2020 January

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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


[Post Offices Burgled] The Big Pine and Summerland Key post offices were robbed Sunday or Monday. Thieves pried open the blue mailboxes. I went to mail an important package and they were closed Monday. I thought it was because they got burgled so I drove to the Summerland post office and they were robbed too—an closed. So I went to the UPS Store and shipped my parcel. I old the woman there that the post offices were robbed and closed. She told me it was a holiday—Martin Luther King Day (It’s like Kwanza, everybody knows about it, but no one celebrates it.)

[Encryption] There are only 2 places I know of where humans can go online and have guaranteed privacy. Apple iPhones and the WeChat texting app. Apple consistently refuses to reveal its encryption unlocking code to the government. So does WeChat. I think it is better to let crime exist for the relatively few bad guys in order for the billions of good people to  use these services. It’s important for us to feel secure and completely private when communicating with our contacts. What’s the use of encryption if it can be unlocked by third parties? Privacy doesn’t mean we like crime. That’s a fake argument by those who haven’t thought matters of privacy through. Privacy means if I tell you where I hide my money, only you will be able to know where it is.
There are many reasons for privacy, many, but only one reason for the government to spy on anyone. The argument that “I have nothing to hide” is another fake argument spewed by sheeple who can’t see the woods because the trees are in the way.
The whole purpose of encryption is complete privacy—not just a little bit of privacy. People have to feel secure in what they write. Governments wants to remove encryption from private use. Forcing Apple to unlock its phones “just this one time”, sets a precedent that would be almost impossible to change. “I’m from the government, can I come in?”
I’m not so sure I’ve got the balance between catching terrorists, and the world’s privacy, quite right, but it’s a tremendous problem that will change communications for ever. In a perfect world terrorist would not be allowed to use encryption, but until then we’re continuing the path towards Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Whose flag will we fly, America’s or the Brave New World’s?


[Fraud] I watched a tear-jerker TV ad by the ASPCA begging me to save freezing neglected dogs by donating $19 per month to them. I noticed that nearly all of the shivering dogs in the ad were in cages with fresh straw bedding on the floor. I believe these are nearly all ill-sheltered ASPCA dogs. That may have been taken by Animal Control because they were peeing off-the-leash but were used to laying inside by the fire. I did not contribute. Let them spend the huge TV ad money on cardboard boxes for the outside kennel dogs. I hate fraud.

[Marine Sanctuary] Just closing areas to do something doesn’t restore the environment. They are well intentioned but not necessarily right.
[“What does Save Our Key Deer, Inc. do?”] A previous poster stated he “has no idea what SOKD actually does besides their articles here” Our answer is to go to our web site, click on the “What we have done” banner and read. For even more details, click on the October 2019 Newsletters tab.

We have been distributing educational brochures for 2 years, with over 10,000 brochures distributed and more than 60 local businesses and organizations participating. We have also mailed the brochures to every address in the Key Deer range. You can even find the deer-car collision map. SOKD has worked intensely with both the MCSO and FDOT to try to reduce vehicle strike deer deaths. The poster wondered how Key deer could possibly get hit in the fenced portion of US1? There are two ways. 1) The road grates meant to prevent deer from walking onto the highway are not 100% effective and some deer learn to walk over them until they get hit. 2) The temporary repairs of the fence heavily damaged by Irma are now very old and have been failing for more than a year. The holes let deer enter the highway and become trapped. SOKD’s volunteers has been regularly patrolling and patching the fence for over a year. Last April we even convinced FDOT to provide a 3-man crew for 3 days to help strengthen the repairs. Presently, SOKD has a team of volunteers that inspect the integrity of the fence several times a week until the on-going permanent repair work is completed. Since we started the patrols, we have been able to save the lives of 8 deer trapped on the highway, often with the aid of friendly motorists.  Here’s a picture of a deer on the highway who is trapped inside the fence after just crossing the cowcatcher road grate designed to stop them crossing.
Visit our site and read-up on our many other projects. Link

[House For Rent] Located in the center of the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, this secluded, large 3-bedroom house has two full bathrooms and central air conditioning. Tile floors, stainless steel appliances. Large elevated deck outside the living room. House is on stilts with a full concrete ground floor where the laundry room and the storage/workshop are located. The laundry room has washer and dryer hookups. Impact windows all around mean no hurricane shutters are needed. The house sits on two wooded acres that includes a lovely natural pond. No smokers please. Utilities are not included. $2,700 a month, plus first, last and a $1000 deposit ($6,400 is needed to move in).
For more photos see Craigslist Link
[Imports] Smugglers ferrying Chinese from Bahamas to South Florida, feds say. They’re using yachts! Link
Today, a mid-range bathroom remodel costs around twenty thousand, five hundred dollars.

[For Sale] Couch and loveseat. 12400 Overseas Highway, Marathon. $100 for both (302) 373-7756 Ask for Matt – on ground level in carport now. Needs a new home immediately.

[Sea Rise] Residents of Florida Keys face losing homes as rising sea levels threaten to cut them off. Link




[Cable Box] Is there anyone on the planet that doesn’t own this exact box of useless computer cables from 15 years ago that they keep moving to new places as if it were full of gold?

[Encryption and Privacy] Have you given up our right to privacy? Is this what we want? Government wants access to all our phones and text messages. Government isn’t satisfied unless they can spy on all of us. Are we willing to give up our privacy to solve crimes? You might say yes, “I don’t have anything to hide.” I disagree. Unless the world has changed, you can never trust the government’s intentions nor what they say. Do you trust them? Do you want them prying into your private lives with their newfound algorithms? What happens when a ‘flagged’ word or phrase pops up on innocent people’s phone records or conversations? Yes, they will be “listening” through these algorithms. The Government will ruin your life and bankrupt you while you try to defend yourself. Do you think anyone can stop Homeland Security when they mistake you for some bad guy? Do you think they will believe you when you say you were only making a joke? Why don’t you care about privacy? Recent events have shown the only thing people care about the Constitution is protecting the Second Amendment. Most of those same people aren’t even aware of the rest of the Constitution.




The first sign of winter, snow birds heading south.

[Fake News] Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw.
This is good advice in the Keys with its wealth of BS artists, especially in government.



Only in the darkness can you see the stars. ~Martin Luther King Jr. Happy MLK Day!

[Plastic] China moves to phase out single-use plastics. Link
[Operating System] I hate Windows 10 so much, I could spit. Once again, while my computer was supposed to be asleep, it turned itself on, closed my browser with several open tabs with information I was working with, uploaded an “upgrade” I did not request nor want, rebooted my computer, turned off number lock, reset some other options and forced me to start over. With Windows 7, I could stop automatic upgrades, but I don’t see that option available. This automatic crap could have damaged the hard drive if the laptop was being moved when Windows decided to “improve itself..” Microsoft stinks.
(Ed: Click the Windows logo in the bottom left of your computer > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced options [it’s grayed out]. Link)



[Irony] Chinese have 1-2 million people in concentration camps and we do business with them, but we can’t even fly to Cuba anymore because of their human rights violations.

Things you can sue for in the Keys
bad barstools that hurt after 8 hours
bad food that hurts after you pay the check
bad drinks that gave hangovers from the rot gut booze
bad hotel rooms that gave you something that itches
bad cops that ruin your naked run down Duval Street
bad shops that sell you over-priced ammo
bad restrooms that don’t have urinals in the former lady’s room
bad sticky toilet seats everywhere
bad local music groups
ugly snowbirds without pretty daughters


[Deer-Proof Overpass] This video is of a buck who figured out how to cross the “cattleguards” and get onto US-1. The video shows him going back and forth twice in one night across the grate.  He was doing this for several weeks before we installed the trailcam to document it. About a week after this video he got killed by a car. Buck crossing cattle grate

[Climate Change] As seas rise, a Florida Keys ‘ghost forest’ makes a last stand. On a stretch of the Lower Keys, near an old borrow pit quarried during the construction of Big Pine, sea water and mud cover much of the rocky ground. Poisonwood trees, whose sap was used by the Calusa to poison enemies, grow along the pit’s high berm. Clumps of pink-flowered pride-of-Big Pine, one of the planet’s most imperiled plants and found only in the Keys, also sprouts from the rare patch of high ground.
There’s something else, more ominous, too: bleached pine tree stumps, rising like tombstones. Link
[“Speed limits in that fenced corridor seem like a bunch of bureaucratic nonsense”]  They told us that if no deer were killed during a certain length of time they would increase the speed at night from the too slow 30 mph. Never trust government.

[Uncle John’s “Unsinkable” Bathroom Reader] Any of the annual Bathroom Reader volumes are highly recommended reading. Besides the very enlightening short texts, there is a line of trivia on each page. Unsinkable has well over 500 pages.
Harry Houdini was buried in the coffin that he used in his escape act.
Cities occupy 2% of the earth’s surface but consume 75% of resources.
Some butterflies have ears on their wings.
A violin bow contains about 150 horse tail hairs.
During the 1950s, both the U.S and the U.S.S.R had plans to bomb the moon.
67% of WW II deaths were civilians.
Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius predicted fossil-fuel-related global warming in 1896.
The Tonle Sap River in Cambodia flows south for eight months and north for the rest of the year. Link

[Arguing] In life it’s important to know when to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong
[Tree Trimming & Removal Law] State law prohibits a local government from requiring a notice, application, approval, permit, fee, or mitigation for the pruning, trimming, or removal of a tree on residential property if the tree presents a danger to persons or property, as documented by a certified arborist or licensed landscape architect. A local government may not require a property owner to replant a tree that has been pruned, trimmed, or removed in accordance with the bill provisions. The bill does not apply to mangrove trees, which the trimming and alteration of is regulated statewide by the Department of Environmental Protection.
House Speaker José Oliva is advising any residents experiencing issues with local governments ignoring the law to contact his office. Link
[Sissy Website] I read the Konk Life web page daily and have come to hate it because it tends to make the Keys look like a sissified, castrated, bent paradise instead of the escape, partying, string of debris, we really were and called home. What happened to manhood and good old piracy down here? We turned into a developer’s nightmare, a bunch of Christian screwballs and a plastic tourist urinal. Save the Keys — burn the bridges!



[Bacon Fat Delight] This morning, I fried my eggs swimming in bacon grease like my grandfather used to do. Wow, such an improvement! Listen to your elders, kids- you don’t really know it all after all.

People Smugglers are ferrying Chinese from Bahamas to South Florida, feds say. They’re using yachts. Link
Jerry Lee Lewis hit the charts in 1957-58 with “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On” and “Great Balls of Fire.”   When he played the piano, he slammed the keys with both hands, occasionally running his fingers down the entire length of the keyboard, then played with only a couple of fingers as he almost whispered, “Easy now….” only to come back to full power on the keys.

With all of that said, this kid, Jacob Tolliver, allegedly walked into a hardware store on Market Street in Portsmouth, Ohio and sat down to an old piano.

Jacob Tolliver — Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On

[“Key West a disappointment”] KW was a lot “cooler” in the late 70s and early 80s, long before 90% of the people who live here now ever thought of coming down. Colorado is equally overrated with the current Californication of what was once a pretty state, but then again so was Florida. Who’s serving the fresh caught tilapia platter on Duval today? Or the conch fritters made with imported (if any) conch?



[Feeding the Masses] How the world’s largest cruise ship makes 30,000 meals every day. Video

[Sheeple] Science has found out that watching daily soap operas is hazardous to your mental stability unless you’re a blonde then fuhgeddaboudit
Save Our Key Deer would like to thank he following businesses, from Islamorada to Key West, for distributing our “Don’t Speed – Don’t Feed”  education brochure to their customers.
Chamber of Commerce Big Pine Key, Chamber of Commerce Marathon, Chamber of Commerce Key West, Chamber of Commerce Islamorada, Big Pine Key Visitors Center, Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge, Artists in Paradise Gallery, Milagro Restaurant, Rooster Restaurant , Old Wooden Bridge Fish Camp, Tom Thumb – Big Pine Key, Bahia Honda State Park, Crane Point, Century 21 Realty, CoCo’s Cantina, Beals, Pizza Works, China Garden, Bagel Island, Big Pine Bicycle Center, Tye Dye Shop, CVS, Walgreens, Palmer’s Resort, Mangrove Mama’s, Sugarloaf Lodge, Baby’s Coffee, Bayshore Sub Shop, Old Town Bakery, Galley Grille, Big Pine Bait and Tackle, Looe Key Dive Shop, Strike Zone Charters, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Cudjoe , Aquarium Encounters, Keys Animal Hospital, Marathon Vet Hospital, Turtle Hospital, Holiday Inn – Marathon, Cay Condominium, Internet Realty, Ramrod Key, Food For Thought, Hampton Inn , Captain Hooks Marina, Saint Peter Catholic Church – Big Pine Key, DRC, Sole Water Sports, Pigeon Key, Key West Wildlife Center, ECO Discovery Center, Tropic Theatre, Tropical Cottages, No Name Pub, Hawks Cay Resort, Hyatt Place, The Hammocks, Tranquility Bay, Courtyard by Marriott, Banana Bay, Glunz Resort, 7 Mile Grille, Summerland Wine and Spirits, Summerland Ace Hardware, Murray’s Market, SALT Gallery, and Date and Thyme Organic Foods. Link