2020 April

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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


[Angel Shark] Yesterday, while fishing in the channel in front of Little Palm Island, my girlfriend caught an angel shark.  I’ve been here forty years and have never caught one nor have I heard of anyone catching one.  Is it as unusual as it appears to be? Link

[For Profit Healthcare] Stop selling our health. No one can afford it. All we’ve ever been told against national healthcare is bogus and paid for by those who are paid to keep it from us. We’ve been fed lies and falsehoods forever. The enemies of healthcare only have to mention the word ‘socialism’ and their followers are against it, but people are starting to wise up. The biggest claim against national healthcare is that there are long waits to see your doctor. That is not true. It takes just as long to see a non-profit doctor then it does to see a for-profit doctor. The same is true with specialists. As it is I have to wait a month to see my for-profit specialist. It takes the same length of time in Canada to see their people’s specialist. Same with England. Next time you hear bad things about national healthcare follow the money to see who runs these negative websites or who pays the talking heads on tv who are against it. The best part of national healthcare will be the stockpiled medical supplies in case of a pandemic that you’ll never see happen with a for-profit health system.



[Trump Bucks] The government is throwing free money at us and I’m grateful, but when this is all over they’ll be coming after us and say we received the money without really qualifying or our paperwork was wrong or something. That’s what happened after Irma. Every agency in the world was throwing money at us until they decided to take it back.

[Martial Law] If this virus gets any worse will the government declare Martial Law? Then what will happen? Will they supply food and TP? Will they put a hold on taxes or raise them? What about the baby boom that will come? What if my baby has the virus? Will I get my wages even though I am not working? Will unemployment be available if Martial Law is in effect?


[Bill Withers Dead] Aw man, Bill Withers was really the greatest. Grandma’s Hands, Ain’t No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Use Me Up, Just The Two Of Us, and Lovely Day are some of the best songs of all time. My heart really hurts remembering him, it reminds me of playing records at my grandma’s house. Link
Ain’t No Sunshine

[Oh, No!] Amazon stopped 2-day delivery when they ran out of healthy people.


[“Trump & Romney’s tanning beds”] It was likely a joke, but Donald Trump does not use a tanning bed. That lumpy, fat, white skin has not seen the sun in decades. Trump has a spray-on tan. That is also why it is so yellow.

[Realtors] A real estate agent who pressures you to buy a home you aren’t sure about or one that’s out of your budget is more interested in their commission than helping you find the best home for you and your family.  The Keys has the worst or them.
If we had expanded Medicare the profit requirement would be eliminated, and medical supplies would have been stocked piled already–before they are needed. It’s not done now because there’s no insurance company that wants to waste money warehousing stuff they might never need.
[Coronavirus and Key Deer]  Last week SOKD reported that as per the CDC, there is no evidence that people have sickened their pets or other animals. Unfortunately, that is no longer true. On Sunday the Bronx Zoo in New York reported that “Nadia” one of their Malayan tigers has tested positive and has actual symptoms – including a dry cough – as do 3 other tigers and 3 lions. All are believed to have been infected by a zookeeper who had the virus, since the zoo has been closed to the public for the past 3 weeks.
“This is the first time that any of us know of anywhere in the world that a person infected the animal and the animal got sick,” Paul Calle, the chief veterinarian at the zoo, told Reuters news agency on Sunday. All the big cats are expected to make a full recovery. This situation underscores, however, the complete lack of knowledge about human-animal transmission possibilities of Covid-19. In light of that, SOKD advises to exercise caution when interacting with pets, especially by people who have tested positive for Coronavirus or think they may have it.
We must all practice social distancing with the Key Deer since an epidemic among them could literally wipe them out. Give our animal friends a break—keep away from them.
[“Some people won’t follow common-sense rules”] Do you mean like the local personal trainer who posted how clean his gym was on Facebook a couple weeks back when the first thing they closed was gyms and workout studios? Just shows you how the greatest generation gave us parents who raised the most selfish generation. Like the kids who had to have Spring Break – may they all get it and enjoy the fever and hallucinations


March Madness is cancelled, the NBA is shut down, the Masters is postponed, and my Aunt Marge’s senior bowling has even thrown in the towel. Now restaurants and bars are closed, and our 40-handicap governor is threatening to shut down all entertainment facilities including golf courses. I have not tested positive, but the coronavirus is killing me.

If I masturbate will that kill the virus by over-heating my body? How long do I have to do it?


I always thought we lived in a sick society, now I can prove it.

[Don’t Touch Your Face] After all the stupid things I’ve done in my life, if I die because I touched my face, I’m going to be seriously pissed.
[Hello Pilgrim] John Wayne special from 1970, lots of familiar stars if you’re old. Video



[Border Wall Progress] This video was filmed by a drone that was controlled by a man sitting in a lawn chair.  He would move his location to different sections where wall construction was taking place.  Music and title work were then added to the film and … voila! The resultant video was done in January, 2020 and is very cool. Video

[Coronavirus Suicide] Although Miami-Dade is well above the averages, your overall odds of infection in Florida are about 1 in 2,000 and of dying from that or something else you had or developed concurrently are about 1 in 100,000. Suicides or accidental vodka overdose deaths from depression and despair because of lockdown and other panic reactions that cost people their income, or murders due to cabin fever, will probably exceed the direct disease deaths. Without the added stress of Covid-19 repercussions, the CDC had published a Florida rate of suicide death of 0.015% of the population, or 15 times the Miami-Dade death rate of Covid-19 related deaths! Keep your cool. You don’t think well when panicked and the media is not helping you.

[Killing Germs] I had a conversation with the Director of Public Utilities at a city on the mainland today, who told me that so much disinfectant is being used by people and establishments on his city’s sewer who are fearful of Covid-19 virus, that it is killing much of the bacteria in the city’s sewer treatment plants! They are having to import bacteria to restore a functional population. No bacteria means no significant treatment or nutrient removal. The same applies to septic tanks and is why you should not use chlorine bleach if your washing machine drains to the septic tank instead of your papayas. “The Law of Unintended Consequences” is seldom broken.

There are super funny Carol Burnett skits on YouTube.  Lyle Waggoner and Tim Conway were hysterical. Video
[Free Cruise Ship Meat] Cargill Protein donated 10,000 pounds of beef, pork and chicken to the Florida Keys for its various food banks to help people during the coronavirus pandemic. The food is part of the company’s frozen supply that would go to cruise ships at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. The cruise industry is under a 30-day suspension amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The shipment, which amounts to about $70,000 worth of meat, was organized by Islamorada resident and former Cargill employee Michale Rempe, and Mike Forster, owner of locally famous Mangrove Mike’s Cafe. “That’s a nice donation,” Rempe said this week. Forster has been offering free meals at his restaurant to locals since Monroe County ordered all hotels in the Keys closed last month, and he has donated supplies to local food banks.

[Contact High] Hash Bash in Ann Arbor will be virtual this year because of coronavirus: How to watch. Video


[National Healthcare] The United Kingdom is praising its National Health Service for their handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. They are making their own respirators and will be delivering them at the beginning of the week.

Now here in the USA, all we have is words promising, but not delivering, on this and that. That is the difference between not-for-profit health care and for-profit healthcare. One treats you, the other bills you.

Good things are starting to happen fast. Manufacturing is ramping up to make hospital stuff. England is turning out respirators this week. Apple just switched a Chinese production line to making masks. This is just what we need. I never want to hear about a medical shortage ever again.



Key West jail ends lucrative contract and gives ICE back its detainees because of the virus. Link

[Supreme Grand Master of Launching] Launch skills by the Supreme Grand Master of Launching—bar none! Video


[Mileage]One good thy that has come from the stay at home directive is that my car is now getting two weeks to the gallon.

[“Selling your house without a realtor”] We recently tried to sell a house on BPK at market price and in perfect condition. We used a realtor for six months but never heard why it wasn’t selling except “the market is down right now.” No, it wasn’t down. It was up, as a matter of fact. People were buying and selling all over the Keys. She was just a lousy realtor.
[The End is Coming] What to do if you know you have the virus and are not going to make it.
Update your Will even if you hand write it in pencil. Sign it.
Leave it on your dining room table with all your keys and other instructions.
Call your relatives and friends and inform them you’re dead.
Prepare your property and belongings.
Shut off all circuit breakers not needed.
Shut off hot water heater and propane if used
Close all windows and lock them.
Close all doors and lock except the main entrance
Hide the door key and tell your people where
Cancel all deliveries, subscriptions and accounts.
Cancel your cable and phone.
Cancel insurances, and special accounts.
Write checks to your relatives and mail them, and clean out your banks.
Sell all your stocks and bonds and make payable to relatives.
List everything of value and mail it to your relatives.
Prepare your vehicles for storage until your relatives come for them.
If you have weapons, call the local police and inform them to pick them up.
Let your spouse know what is about to happen and help everyone to understand.
Do not let the kids run wild and infect others.
If you have pets, take care of them, they will go nuts otherwise.
Do not pretend this will not happen be honest about everything




You don’t need a bookmark with eBooks.

[Marine Patrol] I was wondering why it takes three, yes 3, law enforcement vessels to control the Corona virus on Little Palm Island. I’ve lived here 25 years and never seen so many LEOS on the water at one time. This actually started before the pandemic so one must ask one’s self “why”. What would cause all this harassment, there weren’t that many when hundreds of Cuban rafters were coming ashore. And try as I may, I don’t remember ever seeing more than one Marine Patrol boat at Picnic Island at one time in all those years. Even on Memorial Day or 4th of July or Wetstock.

Could our sheriff need to pad the coffers with Coley Family[?] monies?

Or, are they just looking after our well-being by keeping us out of the way of the captains working for Little Palm. Hmmmm! Perhaps they should check their licenses and credentials, doh, never mind. But thanks for protecting the delicate sea bottom that wasn’t even there before Hurricane Irma.



[Sick Tiger] A tiger in the Bronx Zoo has contracted Coronavirus, a cross-species infection. Not good.

What do deer chew all the time? It can’t be cud, can it?



[Zombie Brain] If you really know what a virus can do, you will realize that it attacks the brain first, or is seems so with all the people not wanting to take correct precautions for this world plague. Something tells me this bug is way beyond anything we can handle.

We need leadership not misdirection and false hope from the government, now more than ever.
After a day of yard work, I was too beat to do much but watch the idiot tube last night. First, I saw a documentary about the mystery illness that was killing mostly Navajo Indians by respiratory failure and how they discovered it was Hantavirus that manifests every few decades. Then I saw an ancient Star Trek where they talked about the bio-warfare of the 1990s (about 20 years in the future at that production time) where governments unleashed novel viruses to kill or disable whole populations. It is well known that the big governments of the world have labs experimenting with both old and new GMO diseases in case they decide to wipe out or disable populations for military conquest without destroying infrastructure. Or possibly to comply with U.N. Agenda 21 world depopulation objectives that were agreed to by most of the big world governments including the U.S. That’s not a conspiracy, it’s a fact.
[Classified Ad] Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.

[Passing Quarantine Time] Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem. I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I’m cracking a safe.

Since when is stating facts considered a “conspiracy theory”?  If anyone looked at the statistics regarding this virus, vs depending on the media and their interpretation for information, they would come to the same conclusion.


[Stop The Press] The Key West Citizen is no longer publishing the newspaper on Mondays. They don’t have enough people

[“Selling your house without a realtor”] Your agent’s job is to attract as many potential customers as possible to view your home—and that means a lot more than putting a sign in your yard and posting a photo on their website. In the industry, that’s known as “Post and Pray.” It’s when you post a sign in front of a home and pray someone buys it. We’re big believers in the power of prayer, but we also believe in marketing and hard work. If I were selling my BPK house, I’d ask for the agent’s marketing plan for my home. Make sure you understand why they choose some venues instead of others. They may have a good reason, but that’s something they need to explain to you.

We have new heroes of this latest world-changing disaster are the health workers. They are the new hero fireman like from the World Trade Center rescue. These people are risking their lives trying to save lives of people who they never met.

[Presidential Downfalls] Carter neglected the military, Bush neglected our Intelligence services, and Trump neglected our nation’s health.




Pennsylvania is closed.

I have held my tongue and read all sorts of stupid crap here (esp. after Dear Editor really screwed up the private message I sent him offering use of my web server to offer additional features here)[Ed: Thanks anyway but I have a server and all the features I want.] and in the mainstream media that should know better. No more. Ever notice how our government talks out of both sides of their mouths? They say the public does not need masks because they need masks for the hospitals. They tell the public that masks won’t protect us, and in the next breath say how important they are for health care providers. Now they admit COVID-19 can be spread by talking or even breathing and that 25-50 percent of carriers have no or mild symptoms. However, they don’t spell it out for you, that yes, COVID-19 is substantially airborne and you can likely be infected up to two hours after an unmasked carrier has left an inside space. Infected people certainly should wear masks, but nobody knows they are infected, duh!

They tell us only old people with pre-existing conditions need to worry about death. Another lie. Notice all the people in their 30’s including doctors who are dying on the front pages of our newspapers. Personally I think the guidance to wear masks was delayed due to Trump’s resistance that he did not want to see the public masses wearing masks (to be shown in the media) because then nobody would believe his lies about the pandemic.

They all seem to forget that during the 1918 influenza pandemic it was mandatory to wear masks. That flu affected 500 million people and over 50 million died. A half-million in the US alone. Today, COVID-19 Testing, which got a really late start, has been a shambles and one commercial lab has a backlog of 160,000 swabs to still be tested. Lots of good that is going to do.

Now, there are others making masks. Two local groups have been profiled locally. I applaud their intentions, but they should have paid some attention. These were feel-good puff pieces, not real news. A cloth mask will provide some protection, it is better than nothing. Cloth is woven and real medical masks are not woven, that material is spun. Cloth masks should be made with a pocket so that a filter can be inserted. N95 masks and medical masks are not made of cloth, they are made from non-woven polyethylene and they are at least 3 layers thick. It is easier to buy rolls of that material than to find masks.

We have Law Enforcement manning a checkpoint. I don’t know how many here have seen the video of this operation. Those officers are within 2-3 feet of hundreds of people every day and not a one did I see wearing a mask. What good’s keeping the infected out, while getting the infected on the job and taking it home?

Ten days ago I made various contacts with Keys LEO, the County mayor, individual officers, the Florida Dept. of Health offering to sell them N95 face masks for far less than what New York is willing to pay for them, and not a word back. I offered whole face shields and have not heard a freaking word back. I can deliver 10,000, 100,000 or a million masks within 10 days and I’ve been ignored.


[Fake Treatment] The fog machine they use to kill the virus makes hydrogen peroxide steam or Lysol steam. Can boil water add chemicals pour in bucket with towel tied to rope. Lift rope raise towel and steam rises up and out. Boil more water and repeat thoroughly throughout home. Probably a more efficient way than this though. Stay safe and sanitary.

Amazon has stopped their next day free delivery for Amazon Prime purchases, blaming it on Covid-19 prioritizing of shipments. The shipping is still free but it takes about a week. The convenience of next day free delivery was worth the $13/month to me plus the extra $1-2 per item price of Prime eligible products over the same item on eBay. Plus, Amazon has a crappy search engine that returns results that are not even close to the search words used, whereas eBay’s search engine is quite good, yielding fewer results as words are added to the search rather than more. I think Amazon, like many other big businesses, is using Covid-19 as an excuse to increase profits. To show my displeasure with their disservice, I immediately cancelled my Prime membership. Reward for good behavior, punish the bad is basic to training. Bad dog, Amazon! Go to your cage!


Astrophysicist gets magnets stuck up his nose while inventing coronavirus device. The Australian doctor ended up in hospital after inserting magnets in his nostrils while trying to build a necklace that warns you when you touch your face. Like I’ve always said, you can have all the book-smarts in the world, but if you don’t have any common sense you’re still a moron. Link

I was checking out the stock market and reviewing my portfolio and this is what i found.
Helium was up, feathers were down.
Paper was stationary.
Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading.
Knives were up sharply.
Pencils lost a few points.
Hiking equipment was trailing.
Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline.
Weights were up in heavy trading.
Mining equipment hit rock bottom.
Diapers remained unchanged.
The market for raisins dried up.
Balloon prices were inflated.
And toilet paper touched a bottom yet again


[We’re All Going To Die] Government experts are finally admitting that Covid-19 will not be eliminated, no matter how long or severe the restrictions. Already, there are several strains of the corona virus in circulation, and there will likely be many more. They expect a new threat every year with another mutant for which the last vaccine does nothing. People will get sick, a small percentage of them will die. Maybe me, maybe you, but we were destined to die before being born. Pandora’s Box has been opened. The common cold killed a large percentage of isolated peoples when they were first exposed. We need to develop a robust immune system and hiding will not affect that.

[Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue] Tuckers and delivery companies of every size and shape are maintaining a non-stop distribution of essential resources necessary to sustain life on our islands, during the viral pandemic facing our nation and the world. Selfless and silent labor by these warriors often goes underappreciated and unnoticed.

Supermarkets, drug stores and gas stations with a plethora of dedicated service workers have dutifully kept  food, nutrition, medicines and energy at the ready for the communities they serve. Sanitation workers regularly remove toxic and contaminating debris  from our trash, without much notoriety or fanfare. Our families and children are safer because of their bold and unquestioning actions.

Law-enforcement, fire/rescue, paramedics, EMT’s, Emergency Room Personnel, medical staff, Post Office Employees, Electric Co-op, Aqueduct Authority, Food Pantry Volunteers and the “Free Press”; are the  “Guardians of the Gate” maintaining our security and well-being, whatever the cost and sacrifice they may have to make.

In addition, through fair weather and foul members of our Armed Forces provide a protective umbrella under which all of our Constitutional freedoms and liberties are able to coalesce; bringing about the best possible outcome for the challenges that we face.

The kinder, compassionate and gentler society we’ve been promised by our government schools, colleges and universities appears not to have taken hold as of yet. Nasty hoarders, dangerously self-absorbed would allow another person and their family to suffer needlessly, as they abscond with all valuable items, rather than share the limited supply available with their neighbors.

In some individuals, or maybe many, fear and opportunity triggers animalistic thoughts, action and behavior. Societal breakdowns are all too common. We’re not as advanced nor civilized as we purport to be.

The extraordinary command and control exhibited by County Administrator Roman Gastesi and his courageous staff,  along with the distinguished and inspirational leadership Sheriff Rick Ramsay and State Attorney Dennis Ward have delivered during these times of uncertainty. They sustain and comfort many families throughout the Keys.

As far as ordinary folk going about their daily lives dealing with lay-offs, firings, infirmities and uncertainty for themselves and their families; it brings to mind a renowned quote I’m familiar with: “Uncommon valor was a common virtue”. ~John Donnelly



[Keys Check Points] I heard people are trying to breeze through the Keys’ checkpoint with fake hurricane re-entry stickers. You got to love those Dade and Broward folks, they are so creative.