2020 February

Friday, February 28, 2020

Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.

[Bad-mouthing] On Tuesday someone anonymously, and seemingly gleefully, posted about one of our local elected officials getting a divorce.  This kind of sad, private, news should not be publicly posted, and it most defiantly should not be smugly disseminated. It’s my guess that you (the anonymous poster) don’t even know the person you haughtily attacked; but whether you know her or not, divorce, illness, death, these are not the kind of sad life events you should wish on anyone.

Tuesday’s post was not a political or policy disagreement you (the anonymous poster) had with an elected official; it was a personal attach regarding what should have remained a private family matter.  And you, dear anonymous poster, should be ashamed of yourself — your lack of moral compass is pitiful, and your behavior appalling.  And I do sign my name to this post calling you out for your poor behavior and lack of empathy.  ~Beth Ramsay-Vickrey

[Kindness] No one stands so tall as the person who will bend down to help someone in need.



[Flu] What with all the cruise ships and tourists coming into Key West from everywhere, what are the odds of one of these Petri Dish cruise ships arriving with the coronavirus.

[Homeland Security vs Gestapo] Reportedly, biometric face scans on U.S. travelers will be implemented in July 2020 — another Homeland Security privacy invasion. As if accumulating mountains of data including your voice (like the original Terminator) from your cell phone and many common web applications wasn’t more than enough. Do you feel protected by the US Constitution’s 4th Amendment (“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”). Or do you feel more and more like a prisoner or slave without rights? I find the following items disturbing in similarity. I did not realize that We, the people, were the enemy.
In July of 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama stated that Americans could no longer “…continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” It was 4 months before the election; yet no one in the mainstream media seemed interested in asking a presidential candidate about his promise to create a civilian security force with a $440 billion annual budget!
When Adolf Hitler made his rise to power, he established the Secret State Police, headed by Heinrich Himmler. The German name for them is Geheime Staatspolizei. Taking a few key letters from the newly formed entity you get the more familiar term, Gestapo. The role of the Gestapo was to spy on the German people and identify any and all opposition to Hitler’s Third Reich.

[Violin Teacher] Beginner is looking for a violin teacher between Big Pine and Key West, my phone number is 305-872-1428. Thank you.

[Friday Joke] My wife ran off with my fishing buddy. I miss him, he had an awesome boat.
[Crooks] The FBI crime report for 2018 says in the US there is a robbery every two minutes on average.
A female friend of mine was robbed with a knife across her throat while waiting for a traffic light when leaving Jackson Memorial Hospital with a road full of co-workers blowing their horns at the perpetrator. Had somebody blown his head off instead of just honking, Miami would be just a little safer.
My friend’s boyfriend was shot in the face while being robbed in stopped traffic in New York City. Drivers around him saw, and even heard the robbery as it all happened, but nobody rescued him. He had offered no resistance but was shot after the robber had his wallet.
We need more good people carrying guns and willing to defend each other from the bad guys. Power car windows can be forced down if there is enough window opening to get a hand or tool in.
[Election Results] If votes were dollar bills we would have accurate results right after the elections. No mistakes. We value the dollar bill more than votes, honor, and truth. There would be no mistakes.
[Sewers] I hope that the residents tied into the sewer system owned by Monroe County have been paying attention to their television sets lately and are watching the colossal sewer leaks up in Ft. Lauderdale. They are things to come with the CRWS low pressure sewer systems. “They” told you that it was a gravity system. B. S. There’s no such thing as a gravity system in the Florida Keys where the highest point in the Keys is +62 feet— the hump on the 7 Mile Bridge.
[Friday Joke] My wife said, “You’ll never find anyone like me.”. I said, “I hope not.


David Stafford celebrates the Fender Stratocaster. Audio

[“Unkempt lots”] Unfortunately, there are many County owned lots on BPK.  In Eden Pines, contractors like the one across the street from me, use the lots as their own private dump.  It always looks like hell, attracts a shit load of rats, and the wind blows the trash everywhere.  Help!
[“Lamborghini drivers blocked US1 to take car photos.”] Who says the Keys haven’t been sold out to the rich? Just days after an article described how some New Yorker with enough money to buy a 60’ Sea Ray, but not enough sense to drive it, kills someone with it. We see a picture of these jag-offs blocking traffic to take pictures of their over-priced cars because they think they’re special. The Florida Keys lost their cool a long time ago. The reef has died and so have the Keys. I’ll bet this made the guy on Summerland with the yellow Lotus jealous!
Changing Florida’s Constitution? A new bill would make it harder than ever, but some Senators are balking. Link
[Flu] It’s remarkable the different response from our government versus the response from the CDC. Looks like I’m going with the CDC


[Flu] What’s the TDC’s position on the coronavirus entering the Keys?  If you are a tourist asking that question, you’ll get, “No problem, come on down.”

[Friday Joke] A husband and his wife were at their ten-year college reunion when they saw a man at the bar pounding down shots of whiskey.  He asked his wife if she knew the man at the bar and she said, “Yes, he’s an old boyfriend I dumped in high school.”  Her husband replied, “Wow, who could believe that he could go on celebrating for this many years?”

[Back Up Alarm] It’s a bummer that we have to put up with back up alarms. These 24 hour operations (Coca Cola especially) on Big Pine go on all night. Any rules being broken?  It sure would be nice to live in paradise without BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

The AARP March calendar of activities is here. Full Menu > Ongoing Events
[Flu] A million people landed in Key West airport last year and probably another million off the cruise ships. Are we safe? Don’t believe the Government, they won’t tell you the truth.
When you hire a licensed contractor, it is rare that the person actually doing the work or even supervising it is the person who qualified for the license. So, if you skip the contractor and pay the worker directly, you may or may not get the same quality work. If the handyman does poor work, you can refuse to pay him and he has no legal recourse, unlike the licensed contractor. Don’t be stupid and pay in advance. However, you can be cited and fined, as can the unlicensed worker,  for arranging the work. The following is an opinionated news report:.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office recently performed a sting against 118 people who performed unlicensed contracting work. Christian Britschgi of Reason reported that sting involved sheriff’s deputies posing as homeowners on social media seeking the services of handymen doing jobs that required licenses.
The handymen would unexpectedly be lured to one of five houses, where the undercover officers filmed them performing or agreeing to carry out prohibited tasks like painting or installing recess lighting.
Occupational licensing serves to protect already established businesses and raise revenue for the state via licensing. It’s a barrier to entry that hurts the poor and benefits bigger businesses that can bear the costs of regulatory compliance and bureaucrats who craft these arbitrary regulations and rely on further government expansions to make a living.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has thankfully made occupational licensing reform a major policy item during his term in office. Such police actions show that he still has work to do in regard to occupational licensing reform. Economic activity that has no criminal intent or does not cause harm toward others should not be criminalized. Link

[Flu Effect] The Dow loses 11 points—more coming. Link

[Friday Joke] While riding my Harley, I swerved to avoid hitting a deer, lost control and landed in a ditch, severely banging my head. Dazed and confused I crawled out of the ditch to the edge of the road when a shiny new convertible pulled up with a very beautiful woman who asked, “Are you okay?” As I looked up, I noticed she was wearing a low-cut blouse with cleavage to die for. “I’m okay I think,” I replied as I pulled myself up to the side of the car to get a closer look. She said, “Get in and I’ll take you home so I can clean and bandage that nasty scrape on your head.”
“That’s nice of you,” I answered, “but I don’t think my wife will like me doing that!”
“Oh, come now, I’m a nurse,” she insisted. “I need to see if you have any more scrapes and then treat them properly.”
Well, she was really pretty and very persuasive. Being sort of shaken and weak, I agreed, but repeated, “I’m sure my wife won’t like this.”
We arrived at her place which was just a few miles away and, after a couple of cold beers and the bandaging, I thanked her and said, “I feel a lot better, but I know my wife is going to be really upset so I’d better go now.”
“Don’t be silly!” she said with a smile, while unbuttoning her blouse exposing the most beautiful set of boobs I’ve ever seen. “Stay for a while. She won’t know anything. By the way, where is she?”
“Still in the ditch with my Harley, I guess.”

[“Capital Bank clueless”] I ditched the Capital Bank on Big Pine this year as well, after 25+ years there. They started charging me a monthly fee for a “free” checking account. Good riddance! I’m saving $96/year by going to First State Bank.

[“Old road prison umkempt”] In response to unkept. I wonder why they have all the ambulances in the old prison too? Spare parts? Is this going to be the new graveyard for official vehicles and boats?



[New Listing] Big Pine Appliance Repair > Business Directory > Appliance Repair

[Debate] If the Democrats held a debate in Massachusetts, would it be known as a Mass debate?
[“Build houses like thermos insulated mugs”] Many municipalities are now requiring pressure tests to assure new houses are sealed tight to prevent energy loss.


I do all my own stunts, but never intentionally.

[Guns] Thursday, February 20, 2020, the Oklahoma State House’s Public Safety Committee approved a bill that would expand protections under the state’s stand-your-ground gun law while rejecting another effort to repeal Constitutional Carry, which was passed last year. Stand-your-ground laws buttress the right to self-defense. They permit the use of force against perceived threats.
House Bill 3165, which State Representative Kevin West sponsored, shifts the burden for proving immunity from the defendant to the prosecution in cases where force is used. Traditionally, the burden of proof is on the defendant. Put simply, defendants wouldn’t have to demonstrate they were reacting to threats. Instead, the prosecution would have to prove they weren’t responding to a threat.
Stand-your-ground laws are popular in pro-Second Amendment circles. However, they’re controversial to gun control proponents because they argue these laws are racist, despite the fact that blacks in Florida have disproportionately invoked stand-your-ground defenses in defensive gun use cases. West’s bill was unanimously passed 12-0.
On the other hand, the committee resoundingly rejected HB 3357, the Constitutional Carry repeal bill sponsored by Democrat State Representative Jason Lowe. Last year, Lowe was unsuccessful in gathering enough signatures on a repeal petition to put the issue on the statewide ballot. He even told the committee members last week that Constitutional Carry is “a ticking time bomb” and an “utter disaster.” Unconvinced, the committee resolutely voted 1-11 against advancing the bill. The only dissenting voice was Democrat State Representative Ben Loring.
Oklahoma gun owners can sleep well at night knowing that Constitutional Carry remains safe for the time being.



Florida’s marijuana legalization effort. Link

[Friday Joke] A guy goes into the local Post Office to apply for a job. The interviewer asks him, “Are you allergic to anything?” He replies, “Yes, caffeine. I can’t drink coffee.”
“Ok, have you ever been in the military service?” “Yes,” he says, “I was in Afghanistan for one tour.” The interviewer says, “That will give you five extra points toward employment.”
Then he asks, “Are you disabled in any way?” The guy says, “Yes. A bomb exploded near me and I lost both my testicles.” The interviewer grimaces and then says, “Disabled in your country’s service! Well, that qualifies for extra bonus points. Okay. Looking at the regulations you have got enough points for me to hire you right now. Our normal hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can start tomorrow at 10:00 am, and plan on starting at 10:00 am every day.”
“The guy is puzzled and asks, “If the work hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 PM, why don’t you want me here until 10:00 am?”
“This is a government job,” the interviewer says. “For the first two hours, we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls. No point in you coming in for that.”



Kids exploring ancient ruins.

[“Cancer treatment”]  If you live in the Keys you either go to Miami or Key west five times a week. Sorry the Keys cannot accommodate you with down-the-street treatment.

[“Affordable housing”] Pretend there are 100 people looking for affordable housing and they build 200 new houses euphemistically called ‘affordable housing’. Who will live in the extra 100 houses? The people from the rest of the country. That’s who. More will come once they hear about the cheap rentals down here. “Build it and they will come.”

I still miss the Big Pine Restaurant when John and Samantha owned it.  Always great food, good service and decent prices


[Tourists] I know we live in a paradise down here, but what tends to ruin it are so many visitors from hell

[Friday Joke] My wife came home wearing a shirt that said GUESS on the front.  I said, “About 250.” That’s when the fight started
[Bionic Man] There was a time not so long ago that knee and hip joint replacements were not available except to the “6 Million Dollar Man.” Most people walked pretty well right through their eighties. Now I have friends in their low fifties looking for replacement replacements.
What changed? Wikipedia cites that “By 2030, the demand for primary total knee arthroplasty is projected to increase to 3.48 million surgeries performed annually in the U.S.” This is a big cash cow and I wonder if increased demand is created by destroying joints somehow. Medical-cash-cow-farming if you will. Early joint degeneration is not natural. What is it? Diet recommendations perhaps? A common prescription, like statins perhaps?
[Friday Joke] SON: Dad, how many times do you and Mom have sex?
DAD: We almost have sex every day!
SON: Really?
DAD: Yes, we almost had sex Sunday. Almost Monday. Almost Tuesday …