2012 December

Monday, December 3, 2012

[Crappy Christmas Present] Let me share with you a report from the trenches of the slumlord/foreclosure industry victims. After living in the Keys for approximately 6 months in a friends backyard, we finally came into an affordable rental. Hooray! Now keep in mind, we are the people that bag your groceries, serve you your food and drinks, and generally work to serve our wealthier residents. You know, the hidden service industry. You don’t want us at your house for dinner, but your life would be miserable without us.

Imagine how excited we are. As dismal as the rental might be, we can afford it on only 2 part time jobs apiece. I sign a year’s lease in good faith, and we move into our new home. And good lord, is it atrocious. I cried for 2 weeks over how horrible the living conditions were. But in the end, I made it ours. We scrubbed and cleaned and decorated, and we finally come to love our new home. We know we have a slumlord for a landlord, but that’s ok. We’ll deal with it.

We faithfully pay our rent on time every month. And, oh, did I mention that we have an elderly disabled man on Social Security living next to us on the same property? And he has been living here for 7, some, odd years, paying half of his meager SS check on his rent. But he is happy, and so are we.

Imagine my surprise when a real estate agent comes knocking on our door a couple of weeks ago. And she informs us that the bank she works for just purchased our home in a foreclosure sale, and we need to get the hell out. Nice. Shelter is one of the most basic human needs, and now we have none.

I do my research and learn that tenants in foreclosed properties have lots of rights. Great news. The new owner is supposed to honor our lease, so we should be safe until August 2013. What comforting news. Then I get a letter from some hotshot attorney in Ft Lauderdale telling me otherwise. Apparently, the lease that I entered into is completely invalid and fraudulent. The landlord, had lost the property over a year and a half ago. He never even owned it when the lease was signed. And he know it. No wonder he was in such a big hurry to get his rent every month. He was committing a criminal act every time he collected rent from us.

Now we have 60 days to find a new home. And of course, we are in peak season. So the best rental I have found so far in Big Pine is $1200 a month, with F/L/S. If we combined all of our assets (us and the elderly neighbor), we might be able to come up with $1000.

We have learned from our attorney that we have no recourse against the criminal that signed the fraudulent lease with us. Apparently renting something you never owned in the first place is somehow OK. And the bank has no interest in being a landlord, even though this piece of crap property will probably sit vacant for years and will become infested with crack heads and shruburbians the moment we are evicted.

There will soon be 3 new homeless service workers in the Keys, due to no fault of their own. And our elderly, veteran, disabled neighbor won’t leave until they “take him out in handcuffs”. Basically, a nightmare.

The owners of several successful RV parks in the lower Keys are laughing all the way to the bank, while they enjoy the comforts of their brand new homes, and girlfriends with fake breasts. And there are three new honest and hardworking people out on the streets. Maybe the sheriffs will take us out on Christmas Day; it certainly would fit their sense of conscience.

And this is a story that I have heard many times. So the next time you thumb your nose down at the people that are making you life more pleasant, remember this is the kind of thing that happens day after day here, not only in the Keys, but all over our great country. No good tenant, or good worker, should have to worry every minute of every day where they are going to live. Or if their next home might be the bushes across the street. Such a basic human need that is being exploited by unscrupulous and disingenuous slumlords. My only hope is that Karma really is a bitch.

If there are any legal professionals reading this, any advice would be greatly appreciated. I would be happy to provide contact info, but I am not sure if the CT would print it. Thanks for reading our story.

[“Who is/was Hobo Red”] I’m sure there are more than a few hobo’s named Red, but if we are on the same wavelength, there was a fellow, 8-10 years ago who was quite apparent drinking beer around town in the breakfast hours. He was even more conspicuous as a regular at local watering holes. What made him particularly noteworthy to me was that he appeared to know the words of all popular songs, which he sang with gusto while gyrating to the live music being played. Since I never saw him sober, I wondered how he achieved that, sans boom box, or iTunes? Furthermore, I heard he lived, or existed, in among the buttonwoods across from Winn Dixie. It was a sad surprise to hear that he died there, and no one seemed to know the cause. He was an affable soul; drunk but not obnoxious. I think someone, in benevolent remembrance, published his name and place of origin. Was it in the CT? 


Keys bridges showing their age.  Link

[Big box store] When that happens it will signal the final demise of Kmart and Sears. It will be only big box stores and the Internet for all our shopping.



[Looe Key Reef] Shipwrecks, sharks and some underwater jams.  Link

[Bird Sniper] A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office sharpshooter on Friday afternoon “euthanized” a pelican tangled up in an electrical transmission line suspended across Spanish Harbor in the Lower Keys. Dep. Christian Galls took the shot, which required a brief closure of Highway U.S. 1 for safety reasons. Keys Energy Services spokesman Julio Barroso said the utility was initially reluctant to OK the shot, but were assured by Sheriff-elect Rick Ramsay that Galls was a U.S. Marine Corps trained sniper.

“We definitely hoped the sharpshooter was a good shot and hit the bird, not the line,” he said.

Keys Energy, whose crews couldn’t reach the bird with a bucket truck, provides electrical service to some 30,000 customers between Key West and the SevenMile Bridge. A Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said U.S. 1 was closed for 10 minutes and reopened at 3:40 p.m.

Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade. Saturday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m.All boats are welcome to enter the parade including deep-sea cruisers, dinghies, kayaks and canoes. Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to arrive and hand out candy to the kids. The best recommended viewing is from Pine Channel Causeway or Parrotdise Waterfront Bar & Grille, 183 Barry Ave. on Little Torch Key. For details Bulletin Board

[Marathon Journal] The Journal is signed up for the Art Fest January 12 – 13, 2013 at the Community Park. The Journal is also signed up for the Seafood Fest March 9 – 10, 2013. 

Our booth is 12 by 12, two tables, two chairs, three sides for inclement weather, eight weights, and 88-quart cooler. All Charter Advertisers are welcome to share the tent to show off your business. Just call 305-743-9648 to sign up. There is no deadline. Show off your businesses even if it is a rack of business cards and/or brochure rack. Bring a small desk weight to keep your stuff from flying off the table. For Seafood Fest this year, the Journal is setup on a high-traffic corner. This is one of those benefits you have being a Charter Advertiser. For those attending these events look us up and say hello. The Journal will have small bottles of water to give away to a thirsty crowd.
2. Are you ready for December 21, 2012? 
3. How about Marathon City Council following its existing rules or at least modify them to their liking, e.g. agendas are supposed to be locked in by Thursday. That includes lay downs just before a meeting. Exceptions would have to be voted on by the council. They are supposed to be in control of their own rules.
 4. I now know what it is like to be without my glasses. I can see well enough to drive and watch the TV, but that is it. Just ordinary life requires a lot of reading.
6.      December 7, 1941 was “a day that will live in infamy” said FDR to a joint session of Congress. The survivors are going to the next phase of their existence. I visited Pearl Harbor often, as my ship was part of the 7th Fleet. The different places representing the Japanese attack are all informative and emotional. By far, the most effective in the déjà vu department is the USS Arizona memorial. There are still service members in the ship with only a funnel above water. The only other emotional site is Gettysburg and the bloody lane in Antietam. Over 4,000 died in that small area. Freedom is not free. 
7. The holiday season is crammed packed with football, basketball, and hockey both college and pro. One caveat is that the NHL is still stalled in talks. 
8. The Florida Keys economy is getting better by degrees. Building out our transient units will help the economy grow faster. I’ve been waiting for such good news. It is hard to report on the economy without having an effect on it. People tend to do what is expected of them. So good news leads to good business.
9. There is a Santa Claus. Take my word for it all you unbelievers. Lumps of coal for one and all. You’ve been warned.

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[“It’s time to remove the right to vote from women and non-contributing members of society”] I, as a women, did not vote for our president, therefore I take offense at your statement. So where do you fit in? Oh, with all the other non-contributing men of the Fl Keys?


[Treasure or Fraud] Today, Dec 3, in Federal Court in Key West before Judge King is the strange case of the emeralds found lying on the bottom as seen on “60 Minutes”.  It reminds me of a Carl Hiaasen novel. Map for the site bought for 500 dollars at a local bar, etc. Should be interesting. See the bizarre attorney’s affidavit. Link

BPK woman, Susan Miller, creates Key West Rubbers — rub your meat.  Link

[Benefit for Sandy] How sad someone sits at home and wants to know why there should be a fundraiser for the people who suffered from Sandy because they didn’t see any help from them when we went through Wilma. First of all, I didn’t see any of our houses reduced to matchsticks in Wilma. Yes, we got flooded like hell but I don’t know of any homes totally demolished by winds or tides. Neighbors helped neighbors on cleanup and we all pulled together to get through it. Look at the totally decimated neighborhoods up in NY and NJ. of good working folk like ourselves.


Do you think FEMA is going to do anything significant. I remember our FEMA relief — the truck with the sign “Free Ice” sitting for days at the Big Pine light trying to get rid of its ice. They were shoving rations into our cars even if we were just trying to pull into CVS to pick up meds. Did they get back into Port Pine Heights to get aid to those people? No it was Mike’s big orange truck. It is people taking care of people that keeps us civilized. And if part of our community wants to help people outside of our “borders” why does that bother you? Stay home. If you don’t want to be part of a community, people taking care of people, don’t bitch about those who do. Just stay in your dark, sad, little world and don’t participate. 

[“Who was hobo red”] I don’t know Hobo Red, but I did know a wino called Red in KW many years ago. I remember one time he was hired to paint a dock in Key West and he and his friend, another wino, painted the wrong dock–and wanted to get paid anyway.


Holiday baking recipes.  Link

Uncomfortable conversations and making amends.  Link
Daddy Bones had those signs made because the DOT put up a big sign that only listed the corporate places by name. All we got was a Conch Plaza mention and who the hell ever heard of Conch Plaza?( they’re the same landlord as Winn Dixie Plaza on Big Pine by the way) So between the roadwork and Pat Croce ripping off our menu and slogans, it’s a bit tough, but we love BBQ and really love meeting and making folks happy so we will survive. if anybody wants to have some fun with a Yankee got-miner please email, call or Facebook Mr Croce and ask him why he’s scared to have a BBQ contest and let the people decide who has best the smoke in keys. ~Thanks, Mike, Patti and Jonno. 
Daddy Bones BBQ. Check us out on Trip Adviser.  Link 

[“Who was hobo red”]He was a Big Pine character in the early 90’s.  He was a homeless guy who lived in the woods and, among other things, worked on the garbage truck when Ivan Baldauff (sp?) had the contract to pick up trash.

My favorite experience involving Red was one night when I was at No Name Pub, I saw him at the bar attempting to hustle some woman.  She was a tourist and part of his line was that they should write something romantic on a bill and staple it to the ceiling.  Only problem was that he had no money, so he pulled out a federal food coupon (food stamp), wrote his message on it, and stapled it up.


[Movie Observation] Cell phones never have reception when they are needed most.

[Movie] “Oldboy” is about a Korean who is locked up for 15 years in relative comfort without explanation and then loosed on Korea. It was an excellent movie (until the stupid end). I don’t know if it was the hero eating the live octopus or punching out those twenty guys with a knife sticking out of his back, but the guy is real interesting, to say the least.

“I cried when I had only one chopstick. I knew I’d hit rock bottom.”

“Woman’s hands are usually warm, that’s why they can’t make sushi.”


Address to send holiday cards for wounded troops.

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights,MD20791-5456

[Movie Bad Guys Speak “Bronx”]  That’s a switch!  I have a friend in the UK who won’t patronize Disney because all their baddies talk Brit.

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[Key West Orchid Society]  We’re looking forward to seeing you on Sunday the 9th at our Annual Luncheon at Square One from noon to 3pm. If you haven’t made your reservation call Joan Gregory Immediately: 294-2696. All memberships are due for renewal now. There is a membership form on page 2 of the Newsletter. You might want to meet Craig Pittman on the 6th & possibly buy his book about an orchid scandal. Bulletin Board > Continuing Events.

[Prescribed Burn] Oh, oh! The dreaded Prescribed Burn! They’re thinking of burning No Name Key. I hope they learned something from their out of control fires of the past.


I wonder what happened to today’s Citizen’s online issue. Much of the type has irregular spaces and line breaks. It looks like they have the same editor as the coconut Telegraph!

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. — I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. 

In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. 

~Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766

[Big box store] One way or another Monroe County Government will screw it up, they always do. 


Holiday Boat Parades to illuminate Fla. Keys waters.  Link

Mondays seem to go by in microwave minutes.


[“If I could get in touch with my feminine side I’d never leave the house.”] Wrong, you’d be out buying shoes 24/7 and getting extra pillows for the bed that serve no practical purpose.

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After the fact variances are the way to get anything done in the Keys. Like the lady who converted her single family Old Town home to a boarding house did. She operated it until she got caught and is now trying to get a variance to continue and to make legal an outdoor bathroom in order to comply with present codes. The house is owned by Faye Logan the notorious former of Logan’s Lobster House on Simonton Street from the good old days. “License? we don’t need no stinking license!”


In 1984, a leak at a Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India, killed more than 3,000 people within hours and made a half million people sick. Thousands are still sick today. Union Carbide gave the dead peoples’ families about $600 each. “Whoopie, we’re rich!”

I’m deeply honored to be a part of the Navy of the Conch Republic, and the certificate hangs proudly on my wall. I’ve opened the base of the show to include the motorcycle drag racing community, which is deeply embedded in my past. Not much known in KW, but I was founder and director of the American Motorcycle Drag Racing Assoc, the first national sanction for all bike drag racing. 13 of 26 events were rained out or on made ‘76 my 10th and final year. Many still remember what I did and the bike racing folks are responding very strong to the show, and becoming special guest call-ins. I tried to broaden market for the show without losing what I already gained and it’s working. Show numbers are kicking butt over all, but for one host (different one each nite) on . Really been great for my well being too, as forced medical retirement was not working for me at all. Now I have something to do, that I can do, and still pretty good at.
~Regards, and my best to you & yours. As always, Roy Boy, Commander, Navy of the Conch Republic.


This dude retrofitted the gear shifter in his van. He operates the automatic transmission with a shifter from an outboard. 

The first same sex marriage in West Point and Hitler is pissed. Hitler also admits to being gay.  Link


Fla. wildlife officials told to kill rare crocodile species.  Link

[“The apathy in Monroe County is reaching legendary heights.”] It is not just apathy that is growing here in Monroe County but the Bubba system is digging new roots and strongholds. How about this twist on the issue. Our new elected sheriff( whom I voted against) changed Havelin’s job description to help eliminate any conflict of issues and to lily whiten the situation up. Then we have the Eldest Ramsey in Marathon spearheading the port of entry issue, his son the sheriff, rewriting job descriptions and the daughter and sister of the above stated, fighting for electricity on No Name Key, after moving here from California. Ah for the good old days when the sheriff allowed drug trafficking and the economy of the Keys flourished. 

I am amused that FEMA is treating New York the same way they have always treated us. I have never been able to collect a cent from FEMA.


The world will end in 18 days on December 21, the Winter Solstice

[Cat & Dolphin Redux] We have come to expect dolphins to act in this manner but isn’t it interesting that the cat can sense they are not dangerous? It is more frightened of being splashed than being eaten.  Link


Best UFO sightings for November. The Maya wrote that before December 21st, 2012 there will be signs in the skies from the Sky Gods, until finally the Sky God Kukulkan, the God who showed them religion, math, science, architecture, astronomy etc. shall return on December 21st, 2012.  Link


[School Tests] test-makers, statisticians, and economists on modern educational decision-making. Unfortunately, our wizards of data are not wizards of humanity, and they have foolishly elevated impersonal forces as the drivers of education. The education of children is above all a human endeavor. We aren’t programming answers into computers; we are inspiring and encouraging and challenging and coaxing and pushing and pulling and hoping and praying and hugging and wiping tears and watching ballgames and telling them how nice they look in their prom dresses. The value of the factory model touted by today’s educational Taylorists is quickly disproved by its absence of the holistic and humane methods employed in the best private schools. Middle class kids need and deserve more art in their lives than the arrays of bubbles they pencil in. Elite reformers want what’s best for their kids, but they often only want what’s most efficient for yours and mine. Ultimately, I want for my kids what caring parents, like our president, want for theirs: a thorough, non-standardized education of the whole child. Today we are so busy raising test scores that we are forgetting to raise children. The little red schoolhouse is fast becoming a little red widget factory, and that’s wrong for kids and detrimental for our future well-being as a people.

What happened to Classic Carpets? They were going gang busters, then some kind of scandal, then nothing!


I just heard on the late news that a Broward Co. FL cop shot a dog after it bit him on the hand. No other details. For all I know, it might have been a Presa Canario & the next bite would’ve been to cop’s throat. 

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[Miami Swat Team] Are you telling me that us Keys cops are not the same caliber as them? is that what your saying? Man, If I find out who you are I’ll show a beaten like you’ve never seen. Don’t you ever talk down us cops.

[“Who was Hobo Red”] I think he was the guy that Bench Bob replaced. The guy in the Big Pine Liquors told me his given nickname was Reddy Red. He was permanently banned from Big Pine Liquors because he was a repetitive sampler of spirits. He was a Keys Klassic 
[Racial Discrimination] National Association of Black Scuba Divers. According to the Sun-Sentinel this is an “African-American scuba divers group” that helped solve the mystery of the Key Largo shipwreck Hannah M. Bell. Do you have to be African-American to be a member of the group? How about Jamaican-American or Italian-American? In this day and age when everyone wants to be treated equally why would you belong to a group named the “National Association of Black Scuba Divers”? It’s amazing to me. Surely there would be outrage if there was a National Association of White Scuba Divers.

[“Amy Heavilin is firing or driving out all the stable experienced people in the Clerk’s Office”] Who else is leaving besides Danny, Belle and Kevin? Details please, otherwise you’re just Amy bashing.  And there’s already another Clerk candidate (also-ran) making ongoing sore loser rants. I didn’t voter for her, but she’s there and now we have to make the best of it.  Same can be said for the new State Attorney.

Let’s give Amy Heavilin the “Heav(e) Ho”.

[Captain Doom and Gloom]  After reading tons of comments on the last election, it is obvious that voting as we once understood it, is dead. It matters not what a candidate does or promises, but what he looks like and what BS he tells the sheeple. “Thou shall not brake any bubbles!”, is holy rule number one. Give the fools what they want in single syllable terms, is number two. Number three, put on the grand show and have the media post all the propaganda needed, but never the truth of what is really happening, then one can rule as ordered to without the strings showing.

“End of Days” WW 3? Where is it when we need it? Oh, on the 21st! Can’t sue the Mayans. They didn’t have a money system, they bartered.  Mayans used cacao beans. How do you like your Coco Loco con Leachy?

 “What happened to Sony” They might have been bought out by others and of course, the quality goes to hell and the prices go sky high, then customer service becomes nonexistent. IBM? ATT? Chrysler? Lucent Tech? How many others?

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Hey man. Check Sunday’s December calendar carefully! (Ed: No wonder I’m always screwing up the dates!)

Now that marijuana is legal in Colorado and no longer as cool to smoke, it will be interesting to see how the usage statistics change over time.

[Hate, American Style] If they can storm our Embassies, burn our flag, shoot our Ambassador and all the other crap they do, maybe this is the least we can do and still remain peaceful.

In Seville, Spain, local people found a way to stop the construction of another mosque in their town. They buried a pig on the site, and made sure this would be known by the local press. Islamic rules forbid the erecting of a Mosque on “pig-soiled ground.” The Muslims had to cancel the project. This land was sold to them by government officials. No protests were needed by the local people and it worked! Plant a pig.  In Texas, they have an over abundance of feral pigs. They could send them all over the country, and just plant them everywhere. Americans, put on your thinking caps, and let’s find a solution to this problem of a spreading menace to our American way of life! If pigs are the answer, let’s do it. Maybe we could get someone to Plant a pig at the White House.

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I can’t wait until Obama really screws the rich and taxes them more. Once the airheads in Hollywood realize that they are on the list maybe we will see some basic tax reform put into place. 

FTR is now telling us that even thou 8 of the 10 wealthiest counties voted for Obama it didnt mean anything because every American didnt vote.  Reminds me of another brilliant belief.

Titanic navigator: Captain we are starting to see Icebergs right in front of our eyes.

Titanic captain : No we dont. Full steam ahead. 

Keep up the great work FTR we Democrats are your largest supporters on here. Keep them coming.


[Welfare] Forget the stock market’s dismal decade of much-ado-about-nothing and ignore the USD Dollar’s declination; when it comes to reflection on what this once great nation has ‘created’ since 2001, this chart from Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare sums it up better than most.

Bradley Manning is no traitor, just a whistleblower for Freedom of Speech and should be protected as such.  Link

This bit of news may come as a shock to some folks who follow this site,  but the hated so-called “redistribution of wealth” is what makes our economy run.

If you think about it,  going over the old fiscal cliff could be a good thing. They are saying that this will result in tax rate increases and massive spending cuts.  Isn’t this just what the Country needs to get back to financial solvency?

[“Obama characterized Romney as being a murderer”] Where does FTR get this stuff? I’m glad FTR doesn’t have a gun or we’d all be in trouble. He’s getting crazier and more paranoid every week.

From the Right

Ambassador Susan Rice seems to be the subject of much ink and media attention of late. Yesterday a CT poster wrote of her and expressed the opinion that she should not be our Secretary of State. I agree with that poster. First of all we have to recall her history. In 1998 she was the official in the State Department responsible for embassy security in Africa. It has been reported that she had been petitioned by the staff of the US embassies in Nairobi,Kenya, and in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania for additional security because of the rapidly increasing threats from Jihadists.  That request was denied.  Both embassies were bombed shortly thereafter by Muslim terrorists and hundreds of lives were lost. Recently Ms. Rice was asked about the episode, she was asked if she had refused to increase security.  Ms. Rice responded that she would have to refresh her memory.

Then there is the issue of her attempting to “sell” the embarrassingly obvious false information concerning the Bengazi raid on 09/11/22. She did her level best to convince the world that the Benagzi assault was the work of a mob, not a terrorist attack. Exposure of the facts of the Bengazi assaults would prove that Obama’s claim that AQI was waning in power to be absolutely false. It would prove that Obama’s “light footprint” policies were horribly flawed and had led directly to embassy staff deaths.  Without a doubt, the Obama campaign was ready to all in its power to avoid the electorate from learning the truth. Hence, Rice, who actually played no role in the run up to the disaster, was called upon to spread the lie. Hillary Clinton is and was the Secretary of State. All of that happened on her watch, she was responsible for the policy and the security. Yet, Obama did not send her out, or perhaps she refused.  In is impossible to believe that Rice did not know that the assault was terrorism. Nonetheless, she spread the lie in a crass attempt to mislead the public just days before the election.

Then there is the issue of Rice, her husband, and Iran. Rice and her husband currently have and have had substantial holdings in oil companies that have and are doing business with and in Iran. Even Democrat staffers have stated that the investments would prompt questions of her if she is nominated.  I trust that you will vividly recall the caterwauling from the left when they claimed that Romney had had investments in similar oil companies.

Then we learned yesterday that Team Obama is dead set against a new round of Iran sanctions that the Senate unanimously approved Friday.

Then we just learned that Ambassador Rice has major holdings in the Company that is chartered to build the Keystone Pipeline.  Please remember that the Secretary of State must approve of the Pipeline,Clinton has already approved it.  Believe it or not it is the far left that is really pissed at that.

The big media has adopted Ambassador Rice as if she were their love child. They accuse any politician or citizen who dares to criticize her or suggests that she is unfit to serve as Secretary of State of being racist, a misogynist, and a hater of youth.  They suggest that Ambassador Rice should be immune from criticism because she is a young, and successful black woman.  They characterize her critics as being angry old white men. The media chooses to ignore the fact that most of Ambassador Rice’s critics were staunch supporter of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell. As an aside to our liberal friends who have notoriously short memories, one of those folks is female, one is male, and both are black. Both were far from being “old” when they assumed their responsibilities. Both were heartily embraced by Conservatives/Republicans.