Sunday, July 2, 2017

disturbing news (including X-ray of the Key West Citizen Editorial Board's position on the environment and the great environmentalist Donald Trump, and Jesus' best friend and most devoted disciple Judas) tends to rhyme with kill the messenger: Key West Dispensable Church Sunday homily

Last night at the side entrance of Harpoon Harry's diner, I was asked by a young inebriated Anglo couple from St. Louis, what I do? I said, I'm a professional disturber. You can see for yourselves by checking out, published most days. They laughed, said they would check it out. 

When they asked how to get to Duval Street, I pointed at Caroline Street a few feet away in front of Harpoon Harry's, said, Take a left on that street and start walking and you will get to Duval Street. Do not get into any arguments on or near Duval Street. Walk away from any and all arguments. People get stabbed, shot and killed, or worse, after getting into arguments on or near Duval Street. The chamber of commerce and the city government and the lodging industry will not tell you that. 

The young inebriated Anglo couple from St. Louis thanked me and weaved toward Caroline Street. 

I give a lot of tourists the same advice.

I also tell tourists that every diver and doctor in the Keys knows going into the ocean with a nick or scratch on your skin can give you MRSA, which will have you fighting for your life.
In my last dream this morning, 
I was in Germany. German law enforcement counter terrorist people showed me a fancy new kind of assault rifle or submachine gun and said they wanted to know what I thought about it? I said I loved it! 
Whenever I dream of of Germany, it has something to do with my good friend Todd German.
In that regard, which one of the Citizen editorial board members down below do you imagine penned today's editorial in the Key West Citizen ( 

I called Todd and he said he did not write the article, but he and the other editorial board members had all sat around and talked about what would be in it.

My invited (by implication) thoughts in bold italics:

Jennifer Hulse Russo is married to Ed Russo, who is one of Donald Trump's good buddies and environmental advisers.
Jennifer led the Key West Chamber of Commerce charge a few years ago to widen the channel and bring in bigger cruise ships, while the local reef protection league (Reef Relief), of which Ed Russo now is member, refused to come out against the Chamber and Jennifer's crusade. Nor did Jennifer and Ed come out against what they knew for a fact was the city receiving the dirtiest worst possible cruise ships since the beginning of cruise ship calling on Key West time. Nor did the Key West Editorial Board come out against any of that. Jennifer was not then on the Editorial Board. Jennifer and Ed got married after the Key West voters slaughtered the bring in bigger cruise ships referendum.

Commission should take actionable measures 

The Key West City Commission recently passed yet another resolution to express its displeasure with the presidential election. Following the adoption of resolutions outlawing non-existent “conversion” therapy and making Key West a “welcoming” (i.e. sanctuary) city, the city has now weighed in on the federal government’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Accords until a better agreement can be renegotiated by the United States. 

Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, who was one of the sponsors of all three resolutions, has publicly maintained that he believes it is the proper role of our local government to inform our national politicians what “we” believe as a city. We do not agree that our seven commissioners were elected to speak for all residents on national political issues or to tell our national politicians what “our” viewpoints are, regardless of whether those viewpoints are conservative or liberal. Each one of us has a vote and a voice in our national politics. We do not need our City Commission to speak for us. 

Generally, I agree. However, nothing is cast in stone. For example, back in the fall of 2002, the City Commission had before it a resolution that the City of Key West opposed US unilateral invasion of Iraq without United Nations sanction. The City Commission meeting chamber in Old City Hall was packed. The most violent of hundreds of commission meetings I have yet to attend. The violence was between citizens against the resolution and citizens in favor, and between citizens against the resolution and the City Commission for having the resolution on the printed agenda. Verbal violence. Citizens opposed to the resolution were outraged. It was not the mayor and commissioners' place to speak for them and for the entire city. It was unpatriotic. It was treason. To oppose American unilateral invasion of Iraq. I don't recall which elected official sponsored that resolution, but I do recall 3 commissioners said they were in favor of the resolution, and why, and 3 commissioners said they were against the resolution, and why, and then Mayor Jimmy Weekley said he could not support another American war over oil and the resolution passed 4-3. The citizens for the resolution cheered, the citizens opposed stormed out of the meeting hall. What then happened proved in spades that Jimmy Weekley and 3 city commissioners were a hell of a lot smarter and wiser than President George W. Bush and his American corporate war for profit henchmen and most Americans. That inconvenient truth aside, really important US Supreme Court decisions have been made by majority vote, which became binding on ALL Americans, including Americans who opposed what a Supreme Court majority decided. Jennifer Hulse knows that because she is a lawyer.

Our local officials were elected to address local issues that impact our lives on a daily basis, such as affordable housing, traffic congestion, parking, the condition of our roads and bridges, homelessness, the Truman Waterfront, etc. Using the authority granted to them by their local community to amplify their personal political ideologies seems like an abuse of that power and shows enormous disrespect for the rights of all voters to decide how we would like to chart the course for our country. 

The City Commission sided with Jennifer and the Chamber of Commerce to widen the channel and bring in bigger cruise ships and keep letting the dirtiest, worst possible cruise ships keep calling on Key West. That abused the City Commission's power and showed enormous disrespect for Mother Nature (the planet) and the rights of all voters to decide how we would like to chart the course for our city. After the referendum to bring in bigger cruise ships was slaughtered by the voters, Jennifer continued saying publicly that the referendum should have passed and it was not about cruise ships, but only was about a study to widen the channel and jobs. The chamber of commerce got themselves another lawyer. Jennifer married Ed Russo. Jennifer got on the Citizen Editorial Board. Todd German told me a few months back, not much chance the Citizen ever will ask me to be in its editorial board.

We doubt the City Commission would have passed the Paris Climate Summit resolution if it was required to make the significant financial contributions of taxpayer dollars to a fund to be distributed to other municipalities. Unlike our City Commission, the federal government would have been required to transfer billions of our tax dollars to other countries, most of whom compete against the United States for manufacturing jobs, further harming our own citizens. High-polluting countries such as China and India have pledged no contributions, and the U.S. will not be the beneficiary of any environmental projects despite its substantial contributions. 

I wonder if Jennifer is old enough to know that after Ted Turner sold CNN for several billion dollars he gave $1 billion of it to the United Nations, to pay part of America's huge arrear UN dues? I wonder if Jennifer is of the view the planet is not warming, and if it keeps not warming at the rate it is not warming, all coral reefs might die? Humanity might follow suit? Now, let me say that the planet historically has had cooling and heating phases, which have nothing to do with human beings. There is nothing humanity can do about that but grin and bear it. However, it is a fact that humanity is destroying the planet's surface and down a few miles under ground, and is destroying the planet's oceans and atmosphere. So, for the richest and most powerful country the planet to say we ain't gonna be part of your save the world club, because other countries are not on board, is a bit more than stupid. It is insane. And since the leader of the insanity sits in the White House, and since the insanity affects every last American and legal and illegal resident in America, then it is insane for local government officials throughout America not to speak out about the insanity in the White House.

If the city really wanted to participate in the Paris Climate Summit, it should tender approximately $232,000 for its per capita share of the cost burden in the first year. The city will, of course, take no such action. Anyone can pass a resolution containing nothing more than words on a piece of paper. When it comes to making the tough decisions about how to spend our tax dollars and what is in the best interest of our citizens, much more political will is required. 

Looks to me that the actual author of this editorial is in bed with the mad man in the White House, and, by consensus/association, so is the entire Citizen editorial board.

However, we are encouraged by the city’s resolution that it wants to clean up the environment and lower greenhouse gas emissions. But we noticed that the Commission did not list one single step it will take to do either. How can we possibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions without an action plan to do so? Will that plan be forthcoming? Or is this yet another senseless resolution passed to make us and the Commission feel good (and therefore get votes) instead of actually doing something good? We would whole-heartedly applaud the City Commission if it finally chose to take real action to produce real environmental results on our island.

Amen to that. Stop the city selling cruise ships drinking water manufactured on the mainland land and pumped through a pipe down to Key West, by banning cruise ships from Key West. Recycle all plant wastes locally. Incinerate all garbage locally. Instead of paying Waste Management to collect all of that and haul it to the mainland. Upgrade the city's sewer treatment plant to the point that the treated wastewater it now pumps into deep injection wells, which leach into the ocean, is potable and sent back into the local drinking water system. Require all new construction to install solar panels which power the new construction after it is completed. Cover the city's abandoned landfill mountain with solar arrays which produce power sent into the local public power company's grid. And why not actually build actually affordable rental housing, instead of just moving your lips, moving your lips, moving your lips, about it?

For example, the biggest polluter and emitter of methane, a greenhouse gas emission, is our landfill, affectionately known as Mt. Trashmore. Many may not be aware that our landfill does not have a containment barrier at the bottom, so when the tide comes in, it mixes with the toxins in the garbage. Then, when the tide goes out, so do the contaminants created by the rotting garbage. The landfill also has no methane collection system, meaning that massive amounts of methane are released directly into the air. Methane (CH4) has more than six times the concentration of greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide (CO2). It is like having hundreds of cars running all day, every day of the year for decades, right in our own backyard. We have a giant Mr. Coffee of contaminants polluting both our air and water, destroying our reef system, and causing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Ask Ed Russo to persuade his good friend Donald Trump to send Key West the money it needs to trap, collect and reuse Mt. Trashmore's methane emissions. Between Russo and Trump, great business entrepreneurs that they are, they also figure out a way to seal the bottom of Mt. Trashmore, so rain and sea tides do not leach those awful toxins into the sea. Russo and Trump also pry enough money out Congress, or out of Trump's discretionary spending accounts and the goodness of his heart, al la Ted Turner, to cover Mt. Trashmore with solar arrays. Make Key West a national environmentally friendly poster city for the rest of America and the world to see and follow suit.
But the City Commission elects to pass a resolution about the Paris Climate Summit instead of passing a resolution to clean up our landfill. Does that make any sense? If the city desires to adhere to the goals of the Paris Climate Summit, it will take much more than a piece of paper. It requires making hard decisions and taking action on those decisions. The City Commission has not shown any political will to do so. Will it now reverse course and actually do something, or does it intend to spend the next 4-8 years wasting time and resources to let us all know it does not like the president? 

Lecturing others about environmental responsibility while failing to take any action, or to even understand and appreciate the environmental issues in our own backyard, is the ultimate form of hypocrisy. Our environment is in worse condition than we are being told. The only way to clean it up, and hopefully reverse climate change, is to stop wasting time on meaningless resolutions and to devote our resources to actionable steps tied to real and measurable environmental results. 

For sure, bitching about President Trump does not do anything to solve local problems. For sure, pointing the finger elsewhere has long been a popular tactic for not taking the beams out of elected officials own eyes. And not just elected officials. Their advisers and the people who voted for them, too. 

We look forward to holding the City Commission accountable for its commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Summit. We suggest that the commission hold a Key West Climate Summit so that it can identify and set measurable goals for environmental responsibility on our island. After all, we will always have Paris. But if we do not take action, we will not always have clean air, clean water, clean food, and a healthy reef system here in the Keys. 

"We will always have Paris." What an irrelevant remark. What, specifically, Key West Editorial Board, do you say the City Commission can do to fix Mt. Trashmore, reduce air pollution, continue to have clean water, clean food, and a healthy reef system? If you bitch, you need to have solutions that actually will work. Come on, tell us what those solutions are in your next editorial. And, when will you do an editorial demanding the city ban cruise ships from Key West and advise the public what every diver and doctor in the Florida Keys knows about catching MRSA in the ocean here?

—The Citizen

Also in today's Citizen, my interjected invited thoughts in bold italics:

Developer sued by neighbors over hotel

By Timothy O'Hara Key West Citizen

The legal wranglings between developer Pritam Singh and his neighbors on Stock Island continue with the developer being hit with another lawsuit that claims his new hotel is illegal and a nuisance.

Pritam Sing

I suppose Singh is one of only a few Buddhists in Key West. I heard years ago that then Mayor Jimmy Weekley introduced Pritam to local land use wizard lawyer Jim Hendrick just as Singh was getting his first high end Key West development going, Truman Waterfront. Then followed more Singh developments and Singh making a whole lot more money with help from Henrick. One night in 2010, during dinner at Hendrick's home - present were Hendrick, his wife, a woman friend of theirs I did not then know was Hendrick's girlfriend, and Todd German, Hendrick told me he was going to prove to me that Pritim Singh was not possessed by Lucifer, which I had reported at was the case. I told Jim to put on his case. Jim said, Pritam is the best salesman he ever met. He can get people to look only at what he wants them to look at, and not look at what he does not want them to look at. I said, That's how Lucifer sells. I rest my case. Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this Citizen article.

Singh has been embroiled in a series of counter lawsuits with his neighbors on Stock Island since he sued them to stop them from transiently renting their condos in the 22-unit condo complex he lives in, generically called Oceanside 22.

Singh moved into the complex to oversee the construction of his neighboring Ocean’s Edge Hotel and still lives there. In his lawsuit, he claimed they are renting illegally and it is infringing on his ability to peacefully enjoy his home.

The latest lawsuits claim the hotel violates county land-use rules and should have never been approved, but the Monroe County Commission and its planning staff maintain the project is in accordance with land regulations.

However, the County Commission has since put a moratorium on the use of lock-out units and is looking at putting greater restrictions on them.

The lawsuits have brought great scrutiny to the hotel and brought to the surface the fact that Singh was essentially able to double the number of units through the use of lock-out units.

Ten of Singh’s neighbors have filed multiple legal actions against him, with the latest lawsuit filed June 12. They claim Singh was approved to build condos rented out transiently, but not a full-blown hotel, which how it is currently being operated.

They contend Singh’s guests have trespassed onto their property, are consuming alcohol on their balconies and being loud and parking in their parking spots.

“The operation of the 175-room hotel and its attendant nuisances interfere with plaintiffs’ right to peaceful enjoyment of the property,” said the lawsuit, which was drafted by Carolyn Salzman, an attorney and plaintiff in the lawsuit. 

“By reason of the unlawful vacation rentals and resulting nuisance activity, plaintiffs are suffering immediate and irreparable injury for which an award of money damages would not provide adequate relief. Unless defendant is enjoined from operating the hotel as a vacation rental business, plaintiffs will continue to suffer such irreparable activity.”

Singh contends the neighbors only filed the latest lawsuit, which was filed June 12, because a judge dismissed their last lawsuit.
“The claims were frivolous and had no merit then and are frivolous and have no merit now,” Singh said. 

I published several times that the Monroe County Commission and Key West City Commission should summarily decline to process any Pritam Singh development applications, because he has repeatedly proven beyond any doubt that what he says he intends to build is not what he ends up building. He cannot be trusted and that is legal and practical grounds to not do business with him.

Now let's get back to the far-sighted environmental hero in the White House, comforting news in my Yahoo news today for after humanity destroys this planet and no longer can live here: 

Buzz Aldrin Looked As Baffled As We Felt During Trump's Space Talk

 Mary Papenfuss,HuffPost 9 hours ago 

If God has a Gender,( Male or female) Doesn't that make him or her a mere mortal?
The definition of the word "Mortal." Means someone or something that is mortal that can die, and if God is eternal?
I Leave the rest up to you!
Sindy Lee God has the energy of a male and a female ...the female energy called shchina ..this energy protects the children of israel in exile
Sheel Sheelman How about if "God" doesn't have an entity of any kind! and just.. is!
Richard A Carroll Alpha Omega. The Beginning and the End. God made Man in his imagine. But those that mean man is a likeness of God. Or is he merely the Image of what God foresaw him as. And where does that leave Eve. You know. Adams second wife. Wait. Does that mean he was divorced or a widow? I love philosophy
Sloan Bashinsky Looks to me, regardless of what scriptures are read, that western "man" has gone about remaking God in "man's own image and is still hard at it. Who today actually knows that Adam and Eve actually existed? Much less that Adam's first wife was named Lilith and she was so contrary that God had to create Eve for Adam. Reading the Bible, and talking to many followers of the Bible, their God is male, thus it would have been impossible Eve to have bee made in God's image. However, in Judaism, Shekina, the spirit of God, is female. The Holy Spirit in Christendom's Trinity is represented by the dove, hardly a male symbol. But "man" made it so anyway. Absence of the operating female (yin) essence in western religions, in humanity generally, is the cause of wars, man-made and otherwise, and most human diseases of body, emotions, mind and soul, and environmental destruction. That suits the Devil just fine. Makes "his" job a lot easier. Enables "him" to spend a lot of time on a recliner on a beach goggling what "man" has pretty much twisted and distorted and subordinated - woman. I wonder if it has ever occurred to western religious adherents, leaders and pundits that Eve, being designed by their versions of God, was intended to do just that she allegedly did, it was part of God's plan for "man"? Adam had to be really bored before Eve showed up in his life, and I imagine Adam was boring God. Then, viola! Adam was no longer bored. But today he still clings to being boring. Predictable. Not particularly smart. Not particularly creative. Not particularly useful to God. And it's still all Eve's fault. That's seriously bizarre poetry.
As is:
I did not find anything about Eve in Amos Oz's new novel, Judas, which I finished reading last night. Well, fairly new novel. It had to be translated into English for a barbarian like me to read it. Amos Oz is Israeli.

I don't tend to read real literature, such as this novel by an internationally acclaimed and award-winning novelist. However, I recently had an intense Facebook discussion with my oldest daughter who married into a Jewish family and later converted to Judaism, so when I saw Oz's novel in the county library's new books section, I checked it out.

While the theme of betrayal runs throughout the novel, a great deal of the tale is about a young Jewish man's search for himself and meaning, and his deep interest in Jesus and Judas, who, in the young Jewish man's thesis, is Jesus' best friend and most ardent disciple, without whom the world would never have heard of Jesus, because it was Judas, a wealthy educated man, who fell for Jesus, believed totally in him, and then pushed Jesus, against his better judgment, to go to Jerusalem and get himself crucified, so he then could, from the cross, save himself and prove he was the Son of God. When Jesus died on the cross, Judas was devastated, and that's why he hung himself.

Now I have for sometime had my own thoughts about Judas, which included him being Jesus's best man friend, but my take on where they diverged is different and I will not restate that here, because a dream last night left me feeling I should steer clear of that today. 

However, if I can find a way to correspond online with Amos Oz, I will thank him for writing such a provocative treatment of Judas and Jesus, enshrouded in a beautiful equally poignant and controversial history of the birth of Israel and how it might have been gone about differently, perhaps with or without all the wars and strife; and historical efforts in Judaism to mock and discredit Jesus; and an equally poignant and controversial love story between the young seeker and a Jewish woman about twice his age, and what she and the third main character, her father in law, whose son, her husband, had been killed in action, knew about her father, who was the one person in Israel who had opposed with all his will and breath the way the state of Israel came into being, which he viewed as madness, doomed to fail after much war, bringing even more grief to Jews, everywhere.

A truly brave and disturbing not in the least politically correct novel, if you are the Israeli author living in Israel. Or perhaps living anywhere.

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