta. We need more of this. Video

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Senior Center’s calendar for September, 2013. Menu > Ongoing Events >AARP 
nira tocco realtor 9.12




The Sagittarius Teapot and the surrounding rich Milky Way are highest in the south right after dark in late August. The brightest puff of the summer Milky Way seems to rise like steam from the Teapot’s spout. All of the labeled objects here are good binocular targets under a dark sky.

[Robbery at Old KW Bank] The only thing I remember from that time is that the robbers were never caught. I think they came in through a hole in the building somewhere.

Elks-Lodge-Marathon00[Elks of Marathon] Let me introduce myself, I’m Barbara Gilreath, Exalted Ruler of Marathon Elks Lodge #2139.  My Esteemed Lecturing Knight, Carol Reed, told me that she had some luck placing an info blurb on the Coconut Telegraph and I decided to use your service since we had good results in doing so.  I did not wish to take advantage of you in any way.  As you know, this is considered off season and getting our news out in an actual ad is an expense that we cannot include in our budget at this time.  The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks is a charitable, fraternal order and we support Veterans, children and our community.  When and if we can afford to use your service we will by all means do so.  Thank you for the two messages that you printed for us.


The Ow in the Meow is a great article in The Blue Paper about the horrible impact that outdoor and feral cats have on the local bird population. I doubt that the facts will change the minds of the crazy cat ladies who enable these predators to kill so many baby birds. Link




Tonight at Springer’s Bar & Grill Karaoke – Sing a song or bring your dancing shoes

Great Fun, Great People, Great Night Out

[Obamacare Primer] Hospitalization. Under the law, your insurer must cover your hospitalization, though you may have to pay 20 percent of the bill or more if you haven’t reached your out-of-pocket limit. Some hospitals charge $2,000 a day for room and board alone, and $20,000 with medical services, so those bills can soar. This year, medical costs will help bankrupt 650,000 American households—including many who thought they had decent insurance until diagnosed with a serious illness.

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Apparently there’s a party on aisle 15!

[Edited Posts] I can just imagine the posts if Ed didn’t edit them. Ed has saved me from myself at times and I figure since it’s his/her’s site it’s up to Ed. Start your own unedited site.

tarps bungee cords
[“Today Show fluff”] If you’re over Dr Phil and the Kardashians switch to FOX. You sound like you’re ready to put down the Kool Aid. Give it a week. 



Amazing boat car truck thingy. Video

Real News can be found on RT, channel 280 on DISH.  Tune in and you will hear news about America that is not even mentioned on any major news programs.  RT runs basic news on the hour for 30 minutes, than the next 30 minutes are documentary programming.  All of this with no commercials except promotions for their upcoming programs.  RT is most informative especially in these troubling times of governments tampering with the free press and collecting information on all of us.

If you do not know that the United Kingdom threatened The Guardian until NSA information that Edward Snowden collected was destroyed, than you really do need to watch RT.  I am neither left or right, usually in the middle, but I do believe that a free press serves a vital role in keeping governments in line and when those same governments feel empowered enough to threaten a major newspaper, it is time to get out of our comfortable routines and pay attention.  Tune in to RT and then think about how to make a constructive change before our broken political system destroys the American way of life.


I’m so glad somebody reported on the bathrooms in KW airport.That will save me a couple of Ambien at night. I’m trying to picture someone thinking I can’t wait to tell everyone about the bathrooms! How messed up is their life? Then again I took the time to ponder their observation. Never mind, I’ll get two ropes.


When a site goes down or gets taken down, as it seems may have happened with the video someone was trying to reach Thursday, there’s a chance Google still has a copy of the page on hand. To access that cached version in the the Google Chrome browser type-   cache:    -directly before the URL.

In Firefox and Internet Explorer type-    http://webcache.googleusercontent .com/search?q=cache:   -before the URL. With any luck, the website will show up.


[Yellow Corn] You’ll reap seven percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A from yellow corn versus none from white corn! Also, try adding a chili pepper to a corn dish: This simple indigestion remedy has been widely used for generations in Mexico. The combination enhances your ability to digest corn’s protein.

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Watching MCSB[MSNBC?] and what a bunch of self-aggrandizing wankers. I am totally aghast. Captain Ed reminds me of General Stockdale. Remember that guy? 

super-ct23[Captain Doom and Gloom] “Attend Meetings — just paying lip service to the attendees” That is how the junta prove they are worth being there, it is just politics du jour!  When are you sheeple going to wake up and smell the greedies and island hoppers who are driving us out as fast as they can? They will make these islands a super resort with gated estates as soon as they can. Do not kid yourself, it will happen.

“No Name Electric Donations” $30,000 per property? Please show a written contract stating in detail, materials and labor, why a simple hook-up costs this much. Something seems way out of line here!

religion politics zone

[“Conservatives are Regressives”] I wish I were as articulate as yesterday’s poster in summing up the problem with Conservatives in a few paragraphs. Regressive is the word! Obstructionist is the other.

Only the FTR Guy could make a winning football team an anti-Obama political issue.

AFL-CIO passes resolution begging Obama to keep their current healthcare plan: “Whereas, we are only looking to keep the healthcare plans we have. Nothing more. Nothing less. We are not asking for any special treatment, no additions to what is currently provided by our Taft-Hartley Plans, merely to be allowed to keep the plans we have worked hard to secure for the 65 years we have been governed by the Taft-Hartley law;”

Bwahahahah…”no special treatment”…bwahahahah…

The undefeated Dolphins are now a political issue? Geeze, just when you think you’ve seen enough.

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The Republican Party is controlled by the wealthy and the wealthy are doing very, very well as we all know by now.  This means that Republicans in Congress have little incentive to do anything to help the rest of us. 

from the right

an_republican32My goodness, yesterday’s poster who slammed Republicans certainly was full of venom. And, s/he was chock full of wrong. Let’s look at some of the points s/he tried to make. First we have to remember that the Republican Party, like the Democrat Party is composed of a broad spectrum of political beliefs. On the one hand there are ultra right wing folks, then there are some folks who despise the notion of any abortions, then there are folks who are moderate, and there are folks who actually lean toward the left.  The very same thing holds true in the Democrat party. They range from far left field to near conservative views.

S/he claimed that the Republicans were anti women. That is a common untruth voiced by the left. Certainly it is true that there is a subset of Republicans who abjure abortion on demand, I’m one of them. But, the vast majority of us belief that abortion should be legal and rare. We believe that the law should recognize when life begins. Some say at conception, some say at 20 weeks or some other variant. Our objection to abortion in general is that it should not be paid for with tax dollars, and it should not be for the convenience of the mother. Abortion should not be used as a method of birth control. The idea that being opposed to abortion is to be opposed to women’s reproductive health is patent nonsense. Certainly abortion as a result of rape or incest should be acceptable. As to birth control, I know many Republicans, scores or more, not a single one of them opposes birth control. But, we do oppose paying for it with tax dollars. You should pay for you own thrills.

The notion that Republicans opposed stem cell research is pure nonsense.   In fact GWB pushed for massive funding of stem cell research which is now bearing fruit. GWB did object to harvesting stem cells from human embryos, but did support funding for stem cell research from the then existing stem cell lines. During GWB’s tenure it was learned that amniotic fluid was rich in viable stem cells. In fact, the National Institutes of Health has had hundreds of funding opportunities for researchers interested in stem cell research. In 2005 alone the NIH funded $607 million worth of stem cell research.

The “equal pay for women” issue is fascinating and twisting. The fact is that 1963 Civil Rights act already “guarantees” equal pay for equal work. By the way, the act passed the House with unanimous Republican support, but was opposed by a handful of Democrats. Did you get that, the only votes opposed to the bill were Democrats.  But it hasn’t worked. Still today some claim that women make only about 77% of what males in a comparable job make. If true, that’s wrong, it’s unfair. Obama made much ballyhoo and noise about his signing of the “Lilly Letbetter” act which was touted as being a huge step forward. But, it was all smoke and mirrors. The bill only extended the time that a lawsuit claiming discrimination could be filed. It had no effect whatsoever on women’s wages.

Republicans did oppose expansion of the 1963 act in 2010. The reason was simple. As written the Democrat proposed amendments to the 1962  law would have made every single US employer the target of multiple lawsuits. The 2010 law was deliberately unartfully written by the Democrats to ensure that the Republicans would oppose it, thus creating yet another item of misleading Democrat propaganda.

The poster railed that we Republicans are “regressive”, that we impede progress, and we yearn for an earlier time. That Deer Friends is ripped whole cloth from the Democrat book of canards.  Let’s think about that charge!

Today, after more than 7 years of Democrat control of our purse strings and economic policy, there are fewer people employed today than there were then. Today, after spending trillions of dollars on welfare, the welfare rolls are bigger than ever. Today in many states a person on welfare makes substantially more than a person who is working. Today, after 7 years of Democrat, Progressive, governance, food stamp usage is at ghastly record highs. Unemployment for youths and minorities are at record highs. Out debt is at record levels and is choking us. We are girding our loins to endure the so called Affordable Care which is certain to decrease the availability of health care while increasing the cost to the consumer, it is a law that the majority of American disapprove of. The law is so atrocious that even the unions now oppose it.  

Under this administration we are irrelevant to Russia, to the Chinese, irrelevant in the mideast and in in Europe. Our current US UN Ambassador, Samantha Powers, didn’t even bother to show up for an emergency meeting concerning the internecine slaughter in Syria. Obama has once again ignored a promise he made. Remember his promise that further gas warfare would be crossing a “red line” which would result in American action. Obama and his policies have delivered us to the pathetic state of irrelevance.

The poster was dead wrong on nearly everything. We Republicans don’t want to turn back the hands of time, we simply demand, and will get, responsible governance that will again lead America to it’s rightful, it’s historical, status as the beacon for freedom and leadership. Please recall that from 1992 until today we have had 12.5 years of Democrat occupancy in the White House, vs 8 years of Republican occupancy.

an republican floridaBy the way, the Democrat squealing that Republicans are anti-women is squalid nonsense. About 50% of the members of the Monroe County Republican Executive Committee are female. The Chair of the committee is female. The President of the Middle Keys Republican Club is female. Florida’s Attorney General is a Republican, her name is Pam Bondi. If you live in the Keys your Florida State Representative is Holly Raschein. The Clerk of the Monroe Country Courts is Amy Heavilin. County Commissioner Dist 5 is Sylvia Murphy. Mosquito Control District 5 is Jill Craney-Gage. Four of the five sitting female U.S. governors are Republican. That’s not a complete list, just a quick sample of leadership by women who are Republican. If you want a glimpse of the future of the Republican Party I urge you check out Lisa Billy who is a Native American and the assistant Majority Whip in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Link